Category Archives: New Products

HFDY vs. Fire Brothers: Dan compares two Chinese Malahit SDR clones

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for the following guest post and review:


Two Chinese Clones:   A Look at Noise Levels

Arriving recently here in the radio shack, were a Chinese clone under the name of “Fire Brothers” and another under the name HFDY.  I thought it would be constructive to note the key differences between these two clones, both of which are running Malahit 1.10c firmware, and post some video of a brief comparison.

A note in advance of any comments – I am primarily a HF listener so these comparisons do not cover frequencies above 30 MHz.  For those whose focus is on higher frequencies I recommend looking through the many comments on the Malahit Facebook group and Telegram by those who use these receivers in those ranges.

HFDY

  • Constructed of metal-like material (a correction from my previous articles that this is fiberglass of the kind used in printed circuit boards – thanks to Georgiy of Malahiteam for pointing this out)
  • Front speaker grille is gold color and appears to be metal but may be fiberglass as well – audio is quite good
  • Two top-mounted antenna jacks, one 50 ohm, the other Hi-Z (makes switching between HF and FM/VHF reception easier) with in-use LED indicators
  • Two high quality right side mounted black metal encoder knobs with large power button (clear printed Frequency/STDBY/Volume printed on panel)
  • Cabinet held together with TORX screws
  • 1.10c firmware
  • Receiver is elongated left to right to accommodate left side front-firing speaker, but is thinner overall and could be easily placed in a pocket though not recommended to prevent damage
  • Like every one of these SDRs, suffers from body sensitivity to touch which reduces signal levels unless some sort of additional ground is attached to cabinet
  • Internal flat-type Lithium battery of 3300 mAh though apparently capable of fitting up to 8000 mAh

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Malahit DSP-2 versus Chinese Clone: Taking the Gloves Off

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for the following guest post:


Malahit 2 versus Chinese Clone: Taking the Gloves Off

New DDC (Direct Digital Conversion) Version in Development

by Dan Robinson

It’s been a few weeks since my last commentary on the Malahit/Malachite, which as of this writing remains at the DSP-2 level, though there are continuing hints from the Malahiteam in Russia about future changes, including a DDC version.

All of the observations I made in previous articles are unchanged.  As of today in mid-September, the latest test firmware version posted by the Malahiteam remains M2_FW2_10D.  This includes a widening of the waterfall bandwidth from 160 kHz to 192 kHz.  See my previous articles for more information.

Recently, I obtained a Chinese clone, one which will be familiar to anyone who has taken a dive into the clone market.  This one is by HFDY and is immediately recognizable for its front speaker and longer slim rectangular form factor.

The HFDY (Malahit SDR V 3) has two high quality black metal encoder knobs on the right, with a large power button between, and USB-C and a headphone jack on the left side.  On the bottom are two OFF/ON slide switches, one marked for 3.3 volts and the other BOOT(O).

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Check out the new scheduler functionality in SDRuno V1.41

Many thanks to Jon Hudson with SDRplay who shares the following information about the latest release of SDRuno on the SDRplay blog:

Try out the new features in SDRuno V1.41 released today

SDRuno V1.41 was fully released today.  It includes the much requested full scheduler facility which allows you to set up numerous recording events for your RSP.  As well as providing all the expected calendar options (time of day, date, start and stop times, repeating options and so on), you can also set the ‘profile’ for each recording – this allows you to pre-set frequencies, bandwidths, demodulator options (AM/FM/USB/LSB etc.), choice of filters and antenna port selection.  Additionally you can choose the settings for connectivity to other third party software or the running of a specific plugin.

Added
• New Scheduler panel which replaces the old “Recorder” panel (launch using the SCHEDULER button in the main panel).
• A new autolayout to include the scheduler (for screen resolutions of 1920×1080 and above).
• Backup and Restore of the ini file settings (access via the main panel OPT menu)
• Screenshot button has been added to the SP1 title bar
• IQ wav files can now be used in plugins
Changed
• Autolayouts now take account of the taskbar location and size.
• Autolayouts have been improved to take account of higher resolutions.
• Saved workspace notification moved to the status bar.
• Memory Panel will now prompt to save any changes made when switching to another memory
bank.
Fixed
• Decimation and the LOLOCK state are now correctly saved and recalled within a profile.
• Main panel version tooltip now displays correct information.
• The step size could be set incorrectly when using non-FM modes and pressing any of the FM sub
mode buttons.
• ADS-B/DAB mode now handles when in both band-framed mode and also when the LO is locked.
• Bugs associated with wav file playback
• When loading a profile, the last used memory bank field will update correctly
• Saving a profile will now update the displayed loaded profile field correctly
Known Issues
• SP2 CWAFC drift issue (Zoom/window size/freq display)
• IF output mode disabled SP1 spectrum mouse clicks
• Occasionally if SDRuno is closed whilst a plugin is still running, it may not close properly. This may
necessitate a PC reboot to fix it.

You can find this latest version of SDRuno on our downloads system :https://www.sdrplay.com/downloads

Click here to continue reading this post on SDRplay’s website which also includes a number of tutorial videos.

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Kevin’s ATS-25 video series

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Robert Richmond, who shares the following series of videos about the new ATS-25 receiver (mentioned in this previous post) from Kevin O’Reilly’s YouTube channel.

The ATS-25 – A First Look:

ATS-25 First Power Up:

ATS-25 Useful Features:

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Malahit DSP-2: Dan’s thoughts on external antennas, firmware, and purchase decisions

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for the following guest post:


Additional Thoughts on the Malahit DSP-2 

  • Potential for Noise Reduction Using Non-Whip Antennas
  • Latest Firmware Changes

by Dan Robinson

After my last update on the Russia-made Malahit DSP-2, I thought it important to add something about the receiver, as it could well influence those who may be on the fence about purchasing one.

In a series of communications, Georgiy at Malahit team has stressed steps taken to attempt to deal with internal interference seen across the bands.  And he has asserted

that noise spikes lessen if the receiver is connected to a non-whip antenna.

Most of my tests have used whip antennas of various lengths, in various locations indoors and outdoors, because it’s my view that portability is a major attraction of these small SDR receivers.

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Mark shares his preliminary C.Crane CC WiFi-3 notes

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark, who recently shared his notes about the new CC Wifi 3 that only recently started shipping:

Howdy Thomas,

I received the CCWiFi3 [last week]. I was surprised at the small box compared to my CCWiFi2. After opening I found the inner box tightly fitted to the outer shipping container. The radio box is quite nice with graphics and I will keep it for later use if needed.

When I took the radio out of the box it seemed lighter so I weighed it. The CCWiFi3 weighs 1 lbs compared to the CCWiFi2 that weighs 1 lbs 2.8 oz (excluding power adapters and antenna). I’ll be waiting to hear what the tech people will find inside the new radio.

Within five minutes I had the radio plugged in, the SSID found and the password entered without issues.

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Malahit DSP-2 Review Update 3: Dan evaluates the latest hardware version

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for the following guest post:


UPDATE NO 3: Malahit DSP-2 (August 18, 2021)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my experiences with the Russia-made Malahit DSP-2 receiver, and made a recommendation that potential purchasers of the receiver hold off until the design team in Russia made some changes.

Weak points included the SMA antenna connector – specifically the short cable going from the antenna to the PCB board, and sharp noise spikes seen at numerous locations throughout the spectrum from mediumwave up to 30 MHz.

My particular DSP-2 unit went dead after an update to an early version of the 2.10TEST firmware.  At the time, I had spoken via Skype with Georgiy on the Malahit team and kept up a string of communications on the Malahit Telegram channel.

It was not clear to me whether the problem with the first DSP-2 was primarily due to SMA antenna issues or also due to a problem with the firmware update I had applied at the time (it was an early version of 2.10TEST).

My appreciation goes to Georgiy who decided to send a new DSP-2 to me.  This took about 3 weeks from the end of July until just recently when the receiver arrived (though the U.S. Postal Service made the end of that journey quite interesting).

Here are some observations that I hope will help current and prospective owners of the DSP-2: Continue reading

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