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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Microtelecom PERSEUS Help


Reviews Summary for Microtelecom PERSEUS
Microtelecom PERSEUS Reviews: 27 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $829 EURO
Description: PERSEUS is a VLF-LF-HF receiver based on a outstanding direct sampling digital architecture.
It features a 14 bit 80 Ms/s analog-to-digital converter with an exceptional 76 dB SNR (BW = 40 MHz),
an high-performance configurable FPGA digital down-converter with an up to 1 MS/s output sampling
rate and a 480 MBit/s, high-speed USB 2.0 PC interface.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.microtelecom.it/perseus/
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PA1HR Rating: 2/5 Dec 3, 2011 08:59 Send this review to a friend
Nice for SWL, not for real time QSO  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used the Perseus for more than one year, mainly in combination with the Icom IC-7700 and also with other rigs.
IMHO the Perseus is not at all suitable to make real time QSO's.
I tried very different types of CW communication, but with the Perseus it made no fun at all, and (full) QSK is even impossible!
Other disappointments were the working of the AGC and the quality of the audio.
It's pretty expensive too for what you get.
My general conclusion of the Perseus unfortunately is: a bad buy and not recommended.
I cannot give this SDR receiver more than a 2/5, because it still needs a lot of help.
I do Ham Radio since 1965 and am a very active operator on HF, mainly CW and SSB.
 
M0SVA Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2011 05:37 Send this review to a friend
Two Years with the Perseus SDR  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have to admit it:

My lovely loyal AOR AR-7030+ and Elecraft K-3 (as well as other capable radios) are catching dust ever since the Perseus got here about 2 years ago!

My first sample was bought from AOR UK. I had to send it back because of a very rare fault, but both AOR UK, and Microtelecom backed me fine and the brand new replacement unit has been my best companion in more than 2 years now.

-It seems to be one of the best performers out there, as also has been measured in the comparative tests of of Sherwood Engineering labs, it is still in the 3 TOP radios of all time and higher ranked than all SDRs in the list including Flex 5000A and 3000A. And unless you need a transceiver, this is most probably one of the best radios money can buy. Independent and universally respected lab figures speak for themselves:

http://www.sherweng.com/table.html

-Although the window could be resizable, with a 1280 x 960 resolution on my 17" monitor the Perseus interface is much bigger than my AOR AR-7030+ pretty much as long as my Elecraft K-3 and significantly taller than both my K-3 and my Icom 746 Pro.

Size can be made to be full screen on any screen size or resolution if for example one uses WRPlus (which by the way adds a second tuneable notch) or WinRad.

Of course it would be nicer if window was resizable, but not an issue for me being indeed quite bigger than an AOR AR-7030 + ! :)

- Haven't read all of Yahoo group messages, we don't know the contents or the context, and so I have reservations regarding any Yahoo group issues. We may also consider that Microtelecom is a small company, doesn't have the Public Relation resources or expertise in PR of a big company.

I have had "funny", to say at least, responses from "grumpy" staff of one of the other 3 top radios in Sherwood's list; this didnít alter my decisions and at the end of the day donít we all have our grumpy moments when under stress? I certainly do. ;-)

For any prospective buyer of this radio, it could be an idea to subscribe to the yahoo group, monitor the activity and judge for themselves:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/perseus_SDR/

My one question I ever needed to ask about listening to networked Perseus-es was quickly answered, group members happy to oblige.

-I am grateful for the feature that I can program the radio to receive *and record* e.g. the entire LW and MW band or 80m band or 20m band etc, WHILE I AM ASLEEP. The Perseus will record *anything that is on the air* (i.e. a range of up to 1.6 MHz) and I can then listen to it, tune it, change modulations, filter, AGC settings etc on-the-fly, just like live radio (!) anytime later when I wake up or come back from work, or just burn a CD with the recording and even listen to that entire 1.6 MHz spectrum, tune it etc at work or wherever.

Utility is available from microtelecom site, "Perseus Record Scheduler".

-The Perseus radio is still getting even better by continuous software upgrades, which you can experience first hand by downloading the DEMO software from:

http://www.microtelecom.it/perseus/software.html

Also you can find loads of recordings for you to tune from all over the world on various hams' or SWLs's sites.

-I was recently daydreaming of a WinRadio Excalibur, but after a recent development, I could do with a second Perseus radio, look at what you can tune and listen to if you have such a radio:

http://www.microtelecom.it/map/PerseusServers.html

Recently Perseus price has dropped, too, here in the UK! Thatís such good news!

Points that I would like to see improving?

1) 12 V-DC to 5V-DC converter to use when mobile/portable.
5 Volt is not as convenient as 12 V straight from the car battery when portable

2) IF output (via VAC) to be centred on 11 kHz for DRM support of all decoders not just DREAM, which is good but not as good as. e.g. Merlin's

3) Although you can record on your Hard Disk a spectrum 1600 kHz (!) and tune it, process it in any modulation, bandwidth etc there can potentially be some stuttering when playing recording back, even with a quad-core 3.5 GB RAM machine when playing back the whole 1.6 MHz spectrum. But this is maybe an issue of my machine configuration of pre-buffering that Nico could easily address?

In all honesty though, there is much improvement in this direction by using e.g. WRplus., so donít let this worry you, either.

Bottom line:
Having had this radio running 24/7 for years now, I would quite happily have a second one in my shack. Itís never let me down, received even SAQ on 17.2 kHz with it ( QSLed by Grimeton Radio and uploaded to YouTube) and it happily works with my old Dell (Inspiron) laptop too, when I go out with my car to the beach for some Low Band Dxing.

Congratulations have to go to the Microtelecom's team for this mature and excellent wonderful receiver.

In the light of the above strengths and weaknesses and after using the radio for 2 years, I would honestly give the radio a rating of 4.8 out of 5, but closest integer is 5.

de M0SVA 73 es gd dx AR VA
 
N7BUI Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2010 21:35 Send this review to a friend
Two weeks with a Perseus SDR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm in a habit of "buying to try it" and then selling after a few weeks at a small loss. I'm able to rotate new toys through to get a feel of the latest technology. There is a reason this radio costs so dang much. It's good. It's really good. The software is excellent (but certainly could stand stand a little tweaking) and the hardware is first rate.

I own several other SDR rigs. Flex, SDR-IQ, etc. None of them hold a candle to the quietness of the Perseus. Now any of them can hear weak sigs, but the background white noise is far reduced in this radio. It has the standard SDR type filtering available to all of them. But where the Perseus really shines is the recovered audio. It's probably the easiest radio I've listened too. No bizarre lows, highs, or mixes that my sensitive ears can tell. Very comfortable to use for hours with no fatigue. That's very important to me. So many of the rigs available today have pinched sounding "communication" audio that frankly just sucks to listen to.

The panoramic display is about the best I've seen. Averaging algorithms produce the smoothest looking line compared to any other software packages that I've used. Even weak sigs show up very pronounced in the grass. You can see up to 1.6Mhz of spectrum! And record EVERY signal you can see. Recording full bands is pretty standard stuff now on SDR's, but the Perseus does it very well.

And let's not forget the one feature that Perseus has that no SDR package I've used does. A real honest manual notch filter. Why this hasn't shown up yet on other SDR sofware yet I don't know. But it is a feature that I use very often. It has the automatic notch also, but that is only an audio type. The manual provides a deep notch similar to the IF notch on a standard rig.

What I'd like to see? A real preamp. The one that is supplied only provides a 2db increase in sig strength. This rig hears so well that the attenuators seem to provide enough adjustment.

The software needs to self adjust to varying resolutions. The best display is at the 1024x768 settings to get a nice full screen. Go up to higher resolution and size is unadjustable. It just gets smaller and smaller.

A hardware mute function would be really nice as many hams are using the Perseus as a main receiver and then using an external transmitter. To do it safely requires a rig saver type circuit.

Lastly a dual panoramic waterfall display would be nice. This is standard SDR stuff now. On the Perseus you get either or, but not both.

Will I keep it! Heck yes! Pricey to buy and the two US dealers seem to run out of stock pretty quickly. It is a very popular rig. But in my opinion well worth the bucks.
 
ZS00011 Rating: 4/5 Apr 9, 2010 02:33 Send this review to a friend
Pretty good  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned Perseus for 5 months now and it has been on DXpedition to our Seefontein Atlantic West Coast site. I am mainly a BCB MW and NDB beacon LF DXer. The Perseus is operated next to my marvellous Icom IC-7600.

Perseus is a top class performer and has all the bell's and whistles of an expensive conventional receiver. It's filters are top line and I found the NR noise reduction even better than my Icom. It is just as good as the Icom at digging the most difficult stations out of the mud and is a top class DX machine. It is particularly good at finding those elusive weak NDB beacons on LF.

Owning Perseus requires you to have a top end laptop, otherwise it will not be able to successfully record the wide 1.6 MHz span, a major feature of Perseus. Also you have to do something about the sound, as the laptop just doesn't produce decent audio. So, be aware that buying Perseus is not the end of your financial outlay.

Taking Perseus on a powerless DXpedition is a pain - you have to have power for your laptop and Perseus requires a quirky 5v DC. I did kit myself out for all this and captured some good TOH top of hour recordings of the MW+LF band. Analysing these recordings afterwards yielded a mixed bag. On the plus side I was able to log stations with good ID's that I had not found with the Icom, but I also had some good ID's from the Icom that were simply not heard on Perseus. But it's swings and roundabouts - what you loose on Perseus due to it's lack of sensitivity and high noise floor, you gain from the extra stations you hear resulting from recording the full MW band at TOH.

Perseus is not as sensitive as the Icom and introduces more noise, plus the recording seems to add further noise, that is why you loose some of the weaker stations.

I am from the older generation and not very computer literate. Perseus requires some good computer knowledge to install properly and do the updates that come along. This is reflected on the Perseus news group as the number of software queries is quite large. I would have expected the suppliers of this not inexpensive SDR to supply "auto run" software and updates for the many computer illiterate users like myself..

All in all a worthy SDR which I give 4 stars out of 5.

John Plimmer, Montagu, Western Cape Province, South Africa
South 33 d 47 m 32 s, East 20 d 07 m 32 s
Icom IC-7600, Perseus SDR
ERGO software
Drake SW8. Sangean 803A, Redsun RP2100
Sony 7600D, GE SRIII, Grundig G8, Eton E100
Antenna's RF Systems DX 1 Pro Mk II, Datong AD-270
Kiwa MW Loop.
http://www.dxing.info/about/dxers/plimmer.dx


FOOTNOTE for those wanting a 5v power supply for Perseus

The Futurlec board worked perfectly - it did not get hot at all and had 12.5 to 13v DC into it and gave out a constant 5v DC to Perseus
: http://www.futurlec.com/Mini_Power.shtml
It did not emit any detectable RFI
 
G4BIM Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2010 03:34 Send this review to a friend
The Perseus SDR V Icom IC7800  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Perseus SDR V Icom IC7800

I have owned both items for over a year now.

I make the following observations based on my operating experience.

The Perseus runs a very close second to the 7800.

After many hours of receiver comparison, on balance I always come back to the 7800.

There is little practical difference between them in terms of sensitivity, but the 7800 noise floor is definitely lower. Irrespective of how you listen to the Perseus output audio, (Sony MDR-F1 headphones, thru Quad ESL 63 electrostatics to Linn Keltik speakers and Linn Klout active Amplifiers). Somehow, it is always easier to listen to and decipher very weak SSB audio on the Icom, I suppose thatís what you spend all that money for...

The Perseus does however exceed the Icom in two primary areas.

Its spectrum analyser is frankly stunning in terms of detail and sensitivity, it really does make the 7800 look poor to say the least.

Probably of more significance is the Perseus's ability in terms of cutting dead encroaching signals on adjacent channels, of that there can
be little doubt. Its filter cut off/edge performance is 'off a cliff', very impressive.

However, if an adjacent interfering signal is actually producing rf in your listening band pass, as some over driven Amateur SSB transmissions
do, and there are some I could 'name and shame', then the sharpest filter in the world will not remove them.

One day a software defined receiver, maybe from Icom, will actually look at and analyze interfering signals either side of the listening band pass and by clever algorithms will subtract those interfering signal elements from those which you are trying to listen to, clever stuff
 
G7TOK Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2009 13:05 Send this review to a friend
Peerless  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am using the Perseus with a Wellbrook loop.

It is the best receiver I have used or owned in 30 years.

The K3 comes close, but the recovered audio on the Perseus is superlative and tips the balance.

The software package makes non-SDR receivers Neanderthal in comparison.

Only one con, no Macintosh software.
 
K5JAX Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2009 14:33 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought my Perseus in December 2009 from Gerry at SSBUSA.com
A great person to do business with.
I have been in amateur radio 40 + years. I own a K2, K3, Orion and other Yaesu and Kenwood rigs.
I have the Perseus hooked to a 300+ foot long wire about 10 feet above the ground. I am located in a rural setting relatively noise free.
The functionality of the NR, NB and DSP are equal to or better than any of the other equipment mentioned. I could not believe the signals I viewed on the waterfall display and the receiverís ability to allow me to copy them. It is a fantastic receiver.
I also own an Icom PCR-2500. Not a very good SDR product at all. It was a poor choice on my part. The Icom purchase made me a little cautious about buying another SDR.
If I can figure out a reliable way to use the Perseus as my receiver and any of the other rigs as a transmitter without blowing the front end out I will probably use it in this configuration most of the time. I plan to hook it to a separate antenna at times to monitor openings on other bands. I would be interested in hearing from anyone that has used a RF sensing switch to protect the receiver when using separate antennas.
Factory support seems to be very good. I would not trade it for a TenTec 340 receiver.
I hope to try week signal VHF/UHF operating with the Elecraft transverters.
Highly recommend the product.
Email: info@k5jax.com
 
2E1RDX Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2009 02:17 Send this review to a friend
still superb  Time owned: more than 12 months
Here is a short review of the Perseus SDR receiver,
I have been using the Perseus for a little over 12 months now
I have it hooked up o my Icom IC-78 this is the commercial version of the IC-718 I use a ELAD Switch box http://www.woodboxradio.com/uk/Switchbox.html
the swith box automatically switches my antenna between the Icom when I TX back to the Perseus for receive this way I am using only the Perseus for receive the Icom becomes a TX only
Now for the software side I use a program called BobCAT that easily links the Perseus and the Icom so that you can choose either Receiver or Icom as the master or should you prefer both this way when you click on the Perseus scope or tune the perseus the Icom automatically follows or if you tune the Icom VFO the perseus follows
I must say i prefer just to click on signals on the scope and my whole station follows
I also have Ham Radio Delux running at the same time and once again this will control either radio's as you choose this is a little more complicated as you need to have two options of Ham Radio Delux running and then sych them together on top of this I have Mixw running for digital modes and as my main station logbook once again this tracks all the other software and TX/RX Basically whichever piece of software I choose to use all others track and tune radio/Receiver thus making a very user friendly station
Please note the BobCAT software only works with Icom Radio's so anyone trying this with another make will need to go down the Ham Radio Delux route
I have used many top line transceivers/Receivers over the past 30 years TS-950SDX,TS-930S,TS-940,TS-850, TS-870, TS-2000 I could go on and on but I think you get the idea lots of equipment has passed through this shack and probably the best have been the 950SDX and the TS-930 which was always my favorite and I found that the FT-2000 was probably the best of the bunch once after many many weeks I had it set up something like
how Yaesu let such a superb transceiver leave the factory set up so badly is beyond me ????
I sold the FT-2000 to purchase the Perseus which believe me was not an easy choice but was certainly the right one
In operation the Perseus scope is just unreal as the bands are opening I can sit and view upto 2mhz of spectrum as soon as a station transmits anywhere on the band I am watching just one mouse click and I am tuned to that station along with my log book and other software it just could not be easier
Now on top of all that how would you like to record upto 2mhz of spectrum and play it back later and when I say play it back i mean you tune through the 2 mhz of spectrum and every station that was active is there as if you are tuning the band live how cool is that
you can set it to record top band at any stated time even while you are in bed and then play it back the next day !!! this just amazes me perfect for checking what stations are active while you sleep
now the bottom line I honestly would not swap this system for anything out there as i believe this set up will outperform anything on the market it's not perfect but for my style of operating I just love it and to top things off I use a MFJ-1782 Magnetic loop Antenna and with the scope on the Perseus I can tune the antenna to the peak on the screen and Iam tuned ready to TX
The downside is setting up all the software which was quite complicated so thanks to Dave G3RCQ, and many others for advice and support below are a few links to the items I use
73 Ian 2E1RDX


http://www.woodboxradio.com/uk/bobcat.html
http://www.woodboxradio.com/uk/Switchbox.html
http://www.microtelecom.it/perseus/software.html
http://mixw.net/
http://www.ham-radio-deluxe.com/

 
IK1ODO Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2009 12:08 Send this review to a friend
The best  Time owned: more than 12 months
The best commercially available SDR RX. Have two of them, used in HF, VHF/UHF and satellite (after converters, of course). Absolutely happy.
 
KE7GSK Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2009 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Just alot of Fun!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Iíve been working with the Perseus for about a month and thoroughly enjoy it. I have it hooked up to a Wellbrook ALA1530S+ antenna. The spectrum display is superb and the ability to record across a wide frequency range, and then playback any one frequency within that range, is an absolute blast. The amount of time you can record is only restricted by how much storage space remains on your computer. Along the same line, Iíve been downloading recordings made by other Perseus owners (in Norway for instance) and playing them back at my QTH in Washington State USA. I find it very interesting to hear what others are hearing from their locations thousands of miles away.

The Perseusí DSP Noise Reduction, Noise Blanker and Notch (auto and manual) easily rival my Ten-Tec Orion. That is no small feat as Iíve always considered those features on the Orion to be second to none. My wish list for future upgrades: A RF Gain feature and pumped up preamp power. By the way I bought my Perseus from Gerry at SSB Electronic USA. First class service all the way!
 
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