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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | RF-System PM-SDR Help

Reviews Summary for RF-System PM-SDR
RF-System PM-SDR Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $280
Description: The PMSDR is a small, low-cost, HF bands full coverage
"Software Defined Radio" receiver that use a computer USB
port and delivers I-Q audio signals to the PC's sound card.
It was designed by Martin Pernter IW3AUT and it's similar to
the "SOFTROCK XTALL project", but with many more features.
Product is in production.
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NW8Z Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2012 19:12 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT SDR RECEIVER  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The PMSDR receiver was super easy to build, thanks to Martin's excellent online support and instructions.

It's a very beautiful receiver and went together for me in about one hour or so.

I updated the firmware to 2.4.0 and the latest DLL Files at 3.1.8 and the radio is working great.

I loaded Winrad, HDSDR, PowerSDR IQ and all of them work with no issues with the supplied DLL filrs and PMSDR Control that Martin has provided for the radio.

You can't beat the looks, price, feature set and operation of this SDR, not to mention Martin's excellent communication in answering all of my questions and concerns.

Buy a PMSDR Receiver, you can't go wrong!!

6 stars if I could!!!


N6LQ Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2012 10:21 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Performance and Value  Time owned: more than 12 months
Wanted to investigate the world of SDRs and panadapters, but couldn't bring myself to plunk down the price of a Perseus or SDR-IQ. Stumbled across the PM-SDR on eBay, did a little research, and ended up ordering one from Italy. Shipping was prompt and the radio has, for me, worked just great; it has significantly exceeded my expectations. The radio is well supported by the developer and is an absolute blast to play with. Although nominally for use on HF, the software (DLL) has a 3rd harmonic setting that allows me to receive VHF (2 meter ham band) as well. Cool! Highly recommended, especially for the money.
G0NIG Rating: 5/5 Mar 8, 2011 10:43 Send this review to a friend
Incredible Value and Excelletn after sales service.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned my PMSDR for about two months now.
The options I ordered were:

PMSDR main board (obviously)
Black Anodized Case
LCD Display
Antenna Switchboard.

The time taken from ordering to receiving the kit was probably three days maximum Italy to UK, so big thumbs up for speedy service.

Time taken to assemble was about an hour.

I first used a Soundblaster Audigy NX 2 USB soundcard which has a maximum sampling rate of 96KHz. Performance was very impressive but later a friend loaned me the E-MU 0202 USB soundcard. What a transformation!! 192KHz sampling rate and a much lower quiesant noisefloor, the PMSDR really does shine with this sound device.

I have mine connected in line with my IC-756pro using WRplus and Hamradio Deluxe, with communications being handled via virtual com port software. The transistion between RX and TX is seamless using the PTT line. I much prefer the performance of the PMSDR to that of my 756pro.

Unfortunately mine developed a fault, the mixer IC went South. However, a quick email to Martin and it was in the post. Martin informed me of its arrival with him and less than six hours later it was repaired and back in the post back to me A DEFINATE 10 OUT OF 10 FOR EXCELLENT AFTERSALES SERVICE.

If you are contemplating getting into SDR I can't recommed this kit highly enough. Even though it is a kit it is very easy to assemble and once put together looks very proffessional.


Nidge (G0NIG)

2E1RDX Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2011 12:22 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver Great value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a great little Receiver I already have a SDR-IQ that I have had a few years. Side by side I see little difference between them.
I use a E-MU 0202 USB external soundcard and a quad core computer
Not much to add to the other reviews works superb and the added bonus of 6m as well.
It was a bit of a trial setting up compared to the Perseus and the SDR-IQ but once up and running with WRPlus 1.04 it really does the buisness great value and great receiver
Ian 2E1RDX
CT1EHO Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2011 13:23 Send this review to a friend
Affordable and very effective!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I ordered one PMSDR receiver last October, I also asked for the aluminum box and the LCD, it was fast to get everything in good order!

The accompanying instructions and the web site gives all the needed assistance to assemble the few parts on the PCB. It's not that difficult to solder the parts on the right places, but it's advisable to have some basic tools specially a good soldering iron with a fine tip. The solder flux should be also be carefully chosen with resin core appropriate to small PCB jobs.

It took me about 3 hours to assemble and house the whole hardware on the neat case! The quality of the finished receiver is amazing specially if we consider the price!

The setup of the receiver and available software is also very easy, there are several options freely available to use.

This is my first experience with SDR and I was very impressed with the overall performance of this small receiver. There is a very close relation between the quality of the sound card and the corresponding performance of the receiving setup, presently I only have available a Realtek 96KHz audio card built in my laptop computer, but It works very well, I'm able to "see" a chunck of 96KHz of RF spectrum and an average noise floor of about -115dBm when using my long wire antenna, my location is not optimal as I live in a condominium block, so I was expecting much more noise. I desire to get a new sound card with better performance, the best choice would be the new 192KHz sound cards, I read somewhere that along with wider RF workable spectrum one will also get better sensitivity.

I had to work some small issues on my laptop computer in order to improve reception, I found that the power supply is very noisy, if I run the laptop only on battery there is no problem at all, but with the power supply plugged in I get some noise on the lower frequencies specially 160 and 80m bands, what I've done was to insert some ferrite pieces on the DC cable and I rolled some turns made of the DC cable itself through a toroidal ferrite core, this action has eliminated almost all of the supply noise!

The PMSDR receiver has a very respectable performance particularly if the sound card is of higher quality, as others have said the only most important requirement is a stereo line input for the signals.

I am very happy with this small black box, to me it really opened a new dimension on the HF listening!

MM3FYA Rating: 4/5 Apr 25, 2010 06:26 Send this review to a friend
very good  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
i have found the pmsdr an excellent tool for monitoring the bands and i cant really fault it. i have set up a pmsdr yahoo group with many helpful hints and tips on it

and myself and a friend of mine have written an autohotkey recording script for it. the only fault i do find is depending what soundcard i use i sometimes get a ground loop but its not too bad.
AB0Z Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2010 10:35 Send this review to a friend
Extremely impressed!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've only had this wonderful receiver about a week now, but since there are so few reviews I wanted to jump in with my opinion right away. US Hams / SWL's should order with confidence - I ordered by PayPal on a Friday and it was at my doorstep in Texas the next Wednesday morning. The bottom line is that this receiver offers excellent (perhaps unbeatable?) value, and practically speaking all I'll ever need from an SDR in my panadapter setup with my FT-1000MP...

There is also an optional LCD display that shows mode and frequency; and an optional switchboard for PTT switching. If all you need is a "black-box" SDR you won't even need these. It is really a pre-built unit, but you have to solder connectors and put the board in the box yourself. This took me about one hour and there are some good instructions - in Italian but with pretty obvious full-scale pictures.

With a reasonably good sound card (I'm using the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1USB; 24-bit/96kHz) I am measuring a sound floor of at most -100 dBm. I've read that with a professional-grade sound card this can be as low as -120 dBm. This puts it in the same league as the Perseus, Flex, K-3 and other better known, much more expensive receivers. If your application is for a panadapter through an IF port, read no more and get one. It is functionally at least as good as (better than?) an SDR-IQ at half the price.

As a general-purpose SW receiver, it offers four sets of analog input bandpass filters and a preamp. Really top-notch receivers have rather more, and will of course have better selectivity specs. However, I4SBX has made some lab measurements on the PM-SDR and finds a dynamic range around 100dB, which is first-class. The other specs are practically speaking all you'll ever need - and all you'll ever get at this price!

I'm very impressed. Like the other reviewers noted, the designer Martin IW3AUT is extremely responsive and helpful. I'll write some updates to this review as I get some more experience and measurements from the unit. I hope other US Hams will look seriously at ordering this receiver.

Mni 73 de David, AB0Z
VE3GLA Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2010 04:48 Send this review to a friend
Great addition to my ham shack!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently ordered a PM-SDR kit from RF-System. I also bought the optional LCD display, case and the switchboard. It arrived in about 1 week from Italy to Canada.

It's a kit, but all of the surface mount parts have been pre-soldered. All I had to do was solder some connectors, switches, etc and add some screws. It took a leisurely 90 minutes to put it together, including the options. It worked first try. The English instructions were a bit brief, but there are detailed Italian and German instructions. I used Google 'translate' a couple of times just to be sure I didn't make a mistake. I still finished in 90 minutes.

The kit works very well with Winrad software. It also works well with CW Skimmer. Apparently it works with PowerSDR-IQ, but I haven't tried that yet.

One outstanding feature is the optional switchboard. That feature allows you to connect the PM-SDR between your transceiver and your antenna. When you transmit, the PM-SDR automatically bypasses itself using RF detection or the PTT signal from your rig, which protects the PM-SDR from damage. What that means is you effectively can add panoramic reception to ANY transceiver that their software supports. Software keeps the transceiver and the PM-SDR on the same frequency. The VFO on my radio can change the center frequency of the PM-SDR. It works in reverse, too -- I can change the frequency of the PM-SDR with a mouse click, and it automatically changes the frequency of my transceiver. I've been using it very successfully with my little Icom IC-706 MkII. Panoramic reception has added a whole new dimension to my IC-706 -- I can visualize a large segment of the band at once, and have tremendous flexibility in filtering.

Martin at RF-System is very helpful and has quickly answered my questions.

M0JMO Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2010 15:08 Send this review to a friend
Excellent SDR Receiver!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got the PM-SDR for Christmas and have since purchased the switchboard add-on which allows it to be inserted between my antenna and transceiver.

I can now see over 150Khz of the band at any one time and can click on any signal on the waterfall and the software tunes my Icom IC-7000 to the same frequency, so I can listen to the RX signal through my PC and can TX using my Icom.

Filtering using WinRad is wonderful (although I'm waiting for a notch filter to be implemented in the software); if there's a signal close by, I can adjust the bandpass filter to completely remove it, even if it's a very strong signal!

This is my first step into SDR, and I'm really glad I got this radio first - it's a lovely bit of kit.

Martin responds to questions almost immediately and keeps the software and firmware updated regularly.

I got the 2.1 revision of the board, the case, screen and switchboard.

A word of warning: Don't use the microphone input on your laptop - the signal really must go through a line-in input. I've been advised that the E-MU 0202 USB external soundcard works very well with SDR.


Josh - M0JMO

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