An inside scoop just for SWLing Post readers: We’ve just received some interesting updates about the new Bonito RadioJet IF-Receiver 1102S from German company Bonito. Our contact Dennis, a representative of Bonito, informs us that FCC should be approving the RadioJet within a week, and units will be shipping to retailers about the same time. Naturally, I’m quite eager to review this receiver, as it promises a low noise floor (-137 dBm-!?!) and a sleek, sizable user interface. Pricing seems to be in line with the Perseus and Excalibur for North American buyers.
Dennis at Bonito tells us:
[S]ince December we’ve been delivering RadioJets to end customers…
Preordering was amazing in our opinion (370 RadioJets!) and the customers who contacted us are extremely happy with it.
We also have some tests from German magazines and the SDR gurus are delighted with the signal quality.
The real concern with any SDR–especially with a new one–is whether or not the manufacturer will support and upgrade the user interface over time. After all, an SDR is only as good as your ability to control and use it. In consideration of this, Dennis volunteers the following:
We have, meanwhile, improved and extended the whole software [package] and put a lot of new features in it. One is a huge frequency list, including transmitting times, and shown [in the display is] a world map [indicating] day and night and moon phases. (See screenshots)
I must say, I love the superimposed broadcaster ID as seen in Screenshot 1 (above). This is a very cool addition, which makes for convenient at-a-glance broadcasting identification. Coincidentally, this should also help users find unscheduled broadcasts such as pirate radio stations, numbers stations, utilities, etc. The map target icons also make it quite easy to identify broadcast sites on the world map (see Screenshot 2). Again, Dennis:
I’ve included an image of the [receiver] board. You see no active parts between the antenna and ADC [analog to digital converter].
Dennis claims that it is this absence of any active components between the antenna and ADC that keep the RadioJet noise floor so remarkably low.
Bonito rep Dennis also voluntarily asked me to post the following to SWLing Post readers:
It would be great if you would send me a small list of things that MUST be in the software. Every comment is welcome.
So if you have a comment or a particular request regarding this software, please leave it in this post or simply contact us–we’ll make sure Bonito receives this informative feedback from you.
Of course, these are early days, but it looks like Bonito has the right focus to create a very competitive and innovative SDR product. This will require more than good engineering, however; it requires excellent support and a user-friendly experience. Time will tell–and so will our forthcoming review! We will be reviewing the Bonito RadioJet IF-Receiver 1102S in the near future, comparing it with the Microtelecom Perseus, so check back and follow this tag.
In the meantime, you can check out further screenshots below:
Check Universal Radio’s website for Bonito Radiojet IF-Receiver 1102S availability and pricing in the USA.