The new Malahit-DSP: A portable all-in-one wideband SDR receiver

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, H. Garcia (PU3HAG), who writes:

Hey Thomas,

Some very exciting news on the topic of portable all-band receivers comes from Russia! A group of engineers have just released for ordering the new Malahit-dsp. And it’s truly impressive! Picture an Icom IC-R8600 with the size of a Sony 7600G!

It seems it all started in June this year. Back then, RX9CIM George posted a note in QRZ.com forum about a new project he had been working of a standalone, SDR-based, all-band, all-mode receiver called Malahit-dsp.

Fast forward to November and it seems the project is finally complete as new posts started to bubble up in Youtube and in Russian forums. George is now taking orders of the Malahit DSP.

I can’t read Russian, but with the help of Google Translator, we can find some interesting details:

The project authors are RX9CIM George, R6DAN Vladimir and R6DCY Vadim. It seems their goal was to design a low-cost portable SDR radio, using only easily obtainable components and to become the natural successor of the popular Degen and Tecsun radios.

Technical Specifications

  • 1 MHz to 1000 MHz.
  • Bandwidth 160 kHz.
  • Modulation types AM, WFM, NFM, LSB, USB.
  • Powered by one Li-ion cell.
  • Consumption up to 300 mA
  • Main chip ARM STM32H743VIT6 MCU High-performance and DSP with DP-FPU, ARM Cortex-M7 MCU with 2MBytes Flash, 1MB RAM, 400 MHz CPU
  • Printed circuit board is used four-layer, factory-made; for purchase, refer to RX9CIM. malahit_sdr@rambler.ru

PCB only: ~ USD 17.22
Finished receiver delivered inside Russia: USD 195.65

From the forum, there is also this important note: “Attention! Fraud/Scammers detected! You can purchase components or finished devices from George only ”

It seems the project is open source, the schematic, PCB and software are available to download.

I really hope this receivers becomes popular and available world wide. I also hope this new project “shakes” a bit the industry of shortwave receivers. Since the Degen 1102/03, Tecsun 450/600, Tecsun PL310/880, we have been seeing only iterations of the same designs.

Pages

Group dedicated to Malahitdsp
https://vk.com/malahitdsp

Recent discussion on Malahit, annoucement of ordering is now available, pictures and videos
http://hamforum.ru/viewtopic.php?t=193

Videos

Video 1: Shows the soldering of large components (encoders, speaker, SMA jack) on the radio board and installing it into the metal enclosure. Next a demo of receiver working. Prepared by Sergeyenkov Alexander:

Video 2: It shows a bit of the manufacturing process and demonstrates how one can build the receiver at home using kit pre-made board and components acquired in AliExpress. Also includes a test of the receiver barebones. Prepared by R2AJI Vladimir on his YT channel “HAM Radio Channel”

Wow!  Thank you so much for sharing this!  The Malahit-DSP looks like a fantastic little receiver–I especially love the fact that it has a backlit color touch screen with both a responsive spectrum and waterfall display. It also looks and sounds like the built-in speaker is of decent quality and the audio amplification is more than adequate.

I’ll see if I can get one to evaluate. Thanks again for the tip!

Spread the radio love

33 thoughts on “The new Malahit-DSP: A portable all-in-one wideband SDR receiver

  1. Pingback: Günstiges SDR Radio 50kHz bis 2GHz - Amateurfunkgruppe NordAmateurfunkgruppe Nord

    1. K.U.

      The original Malahit DSP receiver can be ordered from the e-mail address given in the above HAMforum link: malahit_sdr (at) rambler.ru. However, according to the information I found from the Malahit DSP Facebook group, one must queue the receiver for a couple of months. (A separate Facebook group for Malahit clones exists too). See also what N9EWO’s news site (https://www.qsl.net/n9ewo/news.html) says about the Malahit clones. The links to the FB groups are also given in the site.

      Reply
  2. WA8DGG

    Now the sad story of the Malachite DSP SDR RevB0 . Sellers on ebay are showing Rev A0 but shipping RevB0. Big difference in firmware. Missing is the Frequency readout line between the spectrum and waterfall displays. Also missing it the Frequency Adjust feature and about 10 other features…just missing. MENU/HARD has 4 useless ,non functional, items listed. This HARD menu should have 14 functionall items available in all 12 are missing. Contacting the Chinese seller/assembler nets a response of: please send $55. to get original Russian Firmware for flashing firmware. This will add little things like…Adjust freq calib, insert freq line and scale spectrum spread and many more features that are advertised but with held until you pay their ransom. The frequency select function is mickey mouse and difficult at best to operate. Squelch is somewhat operable but both NB and NR (noise reduction / noise blanker) seem to have no effect on noise pulses. The audio has two speakers w. audio chambers pointing to the rear. This is the ONLY feature I can say is well done . Thhe receiver would be decent to use if the firmware had not been castrated. As it i,s the DSP SDR Malachitemisrep misresented and shipped from china is a piece of chinese crap.
    BUYER BEWARE

    Reply
  3. Pingback: MALACHITE DSP – Odbiornik KF na wszystkie pasma i modulacje. – Radioamatorzy polonijni w Kanadzie

  4. Jack

    Ne ho provato uno,acquistato da un mio amico da un venditore cinese su ebay.
    Lo considero una vera porcheria…in pratica si ascolta solo la fm commerciale,il resto e’rumore digitale.il display e’bello,ma il touch molto impreciso,la scatola e fatta con lastre di vetroresina da c.s. saldate assieme…
    Anke se il cicuito e’predisposto e nelle foto vengono mostrate non ci sono schermature tra i vari stadi.
    Paragonato ad un belka dsp,e’come paragonare un monopattino con una lamborghini
    Peccato perche’in passato avevo preso un recent rs918 e ne ero rimasto soddisfatto

    Reply
    1. Guy Atkins

      This isn’t really a knock-off, as the SWLingpost article says the project and schematic are open source.

      Reply
  5. Victor

    https://youtu.be/iydG4u8fBZI
    As for the Malachite receiver, I can say that so far it is far from ideal. Watch this video. All frequencies creak with iridescent whistles. And on a telescopic antenna, medium and long waves are most likely impossible to receive at all.

    Reply
    1. K.U.

      I think much of what is heard in this video are artefacts due to noise reduction on noisy signals (only strongest noise peaks in the audio spectrum get through but other audio noise frequency components are removed). (Of course, also signal frequencies exceeding noise reduction threshold gets through too). Turning noise reduction off would therefore fix the audio (the whole noise spectrum would get through, therefore, without noise reduction the noise would sound evenly distributed when the frequencies of the strongest audio noise peaks are not as prominently noticeable by ear).

      Reply
  6. Victor

    https://www.drm.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Broadcasters_Guide_Russian.pdf

    Projects are as impracticable as once the promise to deploy SSB broadcasts instead of AM. In the 90s they liked to write about this in the Russian specialized press.
    Pay attention to the date of the document. This speaks of 2013. Meanwhile, in 2016, all AM broadcasting was turned off in Russia, and the transmitters were disposed of. On what basis are they deployed DRM? Instead of medium-wave antennas, homes have already been built in many places.

    Reply
  7. Ivan Cholakov

    Interesting how do you receive broadcast FM if the max bandwidth is 160 kHz that will clip a little bit off of a single FM broadcast station

    Reply
  8. Mangosman

    Thomas.
    The following need solution;
    Will Dream software operate in the VHF band (47 – 108 MHz) DRM with the 100 kHz wide tignals?
    Will Dream software decompress xHE AAC sound compression?

    Reply
  9. Mike Agner

    A caution here – it appears that, according to a recent post in the SDRPlay Facebook forum, that the chip and front end design is a ripoff of the original versions of the RSP1. Hardly surprising, if this is proven true

    Reply
    1. Dave Carr

      Funny you should mention that, SDRplay did for a time put a circut of the RSP1 on their website but I don’t know if they still do.

      Sounds like they copied the RSP1 and added the microprossor and support circutry to drive the tuner and its usb interface chip. 😮

      Reply
  10. Marco

    Wow, I have a travel in Russia planned for December/January, I’ll try to come back from there with one of these!! 8)

    Reply
  11. Pingback: The Malachite-DSP: A $195 Russian Made Portable Wideband SDR with Touch Screen

  12. Pingback: The Malachite-DSP: A $195 Russian Made Portable Wideband SDR with Touch Screen

  13. David Johnson

    Looks like it could be fun in kit form. I would be quite intrested if they decide to offer it that way but not finding much information on distribution. If anyone has more information on ordering and possible kit options I hope they share it.

    Dave, AD5NM

    Reply
    1. Guy Atkins

      Thanks John! I should have checked the link myself. Now, at 100 kHz low end this radio is a lot more interesting :^)

      73, Guy

      Reply
  14. Guy Atkins

    It’s too bad the receiver does not cover all of the medium wave band! This is the issue with most of the Chinese made DSP ham transceivers. I briefly owned a Xiegu G1M transceiver and it was surprisingly selective and sensitive on MW, but somewhat “fiddly” to operate. The radio’s monochrome OLED spectrum scope is nicely detailed for the small size. It’s lower limit bottomed out at 535 kHz… close enough.

    A fully self-contained portable SDR like the Malahit-DSP, that also tunes down to LW & MW would be great. Then I might consider a radio like this as an alternative to a PL-660, ATS-909X, etc.

    In its favor, the Xiegu G1M is much more selective than the typical SiLabs powered portables, but with only one (well chosen) bandwidth.

    Reply
    1. pu3hag h. garcia

      Hi Guy. I made a typo in the tech specs sent to Thomas. The coverage starts at 0.1MHz (100KHz). The upper limit in the original russian post says 1GHz, but the videos only show FM Broadcast and air band.

      Reply
    2. Tom

      Hi there. I bought the sdr…I’m KA3TKW….the radio is off frequency and it receives lsb signals in usb mode. How do I fix that. Thank you

      Reply
  15. Scott Gamble

    Thomas – if you get one to evaluate, tell them I’ll buy it when you are done so you don’t have to ship it back to Russia! 🙂

    Scott

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      I suppose this could always be added. I am curious, though: DREAM used to have a license fee to decode DRM. Has this been changed? I haven’t followed that particular scene very closely because I typically use the ELAD FDM-S2 to decode DRM–its software includes the mode.

      Reply

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