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Author Topic: SDR SWL's  (Read 74515 times)
KE7TMA
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Posts: 446




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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2013, 06:33:07 PM »

I'm one of those non-ham SWL's that comes here, and I do not have an SDR, and never intend to, for a bunch of reasons -- the first one being that I already have several MW and SW radios that work quite well.  

I just don't see the point in having a receiver that is tied to a computer, or pulls in a gazillion frequencies at once, when you still can only listen to one frequency at a time.  SDR may be for other people, but not for me.  I know the displays look pretty, and some DXers use the SDR waterfalls to ID certain utility transmissions, but I'm not into that.  

If I was going to spend more money on the radio hobby I'd get a high grade tabletop receiver like an R75 or R8 (which would be cool, but which I really don't need to enjoy the hobby), or get a license and buy an HF ham rig.

I use my KX3 for SWL with regularity, and it's not tied to a computer unless I want it to be.  I do agree that a radio that needs a computer to function is kind of kludgy.
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N5INP
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Posts: 716




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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2013, 06:47:28 PM »

I do agree that a radio that needs a computer to function is kind of kludgy.

Ahem ... then by your own definition the KX3 is kludgy, because it has to have it's internal computer to function.

This is what's inside it -

mcu 18F87K22

 CPU

    Up to 16 MIPS Performance
    Operating Speed up to 64 MHz
    Operating Voltage Range: 1.8 to 5.5V
    8 X 8 Single-Cycle Hardware Multiplier
    Three Internal Oscillators: 31 kHz, 500 kHz, 16 MHz

http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/Devices.aspx?dDocName=en546891
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W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1616




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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2013, 09:50:06 AM »

   I went looking for a new short wave receiver to replace my aging FRG-7700 and found a very nice one by ICOM the IC-7200 which was less expensive than the stand alone SWRs that I had been looking at.
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KB8VIV
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2013, 11:06:43 AM »

I'm a ham, but enjoy all aspects of radio, from hamming to swl'ing.  To be honest, though, I spend 99% of my time listening, and so I took the plunge a while back and bought an Afedri sdr.  For $250, you quite a competent little sdr, as a matter of fact, I've not turned on me bloody ts-870 since I hooked up the Afedri.

The bandscope is especially usefull in spoting stations.  Lots of examples of my catches can be found here: http://m.youtube.com/channel/UCBUv3aLtkrAoeFQA6mDo2uw

I tend to chase Numbers and Pirate stations.

kb8viv
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 11:12:41 AM by KB8VIV » Logged
KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 446




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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2013, 03:42:31 PM »

I do agree that a radio that needs a computer to function is kind of kludgy.

Ahem ... then by your own definition the KX3 is kludgy, because it has to have it's internal computer to function.

This is what's inside it -

mcu 18F87K22

 CPU

    Up to 16 MIPS Performance
    Operating Speed up to 64 MHz
    Operating Voltage Range: 1.8 to 5.5V
    8 X 8 Single-Cycle Hardware Multiplier
    Three Internal Oscillators: 31 kHz, 500 kHz, 16 MHz

http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/Devices.aspx?dDocName=en546891

Which HF radio produced nowadays doesn't have a computer inside of it?  Something has to drive that shiny display, the logic for the IF DSP, etc.  I thought it would be obvious even to a pedant that I meant, and external computer and monitor.
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K0OD
Member

Posts: 2520




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« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2013, 12:06:23 PM »

A QS1R SDR in action...

YT video shows reception of the LYQ beacon on 529 KHz. 22 seconds into the brief clip the listener re-shapes the pass band to reduce QRM from 530, probably a highway information station. Best to watch in the full screen mode.  The bandscope also shows  a stronger AM broadcast station up the band on 540.000.0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EU4elCbVzw

Foreign stations between our standard 10 KHz spacing would be easily spotable even if their audio was obliterated by sidebands of nearby broadcasters.  I can sometimes see a well defined blip on 1521 KHz which is probably the Saudi Arabian 500 KW broadcaster right next to many U.S. stations on 1520. 
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KB5UBI
Member

Posts: 97




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« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2013, 03:03:07 PM »

I have a Softrock SDR receiver attached to a PC at the other end of the house from the HAM Shack. Mostly I use it to check propagation, but sometimes I find myself cruising the non-amateur HF bands.
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 446




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« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2013, 07:58:11 PM »

How many here are SWLers on SDRs?

Just curious where that sits now days!

I'm into it again at least until I get an HF rig.

I resurrected a PC I had in my closet to devote to the radios and got my NRD-535 receiver to work with HDSDR (at least controlling it in one direction).  Smiley I had to dig down into a junk box to find an rs-232 cable (with 25 pin male end!) and a null modem adapter, but it's working. The proc is a dual-core with 4 G memory and Win 7/64 and it's working OK with HDSDR. It's pretty neat. Although due to a quirk in the way the old NRD-535 works, the control won't work in both directions at once with the Omnirig app, it does control the HDSDR when tuning and changing modes. So I can just tune along and the display follows perfectly.

It's really a nice thing to have. I don't even look at the radio now. I just tune along and watch for interesting signals instead of listening for them. The dongle is really sensitive too. I was going back and forth between the radio audio and the SDR audio trying to compare quality and more than once I had to look down to remind myself which device I was actually listening to. It's amazing that a small device that cost just $20 and some free software can compete with a $1,600 communications rx (in 1990 dollars)!

I have a small numeric keypad on order so I can set the keyboard aside. I really don't need the keyboard most of the time, but I can use the numeric keypad to enter frequencies and I can also set the Windoze password to a number too. That will free up desk space.



While typical SDRs do work well for SWL activities under decent conditions, their lack of manual RF gain control, somewhat simplistic filtering, lack of DNR and noise blankers, and so forth really make them a pain in the ass after a while.  I'd take the NRD-535 over a new-fangled SDR receiver any day for pure listening comfort.
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