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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | RFSPACE SDR-IQ Software Defined Receiver and Spectrum Analyzer Help

Reviews Summary for RFSPACE SDR-IQ Software Defined Receiver and Spectrum Analyzer
RFSPACE SDR-IQ Software Defined Receiver and Spectrum Analyzer Reviews: 36 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $$399
Description: The SDR-IQ™ Software Defined Receiver and
Panoramic Adapter

Product is in production.
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AD4C2006 Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2015 06:50 Send this review to a friend
GREAT RECEIVER  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I played with a Flex-5000 three years ago and knew how good SDR radios are.
I own a wonderful K3 for few years and the P3 panadapter that worked fine but it lacks features like for example been able to hear audio of the PC.
Recently purchased this SDR-IQ little black box and attached to my PC and took the sample of IF from the K3 (8.215 Mhz) BNC connector at the rear.
My first impression was WOW! this panadapter works definitvely better than the P3 and now I can hear the received audio also at the PC.
Comparing the SDR-IQ as receiver with my K3 which for me has been the benchmark for radios comparison in all these years I own it I can tell that:
1- The noise floor on this SDR-IQ is few db lower than my K3
2- The selectivity although is not so good as my K3 is pretty good for SSB and CW work. Filters are sharp.
3- NB although is not so efective like in my K3, still works ok wiping out all the power lines noise and likewise the K3, it won't add distorsion at the received audio.
4- Ease of set and use, the K3 is kinda complex to set and use, in this little receiver settings takes few minutes and operate it is very simple.
5- Its as sensitive as my K3, no difference between them.
6- It has no notch cancelling as my K3 but for me it won't be needed because I will use it only as a panadapter and eventually as a traveller radio receiver.
7- The received audio trough the PC using this SDR-IQ is very clean although lacks "low end" freqs as at my K3 that has plenty of lows.
8- The panadapter speed of this receiver is faster than the P3 I owned.
9- The IF input amp has more gain than the one at the P3 so I can make the received signals as tall as I want on the monitor screen, in fact I don't even need amplification at all, I set the IF gain at zero db.
For any reason I don't know, the side bands are inverted, so when I hear a station on 40M on LSB, when I tune it on the SDR-IQ to be able to hear it again trough the PC, I will have to set it up on USB, wierd behavior but not a biggy anyway.
I am using as software the Spectravue that came within the installation CD and although is very simple to set and use, I probably will try a more complex software.
So far after few days using this small receiver, I am very pleased with its performance.

2E1RDX Rating: 5/5 Jul 6, 2014 08:25 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic  Time owned: months
I have the SDR-IQ running with my FT-2000 via a IF-2000 interface This is my 4th SDR-IQ I just keep coming backto them
It's a fantastic receiver very quite once set up correctly ?? for all those that complain they are too noisy When using Spectravue software. On the main screen bottom right below the mode buttons click set up then tick the AGC on and adjust AGC Knee to between -70 and -80 and you will have a stunning receiver with very quite noise floor.
I also see complaints about Spectravue software being basic ?? What it's the most stunning Panadapter out there my basic settings again tranform it for click and shoot with your mouse bottom left of main screen FFT ave to 21 FFT/BLK 4096 you need to have the receiver in the off position to set FFT/BLK otherwise it is just greyed out then I set V scale to 5db/Div you now have a very steady but sensitive Panadapter and very quite receiver that is more than a match for 90% of transceivers with a good set of computer speakers it will surpass received audio on most transceivers. I just love the simplicity of Spectravue and SDR-IQ I use it very well with HDSDR as well with full tracking stunning
rgds ian
N2DTS Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 2013 17:39 Send this review to a friend
great for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ok, I have had a flex 3000 and 5000, a qs1r and the sdr-iq.
For what I do with the radios, the sdr-iq has been the best.
Not the best raw performance, it is not bad, just not the best. Its the ease of use I like, and the fact that there are three stable well working programs that run with the sdr-iq.
Spectraview (used as a lab tool mostly), sdr-console (my favorite) and hdsdr, very nice also.
I have never had a problem with any of these programs, and they never do anything odd.
You can also use all three of those programs without using a keyboard, you can do everything with the mouse. Not having to use a keyboard clears the operating desk.
My qs1r works a bit better, but the software does not seem to be stable or ham friendly.
PowerSDR is quite good, but the radios are expensive.
The major difference I can tell between the sdr-iq and the qs1r and the flex 5000 is a slight bit more background noise on the sdr-iq.
My sdr-iq does not overload on my 80 and 40 meter dipoles, while the qs1r needs a preamp on the higher bands, the sdr-iq has one built in.

Like Powersdr, sdr-console has all the buttons on the screen, band and filter buttons, display options, you can add buttons to the screen or hide them. It remembers where you were on each band, even after you restart, something the sdrmax program on the qs1r does not.
There are a lot of things that bug me about the sdrmaxV program, plus the frequency is off and is not stable, while the sdr-iq is spot on, always has been, and I never needed to correct it.

I think sdr# (sdr sharp) also runs on the sdr-iq, so that is FOUR programs you get to choose from, you are not stuck with a program with bugs or one you do not like.

So, all things being considered, I like the sdr-iq as a receiver and band scope for ham operation, because its runs with various sdr programs.
And revisions in the programs have reduced the background noise level. HDSDR has some very good fidelity.

It would be nice if they made an sdr-iq with a 16 bit converter for more dynamic range and less noise, but I do not have a problem as it is.
KE5JPP Rating: 1/5 Oct 14, 2012 06:28 Send this review to a friend
Not very good  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have compared the SDR-IQ to a lot of other conventional and SDR receivers and its performance is lacking. A previous reviewer stated that the SR-IQ is on par with his TS-590s. I own a TS-590s also, and I can tell you that the SDR-IQ is no where in the same class as the TS-590's receiver!

Having very little front end filtering, and insufficient dynamic range, the SDR-IQ overloads easily on strong signals. I found that I had to add an external pre-selector and preamp to get adequate performance. Unfortunately, when you add up the cost of the SDR-IQ along with the other parts needed to get adequate receiver performance, you might as well have purchased one of the more expensive, better performing SDR receivers on the market.

I do not like the manufacturer's software called SpectraVue that comes with the SDR-IQ. It is very basic. I tried to like SDR-RADIO, which is a software partner of RF Space, but it has too many unresolved bugs. I use HDSDR with the SDR-IQ, which is not written by anyone associated with RF Space. Basically, there is no excellent software package to pair with the SDR-IQ at this point.

WV4I Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2012 06:54 Send this review to a friend
great with SDR-RADIO  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm fairly new to SDR so will keep this basic. I have an RFSpace SDR-IQ that I run with SDR-RADIO software. Works great. I also tried Spectravue, but the functions of that application are not nearly as intuitive, don't have it figured out yet. I run Win 7 on a PC with several other USB devices besides SDR-IQ. SDR-RADIO site is one stop for drivers, and program.

I think this receiver is on par easily with my TS-590S. With an external T/R switch, the SDR-IQ can be used for receive and TS-590S for transmit, being mindful of T/R changeover times, and potential damage to SDR-IQ unit. I plan to do this with a Tohtsu CX-600M relay that has a max switch time of 20ms vs can set TS-590S to 25ms.

The SDR-IQ has a max 190kc range at a time, so particularly nice for looking at pileups, barely open bands, and yes you can hear and see both good and bad audio on SSB.

While it cautions direct hookup to antenna and potential ESD, etc., these std precautions apply to all receivers.

I note the SDR-IQ utilizes your PC's sound card via USB (for both I/Q sigs and sound, and not via stereo input line separately for the sound). I have another very basic SDR that uses the stereo in line for I/Q, and USB for control, that I am yet to get working properly, appears model sound card really matters in such an application, but not with SDR-IQ.

For what it does, can do, the SDR-IQ is a great value, especially for those that listen far more than talk.
WA3DQS Rating: 5/5 May 15, 2012 08:31 Send this review to a friend
Very good as Panadapter  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This receiver can be used with Yaesu FT-2000 or FT-950 transceivers - the IF-2000 module installs easily into those transceivers, and the combined price of the IF-2000 and SDR-IQ is less the cost of a DMU-2000 (which requires a dedicated keyboard and monitor.) The SpectraVue software has all the features you'll need for a panadapter - just lock the SDR-IQ receiver on the 10.5 MHz IF frequency. SDR Radio software may have some advantages for general coverage operation with a dedicated antenna, but SpectraVue is a nice stable program that's not hard to adjust. I can switch between HRD (which is running the FT-950) and SpectraVue on the same PC, and the panadapter really makes it easier to adjust both RX and TX menu settings. With a laptop, SDR-IQ, and a simple antenna, you've also an easy SWL setup with dual receivers.
KF7DS Rating: 4/5 Apr 26, 2012 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Great RCVR  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I think the previous reviewer missed the point in blaming poor performance of the SDR-IQ on the failures of SDR-Radio the "program". I agree, SDR-Radio is beta/work in progress - I have seen it run on a friend's computer and it crashes a lot, but it will not run on mine. And, Simon Brown, the author, says this is due to driver problems, even though that same driver will work with my SDR-IQ and Spectravue, Winrad, SDRdx, etc..

The RCVR is very sensitive and can pick out signals that my IC 7600 just misses. In this regard, the SDR-IQ RCVR seems to perform as well as the QS1R, but is inferior to the QS1R in terms of closeby strong signal rejection. I run my SDR-IQ as a dedicated RCVR running Winrad...Winrad is great, easy interface, and just works. Everything is tied together with DXLab Suite and Virtual Serial Ports.

I would give the radio a 5 but nothing is perfect.

TTOMAS59 Rating: 2/5 Apr 19, 2012 06:08 Send this review to a friend
so so choice  Time owned: more than 12 months
The SDR-IQ is a good basic general coverage receiver the positives of which have been stated in other posts. On the negative side it suffers from poor dynamic range(making listening to ham signals less than optimal), poor sensitivity above 10 Mhz, and poor implementation when used with SDR Radio software. These issues will become more obvious to new users after the initial fascination of using SDR-IQ wears off.

SDR Radio can be best described as Rube Goldberg like. It has multiple features many of which don't work properly. As a result using SDR-IQ becomes an exercise in frustration for many users. Problems with remote access render it useful only about 60% of the time in my experience. There are interrupts, screen freezes and the need to reboot often. Users all congregate to the Yahoo group where they find few answers. Best thing that could happen is SDR Radio go the route of HRD and allow other developers to fix it. This is poor software as is. If it had to do it over I would purchase the QS1R or the Perseus which I plan to do soon.
W4RCY Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2012 18:16 Send this review to a friend
It is the most incrediable receiver that I have owned.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned this receiver for a couple of weeks. In performance it exceeds any rig I have ever owned. I am currently using it as my primary receiver, and my TS-590s as the the transmitter. Software is constantly evolving. This $500 receiver
gives $7000 performance.
KDMSKY59 Rating: 2/5 Mar 18, 2012 07:22 Send this review to a friend
re review  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is a re review of my post from a few months ago. The functionality of the SDR-IQ radio has been harmed by the RF Space's decision to align with the makers of SDR-Radio. SDR-Radio software is in a continuously evolving state where new versions and betas of the software are being issued before previous issues have been fixed.

Problems include using remote access, adapting SDR-IQ has a panadapter for transceivers, IQ data file recording, and others. The SDR-Radio Yahoo group attests to countless unfixed issues. Ironically everyone seems to heap praise on the software probably because it's free and you don't want to offend someone who may have the solution to your issues. In addition the control operators at the server have acted vindictively against users who do criticize the software.

For instance when using remote access I've been blocked from accessing my own server when I limited access to others who were accessing my radio excessively and listening to one frequency for hours at a time.

Another problem with the RF Space/ SDR Radio alignment is it may prevent new features from being added to HDSDR and Spectravue. HDSDR is a superb which I would use always if it provided remote access.

Otherwise the SDR-IQ is a great SDR for general purpose listening but not dx.

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