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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Softrock Ensemble ll SDR Receiver Kit Help

Reviews Summary for Softrock Ensemble ll SDR Receiver Kit
Softrock Ensemble ll SDR Receiver Kit Reviews: 2 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $67
Description: The SoftRock RX Ensemble II Receiver Kit includes the
components for building the kit for LF, 180kHz through 3.0
MHz, operation or for HF, 1.8 MHz through 30 MHz operation
Product is in production.
More info:
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You can write your own review of the Softrock Ensemble ll SDR Receiver Kit.

KD7RDZI2 Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2013 14:27 Send this review to a friend
educational  Time owned: more than 12 months
I learnt a lot building this kit, actually I built the RX Ensemble, not the II version. It is fairly complex... toroids are small... SMT components require more attention... especially the SMT transistors. The Si570 requires quite attention too. Time to build is quite a lot for such a small board... a capable board... certainly if you take an old transmitter and receive with this kit you have already quite a good setup. More you will see how easier and faster is the tuning of the finals... not to mention to evaluate the transmitted quality of modulation... Ensemble is versatile!

P.S. use SDRSharp software: just a stereo soundcard of average cost is needed. Image rejection is fully automatic and extremely deep!
G3EJS Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2013 22:28 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this recently as I wanted a receiver I could control remotely, built it yesterday.

The most complicated part of it is the instructions, no that they are not clear, you won't find better, they are so detailed that reading them makes the build seem much harder than it is in practice.

The kit is built in stages, with tests of each stage as you go. There is no reason not to end up with a working finished project.

There are no parts that present too much of a challenge, the 3V regulator is described as the hardest part to fit, and the SI570 probably needs as much care as it doesn't have "legs"

There are warning to solder certain components first to prevent filling the holes with solder by mistake, but to be honest, if you can't solder without filling holes by mistake, you are probably going to struggle with the soldering. It is not a difficult board to solder, but you are not going to manage with a 1/4" bit and questionable soldering skills.

Apart from being able to solder reasonably well, it is very straightforward.

It took me just under 8 hours (I followed the instructions, even though most of it was obvious without) from turning on the iron to hearing the first signal, and about an hour of that was finding and installing the software.

The most fiddly part is winding the toroids, but it is not hard. The transformers are worth checking the connections twice.

I tested it on a multiband vertical, and switched between an IC706MkllG and the Ensemble, and they compared very well. A bit frustrating as the frequencies don't read the same, although on WWV on 10MHz, they both seem to zero beat correctly.

It seemed a bit down on 40m, but then at one time I could hear WWV on the Ensemble, and not on the 706, so performance is certainly good.

As for birdies and spurious signals, I didn't bother to look, we have so much QRM from broadband and other domestic sources it doesn't make much difference to life!

My five rating is a combination of quality, performance and value for money, and for that combination it could not rate less.

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