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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Expert Elec. SunSDR2 Pro Help


Reviews Summary for Expert Elec. SunSDR2 Pro
Expert Elec. SunSDR2 Pro Reviews: 8 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $2100 USD
Description: 160m through 2m SDR Transceiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.sunsdr.com
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You can write your own review of the Expert Elec. SunSDR2 Pro.

KK4X Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2017 05:06 Send this review to a friend
What a SDR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello, I currently have 2 other models of SDR
FLex 6700(2) and ANAN 100. all I can say I don't use the FLEX 6700 anymore other to do DUAL different BAND watch with its other SCU, this is a review of a operator perspective, First the software is fantastic you don't need any additional software like FRS,etc, etc, Plug and Play, I am a weak signal operator so of course I wanted to try it on 2 meters and compare it with my Flex and Kuhne 144 MHz transverter. well I have good news. its a la par of the Kuhne. Yes It does require an external Preamp for WEAK SIGNAL work on both the Flex and SUNSDR2 PRO, on 6 meters it worked like a Champ especially during 2017 June VHF contest. all I have to say is WOW this little pistol works great,
Support from the US is Fantastic From NSI RADIO Yuri in Washington State. and from Roman from its Russian HQ. any way, the price is fantastic and I even ordered its bigger Brother the MB1,(cant Wait for the MB1 to arrive, should be getting that soon. Catch you on the bands. Ps I am selling my EXTRA 6700. 73, Ed
 
N0GQ Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2017 14:59 Send this review to a friend
Amazing little box  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my SunSDR2 Pro for a bit over a year now. When I originally went shopping for an SDR rig, my criteria included at least two independent receivers, at least 5W out, ethernet (not USB) connectivity, and full software support for Linux, OSX, or both (it's silly to have to own a Windows machine just to use a radio). This rig meets or exceeds all of these requirements. The radio puts out a solid 15-ish watts on all bands, and the audio quality and filtering is exceptional. Don't be fooled by the simple exterior (one button and one light). I sold my Icom 756-Pro to pay for this, and as much as I loved the old Icom, this is a huge step up.

Less than a month after buying the radio, I put it into service as my Field Day rig (running on 100% solar power from a camp site by the Columbia River). Ran barefoot with 15W and a Z11 tuner to a Chameleon wire antenna in a tree, and worked everyone I could hear (well, to the extent anyone does on Field Day) on SSB, PSK31, and CW.

The provided software is solid, powerful, and easy to use. Setup (both the radio and the software) is trivial, and takes only a few minutes. Of course, tweaking all of the various settings takes time and energy, but it's straightforward enough. Works great with (open source) jackd to provide virtual audio cables (I use it every day with FLDigi) and (open source) socat works great as a virtual serial port for remote-controlling the radio with FLDigi (sudo socat PTY,link=/dev/ttyS6 PTY,link=/dev/ttyS7).

The radio is Russian, and while most of the docs have been translated into (more or less) English, speaking Russian (or making use of Google Translate) is helpful in tracking down some of the more obscure information about the radio and software, as many of the SunSDR2 Pro forums on the Internet are in Russian, not English. I speak zero Russian, and have gotten by just fine with Google Translate.

The US importer (NSI Communications) happen to be fifteen minutes from my home, and they're great people to work with.

Per the manufacturer, the large passive heatsink is more than adequate to cool the radio in normal use. I have a strong belief that cool electronics are happy electronics, and I run a lot of key-down digital modes, so I bought an 80mm 12VDC PC fan at my local electronics surplus shop and attached it to the top of the heat sink. The radio provides about eleventy I/O ports on the back that can be used by the radio and software for various things, including controlling a fan (the radio already includes a temperature sensor). Thus, now my fan automatically switches on and off as the radio heats up and cools off, and makes me a happier camper.

The radio works great with my spare Yeasu mic (left over from upgrading my FT-817 mic to one with a DTMF keypad years ago), though my favorite feature is that I can plug a high quality PC gaming headset (top of the line runs you about $75, a crappy one is $5) directly into the front of the radio without having to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a Heil. And the same headset works on my KX2, my laptop, and my iPhone. The provided software gives you independent transmit and receive audio filters, allowing you to "punch up" your audio like a high-end Heil element, or adjust for a nice broad sound for relaxed non-contest operation.

I only have two complaints with the radio. First, I hate the mini-UHF antenna connectors. They're extremely uncommon on ham gear, and the adapters are a pain in the butt. That being said, they do work just fine, but I live in terror of going into the field and forgetting the stupid adapters. Second, the software release schedule appears to be tied to the ice ages. OSX software has been promised since before I bought the radio, with zero sign of it thus far. And while there have been multiple Windows releases of the software in the last year, I haven't seen a new Linux version (even a beta) in something like six or nine months). Not the end of the world, as the current Linux software works quite well, but part of the appeal of an SDR is that new radio features require only new software, not new hardware, so getting a new software release can be almost as much fun as getting a new radio.

Would I buy it again? Yes. Without hesitation. It's a great rig, and small enough that I've taken it, along with a laptop, a small auto-tuner, a small power supply, and an antenna on vacation with me multiple times. While my KX2 is certainly easier to pack and set up, the ability to watch the entire band at once for activity, plus the remarkable filters, make the SunSDR2 Pro a remarkably neat radio.
 
N6GEO Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2016 05:02 Send this review to a friend
A good SDR value  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my SunSDR2 (not Pro) for over two years and after extensive DXing and contesting use, I really like it. I also own the E-Coder controller that I like better than the Flexcontrols. I began SDR on the SDR1000, then the 1500, and later the 3000. I like the ethernet interface better than those in my previously mentioned SDR radios and I've installed a dedicated card in my desktop computer to run the SunSDR2.
I find ExpertSDR2 to be a fresh take on the software. It can be resized on your desktop and runs pretty efficiently. I especially like the ability to continuously scroll across the band by right clicking anywhere in the waterfall and then rolling the trackball to the left or right. Similarly, right clicking in the frequency bar and rolling the trackball allows dynamic expansion or contraction of the spectrum range. The latest version of ExpertSDR2 (1.1.2) fixes the crashing I experienced with the earlier versions. It is good to see that Expert Electronics is maintaining their product. I really like the user defined filter because it allows me to set the RTTY filter with my mouse to just the right bandpass and where I need it. No more calculating shifts and offsets!
The rig does run warm so I've attached an old TenTec model 310 fan to the sink and it runs cool at 5W under RTTY while running a frequency. It drives my KPA500 to the low power limits allowed in most RTTY contests. The ARRL has recently provided a nice review of the unit. While the frontend may not be as "bullet proof" as other radios (and mine's before the Pro), I've run multi stations in contests at low power (100W) and found that a set of ICE filters on each radio was adequate to prevent interference. I'm looking forward to the remote access dedicated controller that is expected to soon be on the market.
 
MM0TWX Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2016 04:34 Send this review to a friend
Second review in 3 days  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you have read my previous review, you will have understood that I was bitter and frustrated, not with the product itself but rather with the supporting documentation.

After the radio went dead because I simply followed the reset instructions described in the manual, the UK representative sent me a replacement one in record time. Kudos to Martin Lynyh & Sons.

With further technical assistance from the said representative, I was then able to get the SunSDR2 Pro working. As expected, it is an excellent radio. The GUI looks and feels to me vastly superior to any of the competitors. Performance and useability are second to none.

To help fellow non-enigeers, and based on what I have painfully learned, I have written a short "Setting Up SunSDR2 Pro for Dummies" guide.


 
G3RCE Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2016 12:33 Send this review to a friend
Excellent, very versatile  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a very brief non technical review
I have 3 radios,
Sunsdr2 Pro, Flex 6300 and an ICOM7300
They are all excellent but I prefer the Sunsdr2, especially like the GUI and recent update and it includes 2m.
The IC7300 follows closely for it's versatilty then the 6300 which is also excellent.
An excellent choice of SDRS nowadays.
 
UR5LAM Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2015 06:20 Send this review to a friend
The best Contesting & DX-iing Radio.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used full-loaded Elecraft K3 from 2007, but when I tried SunSDR2 DDC/DUC transceiver in comparison K3 in CQ CW WPX 2012, I sold K3 at next day.
This radio have incredible features in one small box:
- two receivers for semi-SO2R, with I/Q-out for two telnet-controlled CW-skimmers, line-out for record (for both radio), one or two programmable control console near PC-keyboards,
- many com-ports for both RX, for two foot switches, for two additional and two secondary keys,
- two VFO for SO2V-mode,
- incredible sound quality with exceptional AGC,
- tunable DSP-filters, it can be sharp or soft, but in any case filtering very fine and comfortable,
- superb transmit audio for SSB and ESSB,
- minimal rx/tx-delays allow to CW work comfortably at any speed,
- only one PC-to-SS2 LAN-connection (optional WiFi) for radio control, and using HAM-programs,
- user profiles allows enable needed mode by the click (SO2V, SO2R, SPLIT ....),
- very stable software (I'm using SS2 in CQ WW, CQ WPX, RDXC, UDXC and many another without any software problems),
- etc
- etc
- etc

Many thanks Expert Electronics Co for the HAM-Radio transceiver HighEnd-level quality.

SunSDR2 videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVOVfEvx6mE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3462HZxNnls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_j7v6iEMyc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQQTNIvGADA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cMOaXQ1m8Y
 
AB7R Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2014 15:01 Send this review to a friend
Fun radio with excellent GUI  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

As part of my station down sizing I sold my Flex 6700 and ordered a SunSDR2. I am not ready to do a full review yet but here are some initial impressions.

The features of the GUI are excellent. Very good contesting platform as you can open two pandapters and assign a unique COM port to each one, almost making this an SO2R station....really like SO2V+ on steroids. Each panadapter has a VFO A and B.

You have to use VAC for digital modes but it works great. Also, there is a separate VAC for each panadapter. So working split in digital modes is easy...it just works.

It has a dedicated CWSkimmer section where you can connect to the skimmer port and see the spots on the display panel (not on the panadapter...yet). I initially had a problem with the setup for this as it was not displaying the correct frequency.....I forgot to check the CWS option to accept skimmer commands. Now it works great. Again...this interfaces with VAC IQ and is easy to setup. I used two instances of CWS and a VE7CC connection through WintelnetX. Then used the port for WintelnetX for the logging software. There are separate CWS setups for each panadapter.

The noise blanker actually works on the entire display. Wonderful! NR and AN work but there may be room to tweak these, though I have not made adjustments to the DSP setting to these yet so they may be fine as they are.

My CW connection is through a WinkeyUSB and it works nicely. ExpertSDR has options for two other key inputs by COM port but I have not tested these yet. And there are inputs for each panadapter.

There is a nice memory table that saves the frequency and mode along with a comment. I did ask if that could be expanded to include saving both VFOs if they were active when the save button is clicked. That would be nice for going back to a DX station working split.

I have not experienced any crashes or timeouts. It does take a bit more for the initial setup than the flex. But there is a setup guide to walk you through it.

I read in an article on the SDRZone that this radio required the use of a soundcard. IT DOES NOT! You can connect your mic and phones directly to the radio just as you can with other DDC/DUC radios. You DO have the option to use a soundcard if you wish. Best performance is with a direct connection.

All the buttons and controls are right there on the front panel arranged in a logical manner. There are a few controls in the OPTIONS panel that would be nice if they were on the main display.

The optional eCoder pod works great. Time will tell on how well it holds up as the construction does not seem very sturdy. For the price I would have expected something built a bit more sturdy rather than the plastic case it is in. The three plastic knobs along the top also seem like a cost cutting effort. All that said, there are multiple buttons that you can assign just about any radio function.

ExpertSDR is very user configurable...which means you have to pay attention when you change things. I thought the filters were not very sharp...so I went to the DSP settings for the filters and changed the taps to a higher number. OK...no improvement. Went back to look again and realized you can set them for each sample rate option. So I changed the setting for the lowest sample rate but was using a higher one. Once I made that change the improvement was very noticeable.

Interfacing my quadra to the ACCY port was also easy to do. The website has a diagram for building a cable to do this. I used a Winford breakout board to do this....easy.

The radio does get warm. The bottom of the ESDR software displays the monitoring parameters. I put a TenTec 302 cooling fan on the heatsink and the temps stay below 37C. I can interface the ground for the fan with the ACCY connector and the fan will turn on and shut off at a user definable temp settings.

The front panel includes a headphones output that also works connected to amplified speakers. But you have to change the connections to go between phones and speakers. I found this strange. I just connected an AB switch to the phones output and keep both the speakers and phones connected all the time and flip a switch to toggle between them.

I was a bit torn between ordering this or the 6300. But I like the GUI for the SunSDR2 better so far as well as its features. Also the fact about the NB not working on the display of the 6000 series is a big problem for me as I have horses and on the lower bands the display is almost useless without a good NB. I know they will fix this (I hope) but for now I needed a working solution.

CW in QSK is definitely better on the Flex. But if you can work with semi break-in then the SunSDR2 is fine. I don't know if this is something that can be improved or not.

So far I am very satisfied with the SunSDR2. I do have more testing to do and will expand this later as I become more familiar with the performance.

I know I sound picky on some of the mentioned items. But the radio is very enjoyable to use, it has excellent features that work, includes many that I had wished were in other SDRs I've tried but never found.

73
Greg
AB7R






 
W9AC Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2014 06:41 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding SDR Performance and features  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The SunSDR2 is a Russian-engineered SDR transceiver with full multimode capabilities from 160m through 2m in a small, tightly integrated "no wires" design.

Performance and features that set SunSDR2 apart from other SDRs:

- Integrated WiFi and wired LAN connectivity;
- Full or half-duplex;
- Very evolved and stable software;
- High pan sensitivity with use of low-noise preamplifiers;
- Pan/waterfall relationship options like top over bottom or side-by-side;
- Customized display colors with background image options;
- Zero baseline switching noise and no spurs even at the most sensitive settings;
- 80 MHz bandscope that works simultaneously with slice receivers;
- Superb 2m performance;
- 2m repeater offsets, CTCSS and memories;
- SAM, NFM, WFM modes;
- Extremely fine waterfall detail;
- VAC/CW Skimmer mode;
- Real-time shortwave BC station IDs imprinted on the panadapter;
- Binaural audio;
-Low distortion audio headphone amp with zero hiss and hum.

On CW, T/R transitions are presently not QSK but are completely free from clicks, thumps and other keying distractions. The CW controlling function is placed in the FPGA and not in the PC software so full QSK should be a future possibility. Perfect raised-cosine CW keying with no power spikes at any power setting. Keying shape is adjustable from 2ms to over 10 ms rise/fall time.

Navigating the software is very intuitive. What's particularly impressive is the amount of parallel processing occurring. For example, one can swipe the pan display left or right and it will keep rolling across the screen while you simultaneously move the slice receiver window left/right.

The SunSDR2 is limited to 20W on HF and 10W on VHF. Combined with my SPE Expert amp, that drive power produces 800W and over 1KW with my Alpha amps. Keeping the output power low helps with transceiver sizing, current demand, and heat requirements. Adaptive pre-distortion is currently being developed.

The SunSDR2 works with supply voltages from +12 to +16V. I am using a regulated Toshiba laptop PC power supply that's rated at 15V@5A and it does a great job.






 


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