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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Genesis Radio G11 QRP Software Defined Radio (SDR) Help


Reviews Summary for Genesis Radio G11 QRP Software Defined Radio (SDR)
Genesis Radio G11 QRP Software Defined Radio (SDR) Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $299
Description: The G11 is the latest in a series of affordable software
defined radios by Genesis Radio of Australia. It can be
configured for any of 5 bands in the standard kit, or nearly
the entire amateur radio spectrum with the optional LP/BP
filter board. This is the affordable brother of the Flex-
Radio, but it's not a kit for that faint of heart.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.genesisradio.com.au/G11/
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You can write your own review of the Genesis Radio G11 QRP Software Defined Radio (SDR).

KK6L Rating: 4/5 Dec 15, 2013 14:56 Send this review to a friend
An AWESOME Radio, but a real pain in the butt to configure  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this kit from Genesis Radio with their latest production batch (G11 #250) in December of 2013. I bought this radio, because I thought it would help me get back into HF after having sold my equipment to pay bills. It was "affordable" ($372 with the optional enclosure), and I felt it would give me a good technical challenge, since I was looking to get back into kit building again after a long absence.

Without rambling on and on, let me just say this: while this is not a complicated kit to build (intermediate kit building skills at best), it is an absolute PAIN IN THE BUTT to configure. The guys who designed this radio were electronic geniuses, but they have not put together a unified assembly manual yet, and the lack of documentation for the many different sound cards out there means a heck of a lot of trial and error.

Here's what you need to know going into this project:

1. An SDR is only as good as the sound card you plug into it. You need a really good compatible external sound card with at least 96 khz bandwidth to make it worth your while, and starting at about $100, they're not cheap.

2. Similarly, your SDR experience will only be as good as your laptop; no crappy Windows XP machines here. You need a decently fast Windows 7 machine to make this beast hum.

3. The documentation sucks and the help isn't too friendly at times (sorry Genesis!). You need to gather docs from all over God's creation to get the right info, and even then, you need to make sure it's a recent update and not some old manual they left on the website and forgot to replace with the new one. There is a good Yahoo Group for Genesis Radio with a lot of the information and files, and a helpful search function to find your problem and any previous solutions, but questions are sometimes met with a "Did you bother to dig around for hours in the archives before bothering us with your inane questions" answer. In my opinion as a former technical writer, you shouldn't have to do that when you're building a nice kit like this. That being said, these guys are true hobbyists, and they are sharing a wonderful idea with the world for cheap cheap, so I can't really complain, but it sure isn't your normal customer support group. Imagine if you will some garage tinkerers who share the secrets of fusion power with you, but you still have to go off an build the crap yourself. It's fusion power; you don't complain, you're just happy to share in the technology.

4. With this ting set up properly, you will have an absolute rat's nest of cables running all over your desk. That means additional money in shielded RCA/Phone cables, USB cables, etc. Budget accordingly.

5. GSDR is a nuanced program, and configuring your computer with the software and the added programs will drive you nuts. It took me nearly a week to master the program and understand where everything was, and like the radio, there is little documentation to go along with it. Each configuration is unique to the radio and computer, and you need to document everything you have when it finally works in case you lose the configuration if your computer crashes.

Even with all the frustration though, you will be rewarded in the end with an amazing radio. I sat for hours just scrolling around and looking at the panafall display. I think I have been wrecked for life, and I will never be able to go back to anything less that the best.

Have fun and enjoy! I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

I give this radio a 4, because it's not really consumer friendly, and you have to have a lot of technical knowledge and patience to get it the work. Otherwise, it's well worth the time, effort, money, and frustration.
 


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