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eHam.net Survey

Survey Question
What is your experience with Software Defined Radios (SDRs)?
  Posted: Sep 07, 2015   (1754 votes, 73 comments) by N2MG

  I use one frequently
  I've only used them a little, or have just started using them
  I've only seen one in operation
  I've no idea what they are
  I've no intention of using one
    (1754 votes, 73 comments)

Survey Results
I use one frequently 26% (462)
I've only used them a little, or have just started using them 17% (296)
I've only seen one in operation 20% (358)
I've no idea what they are 7% (123)
I've no intention of using one 29% (515)

Survey Comments
Survey is getting stale
The length of time this survey has been running is one of the major reasons I do not renew my subscription to eHam. Moderators should take note!

Posted by WA0TML on November 22, 2015

Love SDR
My first license was issued in 1963 and I
Have had many many analog rigs in my ham
"lifetime".

However, I have been using SDR radios on HF
since 2009 and ONLY SDR on HF since 2011. I
am a computer geek and have no fear,
prejudice, or lack of skills when it comes to
using computers. I can NOT imagine EVER
buying another Analog ONLY rig.

However, many hams just love their analog
rigs. Nothing wrong with that. We all have
our likes and dislikes.

Posted by WB8ROL on November 22, 2015

???
Well, it's MORE than obvious that the purveyors of eham.net
have long ago forsaken this column on the website...

I hate to say this, guys, but I really & truly do think that it's
high-time we all did, too...

Posted by VE3CUI on November 21, 2015

SDR survey
I'm sure in the myriad of comments, others have noted
that every one of these comments was written on a
computer.

I've had a QS1R since 2008 and have enjoyed learning
a newer technology, the essence of which will be
written in virtually every transceiver fairly soon now. ;

Posted by W3RSW on November 21, 2015

The problem I have with SDR users...
...is that some of them crank the transmit bandwidth wide open and cause adjacent channel interference.

Posted by W4VR on November 18, 2015

SDR
It's a bit disappointing when the firmware version for my SDR
is upgraded more frequently than this survey section....

Posted by K6JPA on November 12, 2015

reliability
My drake TR4 with the great noise blanker, great audio and plenty of horsepower has crashed once in almost 50 years. It cost $12.00 to fix. Eat your heart out.

Posted by WB0SNF on November 12, 2015

Decomposition
Posted Sept. 7, eh?
Well, something is decomposing here.
How about a fresh survey?

Posted by AI2IA on November 10, 2015

SDR
Let's face it, It's less expensive to build,
more versatile. more compact, changeable with
a line of code, etc. so SDR is the wave of
the future. I think most radios will be SDR
in the near future. Many will not rely on an
external computer, but will have an internal
micro doing the housekeeping with face plate
controls that mimic the traditional knobs and
switches. Much of this is driven by TV and
Cell phone technology where components are
produced in the multi-millions for pennies.
Except for an RF power amp, almost all
circuitry is available on a couple of
integrated circuits already.

Posted by WA3TFS on November 10, 2015

Good ol' Andy VK5LA
CONGRATULATIONS on the recent two month anniversary of this survey!

Posted by K0CBA on November 9, 2015

Retrofit SDR Transceiver
I added SDR reception to my trusty Yaesu FT-990:
http://hamwaves.com/sdr/en/index.html

Plus point: It is GNU/Linux compatible!

Posted by ON4AA on November 8, 2015

Problems with SDR's
I like the flexibility of an SDR rig.
However, if you are tied to an operating
system, it's prone to be outdated,
unsupported, or will eventually be unable to
use the radio unless the vendor, software
developer keeps developing the drivers and
software. Unlike hardware based radios or
SDR rigs, which will be around a long time.
So if you keep a rig, then pick a good
vendor.

Posted by W0ANM on November 3, 2015

SDR
I've been a ham operator since 1964 and love the
quality boat anchors. I have a Kenwood TS-870 but if I
had money I'd get Collins equipment from the 1940's
and 1950's. But I also love new technology and own a
Flex 1500, funds limited me to that radio but it's amazing
for the price.

Posted by W0XS on November 2, 2015

Ahhh, Technology
We hams have always been an interesting group; we have the artists who love the old ways and can converse as quickly in Morse as they can speaking, those of us like myself who continually struggle to understand and improve, and the technologists who continually ask, "Oooh, wouldn't it be neat if..." Frankly, I stay in this world because of ALL of us! Nothing is more satisfying than watching crack operators handle massive pileups with grace and efficiency. Nothing intrigues me more than checking out SDR's, and I'm continually challenged by the new ways our troops find to do stuff. Guys - think about it - wouldn't it be boring if we all did everything the same way? Would we be as relevant? 73 - Chris

Posted by W9CCA on November 2, 2015

SDR
I would consider using a Software Defined Radio system
if they were Mac compatible.

Posted by KH2N on October 31, 2015

Not again!!!
Survey looks to be getting a bit long in the tooth....AGAIN!!

Posted by K0CBA on October 31, 2015

SDR Radios
I can only say this. . .Never used one, never seen one, but heard lots about them.

I work on computers all day long, and the last thing I want to see when I get home, is another stupid computer. . .With that said,
I would far rather ham-it-up with my Boat Anchors that will work with or without a computer (or any external gadget), than a computer operated radio that can't do one thing at all if you lose your computer.
I do think that SDR radios are neat though, and I am glad people get good use out of them.

Posted by KA0AAM on October 29, 2015

sdrplay
i was recently in HRO, when they were opening their
first box of SDRPLAY receivers. I snapped one up, and
have been playing with it for several weeks.
its loads of fun, and quite versatile.
glad i took the leap.

ke6anm

Posted by KE6ANM on October 26, 2015

SDR
Just got the SDR Play receiver from HRO and am having a lot of fun learning about SDRs. Technologically, the SDR is the future and resistance is futile. There is a learning curve, but to me it is fun to learn new things.

Posted by N0YXB on October 21, 2015

software based radios
How comical, I swear that hams can argue about the most trivial issues. Like how the poll is conducted. I suggest that instead of arguing about how the poll is constituted that perhaps you issue your own poll.

Posted by KD8Z on October 20, 2015

Flex Radio is King !
On my 3rd Flex, it is a 6300 and is a great
radio, I have owned a F-3K, F-5K, and now on
a 6300... And if I were to buy the mating
Maestro for it, I would no longer need a
computer, just a monitor. I still have a Icom
765 as a backup. The 6300 is a joy to
operate, and it is very fun, you can change
receive bandwidth from 25 cycles to 20Khz,
You can change transmit bandwidth for 25 hz
to 20Khz. It has automatice notch filter,
built in antenna tuner with memory,,, I have
had mine several months now and I still can
not memorize what all it will do and where
the controls are LOL ......... Flex forever
in this house LOL ...................73 de
KA7W ese ee

Posted by KA7W on October 19, 2015

To WB4TJH, K9RJ, et al...
Hey guys, you all took the time to carefully craft responses
critiquing these surveys here---so now, how about writing
surveys of your very own, from start to finish, & show us
otherwise "...great unwashed" how it's SUPPOSED to be
done...?!

Posted by VE3CUI on October 19, 2015

Left out the obvious
My problem with many of these surveys is that they often leave out the most obvious answers and instead have some of most stupid ones, like "I have no intention of using one". So where the heck is the most obvious of all answers...a simple "NO"?

Posted by WB4TJH on October 17, 2015

Define SDR
I declined to respond to this survey because there is no
universally accepted definition of what an SDR is. Now if
the survey writer had defined it, then you need to move on
to the questions asked and some good suggestions have
been made about being more specific. I await Rev 2.0 of
this line of questioning:-))

Posted by K9RJ on October 16, 2015

SDR plus
Open source Sdr and pi computers are just an
evolution of current technology. This opens
Ham radio back to experimenting with modular
instead of discreet components.

Have fun and muck about

DE VE3XQQ,Frank

Posted by VE3XQQ on October 15, 2015

Radio/Computer
It's whatever you want. I will never stop
buying traditional radios and keep my
computer for surfing the web and email.
Flex has been out how long....? they said
then that this would be the future of
radio. I guess work in progress. Has not
happened yet. I love the ten-tecs and
Kenwood. I enjoy the sound and fidelity
possible, I don't need to see the band and
all of the dribble gimmicks modern
consumers go for. Paying for software
upgrades yet ? Anyone try the digi-mode?
Dingleberry #2.

Posted by KB1NCP on October 13, 2015

k3 or Flex
When you dont need a seperate computer, i will start
looking at a Flex. Maybe the Flex 7300....

Posted by AB9TX on October 12, 2015

SDRs
Before we had cars, we had horses and Buggies... The horses and buggies are still around but, now we have Interstate highways where they're definitely NOT allowed... One of the things I love about my equipment is the way it "Looks"... To each their own, you play with your "toys", I'll play with mine. Doesn't matter How you "tighten the string", as long as ya get it to "Twang".

Posted by WV8RS on October 11, 2015

SDR is the future
Yes, I was raised with tubes, then transistors, then chips. You can get into SDR receivers for under $20, and by fiddling with the antenna, get astounding quality. Like anything else, the cost goes up from there.

Digital modes and satellite use will become normal, and as the world crowds up, you'll need the precision of SDRs to control your on-air life. The RTL chipsets can be controlled easily, and more are on the way, including melding cheap receiver technology with cheap computer boards for couplings that will become the basis for cost-effective rigs that will make FlexRadio and others work much, much harder to justify their cost. I can't wait!

SDR transceivers have a great future, and capacity for new bands, new modes, new fun!

Posted by W9YW on October 11, 2015

Response not listed
My response would have been "I am interested in
SDR but have neither seen one in action nor
bought one yet."

Posted by K4EZD on October 10, 2015

ANAN 10
I have been a Ham since 1956, an now hold an extra class
license. When I was a young boy, I used to dream of owning a
Collins 75A4 and imagined how stable it might be as I waited
for my reciver to warm up and settle down. Then ast he years
went on I built a Heathkit SB-303 and hd the Heath line rigs
including a Scanilizer. The Scanilizer never came close to my
expectations. Then it was on to the expensive Japan rigs,
finally winding up owning two Kenwood TS-2000s.
I experimented with "Soft Rocks" and used one on the TS-
200's IF for a while. When the HPSDR movement came out I
was one the first users of the Atlas Buss cards
Mercury/Pentalope/ Ozy... and built several PC/HPSDR sets for
my self and others. I built the ANAN-10 I have now about 5
years ago from a TAPR Hermes board and the Apache Lab
add-on ANAN 10 . The only problems I have had was my
doing. Problems with damage to the interconect cable RF
connections, I damaged the connectors. I love the little rig, it
does all that I ask very well.

Posted by W9KFB on October 8, 2015

Listening to an Anan 200D
I acquired my first HF rig in 2012, a visually beautiful FT-1000MP in brand new condition. Since then, when I sit down at my tiny ham desk, the visual appeal of this nice radio has not diminished. Its performance is good, and, its audio output selections enable good, and, different, audio settings.
However, I recently heard a crystal clear audio signal during a QSO, probably the clearest, cleanest I have ever heard. It was from an Anan 200D.
I looked it up on the web, and, saw a picture of this radio. A box with a few connections, no meter, nothing to indicate, to my 55 year old self, that it is a radio.
I like techie content, so, maybe, with time, the various technical aspects of the Anan 200D, which are many and excellent, will attract me.
But, for now, I am sticking with sitting quietly down in front of my FT-1000MP, and, getting that feeling of about to enter the radio domain.

Posted by N2UJN on October 8, 2015

SDR Radio
I added a used Flex-5000a SDR to my station a few years ago, because I wanted to try the latest technology. I found, the receiver is just as good as any traditional radio, and rejection is a bit better. Operating an SDR is a lot of fun, and gives a nice change of pace. So, I switch between my traditional radios and the SDR when I want to operate something different.

Recently, I began experimenting with the economical RTL SDR dongles. Amazingly, they are a lot of bang for the buck. I've been using one as part of a pan-adaptor system for a Yaesu FTDX-9000. That is a wonderful and useful application of SDR. There is no doubt, that SDR is here to stay. Even the newest knobbed HF radio from Icom, the IC-7300 is built around SDR technology.

The downside with SDR I've noticed, at least in the case of the Flex-5000a, is the poor value retention on the used market. Consumer response seems to be more akin to that seen with used computer equipment, rather than a radio. Just shortly after Flex radio discontinued the Flex-5000a and introduced the new 6000 series, used prices dropped sharply on the Flex 3000/5000 transceivers. IMO they are still some of the best transceivers available. Now at fire sale prices, they represent some of the best bargains in amateur radio today.

Posted by AB4D on October 6, 2015

SDR
My first impression was that this is not "real" radio. But after using one of the inexpensive SDR receivers I just needed to try something bigger and better; now a F5K is my primary rig. Much of my non operating time is now spent on software, hardware interfacing to the Flex (Arduino), and antenna system upgrades.

The F5K is by far the best receiver ever to sit at my position mostly thanks to PowerSDR (mature - I know - but solid). I still have a Drake C line that I enjoy from time to time.

No doubt SDR technology development in ham radio will accelerate in both hardware and software.

Frankly, I was bored with the routine CW/Digital and SSB QSO's and had made very few contact over the past five years. SDR has rekindled my interest in operating and homebrewing (both hot soldering iron and keyboard).

Some of us need new tech challenges to learn. For me SDR provided the challenge, and continues to do so.

Next: more and better SDR, digital voice...who knows..

Posted by N5LB on October 5, 2015

SDR
I still love my Drake 4 lines. What can I say.

Posted by W7WQ on October 4, 2015

Former Flex Owner
I had a Flex 6500 for about a year. I think that SDR will play a much bigger part in amateur radio in the future but I sold my Flex radio and went to an Icom 7700. The Flex wasn't a bad radio it's just that software updates were slow coming out. I prefer the 7700 over the Flex.

Posted by W3DDF on September 29, 2015

SDR Radios
Many ops list the TT Pegasus and/or Kachina
as SDR radios but they are not. They are just
computer operated rigs with no SDR capability.
I have owned the Pegasus and also have owned
the Flexradio 1500 and 3000. I currently have
a Flexradio 1000 and I really enjoy the rig and
its capabilities. They have come a long way and
they are improving as time passes. Age is 76
and been hamming since 1975. Also am a retired
Navy Chief Radioman with tons of technical and
operational experience. 73 to all.

Posted by AF9L on September 28, 2015

FlexRadio System - SmartSDR
I started my SDR day's usage with a TenTec
Pegasus moved into Kachina; until FlexRadio
made available the Flex-1000.
I currently own the Flex-6700 GPSDO using
SmartDSR software. The only thing I can tell
you is "you don't know what you are
missing!" I love their units and have
purchase every one of their production
radios since.
As a member of the SDDXC, I was involved in
a shootout competition using my Signature
radio F-6700 several weeks after their
release. The competitors were the latest
Kenwood, Yeasu, Icom and Elecraft K3/KX3.
Right of the start, the Kenwood was
eliminated. The only competitor was the KX3
NOT the K3, since it had a slight better
"crystal: filter. Mind you, my F-6700 was
just released, using version 1.0 software;
that I was becoming acquainted.
I have been a ham more than half a century
and I am an advanced computer user; and I
highly recommend checking a TRUE SDR radio.
Make the change to appreciate what SDR will
do for you and your hobby.
SmartSDR radio ... The way of the future

Posted by W4EG on September 26, 2015

From Knobs to Flex
I have had many great rigs, Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu and I loved them all. Especially my Icom 7700. But, I got the SDR bug and bought a Flex 6300. I used them side by side for over 6 months before making a decision. I sold the 7700 and will be ordering the Flex 6500 soon. No, the Flex, at first, was not as good as the 7700. But, as the software revisions came in, the radio became better and better. It still needs a bit of work on a few things, but all in all, I like it better than the 7700. Try it, you will like it!

Posted by W2FBS on September 24, 2015

My Experience with SDR Radios

I've been a ham for over 40 years and needless to say have seen some serious changes in the technologies behind ham radio. It's difficult to envision how good you have it now until you've used a ripe old HW-101 with a drifting VFO and the lube in the Jackson drive mechanics is drying up. Don't get me wrong; I have and love the HW-101 and other vintage gear, but I have to admit that the newer gear is so much less "eventful" to use, although they don't have that "dust burning off vacuum tube" smell I miss.

When I finally took the plunge and got a FLEX-5000 (and subsequently a 6700), I was in for a bit of culture shock. Finally a rig with a really usable spectrum display. No longer did I have to roll the big knob to see who else was out there; just watch the display snd double-click. Sweet. The digital filtering systems are nothing short of miraculous. Noise reduction systems, in my experience, still need work.

I'm glad I took the plunge, although SDR radios do take a little getting used to, especially for old buzzards like me. I still like the old "knob jobs" but I can see why SDRs are taking over. Maybe an SDR radio isn't for you; my best advice would be to track down a buddy and see if you can play with his / hers for a week or so. You just might change your mind. And, if not, there are still plenty of the "knob jobs" (a.k.a. "KJs", although many are actually SDRs now) out there to enjoy. In the defense of KJs, there's a lot to be said for just hooking a radio up to power, antenna, and a ground, hooking up a mike or key, and getting down to business. None of this making sure your PC is compatible, the OS is patched up, the SDR software is up to date, blah-blubbidy-blubbidy-blah-blah-blah.

I like both, but I have to say that for me, the SDR is the current winner overall.

73,

Bob WA4FOM


Posted by WA4FOM on September 24, 2015

My Experience with SDR Radios

I've been a ham for over 40 years and needless to say have seen some serious changes in the technologies behind ham radio. It's difficult to envision how good you have it now until you've used a ripe old HW-101 with a drifting VFO and the lube in the Jackson drive mechanics is drying up. Don't get me wrong; I have and love the HW-101 and other vintage gear, but I have to admit that the newer gear is so much less "eventful" to use, although they don't have that "dust burning off vacuum tube" smell I miss.

When I finally took the plunge and got a FLEX-5000 (and subsequently a 6700), I was in for a bit of culture shock. Finally a rig with a really usable spectrum display. No longer did I have to roll the big knob to see who else was out there; just watch the display snd double-click. Sweet. The digital filtering systems are nothing short of miraculous. Noise reduction systems, in my experience, still need work.

I'm glad I took the plunge, although SDR radios do take a little getting used to, especially for old buzzards like me. I still like the old "knob jobs" but I can see why SDRs are taking over. Maybe an SDR radio isn't for you; my best advice would be to track down a buddy and see if you can play with his / hers for a week or so. You just might change your mind. And, if not, there are still plenty of the "knob jobs" (a.k.a. "KJs", although many are actually SDRs now) out there to enjoy. In the defense of KJs, there's a lot to be said for just hooking a radio up to power, antenna, and a ground, hooking up a mike or key, and getting down to business. None of this making sure your PC is compatible, the OS is patched up, the SDR software is up to date, blah-blubbidy-blubbidy-blah-blah-blah.

I like both, but I have to say that for me, the SDR is the current winner overall.

73,

Bob WA4FOM


Posted by WA4FOM on September 24, 2015

My Experience with SDR Radios

I've been a ham for over 40 years and needless to say have seen some serious changes in the technologies behind ham radio. It's difficult to envision how good you have it now until you've used a ripe old HW-101 with a drifting VFO and the lube in the Jackson drive mechanics is drying up. Don't get me wrong; I have and love the HW-101 and other vintage gear, but I have to admit that the newer gear is so much less "eventful" to use, although they don't have that "dust burning off vacuum tube" smell I miss.

When I finally took the plunge and got a FLEX-5000 (and subsequently a 6700), I was in for a bit of culture shock. Finally a rig with a really usable spectrum display. No longer did I have to roll the big knob to see who else was out there; just watch the display snd double-click. Sweet. The digital filtering systems are nothing short of miraculous. Noise reduction systems, in my experience, still need work.

I'm glad I took the plunge, although SDR radios do take a little getting used to, especially for old buzzards like me. I still like the old "knob jobs" but I can see why SDRs are taking over. Maybe an SDR radio isn't for you; my best advice would be to track down a buddy and see if you can play with his / hers for a week or so. You just might change your mind. And, if not, there are still plenty of the "knob jobs" (a.k.a. "KJs", although many are actually SDRs now) out there to enjoy. In the defense of KJs, there's a lot to be said for just hooking a radio up to power, antenna, and a ground, hooking up a mike or key, and getting down to business. None of this making sure your PC is compatible, the OS is patched up, the SDR software is up to date, blah-blubbidy-blubbidy-blah-blah-blah.

I like both, but I have to say that for me, the SDR is the current winner overall.

73,

Bob WA4FOM


Posted by WA4FOM on September 24, 2015

SDR:Not Impressed & Not Interested
I'm happy somebody wants the SDR stuff & buys
it but I don't even want any of them for
FREE. I have everything I want or need in one
box with knobs,a real time band scope,& no
computer needed so it operates in all modes &
it does it well.Not for me now nor will they
ever be.The ICOM 7600 is my radio of choice &
it already does more than I even need from it
so it's a keeper. {:>)

Posted by W4KVW on September 23, 2015

Flex Radio 1500 & 5000
I have been using these radios for 6 years. As far as performance goes, I don't notice much of a difference, but the bandscope has become a necessity for operating and especially for contests. You can spot activity on the waterfall display and when it's gone, you just click on the spot and wait for the station to return. As a VHF and microwave operator, you can see a signal even if it is not tuned in. This takes the frequency variable out of the equation when trying to find a station. I still like knob radios as well. I also find it helpful to identify transmitter problems of the other station. Sometimes they are very wide. They usually, however, don't like to hear that. 73s.

Posted by WA3GFZ on September 22, 2015

SDR Radios
My only experience was with an early Flex-
radio. It belonged to a friend and after
buying a super new computer meeting Flex's
requirements, purchasing their rig and
installing everything, I can tell you I was
unimpressed!!! The company left it up to
you to go purchase other 3rd party software
to build virtual cabling in order to operate
with digital modes and connect with the most
popular logging software. If they want
people to change to new technology and keep
pushing the envelope than it is imperative
the companies need to build completely
operational rigs. The three big radio
companies would be killed on the web if you
could not do digital modes or interconnect
with a computer running logging software.

Posted by W3RAR on September 20, 2015

Not now.
I had to get rid of quite a few newer rigs that had very basic menus, just because of the inconvenience of going to who knows where? by hitting the wrong button, and having to pull-over to figure out where my rigs at..
Sorry I like rigs, not antiques, by all mean, but nothing too menu-drive for me, thanks.

Posted by WE6OZ on September 16, 2015

Answering my own question
spent a lot of time hunting around the net to
find something clean and concise to update me
on SDR. In the end, the .pdf at this link
was my answer, and I wanted to share...

http://www.ke4ham.com/club-
information/modern-radio-sdr-101/

Posted by K0AST on September 14, 2015

I'd like to know if there's a good site out there explaining
more about the various radio options as well as what
'programming' needs to be done and the level of
difficulty. Anyone?

Posted by K0AST on September 14, 2015

I'd like to know if there's a good site out there explaining
more about the various radio options as well as what
'programming' needs to be done and the level of
difficulty. Anyone?

Posted by K0AST on September 14, 2015

SDR - the future
SDR is the future because it will become less expensive than building hardware based analog systems. Changing some software code to fix a design issue is less expensive than changing a hardware design and making a new PC board. The future SDR however will look just like your analog radio, knobs and all. SDRs will no longer require a PC to do the signal processing.

Posted by AA4PB on September 13, 2015

Survey just lumps all SDR together
Yet another poorly worded survey. Three of the answers are more or less the same thing, as such the answers provide very little useful information about what forks are doing out there.. The questions should have been something like this:

1. I use a wide spectrum direct sampling SDR that supports multiple receivers entirely in software.
2. I use a I/Q mixer wide spectrum sampling SDR that supports multiple receivers entirely in software.
3. I play with the low cost experimenters SDRs like Softrocks and DVB dongles.
4. I have added SDR technology (like questions 1, 2 and 3) to my traditional radio (like questions 5, 6, and 7) to get a [better] spectrum display.
5. I use a sliver spectrum (narrow roofing filter) SDR that is implement as a traditional radio.
6. I use a DSP IF radio that may have firmware upgrade capabilities.
7. I use a radio that is all analog other than perhaps a digital frequency readout.

Posted by N9DG on September 12, 2015

SDR or not
In my opinion, the dividing line between "SDR" and others is not if the radio is controlled using a front panel with knobs,or by a computer monitor and keyboard.

Instead,an SDR in the proper sense uses DSP from the earliest point possible close to the antenna.

If there are analog elements such as mixers and IF filters in the signal path a more suited description would be "DSP IF radio". These have around since the 80's, the Rockwell-Collins HF-2050 and ITT STR-8212 come to my mind.

Posted by SM0AOM on September 12, 2015

TenTec Omni VII?
Not versed in SDR. My primary xcvr is an Omni VII. In
view of the software in. it, the updatig process, and the
things it can do, I am thinking it is a great SDR with
knobs. Gotta have some knobs or it ain't ham radio -
IMHO.

Posted by K7NSW on September 11, 2015

SDR is the future
Full disclosure. I am the owner of a Flex 5000a. In my experience, in software defined radio, you definitely get what you pay for.

There are many dongles that are inexpensive and have no dynamic range to speak of. Also there are so many images that it is just really a toy.

SDR is being used by the military and intelligence organizations world-wide. SDR is a great tool for the ability to monitor a huge slice of spectrum at once, especially with the latest advances in FPGAs.

I find that many hams do not really understand what true software defined radio is at least from a technical standpoint. Some do, most do not in my observations.

There are many of the K3 crowd that insist that a K3 is a SDR. I would say that it would be closer to a "firmware defined radio" and not a software defined radio.

True SDR uses software to take the place of discrete components such as mixers, filters etc. I believe that the KX3 is an SDR as it has I/Q data outputs.

In the flex 1500/3000/5000a architecture, a powerful computer that has low DPC latency is needed to decode in real-time the IQ data stream.

SDR is not for everyone. Hopefully more hams will learn and understand what SDR really is. There are quite a few NICE SDR receivers, but only a few SDR transceivers on the market. In my opinion, SDR is the future of radio communications, especially in the commercial market.

73 from a true SDR fan!

Posted by KB6QXM on September 11, 2015

I am still stuck in the box with a knob generation but have nothing against anyone that uses SDR, you certainly cannot tell from talking to one! Except generally they seem to sound pretty good, or at least better than some esteemed vintage stuff. I suppose they are limited somewhat by using legacy modes but if everyone goes digital voice/data modes on HF I suspect there they will prove to be in their own element. And leave SSB CW in the dust so they are like AM is, today. All depending on the future outlook of the hobby. BTW you know the vintage stuff when you hear it, as either sometimes the audio sucks, or RF in the audio, or they check in to the net off-frequency.

Posted by W8AAZ on September 11, 2015

Mine is part kit built and part home brew using a heavily modified Softrock ensemble 3 receiver with a home brew Pin diode switched Analog devices DDS CONTROLLED 5 watt cw transmitter.

The ultimate kludge but also the ultimate in wide split tx/rx capability.

I started with the Softrock Ensemble 3 all band HF SDR receiver for several months.

Soon I realized that I wanted transmit capability and a small already built HOME BREW AD DDS with companion transmitter which was originally intended for a WSPR beacon soon became a suitable HF band CW transmitter to go with the ensemble receiver.

Posted by WB8VLC on September 11, 2015

K3 IS an SDR
Let's get our definitions straight here. The Elecraft K3 IS an SDR. Just because the radio uses knobs and is not operated using a mouse and a computer screen doesn't change the fact that firmware (i.e.- software) runs the entire radio. While there are "some" analog aspects to this radio (e.g.- crystal filters), any radio that requires software to operate and uses an RS-232 port to download software updates from the manufacturer qualifies as an SDR in my mind. It is one example of the awesome 21st century SDR radios available on the market these days. I also use a smaller SDR radio to run my panadaptor. I've been licensed for over 50 years and started in this hobby before any commercially available solid state gear existed. While my old analog gear was great in its day, these new radios outshine anything I have ever used by a wide margin, particularly in the area of receiving. The old adage is still true - If you can't hear em', you can't work em'.

Posted by WX6V on September 11, 2015

Times Sure Have Changed...
Proof-positive, I guess, that the practice of "appliance
operating" definitively has secured its death grip on the
throat of the hobby...

Oh well---this IS a dynamic hobby, and things change.

Too bad, though, that all of this new technology doesn't
appear to have translated into MORE actual on-the-air
QSOs: it seems like HOURS can be spent calling CQ on 40-
meters, with VERY few replies. I don't remember THAT
ever being the case back when I first got interest in Ham
radio some 40+ years ago...

Posted by VE3CUI on September 11, 2015

SDR
I need to know how it works:if a sound card
converts speech into the digital equivalent
for receive and transmit or what?. Computer
references and all others appreciated. No
opportunity for discussion around here. I
think I will understand the technological
aspects all ok, but what is it?.
Bob, w5pvr

Posted by W5PVR on September 11, 2015

WOW!
Great to finally see a new survey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sure hope this isn't going to be another two monther.

Posted by K0CBA on September 11, 2015

The Future is here
I have an ELAD FDM-DUO since May and I can honestly say
this IS the future of Ham Radio. Extremely good receive
quality and the ability to directly tailor audio both incoming
and outgoing, None of my analog units came close to this.

Posted by W8VKD on September 10, 2015

I like my K3
As in many other surveys in this space, the choice of answers provided seems not to cover all possibilities.

For example, I've never seen or used an SDR radio, but I do understand what they are and I'm open minded about trying one in the distant future. But I cast my vote in the category: "I've no intention of using one," since my K3 fits my present needs.

Posted by NI0C on September 10, 2015

Sold my K3 when I bought my Flex 5000 at Dayton in 2012 and have never looked back. K3 is a great radio but SDR offers many more features at little or no extra cost. My Flex 5000 is a great radio but there are several out there that also do a good job.

Why pay ~$1000 for a tiny LCD panadapter for the K3 when SDR provides it at no extra cost? 2 receivers? No problem with SDR, just click and it's there. Brick wall filters with no ringing ? SDR can do that. With conventional radios....want another filter, no problem just pony up ~$100. SDR $0.

I'm not a serious contester but I would guess the "knobbers" win here.

Keeping an eye on some Russians. They have a very capable 20W SDR on the market with a top of the line SDR in beta. If they get it to market, it may be a game changer.

For the old farts out there who can't (or won't) accept the technology I can only say....get over it! I was licensed in 1955 at age 15 and love the way our hobby has progressed.

I am now putting on my flame retardant suit in anticipation of the K3 cult attack.

Posted by K2PMC on September 9, 2015

Isn't it like cats batting at a moth?
Why is the "only" choice buying into the SDR hype? My old stuff works just great. I'd rather be using something I understand and can fix; like hams once used to do.

Posted by WB9SUT on September 9, 2015

SDR Radio
Well folks my bet is that in the near future you will only be able to buy an SDR Radio. Icom with the 7851, 7800,7700, 7600 were well on the way using some SDR features. Now the 7300 is about to be launched and it is full SDR with all the buttons and dials we all like. I have found SDR radios sound great if set up well, strong clear audio without heaps of power. The Elad, Anan, Sun, Flex (not keen on the flex) and many more are mostly great radios. Look out for Bofang they will be, I think, good and competitive. I own an Icom 7800 and 7600 radios as well as a Afedry receiver and like them all.

Posted by VK2AB on September 9, 2015

Flex SDR
I have been using a Flex 5000 for 5 years. It has
completely changed the way I operate! They can be a
pain at times getting all the programs to play together.
To me it is part of the Fun. I use a dual monitor setup
and truly enjoy the visual aspects along with the
fantastic filters!!

Posted by RUSS324 on September 9, 2015

SDRs
I started with a Flex-1500, which worked great. I
sold it and bought a Flex-6300, which I use daily.
It is a fantastic radio. I receive great audio reports
and can hear vey weak signals. It is also easy to
setup for digital modes such as PSK, RTTY, JT65,
FSQ... I love being able to monitor the entire
phone band or two bands at a glance.

Larry
KC1DAD

Posted by W1IZZ on September 8, 2015

QRP Rig of Choice
My QRP rig of choice is a Softrock RXTX v6.3, which runs 1W output. Great fun and have worked from CA to France from NJ using a vertical antenna. Seeing the spectrum of signals gives a great advantage in contest operating.

Posted by W2HWW on September 8, 2015

For listening
I enjoy using SDR receivers for SWLing and
also as a reverse beacon monitor. I have a
Perseus and an Afedri Dual SDR.

Posted by AK7V on September 8, 2015

KX3
I am still learning my KX3 after sporadic use over the past year. It is a fantastic radio. I use it when RVing or portable and EMCOMM operations. It would make a great base radio too, even though max power out is 10W.
On another note, today is a red letter day here! I am so happy to see a new survey question listed!

Posted by K7AAT on September 8, 2015

SDRs
Two of my hobbies are amateur radio and
writing software. SDRs allow me to enjoy
both. I own two of the AFEDRI SDRs and am
getting ready to purchase the RFSPACE
CloudIQ radio. I'll write a report on the
CloudIQ after I've used it. The specs are
competitive with a K3 but the CloudIQ
costs $640 and is a receiver. I use
GnuRadio and write my own apps using open
source DSP software. One of my web sites
is rfcharts.com . I'm building another for
remote SDRs.

Posted by KC1ATT on September 8, 2015

I'm Just An Old Dinosaur
Hey, I guess that I'll never ever change my impression / views
of what I think *is* Ham radio here, but that certainly doesn't
prevent anyone else from embracing this new technology,
and using it...

If it means more new blood into the ranks, then so be it---
there seems to be plenty of room to accommodate anyone &
everyone!

Posted by VE3CUI on September 8, 2015

Flex Radio
I have been a ham for 58 yrs and never thought I would like
an sdr radio. I purchased a flex 3000 and now I don't see
myself ever going back to a knob radio! I use it with HRD
for the digital modes and ssb! Super nice and ease of use
has been perfect for me!

Posted by K9HKS on September 7, 2015

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