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Author Topic: DVB-T Stick as SDR  (Read 136790 times)
K9AQ
Member

Posts: 55




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« Reply #105 on: February 27, 2013, 01:56:08 PM »

Don't judge the DVB-T based on its' performance with on FM with the "stubby" antenna.  When you have good quality upconverter and connect it to your regular HF antenna, you will find that it works quite well.  I am using this "toy" as a second receiver/panadapter with my Kenwood TS480.  I use HDSDR and have it linked to HRD so my SDR and my Kenwood track each other.

I don't use the SDR to listen to stations, only for the panadapter display and for point and click tuning of the Kenwood.  For that purpose it works extremely well.  I have been using mine for about a month and I don't know how I got a long with out.  I have been a ham for 51 years and have a degree in electronics.  I take exception to the posts on this forum that only people who don't know any better who be happy with the DVB-T dongle.

If anyone is seriously interested in doing what I have done, email be at dsolberg@wi.rr.com and I will send you some screen snapshots showing the SDR Panadapter is daily use.

Don
K9AQ
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W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




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« Reply #106 on: February 27, 2013, 02:33:51 PM »

No, I'm not judging it by the tiny little antenna that came with it at all. I have a Flex 1500 so therefore don't need it for HF. My interest in it is to see how well it performs as a wide band VHF/UHF RX and also to see if it will "hear" the satellites. I just finished getting a piece of mast up in the air and I'm going to mount a "scanner antenna" I had laying around and feed it with some RG-6 Quad shield. Then I will get a better gauge on it's performance. And don't pay any attention to the "know it alls" on here, best thing to do is put e'm on ignore. That's what I did and it makes for a much more pleasant experience on e-ham, especially in this forum.
Michael, W4HIJ
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9A4QV
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #107 on: February 28, 2013, 11:55:05 AM »

Hello guy's,

Of course you will hear the satellites, if you have a decent antenna first of all  Shocked
Speaking about the cheap USB DVB-t dongle, one should be aware of the limitations that this kind of equipment have. If you accept the dynamic range, NF, MDS, saturation point figures already known then it is much easier to predict and expect the results of mentioned setup.

Of course, somebody using the Flex radio or Perseus will said that the DVB-t SDR is junk, but also somebody using Harris military SDR radio 0-500Mhz can say same for the Flex radio or Perseus. On the other side the Perseus owner will be still proud on his SDR no matter what Harris SDR owner said on that.
The same goes for the cheap DVB-t SDR dongle.

I am aware of all limitations, but I still have a lot of fun using this 20$ dongle with or without HF upconverter, attenuator, LNA, filters etc. It is great and most of all affordable peace of radio that can be entry for the young and most of all old hams in the world of SDR.
I sell a lot of upconverters and surprisingly mostly to older hams or the hams that a coming back to hobby after a long pause. They are all interested to try this new trend, SDR and for sure this is the easiest and cheap way.

Adam, 9A4QV

P.S. If you look for the satellites i suggest a good LNA (AD6IW have the nice LNA for all bands) and mounted close to the antenna / far from the USB dongle.
Simple notch filter made of simple L/4 section of coax cut for the 100MHz broadcast band can reduce the noise a lot and make the satellite reception more pleasant. At he same time this noch filter will kill some signals also in the TV band (200, 400, 800 MHz) 
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W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




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« Reply #108 on: February 28, 2013, 02:36:35 PM »

Hi Adam,
Yes, I'll definitely be using a preamp eventually. I either will build or buy one. It's not my first foray into satellite communication so I know how to set everything up. I just want to see how far I can go with the inexpensive DVB-T dongle before I've pushed it to it's limitations.
Michael, W4HIJ
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9A4QV
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #109 on: February 28, 2013, 03:20:22 PM »

Hi Michael,

well then you will definitely have some fun chasing the birds on ham and out of the ham bands. Just to let you know that I saw DVB-T dongle receiving EME on 144mhz with and barefoot without LNA. More over I saw MAP-65 working very nice with the same dongle. It is amazing to watch screen full of decoded call signs. The antenna was 4x8 el yagi.

Have fun
Adam
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KN0CK
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #110 on: March 01, 2013, 09:13:40 PM »

At this time I've finished the first production of my SMD HF Upconverter that fits INSIDE the EZCap (E4000) RTL2832 dongle and have sold to 10 Hams - - 6 of those outside my state (Iowa).  For anyone interested in seeing this receiver, look here ----> http://blog.kf7lze.net/tag/up-converter/             
Look for the article called:  "KN0CK HF Upconverter Fits Inside the USB Tuner’s Enclosure"

The performance has been remarkable and I can tell you that while it may not have wide dynamic range, in the noisy HF band it performs just as well as some of my better receivers on my shelf.  I'm now on my second <and third> productions of this HF Upconverter for the EZCap receiver that I bought from Nooelec (on EBay) and my customers are also VERY happy with their purchases.  Again, this HF Upconverter fits INSIDE the receiver and looks the same as the VHF/UHF model you buy off EBay but it's a full-blown 10kHz to 30 MHz HF receiver.  I've even outfitted a couple of the receivers I sold with a HF/V-UHF switch so the user can still use it for listening to 2m, 70cm, and satellites operation and then switch to HF to listen there, too. 

So, for anyone that thinks that these RTL2832 receivers are junk or don't perform - I have no idea what you're talking about because there isn't anything that I can't hear with this receiver compared to equipment that I paid more than $700 to hear the same thing.

73 de Marty, KN0CK
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9A4QV
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #111 on: March 02, 2013, 02:05:57 PM »


So, for anyone that thinks that these RTL2832 receivers are junk or don't perform - I have no idea what you're talking about because there isn't anything that I can't hear with this receiver compared to equipment that I paid more than $700 to hear the same thing.

73 de Marty, KN0CK

Well, maybe this is because you 700+$ radio is really bad. You should ask then money refund from your radio dealer :-)

There are only two things where the combination USB DVB-T + Upconverter can beat the standard radio setup: the price and the panoramic view. If you expect that DVB-T dongle will perform as the standard radio, then you better do not "invest" 20$ in DVB-T dongle. Here in the Europe we can still use the dongle to watch the local TV if we are not happy with the SDR performance, so at the end this is good investment.

Adam, 9A4QV
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W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




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« Reply #112 on: March 02, 2013, 07:25:21 PM »

Participation in the contest this weekend plus my lingering cold has slowed my progress a bit.  The scanner antenna I had lying around here is now installed and had the RG-6 quad shield attached via F connector but the rest of the cable is lying on the roof. I find at 50 years old that I'm not as easily inclined as I used to be to crawl under the house and push the cable up through the floor. Cheesy Cheesy I'll get there though.  I am looking forward to seeing what the VHF/UHF performance actually is.
Michael, W4HIJ
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KN0CK
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #113 on: March 03, 2013, 05:03:21 AM »

It always amazes me when certain people don't 'get it' with this technology...Adam, thanks for confirming that for all of us.

de Marty, KN0CK
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KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #114 on: March 03, 2013, 05:27:23 AM »


So, for anyone that thinks that these RTL2832 receivers are junk or don't perform - I have no idea what you're talking about because there isn't anything that I can't hear with this receiver compared to equipment that I paid more than $700 to hear the same thing.

73 de Marty, KN0CK

Wow, confirms what I said earlier about not knowing any better.   Roll Eyes

It sounds like you have some real junk in your shack.
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KD7RDZI2
Member

Posts: 79




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« Reply #115 on: March 11, 2013, 02:00:59 PM »

I added HamItUp upconverter for HF reception... well... in front of that I use a good preselector and a 16db high IP3 preamplifier so I keep the gain of the RTL at very low level.  This setup excludes the saturation of the RTL stick and gives plenty of sensitivity. About the modest dynamic range... maybe that could be an issue during contests but with this setup I do not see a great need for better dynamic range. For me, the most important feature of SDR is image rejection, and the software SDR# essentially solved it. This upconverter is quite a nice addon. These days I used also an RX Ensemble which is good but the upconverter gives much more band to see... thumbs up!
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VE3TMT
Member

Posts: 500




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« Reply #116 on: June 18, 2013, 07:41:56 AM »

I use one (R820T) as a panadapter on my Yaesu FT990 and it works amazing. The display on my 22" monitor is a lot more than you will see on any of the PRO series or some of the newer radios. When the radio is interfaced with Omni-Rig, I simply click and I'm there. Pretty slick for $20.

See the display on QRZ under my call.

73,
VE3TMT
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K4AX
Member

Posts: 34




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« Reply #117 on: June 18, 2013, 11:55:49 AM »

I do the same with my FT-857, and though the receiver on the 857 is "OK" I prefer to listen to the rig on the dongle with HDSDR.   What setup do you have with yours? Is it buffered?
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VE3TMT
Member

Posts: 500




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« Reply #118 on: June 19, 2013, 06:18:05 AM »

I tapped the RF board between T1005 and T1010 just before the 47 MHz filter. Tap was done only through a .01uf cap. Tested received signals on a known signal before and after the tap, no difference was noted.

I prefer the sound through the PC, I can adjust the IF response as wide or narrow as I need. I find it very comparable to the receiver on my old TS870S, even better in some cases.

73,
VE3TMT
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KF5TOR
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #119 on: July 27, 2013, 02:26:23 PM »

The stick can be converted to HF with NO converter. Contact Thomas Hillard KC9QLE for a e-document to do this ($8). It works great! I have no association with Thomas but as a satisfied customer.
It took me about 1/2 hour to build the required components and do the soldering, download and install the software. My total cost was less than $30. My stick came from NooElec and is a R820T SDR & DVB-T (e-bay).
Thurmond
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