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Author Topic: Hardware is Too Pricey for me  (Read 4253 times)
KG4RUL
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Posts: 2688


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« on: December 27, 2005, 11:31:04 AM »

What holds me back from trying out SDR is the cost.  Since I don't have a suitable PC, my costs for the 100Watt unit w/ATU, the PC and a monitor is approx. $2744.00 + shipping.  Way too rich for my fixed income.

Even if I could afford it, what I would end up with is an equivalent to my TS2000X without the UHF/VHF/SHF capabilities.  

Also, I can grab my TS2000X by the carrying handle and take it to Field Day or JOTA.  Not very practible with with the SDR and all it's associated paraphenalia.

Dennis KG4RUL
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N3HKN
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Posts: 113




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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2005, 04:58:36 AM »

I came to the same comclusion. The only thing that SDR has going for it (in a competitive sense) is the unlimited filtering. You can set almost any bandpass and IF(audio) frequency giving you thousands of dollars of filters. As an example you can quickly construct a 50hz filter to encompass a single CW or PSK signal and they seem to be the only signal on the air. You are not affected by other nearby signals. Unfortunately, the almost $900 of base hardware makes it a tough sell since you need a lot of expensive addons to achieve the RF capabilities of "old-fashioned" rigs.

I had an SDR-1000 but I drew the line when I saw the price of the 100 watt amplifier and the other items. I sold it, reverted to the rig I began with (courtesy of eBay), a Kenwood 520S. I concluded that I did not need a deluxe radio when all I had was a simple vertical. "rock-crushing" signals are rare when one does not have a lot of aluminium, or copper, in the air.

I will, however, be building a small SDR for less than $30, thanks to http://www.hamsdr.com/d44list.aspx?p=4 .There is plenty of free software around that will give you all of the filtering you need, including that used on the SDR-1000. I also wish I had a Kenwood 2000. For the average Ham the new "all band rigs" make lots of sense.

Dick N3HKN
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20547




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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2006, 03:41:38 PM »

Missing a rare one because the "rig's booting up" is kind of a turnoff...
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AB2KT
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Posts: 62




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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2006, 01:52:59 AM »

Blimey, Steve, you're starting to resemble an OF sometimes.

Even if you just use your computer to do nothing more than hook to the net, you can miss a rare one if you're booting up when a spot first shows up, too.

There are about a half a dozen things you can do with an SDR that are simply impossible with analog hardware, and every one of them makes contacts possible that would be impossible otherwise. Terry W0FM has some nice examples of this on EME that make the point perfectly.

There are a lot of shortcomings to SDR technology so far -- it's still in its infancy -- but sniping at the concept is merely silly, about as silly as sniping at SSB because a WWII surplus receiver had trouble with it.

73
Frank
AB2KT
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12694




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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2006, 08:17:49 AM »

I have to wait for my IC-756PRO to boot up too.
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N3HKN
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Posts: 113




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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2006, 03:50:08 AM »

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/?yguid=126756920

Check this URL for a group supporting less than $30 SDRs...

You should only look for references to V6. Latest for general HF use. You need solder!
N3HKN
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N9DG
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Posts: 311




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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2006, 09:30:19 PM »

Just think of the SDR's “boot up” time as the modern equivalent of tube filaments heating up in the old days Wink.
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K0XU
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Posts: 294




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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2006, 02:39:59 PM »

Any feedback on the Softrock receivers? Sounds like a cheap way to get one's feet wet. I might be willing to invest $20 to give it a try.
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WO7R
Member

Posts: 680




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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2006, 04:18:47 PM »

>Missing a rare one because the "rig's booting up"
>is kind of a turnoff...

The rig itself is pretty much "instant on."

Anyway, it's no great shakes just to leave your PC on all the time.  Long before I got my SDR, I was doing that.

Loading the console can be a problem, but it's maybe 10 seconds.  

Still, there's compensations.  Whatever I lost booting up, I more than got from having a 'scope, something that as far as I know, I can't do without spending a lot more on a rig than this one.

Yeah, it's expensive, especially compared to, say, a used TS 930 or TS 850 or something.  There'd have been times in my life where I'd not have sprung for it, either.

But, this is more rig for the money than you can get anywhere else.


Larry  WO0Z
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WB3EKB
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2006, 09:49:01 AM »

I have V6.1 for 20 meters and I am enjoying it very much.  You will need a very good sound card for it however.  I am using a Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop running at 1.2 GHz.  I purchased the SoundBlaster ZX2 PCMCIA sound card as the stock Dell didn't work well at all.  I am presently waiting for the arrival of the DDS-60 kit to so I can takey it to any frequency I need.  73's WB3EKB
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WA6NUT
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2006, 09:54:07 AM »

Check WA6NUT's HamSDR pages at:

http://www.hamsdr.com/Profile1.aspx?did=1139 and
http://www.hamsdr.com/PersonalDirectory.aspx?did=1139

for details on building a low-cost SDR transceiver based on the PSK-10 kit from Small Wonder Labs:

http://smallwonderlabs.com/PSK10_Text.htm

This SDR version of the PSK-10 is a single-band (10M) SSB transceiver using Java DSP software from JI3GAB's website at:

http://homepage3.nifty.com/ji3gab/english/dsp.html

Modifications to the PSK-10 include replacing the audio input and output stages with 12 kHz IF input and output stages.  JI3GAB's software provides SSB modulation and demodulation via the PC's sound card.

There are several drawbacks to this SDR approach:

1. Latency in the DSP software is about 1 sec., affecting receiver tuning and receiver and transmitter audio vs. received and transmitted RF.

2. Switching between transmit and receive is awkward, requiring a manual T-R switch and pressing the CTRL-C key on the PC's keyboard.

3. Operation is single band only (10M).

4. Operation with an external VFO is preferable for receive and transmit.  I use my Palstar ZM-30.

5. An external linear amplifier is required.  I use a PA-100 5W amplifier and an HFPacker 35W amplifier -- both are kits -- from HFProjects (K5OOR) at:

http://www.hfprojects.com/hfprojects/

Even with these drawbacks, this approach will set you up with an SDR transceiver, even on a limited budget!

73,
Rick, WA6NUT/Ø
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WA6NUT
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2006, 02:43:14 PM »

Correction to previous post from WA6NUT/Ø:

WA6NUT's HamSDR pages are:

http://www.hamsdr.com/Profile1.aspx?id=1139 and
http://www.hamsdr.com/PersonalDirectory.aspx?did=1139

The URL for WA6NUT's HamSDR Profile page was incorrect in the previous post.

73,
Rick, WA6NUT/Ø
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