|I recently got myself a Kenwood TS-480SAT, and while playing with it and discovering all it's capabilities, I found that it was easy to add an IF panadapter to it. Since I already had an RTL-SDR USB dongle V2 (their 1st model with a TCXO in it), I tried it by connecting it's antenna input directly to the CN152 1st IF connector in it. It worked, but the noise floor was high, and I noticed that there were artifacts and spikes every 30 to 40 KHz on the waterfall, which was kinda expected since I live in a noisy environment and have a plasma TV at home... |
Then, I found out about this IF panadapter tap board, and have orderend one from David KD2C. David promptly replied to my email about this, and suggested the PAT85M5 board, since 1st IF frequency of my radio is 73,095 MHz. I ordered this board and have added the RCA connection kit. Board and shipping price for Canada were reasonable. Shipping was fast, and board was received 9 days after ordering. In the meantime, David sent me by email a PDF document which included details from the schematics of the TS-480SAT about where precisely to tap both the 1st IF and the V+ in the radio. I already knew about the tapping IF connector, but did not about the importance of tapping the V+ at a place where the voltage is present during RX, and absent during TX, to help prevent overloading the SDR input while transmiting with the radio.
I had to get myself a finer tip for my soldering iron so that I could tack the + power wire to the V+ tap point, which is very tiny in the TS-480SAT... It is a via point, so very tiny indeed. But I managed to do it without destroying anything... In fact, I had more trouble soldering the RCA jack on the coax i am using to connect to the RTL SDR V2 dongle I have. I snipped the cable from the magnet antenna base that came with the dongle, and the conductor and braid are very fragile on this.
Board is working like a charm. I'll have to fine tune HDSDR a bit, but one thing I immediately noticed is that the artifacts and spikes I was seeing before, at every 30 or 40 KHz on the waterfall, are much less present, and the waterfall seems to be much "cleaner".
I'm very pleased and satisfied with this. Next steps will be making a better coax than the one I have, and maybe a better SDR receiver. The RTL-SDR V2 dongle I have is a little better than all the other cheap dongles that are available elsewhere, since it has an TCXO in it, but because I live in a noisy environment, I probably would get better results with a SDRplay or another similar SDR receiver.
Great board, and highly recommended for your panadapter project. It was a pleasure doing business with David KD2C.