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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | SDRplay RSP2 and RSP2pro Help

Reviews Summary for SDRplay RSP2 and RSP2pro
SDRplay RSP2 and RSP2pro Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $$170.00
Description: The SDRplay RSP2 and RSP2pro Radio Spectrum Processors are software defined receiver covering 1khz - 2Ghz. They 2 variants are electrically identical to each other apart from the RSP2pro being housed in a rugged metal case instead of a screened plastic box.
Product is in production.
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KE0OHO Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2018 15:58 Send this review to a friend
Kiss the Sky  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought the Play pro after using a RTL SDR. Using it as a spectrum analyzer its un-fathomable how this is able to provide performance close to Mega Buck analyzers. For use in amature radio, on a spare big screen, its stunning........
K1VCT Rating: 4/5 Jan 13, 2018 09:04 Send this review to a friend
Does its job  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The backstory -- (if it bores you, skip down to the review)
My day job is great. I get to play with radios a good deal of the time. My longtime SWL and amateur activities have only helped in my professional application of commercial radio - which for me is low power UHF telemetry.

One of the things that always effects the installations falls into the customer's complaint of "it won't communicate", and then I've got to try to find out the issue. Most of the time, its not broken or damaged equipment, but some sort of reception issue like a new building blocking what was once a clear path, or trees grown, or that sort of thing. Sometimes we have another operation using the same licensed frequency. All sorts of issues.

Recently, the trend has been moving from "analog" or conventional FM to "digital" over FM. Confound my test gear, because the digital burst cannot be observed and measured with it. So, I decided to try thinking outside the box a little, and requisitioned an RSP-2/pro.

The Review ---
First I have to say, that the build quality of the RSP-2/pro is fantastic. Its build like a proverbial shick brithouse. The connectors are robust, not flimsy. It has some weight to it! The SMA connectors appear to be truly gold plated, and the Hi-Z connector, ironically, is the same exact Molex connector that I use for my wired telemetry. Go figure! By the way if anyone needs a spare connector, just drop an email and we can work something out, like a SASE. I think I've got a couple dozen spares sitting here that need a good home.
I'm new at SDR radio, but what I immediately figured out is that the radio is no better than the software that runs it. I've tried SDRuno and HDSDR, and so far, I like SDRuno better for my own purposes. It appears that if you were using the RSP-2/pro to tune your transceiver (or receiver) HDSDR might be better, but then again, that's just my take on things from an amateur perspective.
The RSP-2/pro got wired up with two antennas, for a quick test run. One was a piece of 22g cord salvaged from a garage door switch. The other wa a rubber duck for 450-470mHz, with an SMAmale-BNCfemale connector. Regarding those connectors, there are one piece and two piece units. Get the one piece, very sturdy, nothing to bust. I split the garage door switch cord and formed it into an 12 foot or so "random length" antenna.
Gotta say, even on these two-bit down and dirty test antennas, I did ok.
Reception on 80, 40 and 20 meters was pretty darn good, better than my ICOM IC-R75 on a similar antenna. That made be think a bit!
FM broadcast was terrible, but I did manage to get two local stations. I'm sure that its my antennas, not the RSP-2/pro.
AM broadcast was equally poor, but again, a few local stations were just fine. In that instance, with the same antenna, the ICOM IC-R75 does much better on AM broadcast stations.
Switching to VHF and UHF, I found that VHF was silent. To be expected with the antenna. But, UHF did pretty well, considering the little unit is a foot and a half from a computer. Local commercial and govt. chatter was picked up. Whoever's using pagers these days, I picked up what was obviously pager bursts. Down a bit lower on the UHF frequencies I did manage to pick up one amateur, who came in great. I'll have to check out the local repeaters and see what's being used, but... I don't think there will be an issue for any 420-450mHz use.
I did manage to pick up the WWV signals on 5, 10 and 15mHz. The best reception was on 10mHz and I'm hesitant to "calibrate" the RSP-2/pro, since it seemed to be spot on the frequency.

I tried out the AFC control, and its interesting to watch it work on SDRuno, as it does overshoot and hunt a bit, then lock on solid. The hunting doesn't surprise me, but watching it do so was really neat.

For my intended use, as a receiver of digital FM for my little niche of work.... well good golly, there are signals there! The waterfall shows intensity (with a bit of careful fiddling of the waterfall "gain" and "contrast" in SDRuno). Its very clear to see both sides of a digital transmission, and importantly, observe the rest of the spectrum at the same time. I can easily see interference, or just plain old "bad reception".

Working the RSP-2/pro from the field on a laptop was no problem (except my screen is none too bright, but can't fault the radio for that).

Some caveats: I've got a slightly wandering birdie at 456.000000 to 456.000012. I'm not sure what that is, but I've tried the RSP-2/pro on three computers and they all had the same result. Any antenna on ports A or B do the same thing, including plugging the wire of my "random wire" into the SMA connection, or, even using no antenna at all. I'm not sure if this is something common to say, USB ports and lack of ferrite beads on my cable, or part of what drives a common circuit in a computer... or what. To me, its a birdie until I can eliminate it (or not).
Another "down side" is the software. Neither packages I tried were very intuitive, although SDRuno was about as easy as learning a complex Android app (with a few rechecks of the manual for clarity). The manual, by the way, is incomplete as of SDRuno 1.21 - there are buttons, controls, and settings that are not mentioned at all. The manual was probably written by the same gent who does all SDRplay's YouTube videos. He knows much, assumes you do too! Thank's for the confidence, but the reason I'm watching the video, or reading the manual is because I don't know as much as you do! ;)

Conclusion ---
All in all, a great little receiver. It has uses and capabilities far beyond my own uses, dependent on the software, of course.
Its well made, and performance is pretty darn good, if not excellent. Lots of folks have raved about its performance, and I'll defer to those who hooked it to a proper antenna. Sadly, my PC is not close to my shack, and I didn't bring the laptop home to test the RSP-2/pro on my amateur antennas.
Its a good value, meaning you get lots for the price paid.
I'm giving it a 4 instead of a 5 because of the birdie issue (which I may be able to resolve) and for features generally found to be wanting in software (which may be corrected with updates).

73 - K1VCT

N7ZXP Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2017 17:39 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got one of these for xmas and it seems to work great. I am surprized at how good it picks up signals.
KC9KUH Rating: 5/5 Dec 10, 2017 08:21 Send this review to a friend
Great   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Took a little bit to get the hang of but after I got the hang of it works just fine can't ask for anymore a lot better than the dongles but if you want run big band with have a newer up-to-date computer with lots of speed cuz it will eat up a lot of CPU other than that I have not had any issues with SDR play Works flawless
SV5DKL Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2017 22:54 Send this review to a friend
Far more advanced than I needed!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Well, this little "devil" has been my first touch with SDR receivers. I only required something to feed into CW skimmer and have my own skimmer for CW contests. A good friend of mine suggested the RSP2, due to faster speed and 14-bit conversion. Until now, I cannot assess its performance accurately, since I don't have any other SDR RX to compare it to, but from what I've operated so far, it does the job fine and I feel it can offer me many more uses, from satellite reception to beacon monitoring. I am in awe in my mind as to how to take better advantage of its infinite applications. For sure, I don't require another SDR receiver to suit my needs; the RSP2 is already overwhelming!
NJ3B Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2017 17:47 Send this review to a friend
RSP2 a better receiver than my TS570S  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've been a ham since the mid-80's. I've had any number of HF radios. The other night I did a side by side comparison of the RSP2 with my Kenwood TS570S while listening for foreign broadcast stations. I tested them both on the same Alpha-Delta DXCC antenna. I was stunned that the RSP2 out performed my Kenwood hands down. I can't even begin to think where this kind of technology will be 5-10 years down the road.
OH5YU Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2017 03:03 Send this review to a friend
Good value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
SDRplay RSP II works as specified and I feel it gives you good value for money. It hears everything my TS-590 hears. You can pick the software that best suits your needs; I have tried SDRuno, HDSDR, and SDR Console. SDRuno has the highest learning curve but then it is very flexible. You need to pay attention to the RF gain setting, more or less depending on the software used. I am a happy customer and would buy again.
KW8L Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2017 09:12 Send this review to a friend
AMAZING!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The RSP2 Pro in one word is, AMAZING! I have had this in my "shack" for a about two months and it does what the manufacturer, SPRplay, says.

Nice to have multiple antenna ports available making it readily adaptable to many different situations and configurations. Small in size, slightly larger than a standard deck of playing cards, all the while being able to "hear" from 1 kHz to 2 GHz. Don't let the packaging and small size fool you. Quality thru and thru.

I use mine with the included SDRuno software, this allows use as a spectrum scope, panadapter, and very wide band receiver. Lots of features, and some what of a steep learning curve, but worth the time to read, and then re-read the manual again.

Should you find yourself in a situation where issues occur, and answers seem not to be readily available, write them a note. They have successfully answered all of my questions. The user groups are a tremendous asset.

All in all, I would give this product a solid 10 out of 10.

Jack - KW8L
M0MSD Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2017 07:55 Send this review to a friend
Excellent   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I can't praise both the hardware and the support staff highly enough. I just wish all other companies involved with amateur radio would go the extra mile like the SDRPLAY support staff do. I now have two RSP2 Pro units, one for my FTdx5000 and one for my FTDX 300. Both units do exactly what it says on the box. I wanted to do something not usually available with one of the units, the support staff sent me the necessary parts focus. Do you know another company that would do that? If so please let me know and I'll start using their equipment too.
All I can say is, if you want an SDR or panadaptor then get an SDRPLAY, you won't be disappointed and their software is as good if not better than any other free software you'll find.
Please note that I'm only an end user of the equipment and have no other connection with the company.
AE5J Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2017 10:36 Send this review to a friend
Amazing!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not many products are as impressive as this little unassuming box. I always wanted to dabble with SDR, but could not justify the expense. I got the SDRPlay RSP2 on sale from HRO because the price was almost too good to be true.

Well the RSP2 is better than I expected - by a large margin. I've been having a great deal of fun prowling around places I only briefly visited many years ago. The receive is, IMHO, every bit as good as some of the more expensive ham transceivers.

The software from SDRuno works very well, albeit there is a learning curve, but it is worth the investment of time. I've also used SDR Console from Simon Brown, the guy who brought us Ham Radio Deluxe. Simon's software is a bit more aimed at the experienced Ham, but SDRuno offers many of the same features. The answer? Install both and enjoy.

I can't add much to what has been said already. Be sure and protect the front end on the RSP2. I just connect my main station antenna to the RSP2 OR the ham transceivers. Works amazingly well.
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