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Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Alinco DX-SR9T Help

Show all reviews of the Alinco DX-SR9T

You can write your own review of the Alinco DX-SR9T.

AE5YJ  Rating: 3/5 Apr 26, 2014 01:31  Send this review to a friend!
Faulty control cable SDR false start  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought a new Alinco ERW-7 usb control cable and it remedied my SDR issues. I now have full SDR capability, or at least as much capability as the KGTRX software will allow. Some thoughts after some use tonight:

The uneven gain issue discussed in the review of this rig on Ham Radio Science proves true on my unit although rather than a lopsided panadapter/waterfall, the noticeably weak areas are at the both edges. Very noticeable, but at least it is uniform on my rig. Signal ghosting does happen, but not as often as I had feared, and that is good at least. I really don't care for the KGTRX software, it is very basic and utilitarian. I don't like the fact that if I wish to use all of this radio's features in SDR, I am locked (at this point in time) into using this software. It isn't the worst I have used, but it by no means is on par with powerSDR, SDR#, or HDSDR (limited HDSDR functionality is available using the omnirig file at the HRS website). I keep reminding myself that it is a new radio and the basic software will likely improve in functionality and aesthetics in the months to come.

I do love the fact that I can use my usb headset with minimal tweaking.

This unit would be very enjoyable if the following was corrected in firmware/software revisions:

Front panel functionality in SDR mode. Or at the very least, a waterfall/panadapter display only mode which would allow you to operate the rig as usual while displaying synced information on the SDR display.

One really neat feature of the SDR operation is the 3d dsp selection. For me, it seems to separate the signal from the noise via audio channel. Very handy when picking out the weak stations.

This rig isn't wholly bad when it comes to the SDR operation, but I cannot help but think that it was perhaps rushed to production before it was ready. The irregular shape of the panadapter due to gain variations or I/Q imbalance is a real annoyance. The hit or miss success rate of the proprietary control cable is a problem too. Also, soundcard selection has a direct correlation to performance, but that is true of most SDR's. The soundcard that I bought for the unit was the Sabrent usb 7.1 channel card. It was a bargain at walmart, but has a reversed channel input (thanks for the heads up HRS for advising me of the issue and the simple workaround). If you wish to use the Sabrent card, you will have to find a means to reverse the signals on the 1/8 inch plug. I did this by getting a 1/8" stero to RCA splitter, and reversing the cables into another splitter. This wouldn't be a problem with many 3rd party SDR programs as most of them have an option allowing you to swap I/Q channels. KGTRX does not. The splitter/RCA cable/splitter option worked for me.

All in all, this rig will be classified as a keeper. I am in hopes that wider 3rd party support will be developed allowing more use of the radio's functions in SDR, or KGTRX is upgraded to a more functional and aesthetically pleasing package.

After everything, I have settled on a 3 for this unit when including the SDR functionality. I don't think this severely limited SDR implementation is worth the near 200 dollar price increase over the DX-SR8, but that is only my opinion. I have no qualms about this radio in standalone mode, but then again the attraction to this unit is the SDR. If standalone is your primary mode of operation, get the SR8 and if you wish to play or experiment with SDR, get a cheap softrock. 
Product is in production.
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