Category: Featured

Amateur Radio Projects and Software Defined Radio

SDRPlay Review

Introduction
After having the SDRPlay around in daily use for a few months, it’s time to talk about this little gem. Good things indeed come in small boxes. The SDRPlay wideband receiver (0.1MHz to 2GHz) is a great example of what can be done to produce an easy to use and fun inexpensive wide coverage SDR receiver. On top of that throw in top notch customer support and you wind up with an excellent product all for the lowly sum of $150. While not entirely perfect, it’s really hard to complain too much given the cost and the hard work the SDRPlay development team has put in to continually improve the product. The SDRPlay would make a great product for radio hobbyist looking to get involved with their first SDR receiver due to it’s ease of setup or if you have been using RTL dongles and need something that packs a little more of a punch. More advanced users will find something also since the SDRPlay is pretty tweakable as well as far more sensitive on the upper end of its frequency range. The other advantage with the SDRPlay is that now you can order or pick one up from …

Anan 10E First Look

Introduction
After a month evaluating the Anan10E SDR, there is only one word to describe this little guy, “WOW’! No doubt that the Anan10E is one of the best rigs to come through the Ham Radio Science shack, if not the very best. Probably most Apache Labs SDR owners already know this, but now for those us who would like to try one, admittance to the Apache Labs club has just got a whole lot cheaper. With a street price of $965 from US dealers such as Gigaparts¬†, Ham Radio Outlet and Cheapham, this puts the 10E in a price range that is very competitive with other entry level conventional HF / 6M transceivers. This includes such rigs as the Icom IC-7200, Yaesu 450D, Kenwood TS-480SAT, Alinco DX-SR9T, and the Elecraft KX3. Now some may argue that SDR radios do cost a little more because of the need of a computer system to use them, but then again these days computer equipment had gotten very inexpensive. Another thing to keep in mind is that Anan 10E output power is around 15 to 20W on HF and 8 to 10W on 6M. With the exception of the Elecraft KX3, …

RTL2832u – R820T VS RTL2832u – R820T2

In the world of Software Defined Radio there have not been many new products introduced over the past year. The products that have been introduced have been a little pricey for what they do. With that being said, there is not much if anything that can beat the venerable RTL2832U dongle as a great low cost introduction to the world of SDR. The R820T variant of the RT2832u dongle has turned out to be a solid performer for entry level applications over the past couple of years. Just recently a new and improved version of the RTL2832u – R820T has become available very cleverly named the R820T2. These new dongles are being made available in the US by NooElec on Amazon for around $24.95.
NooElec NESDR Mini 2 USB RTL-SDR & ADS-B Receiver Set, RTL2832U & R820T2 Tuner, MCX Input. Low-Cost Software Defined Radio Compatible with Many SDR Software Packages. R820T2 Tuner & ESD-Safe Antenna Input, Guaranteed
The first thing you may notice about the R820T2 is that the case is now bright blue and the blue power led is much brighter. Outside of that, the cases of the R820T and the R820T2 seem to be identical in size and …

The Three Best Low Cost SDR Radios You Can Buy Today

If you are thinking about getting involved with SDR radio or just want to add a new one to you shack, here are what we consider the three best values in SDR radio equipment available today. The operative word here is “low cost”. These SDRs are not necessarily the best you can buy, but offer a lot of value for your money and make a good entry point into the world of Software Defined Radio.…

NooElec Aluminum Extruded Case for the Ham It Up HF Converter

Overview

Looking for a place to put your Ham It Up Converter? NewElec is now selling a very nice aluminum extruded case to fit the Ham It Up HF converter. As was discussed in an earlier article on HRS, a RTL2832U Dongle and the Ham It Up converter make a killer combo for a VHF,UHF, and HF SDR receiver with a very respectable bandwidth for less than $100. The new enclosures from NooElec will give you a good looking home for your Ham It Up converter and are available in blue or silver. The blue case uses laser etched labeling while the silver case uses silk screen labeling. The blue case looks very nice, but the silver case’s labeling stands out a little better. However, you can’t go wrong with either color. The cases also provide additional RF shielding for your Ham It Up converter. The case kit comes with the aluminum case with a cut out for the USB port, two pre-cut aluminum end pieces with cut outs for the by-pass switch and rf jacks, and a pack of small screws with two standoffs. The enclosures looks terrific and provides additional protection for your Ham It HF Converter.…

Alinco DX-SR9 Hybrid SDR Transceiver Review

Introduction
If Alinco’s DX-R8 ¬†receiver and the DX-SR8 had a child, it would be the DX-SR9. The DX-SR9 inherits the brains of the DX-R8 and the brawn of the DX-SR8 to create the DX-SR9 hybrid amateur radio transceiver. Hybrid SDRs are generally a standard radio receiver with buttons and knobs that feature an IQ output to allow its use with SDR software programs. This gives you the best of best worlds. You get a radio with standard buttons and knobs that you can quickly use when you don’t feel like firing up the shack computer for SDR. The Hybrid SDR also allows you to use it in situations where you would like to not have to fool with the computer like in the field or mobile. Unlike the black box SDR radios, you are not always tied to a computer for operation. The Hybrids also offer a more friendly introduction to SDR for new users. They can plug the rig in and use it immediately and come to grips with the SDR part later. When SDR software is added, then the radio gains some of the features of far more expensive radios such as panoramic displays and additional filtering. What’s …

Afedri SDR-Net 2.3a Review

Introduction
Ham Radio Science occasionally get emails from our readers on suggestions for a good reasonably priced HF SDR radio that won’t break the bank. So, we spent a little time investigating what was available in the under $300 price range. Frankly, there is not much to be found with the exception of a few kits. The kits are great learning tools, but some of our readers may not prefer trying to build a kit that includes tiny sma parts. Also the kits and some of the less expensive SDR radios are still sound card based and we were really looking for a direct sampling receiver. The $249 Afedri SDR-Net HF SDR met our requirements and more. The Afedri Net-SDR allows for connection to your pc via an USB interface and what truly puts the Afedri SDR-Net in a class of its own is the ability to connect via TCP (Lan connection). After looking into the very positive comments on the internet regarding the Afedri SDR-Net, we thought it would be well worth investigating this amazing little budget HF SDR receiver. The Afedri SDR-Net is made by Alexander Trushkin 4Z5LV and is available in a case for $249 or as …