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Reviews For: Airspy SDR receiver

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : Airspy SDR receiver
Reviews: 4MSRP: 169
Description:
24Mhz - 1800Mhz SDR receiver
Product is in production
More Info: http://www.airspy.com
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
1143
K7ZT Rating: 2019-10-17
Poor Customer Service Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have a couple issues with the device and the support:
When running on 16941Ghz , after a warm-up period the RX signal stops and the wave form starts bouncing up and down and becomes distorted. I then disconnect it and reconnect it and restart and the process starts over again. It will actually begin receiving a signal but immediately stops. I have tested both outside and inside to eliminate the possibility of environment conditions. Additionally, I Compared it side by side with my NooElec.com Nesdr SMArtxr which does not have this issue.
> Requesting an RMA as it appears that this is a defective Airspy.
This request was followed with screen shots from SDR# that illustrated the issue. This was a month (9/18/2019) ago. They kept replaying that they were having to contact "their HQ". Two weeks passed with no communication. I followed up again and emailing them multiple times, they finally indicated that they would RMA it. I ask them what I needed to do and again negative response. I am stuck with a device that is worthless.
N8NJ Rating: 2018-12-03
Airspy Mini Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I found out that the Airspy Mini is a good general coverage receiver but for anything like QRSS or WSPR it's useless. Any signal received on QRSS looks, for lack of a better term, crackly, and on WSPR the receive drift is always in the +/- 4 Hz range. This is on HF using both the Airspy SpyVerter or the NooElec Ham it-up converter. I contacted Airspy.us about this. After about three weeks I was told they had to determine whether it was just my AirSpy Mini or all Mini's that were doing this. After about 6 weeks I again asked them if they had made a determination and I have never heard back from them since.
VA7ION Rating: 2018-06-30
Addendum to previous review Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
In my previous post my only concern was the clock stability: after start up, the clock frequency will deviate from -.5ppm to plus .2ppm from reference signal from cold until it reached nominal running temperature. To minimize heat production, I streamed the signal using a 3M wide spectrum and amplifiers off.

After playing with my Airspy mini for a while and trying to figure how to get the most of this little device, if you plan to use it for projects where clock stability is an issue I suggest the following:
- Aispy mini must stream to reach nominal running temperature, good news is it does it relatively fast
- minimize heat transfer between Airspy and other devices by using longer wires than by using short connectors. Don't allow Airspy to touch anything
- calibrate at nominal running temperature (if you want precise frequency)

I found out that by taking these steps, once it reached nominal running temperature it maintain easily a ±.1 ppm from reference, more than enough for scientific experiments and way better than the listed .5 ppm.
VK2KIT Rating: 2015-09-07
Good Product Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
After owning a FuncubeDongle Pro+ for some time, my appetite for SDR receivers had been well and truly 'wetted'. I liked the FCDP+ for it's HF, VHF and UHF receive capabilities but the limited bandwidth of 196Khz and the tuning gaps around the military satellite frequencies was always a bit of a drag and left me wanting more.

Then, along came Airpsy with it's 8Mhz wide panoramic display, continuous 24-1800Mhz tuning and it's excellent dynamic range.
I was in heaven..

The Airspy receiver does work very well on the bands it covers (misses out on the most interesting parts of HF sadly), however, there are still one or two issues that people need to be aware of.

Firstly, to obtain that nice 8+Mhz display & 12bit ADC, you need a fast USB3 serial connection and a moderately powerful CPU. Not all computers seem capable of handling the serial bandwidth that the Airspy can produce. Problems in this area result in choppy/broken audio. You can however choke the bandwidth down to 2.5Mhz and this will run on a standard USB interface.

Secondly, despite the 12bit ADC and 80dB Dynamic Range, it is still relatively easy to overload the Airspy. Local, very strong signals that exceed the dynamic range of the receiver will still cause unwanted spurs, alias's and images.
To reduce the chances of this occurring, it is possible to manually adjust the gain of the receiver's LNA and IF sections. I highly recommend doing this and not using the default 'Auto' gain function.

Thirdly, and this is probably my biggest gripe about the Airspy, is the use of a surface mounted micro USB socket for the PC interface. There is very little strain relief provided by the external case of the Airspy and so virtually all the stresses of the interconnecting cable, are placed on this tiny, SMD socket. After only a few weeks of use, I went to plug the USB cable into the Airspy only to see the micro USB disappear inside the case! The USB socket had come right off the PCB. Fortunately, I have access to a hot air re-work station and was able to replace the now broken socket with another. I have to say though, that even with the right SMD rework equipment, replacing this socket is very difficult.

Bottom line:
For the price, Airspy is very good.
Once you use something like this, you will never go back to the cheap and nasty RTL dongles.
But, be very, very careful with that rather fragile micro USB socket!