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Author Topic: Thinking about a SDR...  (Read 5177 times)
NK7Z
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« on: September 06, 2012, 05:03:12 AM »

Hi,

I have wanted to try a SDR setup for a while...  Can someone suggest the cheapest way to do this, with a radio, which uses the PD software, not propitiatory software?  Is there a short overview of how SDR works on the net someplace, that you all trust?
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
KA4POL
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Posts: 1979




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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 05:21:13 AM »

If you do a search on SDR tutorials you'll see 1,090,000 results. As long as they don't sell SDRs the opinion should be fairly unbiased.
The cheapest way will be just that, but not necessarily a real good way. A very inexpensive way can be using a DVB-T stick http://www.hamradioscience.com/tag/dvb-t-sdr/
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 06:07:37 AM »

Hi,

I have wanted to try a SDR setup for a while...  Can someone suggest the cheapest way to do this, with a radio, which uses the PD software, not propitiatory software?  Is there a short overview of how SDR works on the net someplace, that you all trust?

You can purchase a SoftRock ensemble kit or an assembled version from Tony Parks at http://fivedash.com/.  Join the SoftRock Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/ too.  There is a lot of SDR software that will work with it.

I do not recommend trying a DVB-T stick.  It is only 8 bits, and has horrible dynamic range.  It was made to receive digital TV broadcasts that don't need to have much sensitivity or dynamic range and it does not transmit like the SoftRock ensemble does.  It will leave you thoroughly unimpressed with SDR if it is your first one.

For the price, the SoftRock is the way to get your feet wet and still have a good experience.

Gene
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KC4MOP
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 08:13:17 AM »

You'll have to be a little more specific. Are you looking for RX only?? A transceiver?? QRP?? Transceiver with 100W PA.?
A few flavors to choose from. The SoftRock boards use FlexRadio software with no problems. Flex software is free.
Maybe a bare minimum radio Flex 1500 (5W?) Are you a CW guy or like to rag-chew on AM or SSB?
The link provided by KA4POL would let you get your feet wet receiving Ham radio using a computer and some software.

Fred
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NI0Z
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 09:06:22 AM »

Lots of choices in the new stuff thread, if you can handle the 10watts or less there are lots of nice choices!

Genesis G11 kit with case I think is $375 delivered to your door, you choose the 5 bands you want. The G6 kit is supposed to be a flex 5k equivalent if and when it comes out in 2013 and will run you around $1200-$1500.

Want it cheaper, look at the Soft Rock kits.

Got more money, look at the QS1R with exciter $1250 or even an Elecraft KX3 which you can get for $970 with Mic if you don't need the accessories and want to run it through the computer.

The great flex exchange is starting here as well, people will sell 5000,s which may get bought to replace 3000's which will create great deals on those as well.

Have fun!
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