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Reviews For: Airspy HF+ SDR HF and VHF Receiver

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : Airspy HF+ SDR HF and VHF Receiver
Reviews: 10MSRP: 199.00
Description:
Airspy HF+ is a state of the art SDR for HF and VHF

bands.



The HF+ uses very high dynamic range ADC’s and front-

ends. It also provides great frequency agility by using

high performance passive mixers with an excellent

polyphase harmonic rejection structure. It is the ideal

companion for light portable high performance operation.

The architecture and level of integration achieved in its

design makes for top performance reception at a very

affordable price.



HF Coverage: 9 kHz to 31 MHz

VHF Coverage: 60 MHz to 260 MHz

Product is in production
More Info: http://https://airspy.com/airspy-hf-plus/
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
15104.7
W4ILM Rating: 2019-11-06
Much better than a RTL Dongle! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I used to repair and maintain high power UHF broadcast TV transmitters, both analog and digital, using high dollar test equipment. Been a SWL and a ham over 50 years.

I have 3 RTL USB dongles. They are amazing for $20, but suffer from serious sampling and filtering issues. The Airspy HF+ is a very good buy at $200. It is more than 10 times better than an RTL dongle. The unit came in the mail about 3 days after I ordered it.

I am running GQRX on Ubuntu Linux. It is feeding a Mackie mixer into Mackie self-powered studio monitors. For AM radio including shortwave, the Airspy sounds as good as a professional broadcast receiver, especially in the low end, which for some unknown reason, the RTLs filter out. The Airspy is so stable, you can use USB or LSB modes to simulate synchronous mode on AM.

I plan to make the Airspy my main instrument of test equipment for servicing, calibrating and tweaking my amateur transmitters. I never really trusted the RTL dongles for that.

My antenna is a 130 foot doublet, 30 feet up. I am in NC and am now able to receive Radio Algeria on 252 khz, WA4SZE on 475 khz and hundreds of aircraft beacons all over North America, many running 25 watts AM. My little Sony ICF-7600 can't do that.

The Airspy has also given me the ability to get a handle on the digital modes, which were too much of a hassle with a conventional radio. The Airspy is not perfect, it has some birdies and artifacts, but they are obvious in the display, and have not interfered with reception.

I now spent a couple of hours a day playing with this thing. This radio has made listening fun again!
WC2L Rating: 2018-12-08
decent product - sub par support Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Purchased an Airspy HF+ in Dec. 2017. The unit works well with N1MM+. The detection is more than likley above average. Setup is simple and reqires litte or no suport. Wish more software companies would support it.

If there is any damage or real support needed, it will not be what you want. You may want to read my company review. Mine died in less than a year.
KB9ERU Rating: 2018-11-09
WAY better than RTL-SDR's Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My setup consisted of 4 Nooelec NESDR Mini 2+ RTL-SDR dongles and a Spyverter. I thought I was doing pretty good in the FT8 multiple receiver department...

After reading a few articles saying the Airspy HF+ was WAY better than the RTL-SDR dongles, I had to try one for myself.

So, I purchased an Airspy HF+, hooked it up and revved up the firmware. It was time to compare it against my existing SDR setup, and the FT-450D.

The Airspy HF+ was easily decoding the weak ones, right alongside the FT-450.

The existing SDR setup? Well... not so much.

Long story short - I'm placing an order for a second Airspy HF+!!
N0GV Rating: 2018-03-05
Good - but has it's Limitations Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
First the good:

This is the best currently available HF receiver for under $200.

But it costs about $700!

Don't be deceived; although a good product you are pairing it with a mid-to-upper level laptop and that adds about $500 to the total cost.

Now about that laptop: you probably don't want to run the charger on it while using the radio -- it adds loads of spikes at nearly every multiple of the switching supply's frequency. You also don't want to use any other USB ports unless you are a shielding masoichist. It will pick those up too. It also is quite capable of finding it's own USB port's signals -- a shielded and strangled (thoroughly choked) cable is a necessity. All seriousness aside the aforementioned is true for all of this ilk of receiver. A cheap, poorly shielded computer is a very efficient jammer for all of them. Do your homework and shield the computer and cable. I could even find the screen frequencies for the LED choppers......

The bad news: No UHF and no Low GHz band coverage.

How does it perform: HF is quite good, with a large hispanic shortwave station nearby I was able to find only IMD products below 50dB down from the primary station. Don't ask about the RTL dongle -- it was, politely said, a dog's breakfast on it.

Sensitivity is quite decent -- noise floor where I am is ~ -75dBm. This device easily bests that but then so does any N > 12 bit device (presuming ADC saturation at 0dBm). Biggest signal on my antenna was about +4 to 6 dBm from what I could see. Cuba Libre (or some similar drink I think) here in South Florida is apparently not too far from the QTH I tested at.... Actually as I was pretty oblivious as to the station ID it might have just been the neighbor's pirate station; since it was in spanish (Cubanish - a special subset of Spanish actually) I really do not know how far away it was but the signal was large. Much bigger than the AM Broadcasters were.....

Noise reduction in SDR# was the best I've used; but I am a dinosaur and haven't used much of that until now. This will definitely change!

SDR Console was interesting but I have not spent much time using that. Not a problem but SDR# worked and hence, as it was not broken, I didn't feel compelled to search for a program which was "better".

The Spectrum Spy application does NOT work on this device.

I'll look into Spektrum (3rd party and not fully baked but useful with an RTL dongle). It might work on this - I just do not know yet.

In short - at $200 it is inexpensive and quite good. If you feel you need to go out and buy a laptop for it then it is less so. It is more fun than a barrel of monkeys fighting over a spoiled banana and a pretty decent receiver to boot. I highly recommend it.
K7SHL Rating: 2018-03-04
Ideal SDR Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I really enjoy using the Airspy HD+. I prefer to use it with SDRConsole V3, as opposed to the SDR# software. It is a sensitive receiver and works as well in most situations as my Flex6300. I've compared it against an Elad FDM S2 SDR receiver, with both using SDRConsole. There are differences of course, but I prefer the Airspy over the Elad for general DXing.

It is smaller than most cellphones, albeit thicker, and it is easy to take along with a laptop for field excursions.

This little unit is a winner, and it costs only about $200.00. Hard to beat.
W8RMV Rating: 2018-02-17
Best Value/Performance Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Works very well with Sharp & Console S/W. Both companies are continually upgrading the software. Plus AIRSPY is now providing simple firmware updates. These updates improve performance & add features. All at no cost. Just download the new firmware & click on the .BAT file & away she goes. Very simple.
Unit comes in a very nice metal enclosure with USB cable. There are 2 very small & bright LEDs. The yellow one tells you the USB cable is connected between the HF+ & computer and powered up. The blue tells you it is up & running with the software on the computer. I also own an SDRPlay RSP2, but I prefer the HF+ performance and the support they provide.
K2LAX Rating: 2018-02-14
Better than DX Patrol Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I would recommend using with SDR console V3 to get best reception and filters with seamless interface. Makes a great 2nd radio /pan adapter for monitoring. Reception is impressive but slightly less compared to IC7300 A/B same antennas. I have been using DX Patrol MK4 which is noticeably less receptive.
KC8HXO Rating: 2018-01-31
Stupendous value Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Love it.I use several flavors of software with it. Rig has different properties with each flavor of software. Have had 5 different SDR rigs, none of which were the "low dollar" variety. This is my favorite so far. Lots of bang for the buck.
G4OER Rating: 2018-01-21
Astounding! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It's so good I'm wondering why I spent such a lot of money on my Yaesu FTDX5000! Highly recommended especially with Simon Brown's Console program.
If you are just starting out in our hobby, an FT450D and Airspy is pretty much all you're going to need.
Just make sure you don't accidently transmit whilst the airspy is connected to an aerial!!
K4KRW Rating: 2017-12-31
Amazing Value - Great Performance Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This SDR connects to a computer via a USB cable. I have used it with a Windows 10 PC (Note - no support for Windows XP). I have used SDR# and also SDR Console V3 for the controlling software.

I also connected it to a Raspberry PI running SpyServer. Spyserver allows you to use the Airspy HF+ over WiFi. Your PC runs SDR Software (SDR# in my case) and gets a data stream from Spyserver running on the Pi. There is a small amount of latency in this configuration. But, it is really nice to be able to browse the bands from anywhere in the house. There is also a Windows version of Spyserver. So, a PC could replace the Pi.

The device is tiny. It is about the size of a credit card. It has a very nice and solid aluminum case. There is an SMA port for HF and one for VHF.

On a windows PC it about as plug and play as anything I've ever seen. Just install your software of choice (SDR# or SDR Console V3 - for example). Then just plug the device into the USB port. Then choose Airspy HF+ in the software. I did not have to load any drivers.

Configuring the Raspberry Pi is a different story. I got it working pretty quickly. However, I'm familiar with Linux. This is one area where you really have to search the web for help.

The receiver's performance is spectacular. I have not had any problem with overloading. I have listened to hams on HF CW and SSB. I have listened to 2 meter FM. Also I have listened to shortwave stations, aircraft frequencies, AM and FM stereo broadcasts. All have sounded great. On HF The receiver seems to be at least as sensitive as the one in my KX3 (which is very good).

I really like this receiver.