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Author Topic: QS1R Feedback  (Read 25642 times)
W7SMJ
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Posts: 120




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« on: August 23, 2011, 01:29:47 PM »

Hi,

Are there any QS1R owners here that can provide some feedback?  The review section of eham is a little thin and the reviews that are there are getting dated.  I'm interested in purchasing a QS1R and I'm curious in overall impressions.  So far the only concern I have is the lack of a preamp, but I live in an urban environment, so I'm not sure that would really be an issue for me.

I guess my question is, given your experience with the QS1R, would you purchase one today, or are there other rigs you would look at?  Thanks for the feedback.

73,
Scott
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KA4POL
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Posts: 1908




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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2011, 10:14:26 PM »

I'm using a QS1R for over two years now. As an antenna I have the ALA 1530. This is a good combination in view of the missing preamplifier. You might also want to consider the Norton preamplifier like the one found under http://www.cliftonlaboratories.com/norton_amplifier.htm
The QS1R covers a wider frequency range than the Perseus for example. 6m is included. For any SDR you got to consider not only hardware but also the software. A good comparison is found under http://www.sm5bsz.com/lir/sim1/sim1.htm The recent software has been clearly improved against the previous version.
There is also a Yahoo group which is strictly moderated by the owner Phil Covington.
Since the beginning there have been plans for a preamplifier unit and even a transmitter. The target dates are constantly shifting into the future. So I do not expect to see anything. Using a converter brings you to whatever range you want to receive.
A major advantage is the open software. Compared to the Perseus this is a major advantage.
My practical experience is positive. I would buy it again but only as an add on for an existing HF rig.
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OH6I
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 12:40:04 AM »

I find this helpful:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qs1r/message/6843
Jari
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W7SMJ
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Posts: 120




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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 07:36:29 PM »

@KA4POL:
Thanks for the feedback.  I'm intending to augment my TS-2000 so the QS1R looks like a good fit.  I agree about the open source software and this is what drew me intially to look at a Flex-1500.  The fact that SDRMAX runs on Apple and Linux platforms is a definate plus too.  I have been following the QS1R Yahoo group for a while to get feel for the current status.  If the RFFE1 was available I wouldn't have any lingering questions...

@OH6I:
Thanks for the feedback, I saw Gene's post earlier and found it informative, but while definately a fair and grounded review, it appeared to be an early impression.   It's also been almost a year later now.

73,
Scott
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2011, 09:47:04 AM »


Thanks for the feedback, I saw Gene's post earlier and found it informative, but while definately a fair and grounded review, it appeared to be an early impression.   It's also been almost a year later now.

73,
Scott

I am glad my post was of some help.  One thing that changed is that I ended up purchasing a Perseus also after clearing up a few communication misunderstandings with the manufacturer.  The only other thing that I can add is that I still prefer the qs1r to the Perseus because I find that I prefer using the qs1r software.  I occasionally monitor 6 meters for openings with the qs1r which the Perseus can't do.

Gene
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W7SMJ
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 01:37:52 PM »

I am glad my post was of some help.  One thing that changed is that I ended up purchasing a Perseus also after clearing up a few communication misunderstandings with the manufacturer.  The only other thing that I can add is that I still prefer the qs1r to the Perseus because I find that I prefer using the qs1r software.  I occasionally monitor 6 meters for openings with the qs1r which the Perseus can't do.

Gene

Thanks for the update Gene!

73,
Scott
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2011, 05:28:52 AM »

You might want to read the review in QST, you can download it from the ARRL web page. The QS1R did not pass with flying colors!

I have  3 SDR receivers. The QSR1, Perseus and the Winradio Excalibur. The one with the most potential is the Excalibur. However if If I was buying today I would look at the new RFSPACE Netsdr, it really blows all these other products out of the water for value for money and technical features. The software is also stable and simple.

The Perseus software is old and clunky. Its recording facility is the  best of the bunch. For ham radio tuning and scanning the bands the Excalibur software is excellent. The excalibur also makes a great RF spectrum analyzer since its easy and fast to use. I use the excalibur now exclusively as a spectrum analyzer that monitors my PA output, its better than most HP spectrum analyzers at seeing and capturing dynamic voice IMD. Most spectrum analyzers are too slow and dont have enough dynamic range. The Perseus software is just clunky and the screens too small. SDRMAXII is excellent however the QSR1 has poor sensitivity and lacks  bandpass filters.

The Excalibur does not support Skimmer, the Perseus and the QSR1 supports skimmer.

Anyway today if I was buying it would be the RFSPACE NetSDR.
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2011, 05:38:46 AM »

You might want to read the review in QST, you can download it from the ARRL web page. The QS1R did not pass with flying colors!

SDRMAXII is excellent however the QSR1 has poor sensitivity and lacks  bandpass filters.

Anyway today if I was buying it would be the RFSPACE NetSDR.

Having already owned a QS1R and having had experience with it before the ARRL review, when the ARRL review came out I had to laugh.  Who goes by the bogus ARRL reviews anymore especially for any SDR?  They got the Perseus review wrong and they flubbed the QS1R review as well.  The Perseus manufacturer even sent supporting test data to show that the ARRL's antiquated test methods were in error, and the ARRL agreed with his data promising to publish a correction.  To this day, the ARRL had never published a correction and made good on their promise.  Wonder why that is?  Maybe the Perseus manufacturer does not have the big advertising dollars that ICOM, YAESU, OR KENWOOD has?

I already covered this in my review.  On the sensitivity issue, the QS1R can use an external preamp above 15 MHz as the sensitivity is way more than adequate below 15 MHz by at least 10-20 dB.  The Perseus, Excalibur, and netSDR also need an external preamp above 20 MHz, especially on 10 meters.  So in all three cases, you still are looking at purchasing an external preamp anyhow.  The additional sensitivity of the Perseus and the Excalibur are wasted below 14 MHz because the band noise is typically 20 - 30 dB higher or worse during bad conditions.  It is worth mentioning that none of the other SDRs besides the QS1R covers the 6 meter Ham band.

The netSDR you mention is almost twice the cost of the QS1R and Excalibur.  Like the Winradio Excalibur, the netSDR does not cover 6 meters either.

None of the SDRs mentioned above are perfect, but making a decision based on the bogus ARRL reviews is just stupid.

Gene


« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 05:51:57 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2011, 01:30:10 AM »

Well to be fair to the ARRL,,, there is no internationally recognized test procedure for SDR radios that will produce some sort of figure of merit. Neither  the ITU nor ETSI have a test procedure for SDR receivers. Amongst the manufacturers many of them cant agree on a test methodology that will  test products in a favorable way.

I do agree  that regardless of how you test SDR receivers, they certainly do outperform all the current analog up or  down conversion radios. SDR radios do not suffer from reciprocal mixing problems so the potential of the receiver to cope under a torture test is much better than any current analog radio.

I use a simple test when testing SDR radios. I simply inject a very strong signal from my own transmitter into the SDR through a attenuator. I then inject a equally weak signal into the SDR at the same time. I keep on increasing the strength of the strong signal till I lose the weak signal or the signal to noise deteriorates. In every case radios like the QSR1, Perseus and Excalibur will outperform  any analog technology radio when doing this torture test. How you can define this test into a single figure of merit is a very tough question. I know  that  SDR technology because of the low phase noise performance can hear weak signals in the presence of very strong signals that would be impossible to copy on a analog radio because of the reciprocal mixing issue. I am exclusively using  my SDR receivers  these days because they are just so superior to any analog up or down conversion radio and the sound so much better.

When someone  does establish a legitimate test for SDR radios that can rate and produce reliable figure of merit it will be shown that direct sampling SDR radios make superior receivers in many many ways.

You might want to read the review in QST, you can download it from the ARRL web page. The QS1R did not pass with flying colors!

SDRMAXII is excellent however the QSR1 has poor sensitivity and lacks  bandpass filters.

Anyway today if I was buying it would be the RFSPACE NetSDR.

Having already owned a QS1R and having had experience with it before the ARRL review, when the ARRL review came out I had to laugh.  Who goes by the bogus ARRL reviews anymore especially for any SDR?  They got the Perseus review wrong and they flubbed the QS1R review as well.  The Perseus manufacturer even sent supporting test data to show that the ARRL's antiquated test methods were in error, and the ARRL agreed with his data promising to publish a correction.  To this day, the ARRL had never published a correction and made good on their promise.  Wonder why that is?  Maybe the Perseus manufacturer does not have the big advertising dollars that ICOM, YAESU, OR KENWOOD has?

I already covered this in my review.  On the sensitivity issue, the QS1R can use an external preamp above 15 MHz as the sensitivity is way more than adequate below 15 MHz by at least 10-20 dB.  The Perseus, Excalibur, and netSDR also need an external preamp above 20 MHz, especially on 10 meters.  So in all three cases, you still are looking at purchasing an external preamp anyhow.  The additional sensitivity of the Perseus and the Excalibur are wasted below 14 MHz because the band noise is typically 20 - 30 dB higher or worse during bad conditions.  It is worth mentioning that none of the other SDRs besides the QS1R covers the 6 meter Ham band.

The netSDR you mention is almost twice the cost of the QS1R and Excalibur.  Like the Winradio Excalibur, the netSDR does not cover 6 meters either.

None of the SDRs mentioned above are perfect, but making a decision based on the bogus ARRL reviews is just stupid.

Gene



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KA4POL
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Posts: 1908




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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2011, 01:46:20 AM »

See http://www.sherweng.com/table.html I think they got a fairly good test procedure.
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W7SMJ
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Posts: 120




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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 01:28:43 PM »

You might want to read the review in QST, you can download it from the ARRL web page. The QS1R did not pass with flying colors!

I have  3 SDR receivers. The QSR1, Perseus and the Winradio Excalibur. The one with the most potential is the Excalibur. However if If I was buying today I would look at the new RFSPACE Netsdr, it really blows all these other products out of the water for value for money and technical features. The software is also stable and simple.

Thanks for the feedback.  I did read the QST review and also several posts regarding the review on the QS1R group which seemed to support the contention that the QST review was a bit lacking.

I have looked at the Excalibur and I'm curious why you feel it has the most potential?  In other words, how are you defining "potential"?

Quote
SDRMAXII is excellent however the QSR1 has poor sensitivity and lacks  bandpass filters.

Great point and I would prefer BPF and a preamp.  This is the only thing which is preventing me from pulling the trigger on the QS1R.  I'm anxiously looking forward to the RFFE1 and if it's reasonable in price I'll definitely be ordering a QS1R.

You mentioned using SDRMAXII, have you tried out the SDRMAXIV betas?  This looks like a much improved interface. 

Quote
Anyway today if I was buying it would be the RFSPACE NetSDR.

The NetSDR certainly seems like a nice SDR, but IMO it is just priced too high.  If I were to implement an array of receivers then it would be a no brainer, but utilizing just one receiver I just don't see a need for the ethernet interface.

73,
Scott
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W7SMJ
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Posts: 120




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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 01:30:56 PM »

See http://www.sherweng.com/table.html I think they got a fairly good test procedure.

Unfortunately neither the QS1R or the Excalibur have been tested...

73,
Scott
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KA4POL
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Posts: 1908




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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 10:13:03 PM »

True, unfortunately the testing was not (yet?) done for the QS1R. There is a problem I contribute to Phil Covington. He does not supply test models to anyone and he does not argue much about critical reports. Probably it would be better to buy the test model anyway, but usually manufacturers supply test models for free in their very own interest.
http://www.sm5bsz.com/ has lots of interesting information on SDRs. He has also tested the new software of the QS1R and also has an mp3 sound file of the test signal. This new software is a dramatic improvement but still kind of beta version as you are getting updates relatively often.
For my QS1R I built a preselector http://www.bavarian-contest-club.de/projects/presel/list.htm
Basically a separate preamplifier is better. The Perseus has had some cases of dead preamplifiers which forces you to return the complete unit for repair. A good preamp is the Norton preamp from Clifton Labs http://www.cliftonlaboratories.com/norton_amplifier.htm#Specifications_Summary
I am curious when the QS1R preamp will be out. We have been told it would be soon since two years now.
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OH6I
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2011, 11:55:42 AM »

Exciter for QS1R:
http://qs1r.wikispaces.com/QS1E+Exciter

Jari
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KA4POL
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Posts: 1908




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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2011, 10:28:46 AM »

As stated it's an exciter which has been announced, i.e. not available yet. Now you can speculate why not a transmitter. Obviously he ran into problems generating clean signals. It is much easier to produce and filter small signals.
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