Studio1 SDR Software Review
Our second “not so high end” SDR radio we tested with Studio1 was the wideband Alinco DJ-X11. The Alinco DJ-X11 is a portable all mode wideband receiver that covers basically 0.05 – 1,299.99995MHz. The DJ-X11 offers a IQ output that allows you to use the receiver as a sound card based SDR receiver. I created another instance of Studio1 and dropped the DJ-X11 ExtIO.dll from a 3rd party in the Studio1 directory and it worked perfectly. The ExtIO.dll basically controls the tuning of the DJ-X11, so you still have to connect the the DJ-X11s’ IQ output to your computers sound card. The DJ-X11 is somewhat typical of most small wideband receivers in that if you connect the radio to a large antenna, strong adjacent signals can interfere with the signal you are trying to listen to. This can me more noticeable in the HF bands. When using the DJ-X11 as a standalone HF receiver not much can be done about this. However, when the DJ-X11 was used with Studio1 it becomes a different story. Even though the DJ-X11 only uses about a 48MHz or so sample rate, we were able to easily separate closely spaced signals using Studio1 and more readily hear weaker signals that probably would not be heard using the DJ-X11 as a standalone receiver.
Also using the Studio1 filters and such, improved the audio greatly from what comes out the tiny built in speaker for a far more pleasant listening experience. There was some noticeable “pumping” from strong nearby SSB stations when listening to very weak signals. Using the Studio1 filters, AGC settings, and Noise Reduction features we were able to mitigate this problem greatly. So, if Studio1 can be used to improve these “not so high end” SDR radios, imagine what it can do for your high end SDR rig.
Studio1 is working toward fully implementing CAT control so that you can use your HF SDR radio as a pan-adapter for your analog HF rig. Right now Studio1 only supports CAT through the use of the Kenwood command set. The Studio1 developer plans to add Omni Rig integration to Studio1 to support a wider range of external receivers. Studio1 also supports the current Woodbox Radio Tmate hardware tuning controller and the upcoming Tmate 2 . You can also use the Tmate to control all of your open Studio1 instances.
After using Studio1 for a few weeks, we can say that it’s advanced DSP engine is well worth the price of admission. This not the mention the tweak-ability of the DSP engine for more demanding SDR users or the unique workstation approach that lets you get the most out of interfacing to and using your SDR Radio(s). The developer is working toward making Studio1 the best SDR software available. SDR Applications also responds very quickly to technical support inquiries.The Studio1 software ran smoothly on several test machines and I ran into no issues. There is also support through a Yahoo Group. Since the developer is incorporating new feature requests and fixing little issues here and there, you should keep an eye on the SDR Applications web page for new updates. Studio1 will become our reference standard here at Ham Radio Science when testing other SDR hardware, since the Studio1 appears to be able to pull out the pest performance the hardware is capable of. Here are some new features planned for Studio1 over the upcoming months:
- – Comprehensive external radio CAT synch via Omnirig
- – Frequency manager
- – Recording scheduler
- – Fast setup changes via “hardware definition” files
- – Easy ExtIO exchange without having to quit/restart the program
- – Command line parameters for easy customisation
- – Client/server remote operation
- – Optimization for large input Sample Rates (> 2MS)
- – Demo version planned for Q1/2013.
If you are interested in taking your SDR software to the next level you definitely want to give Studio1 a look. Studio1 can be purchased through Wood Box Radio.
Editors Note: Since this article was published we have received a number of questions and comments about Studio1. If you would like to discuss this program more in-depth there is a thread in the forums on Studio1.
Studio1 Demo Video