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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | ELAD FDM-S2 Help

Reviews Summary for ELAD FDM-S2
ELAD FDM-S2 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $525 euro
Description: FDM-S2 is the second device born in the line of ELAD SDR
Samplers. Direct sampling receiver based on 122.88MHz
16bit single channel ADC converter covering HF 6m and
offering the possbility to exploiting the undersamplig
mode covering FM Broadcasting Band and exploring part of
VHF Band (135-160)MHz.
Product is in production.
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W4QMH Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2018 08:42 Send this review to a friend
Great step-up SDR  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought second hand from a friend about a year and a half ago, and so far, it's been worth every penny.

Started out with a simple DVB-T dongle from Nooelec, then added their ham it up converter to get into HF. After that, moved on to the SDRPlay RSP-1, which the contrast was night and day. While the RSP-1 is a fine SDR for the money, I wanted to upgrade to something a bit better. Unfortunately, if you want to upgrade from the RSP, your options are going to be Microtelecom, Apache Labs, Flex, etc, which are going to be at or above $1k.

The options are slim in the price ranges between the RSP and a Perseus; Afedri Net SDR and the RF Space SDR-IQ come to mind. Of course, on the used market, prices will vary, but when they first came out, the FDM S2 was about $400 less than the Microtelecom Perseus. While I haven't used one, it seems to be the standard to which everyone compares SDRs, due to it's high performance in the realm of software recievers most of us can afford. So it follows that I'm very surprised to hear multiple hams say that the FDM S2 is either on par with, or exceeds the Perseus. At $400 used, I feel like I got a fantastic deal. I don't have as large a collection of radios as hams that have been in this hobby for decades, but it blows everything I've owned out of the water.

Overall, great sensitivity, selectivity, four virtual receivers, built-in DRM decoding, and a low noise floor. Featuring separate antenna inputs for HF and VHF, there's no need to swap connections to transition to between the two. Also, it plays nice with third party software, which is great, because I'm not a huge fan of the default ELAD software. I instead prefer HDSDR, as it's solid, user friendly, and I know I can use it to the fullest extent of it's capabilities.

I use this with both my laptop and desktop. Specs for laptop: Toshiba Tecra, 2.8 GHz quad core Intel i7, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 1.7GB VRAM onboard Nvidia graphics.
Specs for desktop: home-built, 3.5 GHz 6 core AMD FX-6300 black edition, 16GB RAM, 1GB GDDR5 Radeon video card.
HB9FBG Rating: 5/5 Jul 22, 2017 07:07 Send this review to a friend
Great receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased these days. It is linked to the excellent receiver Yaesu FT DX5000. Comparison is difficult if not for ELAD's solubility, especially in SSB.

I think if it were connected / RTX compared to lower level you would notice more of its peculiarities.

Elad's support was great to make Han Radio Delux, the 5000 and Elad work all synchronized.
N1LF Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2016 00:00 Send this review to a friend
Best MW and FM DX Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
My primary interest in this SDR receiver is for AM (Medium Wave) and FM Broadcast DXing. While I use it for HF amateur work, it's my primary rig for broadcast DXing.

To establish my experience a bit, I've owned many top of the line MW receivers including a PERSUS, Drake R8-B, Palstar, AOR-7030+, etc. This receiver performs better than all of them, hands down.

As others have noted, the software really rates a "4" with the hardware getting a solid "5". The good news is that better software is out there. My personal choice is SDR-Console.

You can record literally the entire AM band in I/Q format during an opening or at TOH overnight and then spend days going through those recordings, logging new stations all the way.

You can do the same thing with a good chunk of the FM band too. Try that during an E-Skip opening, and watch how fast you can fill up those TB hard drives. Then spent months going through the opening a channel at a time--logging RDS and audio signals for ID's. Amazing.

Buy one. Learn to use it. You won't regret it.

ON6KE Rating: 2/5 Feb 8, 2016 14:49 Send this review to a friend
SW and documentation leaves to be desired.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I Have the S2 connected to a Kenwood TS-590SG here, the hardware works fine.
It's the SW2 software however that is a major disappointment:

1. it works with the 590SG easy enough CAT control included, but I can't get it to work with CW Skimmer. Believe me I tried, step-for-step following documents, even a YouTube film, allas.

2. when manually or auto tuning (590 feature) a CW signal I'm always spot on on the 600 Hz pitch I want, both CW Skimmer and HDSDR proving that, no retune needed for either one of the 2 products. With FDM-SW2 I'm continuously about 30 Hz off.

3. the software installation manual is acceptable but the SW2 software user manual is pathetic! One learns next to nothing from it. I also found switches/parameters on GUI's that have nothing to do with those switches/parameters.

4. clicking some of the buttons get you an 'Exception' screen, so much for testing.

I decided to let go of the Elad proprieatery software and put my faith in HDSDR. fDM-S2 with HDSDR, Omnirig and CW Skimmer works well and does it reliably al the time.

I wouldnt have bought the ELAD FDM-S2 if I had known that the manuals were so poor quality.

K3PRN Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2015 07:07 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Receiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had been looking for a high quality SDR for about three months and really wanted a 16 bit model. The WiNRADiO WR-G31DDC 'EXCALIBUR and Microtelecom PERSEUS were very expensive. Other listeners reviews that have owned or tested them to the Elad have said they are virtual identical in performance. I originally had a dongle which demonstrates what a SDR is and uses a popular sdr program SDR# The dongle is not a serious receiver. The Elad FDRM-S2 sells for about $550 dollars and of course needs a good computer preferably with a large screen. At my home I have a 24" monitor with a HP 2.17 ghz computer and run the Elad SW2 software that is written for their receiver. The great thing about their software program is that when the Yahoo Elad users site describes a software problem. Elad's programmer Donald fixes the it and puts out a free new beta version for the cure in only a few days! I found this to be amazing for a free program. I have used HDSDR and V2 and prefer SW2. I hope one day to be able to try the two Linux programs, GQRX and GNU Radio but no one has written a ext. I/O.dll to interface with the Elad.
Yes the program has a small learning curve but having used Ham Radio Deluxe for the past seven years this wasn't a problem.
I have found the Elad to be a very sensitive receiver with the ability to adjust various parameters for best results. I feel that for a serious shortwave listener this is the best bang for the buck. A fine antenna and a good large screen computer monitor and you will have a tremendous rig.

However there are better receivers in the market place, My Racal 6790/GM is better but not by a great deal. Today a station on 09390 was not readable with the Elad but could be copied with the Racal. The Racal cost me $1700 with alignment and options so the Elad FDM-S2 at $545 is a great deal.

I cannot wait for 24 bit SDR receivers that will appear in the near future. I would highly recommend the Elad as a serious receiver.
SHEETS_GUY Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2014 19:00 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Bang for the Buck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If I could, I would give the unit a 4.5 but since I can't I rounded up to 5.

The hardware is very nice, well built and a hot performer. The rx is sensitive and quiet, about on par with my loaded FT-1000MP MK V. It seems nearly the equal (from memory) with the Winradio G31 I sold last year. It is certainly a much better buy. I'd give the hardware a 5.

The software, I'd rate a 4 which is how I came up with my 4.5 overall. To me, it's not quite as intuitive as the Winradio software or HDSDR(though it has a better GUI). The manual leaves out a lot. Reminds me of the Studio 1 manual. While it describes the basic functionality it will say something like 'this tab allows you to choose demodulation settings' and there will be four or five adjustments none of which they explain how to set (or what each one does). I think a big part of the reason is that the developers are not native English speakers so they kept the text as thin as possible.

I am not trying to nitpick, they do a perfectly adequate job of getting you up and running. My comment is more because I bet the hardware is even BETTER than I think because there are probably ways to tweak performance through software settings that I just wouldn't know and aren't explained.

Overall, I heartily recommend the rx and hope that the software/manual will catch up to the hardware.
M0DOU Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2014 12:18 Send this review to a friend
Excellent little receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this receiver on the spur of the moment at a radio rally (I already owned a Perseus).

I have been blown away by the capabilities of this receiver. It is very sensitive, selective and quiet on HF, I can pick up just as much as I can with the Perseus if not more.
The software is excellent, it is well thought out. You can receive up to 4 frequencies at one (4 x HF or 4 x VHF). I use one receiver instance for piping out DMR to the DSD app while I listen to the other frequencies / repeaters.
I also do that for 20m, monitor SSTV on 20m (muted as well!) while listening to other stations. Sensitivity on VHF is very good on 6m, 2m as well as FM broadcast DX. It will also receive 4m although it is slightly out of band (I have received stations on 4m) Also works well down at LF (I can receive the time signals at 60 and 77kHz).
Maximum receivable and recordable bandwidth is 6MHz so you can record a lot of HF or VHF and playback later!

I now use the FDM-S2 as my main receiver for HF and VHF.

Pros :
No front-end overloading by strong signals apparent (compared to other receivers I have used with the same antenna).
Software is easy to use and does not use too much CPU power.
Receive 4 frequencies at the same time.
Receives and decodes DRM out of the box (no third-party apps required).
Good noise blanker
Powered by the USB connection (no PSU required).
Separate antenna inputs for HF and VHF.
Flexible IF and AF filtering (notching etc.)
Receives FM broadcast band in stereo (with RDS).
ExtIO driver available for use with HDSDR, SDR Console etc.
Solidly built and small box.

Cons :
Would be nice to have airband and 70cm.

K9FB Rating: 5/5 Sep 14, 2014 18:36 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The ELAD FDM-S2 is my first experience with a true sampling SDR receiver, and I am extremely impressed with its performance in combination with the excellent Studio1 software package from SDR Applications. I am able to hear and understand SSB transmissions that are barely audible and unintelligible on my conventional receivers, especially on a crowded band. Using an outboard T/R antenna switch, it is easy to use any of my conventional equipment for transmitting along with Studio1 and the FDM-S2 for high performance receiving. A+.

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