- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | RFSPACE SDR-IQ Software Defined Receiver and Spectrum Analyzer Help

Reviews Summary for RFSPACE SDR-IQ Software Defined Receiver and Spectrum Analyzer
RFSPACE SDR-IQ Software Defined Receiver and Spectrum Analyzer Reviews: 36 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $$399
Description: The SDR-IQ™ Software Defined Receiver and
Panoramic Adapter

Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the RFSPACE SDR-IQ Software Defined Receiver and Spectrum Analyzer.

<— Page 2 of 4 —>

OK8MP Rating: 2/5 Feb 11, 2012 08:50 Send this review to a friend
some reservations  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the SDR-IQ from local ham who was selling it after owning for three months. If you live in Europe or near strong radio stations then you might want to look to other receivers. The SDR-IQ works well when signal levels are low, but here in Europe there are a lot of strong stations. The SDR-IQ overloads very easily and then you can't really use it in those cases. Other reviews on the internet has pointed out the SDR-IQ limited dynamic range. I wish I had seen them before buying.

Not terribly expensive.
Works ok in low signals level environment.
Supported in different sdr softwares.

Overloads very easily.
Insensitive at the high end of frequency coverage.
Limited dynamic range which even affects ham band performance.
Needs a preselector to overcome overload and dynamic range problems.
My icom IC-R75 works much better.
K8AC Rating: 4/5 Feb 10, 2012 06:56 Send this review to a friend
A panadaptor solution that works!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used the SDR-IQ and the associated SpectraVue software with a couple of different transceivers to provide a panadaptor function. Currently I'm using it with the IF output from my Orion II and it's been stable and reliable. I've tried all the other software and hardware available for panadaptor function and the SDR-IQ/SpectraVue combination has been the best so far.

1. Software is robust and stable - never aborts or hangs the system
2. SpectraVue window can be adjusted to display just the spectrum area to minimize screen space
3. No Windows drivers to worry about as with soundcard based solutions
4. RFSpace support and maintenance is good
5. SpectraVue gets the IF offsets right - particularly for the Orion.
6. Used units hold their value very well
7. Excellent two way communications with the transceiver - mouse on observed signal, instantly tune transceiver to that frequency
8. SDR-IQ is a complete receiver and has capabilities far exceeding those required of a panadaptor

1. SpectraVue function related to panadaptor is limited and there appears to be no plans for enhancement. For example, there's no capability to display a VFO-B marker on the screen.
2. Current RFSpace emphasis for software appears to be on SDR-Radio, with SpectraVue fading. SDR-Radio isn't totally there yet for someone interested only in panadaptor function.
3. SpectraVue screen layout requires you to increase the windows size in order to adjust FFT parameters, scan width, etc. If you use different parameters for SSB vs. CW, this is a minor pain.

I switched from the LP-Pan to the SDR-IQ because of instability in the associated software with LP-Pan. On my Win 7 32 bit system, TRX-Pan wouldn't run, PowerSDR/IF regularly hung the system requiring reboot of the PC. The new NaP3 software that works with LP-Pan appears to solve those problems and provides VFO-B support missing in SpectraVue.
N9VV Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2012 18:35 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding SDR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had the privilege to use an SDR-IQ Receiver in my shack for a month. It is a great and pleasant surprise. I thought such a small radio would suffer from all the I/Q balance and Image Rejection deficiencies of the QSD gear. But to my delight, the SDR-IQ is a Direct Down Conversion design using specialized chips from Analog Devices. It is very well designed and constructed. The SDR-IQ is powered from my USB port so no messy or RFI noisy "wall wart" is ever needed. The SDR-IQ has some really amazing software already written for it by Simon HB9DRV "SDR-CONSOLE" and the "Remote Console" for operation across the Internet. Then there are OpenSource programs like QtRadio by John Melton, and CuteSDR by Moe Wheatley AE4JY that work on both Windows-7 and WindowsXP *and* Linux. I especially like SpectraVue by Moe Wheatley. RFSpace is a company with many more expensive and more sophisticated receivers like the NetSDR and SDR-IP, however for my style of listening, the SDR-IQ is simple to operate and delivers maximum pleasure. If you haven't visited their webpage, please take time to read through the l-o-n-g list of features:
Perhaps the ability to easily add it to an existing transceiver as a spectrum analyzer will appeal to you. I enjoy it for the breadth of software, features, and RFSpace support and multi O/S (Win/Lin/MAC) usage. I am sharing my SDR-IQ on the Internet every day: on Windows:
and Linux:
There are loads of YouTube movies showing how well the SDR-IQ preforms around the world. The unit is FCC/CE certified and there are a host of Retail sellers and dealers like Ham Radio Outlet, and Universal Radio. The .gov/.mil/.edu customer list is a tightly guarded secret, but I am sure it is quite an impressive list of highly discriminating Scientists and end-users.
This is an SDR that has REAL value and performance you can count on. You won't be all tied up in knots with technical jargon and Engineering mumbo-jumbo. Those articles are available (from Moe SpectrVue and CuteSDR pdf), but are not necessary for daily enjoyment of this receiver. Don't let the sales and marketing guys baffle you with BS. The SDR-IQ delivers HiFi quality audio from a host of enjoyable programs.
This SDR receiver is worth your attention and investigation. Listen to mine on the Internet and "try before you buy" :-)
73 de Ken N9VV
AUSSIE Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2012 13:18 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Iv had the SDR-IQ for a few weeks when took it out of the box first thing to my mind is not going to be good at all however hooked up to my Wellbrook-ALA1530 active loop mainly monitor hf aero around the world do have other receivers to compare at the end of the day if u havent got a decent antenna u are not going to get any where on hf top notch performance..

Regards Lino..
KDMSKY59 Rating: 4/5 Jan 23, 2012 14:45 Send this review to a friend
Good for general listening not dx  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a re review of my original review of the SDR-IQ. After six months use and comparing it to the Perseus, the radios shortcomings have become evident. The radio needs external audio filtering due to white noise internally generated within the receiver. As such it is fine for general coverage listening but is far from a dx machine especially on medium wave.

Another particular issue is the SDR Radio software. It is made by the makers of HRD so the nice features it provides are offset by the number of technical issues that arise. Features such as remote access and using the radio as a panadapter become needlessly complicated as evident by the number of technical posts on the SDR-Radio Yahoo group. My wish is that the makers of SDR Radio would iron out problems in current versions instead of adding new features so fast.

My favorite software by far is the HDSDR without which I would sell the SDR-IQ and use the Perseus only. The Perseus software has a top notch noise blanker, and Perseus itself is far quieter eliminating the need for outboard filters. Also the Perseus can be used with HDSDR for those who have issues with the GUI screen size.

My rating is now a 3.5 out of 5 for the SDR-IQ.

N2DTS Rating: 5/5 Jan 18, 2012 06:15 Send this review to a friend
the best!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Been using the sdr-iq as a standalong receiver with the homebrew AM transmitters after building a small box with micro relays in it to mute the audio out from the computer and short the antenna to ground. Works great! I get to see my signal going out, and could even record it for later playback. With the HDSDR and sdr-radio programs, there is much to like, the displays are fantastic, the audio is fantastic, the 190 KHz display is fantastic, it really blows away the flex 3000 on receive.
I keep switching between hdsdr, sdr-radio and the flex, and sdr-radio is the BEST, but hdsdr has a really great display and some nice options.
I am no longer fond of the psdr software and the flex 3000, never use it, and might sell it off.
The only reason to keep it is for a backup rig since it does have a transmitter in it.

The sdr-iq is a very good value, its really 3 great radios and a nice piece of test gear, great for a remote receiver over the web, great as a recorder, not audio, but up to 190 KHz of rf bandwidth can be recorded.
Its little, rugged, powered by the USB port, what more can you ask for?!
Software will only get better I suppose, but its hard to think of any way to improve it.
Running the radio localy with a big monitor is stunning, the over the web use is a bit compressed, so if you try that, keep in mind a local sdr-iq is even much better looking when local.

Also, the sdr-iq likes a good antenna, many of the receivers on the web seem to have very poor antenna's.
On my dipoles, I get very low noise and great performance.
At my noisy work location, with a 50 foot low long wire antenna, it works but is still subject to the poor antenna.
I also found out the power supply for the work laptop was generating HUGE amounts of noise.

For what I do, the sdr-iq and the new software is the BEST receiver I have ever had, better then a flex 5000, better then anything out there at any price.

N2DTS Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2012 20:31 Send this review to a friend
great for the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had one a few years ago and sold it to get a flex, but missed the little IQ and got another one when I tested the new sdr-radio software by using remote radios on the web.
That software is VERY good, much nicer then spectravue, which makes a good spectrum analyzer out of the sdr-iq.
The sdr radio software has very good audio, all the right buttons, and makes spotting signals easy.
The sdr-iq seems to work as well as my flex 3000 as a receiver, and with the sdr-radio software, has even more features then the flex psdr software, a good sync detector, ecss detector, the ability to select the sideband in the ecss detector mode, a noise blanker that really works and other nice features.
hdsdr also works, so its sort of like having 3 radios and a piece of test equipment, and I suppose all the software will be improved even more over time, or new programs will arrive.

As I type this, I am listening to 80 meters with the receiver, on the same laptop, in the den, and it sounds great.

All the free software installed on my computers without any problems and does not seem to use much processor power.
I am going to make up a t/r switch box to allow use of the sdr-iq as a receiver with the transmitters, the sdr-iq needs to be protected from high level rf and muted, a micro relay to ground the receiver antenna input and open the audio from the computer, right at the sdr-iq in a small box, and that should allow me to see my signal as it goes out the antenna which should be interesting.

The radio stays the same (good) and the software seems to get better and better, for free!

OLLIEOXEN27 Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2011 08:32 Send this review to a friend
Fine unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the SDR-IQ for medium wave dx (the king of radio hobbies hi). Before purchase I also considered a Perseus or QS-1R but decided I didn't need the 2 megahertz plus of frequency coverage. I did a lot of reading about SDRs and concluded noise level is the greatest delimiting factor in getting the most out of a unit so why spend a grand? Right now my home qth is a noisy apartment and even here using an indoor loop the SDR-IQ has been impressive. I have a weekend cabin with a 70 foot long wire and I can't wait to set up the server - client option using SDR Radio and be in business. Regarding the software SDR Radio, HDSDR, and Spectravue all work with the SDR-IQ, the first having the most feature and the second being easiest to use. Spectravue is weird - if you hit a wrong button you literally have to uninstall and reinstall it to get it back.

I've owned FRG-7, R75, R1000, and an assortment of portables and medium grade communications receivers and the SDR-IQ rivals and probably exceeds the R75 in my limited tests up to date. The only issue I have with the SDR-IQ is no on off button - instead I unplug the USB cable to and from my computer. Final rating 4.75
K6ZF Rating: 2/5 Sep 13, 2011 19:24 Send this review to a friend
Not ready for Win 7-64 bit OS  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
At first this receiver looked good, although I found the audio excessively noisy with a lot of white noise underneath all signals. After a short time the receiver went quiet then crashed and locked up. I had to un-install and re-install to get it back to running but this time the F-12 function button remained greyed out and nothing was going to revive it. I also installed it into the Win 7 Virtual XP Machine OS but it failed to operate in this mode as well. I re-packed it and have returned it to the seller for refund. Apparently there is a known USB driver problem that has not been solved in the 64 bit OS.
OLLIEOXEN27 Rating: 4/5 Aug 12, 2011 18:11 Send this review to a friend
Good once figured out  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a re review of my first post regarding the SDR Console software. Once I got the audio going it appears to work well. There is a tiny little box on the upper left screen where you need to check your sound card in the very small drop down box. Once working it was fun to listen to European MW stations which I always tried to listen to in vain stateside using receivers from portable to large table tops. The only downside now is the audio occasionally freezes a fraction of a second probable due to the speed of my internet connection.

The audio background is amazingly clear and the audio crisp. Now I just need to decide whether it is worthwhile to invest $500-$1000 in a new type of radio. I suspect eventually the price will go down. That will be nice.
<— Page 2 of 4 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.