A lot of the SDR makers typically dont want to be involved with the ham radio market. A good example is Winradio.
They have a excellent product the G31DDC which I use as TX monitoring spectrum analyzer.
The software that comes with the radio is more intended for MW DX'ers and casual SW listening.
There are very few ham friendly features in the software.
The fist clue that tells you that a SDR receiver maker has no interest in the ham radio market is when they dont include a mute for RX protection.
The next step after this would be to include a complete RX/TX switching system that enable one to integrate your product with a ham transceiver switching system.
Not one SDR receiver maker offers this feature which is what is required to use their products safely in a ham station. Who wants to blow up a 1000 dollar DSP radio?
The next issue is that that they dont seem to understand the potential uses for their products besides tuning the ham bands.
For example a SDR receiver with its very linear S-meter could make a nice EMC receiver.
All this would require is the manufacturers to offer 9khz standard EMC bandwidth and a quasi peak detector. It would also require the ability to
set an antenna factor correction in the receiver. The way they measure signal levels will also will have to change. Rather than sampling the signal strength to the resolution bandwidth they need to measure the signal strength density across the whole 9khz EMC bandwidth.
Another feature that would be nice to have is the ability to set a MASK for pass or fail for whatever you want to measure. This would be a great way for station to measure their own TX quality and see when their splatter falls outside of acceptable levels. It also could be used for things like PSK IMD testing or even amplifier/radio IMD testing.
The next feature would be the ability to user the receiver to log signal level over a long period of time. Another feature would be the ability to do a polar plot using the SDR receiver with some PC software. If the SDR manufacturers dont want to speak to the ham community about how this is done or what software is available these kind of features are never going to appear. What gets me is that the shortwave market is dying and the ham market is still very strong. Besides these kind of features are not only used by hams.
Besides transmitting there are some nifty stuff that you can do using SDR receivers like beam steering and direction finding. It would be easy for most hams to set
up a 3 or 4 channel correlative interferometer or watson watt direction finding system. This kind of system could give hams even on small lots to have good low noise receiving ability. Thats before we start to talk about QRM elimination which can be done faster and better than the simple phase controllers we now use.
As for the DUC transmitters its just a matter of time. DDC/DUC will be the cheapest way of producing a transmitter. The ham manufacturers are just using their existing design skill set while they learn all the design secrets of DDC/DUC radios. Icom will probably be the first company to produce a DDC/duc transceiver. A radio like the 7800 could be offered for half the price if it was using DDC/DUC architecture with Icoms huge market share. Its just a matter of time.
The ADAT is a very nice radio. Its just not widely available and the company seems to be resourced stretched or is not interested in going big globally.
The real problem in the SDR market at the moment for the ham manufacturers is which platform to choose that will be a winner and find one that has wide market acceptance. While hams are anal about receiver performance at all other costs its going to be hard to tell hams that a direct sampling transceiver has performance that is good enough for the 99% of hams out there. Those that require very high contest dynamic range numbers for CW contesting will be the minority that will cry about how bad the receiver performance of SDR direct sampling radios are, which is mostly a urban myth propagated by people living in the past.
You cannot match the signal purity and low inband RX IMD of a direct sampling radio. They just sound so sooth and low noise. You wonder why anyone would want to put up with a raspy sounding high performance number down conversion radio which is very fatiguing? Then again those who live and die by the numbers are still the ones transmitting the most horrendous SSB IMD and keyclicks that negates the performance of their "high IMD number" radios. Most hams have not listened to a ultra linear receiver whose receiver has no RX IMD. When they do they will soon realize what they are searching for is number high dynamic range numbers but low distortion and less inband RX IMD. Direct sampling radios in this area is the clear winner. The more I use SDR direct sampling receivers the less and less I want to use my high performance SDR downconversion transceiver. Its very tiring listening to this kind of technology.
SDR transmitters are even simpler to design that a analog transmitter. It just needs a lot of attention payed to thinks like spurious products, IMD, ALC and eliminating other TX design faults. This is before we start talking about the phase noise performance of the both the TX and the RX. The big laugh today is watching everyone brag about their transceiver numbers of their favorite toys, yet when we study the phase noise of the RX and TX we soon realize that they dont really understand the receiver performance equation very well. We have many radios that have inadequate RX phase noise performance to achieve the spectacular dynamic range numbers that they so dream about. This unhealthy obsession with receiver performance needs to stop and emphasis needs to placed back on fixing poor transmitter design issues and other simple things like making sure the radios are a joy to use and listen too.
I can pull out a old R2 DC receiver and every time I turn this receiver on I always ask myself how i spent so much money on so many crap sounding receivers full of IMD and distortion. Lately every time i turn on a direct sampling receiver its like relaxing in front of the fire with a good wine versus using equipment that sounds like I am standing at the back of a crowd in rodeo with all the noise and distortion. Hams are missing out on lot by chasing pointless receiver numbers in favor of technology that could make the enjoyment of their hobby much better.
Why is there an abundance of SDR receivers and not matching transmitters / or transceivers? What is the point?
Do people just not want to transmit?
Why are we calling devices like the "SDR Cube" a SDR radio? It has firmware not software and has knobs where computer ports should be. The firmware makes it closer to the big 3's with DSPs.
I want the general SDR market to grow, supporting non propriety software. I would like to know in 10 years that I can "fix" my radio (more likely to get it to work with whatever current os). I like what flex has done but I would not want to be stuck if they go under. It is just not much choices out there, if you want to do more than listen.
I am looking at SunSDR2, and they are offering more of what I would think of the norm that should be out there. It's under powered to be a main brick but it's in the right direction. They open sourced the code so I wouldn't get stuck in the upcoming years (I am a programmer). For all the receivers out there, why are there not more of these?