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Author Topic: To SDR or not! That is the question!  (Read 22344 times)
NI0Z
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« on: September 14, 2012, 07:52:23 PM »

I thought a thread with information like the link I am posting here might help future SDR owners help decide on whether an SDR will be good for them or not.

http://www.qsl.net/4/4x1zq/4all/ham/Practical%20SDR%20Applications%20for%20Ham%20Radio.pdf

If you have similar links please post them!
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ZENKI
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 06:32:19 AM »

One aspect of SDR radios not covered in this presentation  is HF direction finding.  SDR receivers with phased locked and disabled AGC's make excellent DF receivers.
Very soon it will be possible to locate jammers very quickly, right down to their house number! Single Site Locate direction finding is within in read of hams today. Some progress has been made
towards the first steps in this area.

http://k5so.com/HPSDR_downloads.html
mercury triple direction finding  program.

With the large number of hams, building a wide area international high accuracy DF system is entirely possible. With the internet and GPS clocks readily available super resolution DF systems does
not only have to be in government  offices. DF algorithms like  MUSIC and ESPRIT are in the public domain and can be easily implemented in mathlab.

Another area that would  also open up is the possibility of measuring the propagation incoming angles of arrival and automatically selecting the best antenna for the path.

Other areas like beam steering for avoiding QRM will be another possibility. Down conversion radios can deliver great performance but in todays world they are really dinosaurs on the path towards rapid extinction.

SDR receivers make great spectrum analyzers for monitoring transmitters, a application you rarely seen mentioned. These days there is no reason why you should be transmitting a crap signal when softrocks are so cheap.



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K0OD
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 08:34:14 AM »

Quote
"SDR receivers make great spectrum analyzers for monitoring transmitters, a application you rarely seen mentioned. "
You mean "rarely seen mention HERE" LOL

Don't you hate hams who are always commenting on the modulation of other stations?  Buy a Flex and you may turn into one. Plus you can take a screen shot and email it to the offending station.

Also useful to show a guy he's outside the band. If someone doubts that, I'll mention my Frequency Measuring Test scores.   
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KC4MOP
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2012, 04:34:20 AM »

I agree that the SDR and the analyzer can be a useful tool to give some advice to another operator. The AM mode really benefits from this. A lot of guys (myself included) love AM but there are so many out there on the air with HB transmitters or even converted broadcast TX and do not have a clue how terrible they may sound, or wonder why the TX trips off the air. They do not monitor their signal at all!! A 'Scope at the minimum to watch the waveform of the modulated carrier.
SSB is better monitored on a spec annie.
But the challenges of SDR will always be a change from knobs to the frustration of computers.

Fred
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NI0Z
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2012, 07:43:03 AM »

Quote
"SDR receivers make great spectrum analyzers for monitoring transmitters, a application you rarely seen mentioned. "
You mean "rarely seen mention HERE" LOL

Don't you hate hams who are always commenting on the modulation of other stations?  Buy a Flex and you may turn into one. Plus you can take a screen shot and email it to the offending station.

Also useful to show a guy he's outside the band. If someone doubts that, I'll mention my Frequency Measuring Test scores.   

Lol, I slightly resemble that remark, I have sent a few screenshots and mp3's to Hams showing them how they look and sound.  It would be nice if someone out there would provide that as a service. 

You can do this yourself though to some degree with SImons SDRRadio software. You can pick a distant ham who has there Reciever online and the  transmit to it and see what your signal looks and sounds like.  No flex radio needed and you can screen shot and even record yourself!
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NI0Z
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2012, 07:50:38 AM »

I agree that the SDR and the analyzer can be a useful tool to give some advice to another operator. A 'Scope at the minimum to watch the waveform of the modulated carrier.
SSB is better monitored on a spec annie.

But the challenges of SDR will always be a change from knobs to the frustration of computers.

Fred

See my post on SDRRadio.  Anyone can look at their own signal if they have a windows based computer.  Free!  http://www.sdr-radio.com/
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NK7Z
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 05:43:48 AM »

I have been thinking about getting into SDR...  Are there any good kits?  Any rigs to stay away from?  Any recommendations for a starter rig...
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K9IUQ
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2012, 06:37:35 AM »

I have been thinking about getting into SDR...  Are there any good kits?  Any rigs to stay away from?  Any recommendations for a starter rig...

You're kidding right? This SDR Forum is LOADED with SDR info. Why not try reading some of the posts instead of asking a question that has been answered over and over and over again? Or are you just trying to advertise your web link like so many others here?

Stan K9IUQ
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NK7Z
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2012, 07:53:58 AM »

I have been thinking about getting into SDR...  Are there any good kits?  Any rigs to stay away from?  Any recommendations for a starter rig...

You're kidding right? This SDR Forum is LOADED with SDR info. Why not try reading some of the posts instead of asking a question that has been answered over and over and over again? Or are you just trying to advertise your web link like so many others here?

Stan K9IUQ

Sigh...

I have been reading, and I wanted to begin an interaction to ask a few questions about SDR...  It is always so nice to meet folks like you...
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K0OD
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 08:19:02 AM »

None of the SDR kits are Heathkits. Even experienced builders need great eyes and equipment beyond a 200 watt soldering iron. I'm going to guess that 99% of hams shouldn't attempt a Hermes.

First off, what's your level of kit-building expertise?  
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2012, 08:22:11 AM »

I have been reading, and I wanted to begin an interaction to ask a few questions about SDR...  It is always so nice to meet folks like you...

Interaction here is easy. Just ask a question that has not been answered a dozen times. Keep asking the same question that has been asked over and over and over and you will get the same answers that are already here.  Wink

It is nice to meet you too, just ask something new. Try starting your own topic.

Stan K9IUQ
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 08:26:47 AM »

Any rigs to stay away from? 

A easy question that has been answered with the reasons, thousands of times here. The answer you surely know if you have done any reading here whatsoever.  F L E X R A D I O

Now you will see interaction..  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ
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NK7Z
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 08:40:56 AM »

None of the SDR kits are Heathkits. Even experienced builders need great eyes and equipment beyond a 200 watt soldering iron. I'm going to guess that 99% of hams shouldn't attempt a Hermes.

First off, what's your level of kit-building expertise?  

I have worked with SMD stuff, but I hate it...  My eyes are not what they used to be...  I was looking at the Ensemble RX II kit, (http://www.wb5rvz.com/sdr/ensemble_rx_ii/index.htm), and was wondering if anyone had built one yet, and what are their thoughts on it as a first SDR radio.  The construction looks like it is something I can do, and the price is right...  Also, just how fast does the Computer need to be, and is there a Linux version of the software?

Thanks for the help here...

73's
Dave
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K0OD
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Posts: 2558




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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 09:19:49 AM »

The Ensemble has been discussed on Eham although that may be hard to find amid the din of repetitive bashing of just about everything.  
http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,80019.15.html

My son's in EE school. Last year we built a conventional QRP radio together. I was thinking we might eventually attempt a kit with a bit of surface mount tech.  

BTW, nice website you have and I especially value your review of the S-meter Lite, a freebie product no one seems to know about. I love the accurate S-meter on my Flex-5000.
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NK7Z
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 10:17:09 AM »

The Ensemble has been discussed on Eham although that may be hard to find amid the din of repetitive bashing of just about everything.  
http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,80019.15.html

BTW, nice website you have and I especially value your review of the S-meter Lite, a freebie product no one seems to know about. I love the accurate S-meter on my Flex-5000.

Thanks for the link!  Wow, put the board in the oven!  That makes me think twice about building this kit...  You were right, I had not found that info.  I may wait a bit and see if someone here has actually built one of these and see what their comments are.  Thanks for the help.  Also, thanks for the complement on the web page!  I use S-Meter Lite every day for mapping RFI, (alas, that should be a different thread), so I won't go into it.  Suffice to say, you are right, no one knows about that software!  I have no idea why...  Anyway, thank you for the help.
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
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