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Reviews For: LP-PAN / LP-PAN 2

Category: Specialized Amateur Communication Products

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Review Summary For : LP-PAN / LP-PAN 2
Reviews: 47MSRP: 250.
LP-PAN 2 is a hardware decoder which is optimized for use with a receiver's IF output. When coupled with free customized SDR software, it provides an integrated real time display and more. When used with radios like the Elecraft K3 or Yaesu FTdx5000, it provides the best of both worlds... world class performance linked to world class software. Features include realtime spectrum and waterfall displays, point-and-click graphic tuning for both VFOs, one click band and mode control, automatic K3 IF/DSP offset tracking, dual receiver capability with one receiver, and more. LP-PAN 2 comes with serial port bridging software, which provides simultaneous sharing of the rig and multiple rig control programs such as loggers, CW Skimmer, PSK programs and others. LP-PAN 2 is available for most radios with an IF output jack, as well as some which can be modified to add one.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K5RWD Rating: 2020-06-21
Not all that great, but it works Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Been using LP-PAN2 for a couple of years now with Kenwood radios, and for the most part you can get it to work somewhat. Set up is a real pain, but once you learn it it's a little easier. Calibrating is a nightmare compared to an off the shelf solution. The band scope does work and you can locate signals, however the noise ratio is pretty bad and there seems to be rejection issues. Split function does not work, although it's there it is useless on a Kenwood radio as it just disables itself once you transmit. I have used these units on Kenwood TS-850, TS-950SDX's and they have the same flaws.

Another common issue that seems to have no resolution is you will have a mirror image a few KHZ up from your operating frequency, and this get a bit annoying because you see a signal that's not really there. I'm not sure about how well it works on other radios, but on a Kenwood it's not all that great. The Kenwood's receiver is by far better than the NaP3 receiver.

Good luck
N6VL Rating: 2018-03-18
In a category of it's own Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The current hype in panadapters is the SDRPlay. I have the RSPS2 and used it with both SDR Console V3 and HDSDR. While this combo will get you a panadapter in a hurry, and a second receiver, the results are mediocre. There is a few 100 milliseconds of latency and poor dynamic range. The only real advantage of this setup is the wide bandwidth.

Enter the LP-PAN 2. It's basically an IF strip that outputs I/Q signals to a sound card. I use it with the Yaesu FTDX3000 which has a handy IF OUT port at 9 MHz. In addition to a rig with IF output, the LP-PAN 2 requires a high end sound card. It supports up to 192 kHz sample rate at 24 bits. It also requires third party panadapter software such as NaP3 or PowerSDR IF-Stage. Plus there is NO perceptible latency!

Perhaps the greatest weakness of LP-PAN 2 is that it requires a third party sound card and software. Larry, N8LP, has designed a great interface, but he has no control over the third party requirements.

I'm on my second USB sound card. I currently use the Behringer UMC202HD USB sound card because the Asus Xonar U5 went belly up. The U5 & U7 both have high failure rates. But they are electrically better performers than the Behringer.

I use NaP3 software for the panadapter, which also serves as a second receiver. It was out of active development for a while, but now back with v5.6. It requires user setup for image rejection, without which operation is compromised. I have plans to try PowerSDR IF-Stage in the future.

In a perfect world, Larry would include a sound card inside the LP-PAN 2 and develop the software. But Larry provides the support to navigate the user around these hurdles. It's NOT for the faint of heart.

While it's not perfect, it does make my FTDX3000 more like my FLEX-5000A, and without the instability.
K8JHR Rating: 2017-06-10
A Dud - Disappointing Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Larry N8LP provides superior technical service after the sale. He personally monitors an on-line reflector, promptly answering questions from users. Perhaps this justifies the relatively high cost of this product.

I was disappointed with the LP-Pan2 and no longer use it. As with RTL and similar dongles, it requires a sound card to perform the analog to digital conversion which entails fussing with various software sampler frequency offsets in display software settings. Only after I purchased a high quality sound card rated for 192 kHz sampling rate, did Larry post an explanation of how not all sound cards are created equal... but my opinion is based on more pragmatic concerns.

The value of any tool depends on whether it is actually useful in practice. Unfortunately, the LP-Pan2 spectrum scope display is imprecise and jittery, lacking truly useful resolution, unable to differentiate between weak signals from noise. The scope spectrum jitters and dances. While strong signals stand out clearly, with nicely defined visual peaks, one cannot discern weak signals from the noise. One must tune around and LISTEN to find them, which defeats the purpose of a spectrum scope. Moreover, I realized equivalent results with a $15 RTL dongle, and the substantially less expensive FiFi SDR sold by the German amateur radio society.

Bottom line: A spectrum scope is supposed to visually indicate active stations over a range of frequencies. The LP-Pan2 failed to clearly indicate all stations and it was fussy to manage in software. Time spent adjusting the software reduces time to operate. I found more stations just tuning and LISTENING than I found with the panadapter. Simply put, it is not a particularly good value (cost vs benefit) compared to other I/O devices costing much less.

That is just MY take ... your mileage may differ. JHR

N4LA Rating: 2017-04-29
Poor compared to the Elecraft P3 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have tinkered with this panadapter for well over a year. This thing give me trouble since day one. The software is the main problem in my opinion. And yes I've tried many different flavors.
I ran a P3 panadapter with my K3 for 4 years and never had a single problem. My LP-Pan 2 has been disconnected from my Yaesu FTDX-5000 and thrown in the junk drawer. Wish I had kept my Elecraft P3.
W6UXB Rating: 2016-11-13
Easy set up Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just received my LP-PAN2 bought the Asus U5 sound card both work excellent with my Surface Pro 3 and Tentec Eagle right out of the box, could not be happier, thanks Larry
VA3MLV Rating: 2016-07-11
Great & so easy Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Hardware: Ok so I purchased the yaesu ftdx3000 , had it for a few months & than got the lppan2 panadapter with cables from a fellow operator in west coast of Canada, ordered new external Asus Xonar U7 soundcard & hooked it all up very easily / downloaded what needed to be downloaded, Software: powersdr IF or Nap3 & hamradiodeluxe . I personally run nap3 & HRD at the same time & it's great in every way, just with a laptop & windows 7 with external speakers , dual receive , extra filters to as wide or narrow as you like , set up is so easy after you figure it all out. My HRD is customized to colours & pop ups I want , my nap3 is also customized in colour & bandscope & filters etc. overall it's easy & great. Pictures on & videos under my call VA3MLV on google.
KG7QIA Rating: 2016-03-10
Awesome Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased this unit about a month ago. If you purchase the sound card and follow the directions it works perfect. I contacted Larry and He helped me fine tune the unit. Perfect Tech support. He took the time and even helped me more than I could have ever expected. This is exactly what I wanted without the 1000 dollar price tag. If your looking for a Panadapter look no further..
KC2OUU Rating: 2016-03-05
Great Product and Great support. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my original LP-Pan from Larry after talking to him on the phone. I had questions about the hookup to my FT-950 and Larry was very helpful and responsive. Later when I sold the FT-950 and bought an FTDX-3000 I phoned Larry and asked if it was possible to modify the original LP-Pan that I had for my FT-950 once again Larry was very helpful and sold me the few pieces I needed to change the unit to support the FTDX-3000.

Recently I bought and Elecraft K3 and I had zero hesitation to order a new LP-Pan 2 for use with that radio.

I have nothing but good things to say about Larry’s product or support.

Larry if you ever read this. Thank you for your outstanding products and support.
K2OO Rating: 2015-12-22
Worth every penny!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I couldn't be happier with my choice to buy this amazing SDR radio. I'm using it with my FTdx3000 and the Axus Xonar U7 sound card. Larry couldn't have been more helpful in getting me set up and running. There is a learning curve with the NaP3 software which I am still climbing. In years past, I have had a SDR-IQ which is much more expensive. The LP-PAN2 is every bit as good. The Yahoo LP-PAN group is a great source of help which shouldn't be forgotten.
N8WGM Rating: 2015-10-26
Revision of my review Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just wanted to add some info that may help others if they decide to get this amazing piece of equipment.

I was having crashing issues with the NAP3 RC4 software. It would crash often when I changed frequencies or bands.

I originally was running this with my Kenwood TS830. I then got myself a Kenwood TS850 to allow for complete control of the radio with the LP Pan2 and NaP3 software. Very nice.

So I downloaded the older NAP3 RC1 software and now all is well. The NAP3 software has no real support as the person who designed this software is no longer involved in it. The NAP3 RC1 software does not have the crashing issues that the RC4 version has. The RC4 version is out there but for most of the folks, the RC1 version is the one to use. Try the RC4 to see and if it does crash, go with the RC1 version.

Once you go to SDR, you will never go back. I have not touched my VFO or band switches on my Kenwood TS850 since I got this amazing device. Seeing band activity and then mousing over and clicking and then are there.
I am now running the audio through my computer and I have the high end Audioengine A5+ speakers and the Kenwood TS850 never sounded better. The receive of the LP Pan2 is amazing. The filtering is great.

While not really a pure SDR.....the LP Pan2 does allow for seeing the activity on the band and moving to where the action is. This amazing piece of equipment along with older radios makes going SDR to those who still love their old rigs with knobs. With the LP Pan2, you can have the best of both worlds.

Larry Phipps has done it again. I have the LP 100A power meter and was impressed with it. The LP Pan2 is another piece of amazing radio technology that makes older radios that are supported, a player in the SDR game.