Category Archives: Software Defined Radio

SDR# upgrades include device sharing and spectrum slicing

Youssef with Airspy has just announced the release of the latest SDR# version. He wrote the following in a tweet:

Check the latest and greatest release of SDR# with device sharing across multiple instances covering different slices of the spectrum.

[…]One master instance can spawn many slices with entirely separate signal paths and displays.

Click here to download SDR#.

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The ELAD FDM-S3 is in production and shipping to distributors!

(Source: Elad USA)

Elad USA Inc.
618 Cummings Chapel Road
Ridgeville, SC 29472 sales@elad-usa.com or call 312-320-8160 (10am-6pm)

PRESS RELEASE

Elad S.R.L. Italy and Elad USA Inc.

Elad are pleased to announce the ELAD FDM-S3 is now in production and shipping to distributors world-wide.

The ELAD FDM-S3 is a 16bit state of the art Software Defined Radio, for radio enthusiasts, shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists and test labs. The S3 contains several exciting options. It will allow for reception of up to 24Mhz of bandwidth across the frequency range of 9kHz to 108Mhz as standard. (Extended range from 9Khz- 2Ghz will be available later in the year with an optional internal downconverter.)

Oscillator features:

Standard Oscillator version with TCXO 0.1ppm lockable to GPS (included) need only GPS antenna

Optional Oscillator OCXO with less phase noise and accuracy lockable to GPS. Includes GPS Antenna.

The radio can be used with Elad’s famous SW-2 software or third-party software, like SDR- Console from Simon Brown.

The radio has Bias-T power on two of the three antenna ports, one for HF and one for VHF to enable items like powered LNA/Filters

Connects to PC via USB3.0 cable (supplied) and GPS can also be interrogated via UBlox software.

The radio is in production now and shipping, pre-order for USA/Canada via https://shop.elad-usa.com/sdr-radio/
or in the UK via Martin Lynch https://www.hamradio.co.uk/
or Germany via http://www.wimo.com/
or direct from the Elad Factory http://www.eladit.com
For Release 09/14/2020

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SDRplay has added sample IQ files to their website

Many thanks to Mike Ladd at SDRplay who notes that they have added a new IQ Demo Files page to the SDRplay website.

Here’s the intro:

IQ Demo Files

Here you can find off air IQ recordings for you to check your SDRuno and related software settings for a variety of different situations.

If you don’t already have an RSP, because these demo files have been recorded using an RSPdx, you can get to see and hear exactly how SDRuno works in conjunction with an RSPdx. Simply download a copy of SDRuno from https://www.sdrplay.com/sdruno/ and follow the instructions below to select the WAV file input using one of the IQ files below. (Please note these are not traditional audio “WAV” files – the WAV format is used as a wrapper to contain these very large data files (100s of MBytes) containing the stream of data normally exchanged over the USB cable between RSP and computer)

If you have an RSP and are configuring software for specific types of signal decoding, we have included a number of sample IQ demo recordings you can use to check your setup before looking for real world signals.

Click here to browse the IQ files at SDRplay.com

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CATSync: Control web SDR tuning from your rig

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rob (PE9PE), who writes:

This is an interesting tool for those hams suffering from lots of local QRM.

https://catsyncsdr.wordpress.com/

Thanks, Rob! CATSync seems to allow control of a web-based SDR from any OMNI Rig-supported radio via CAT control (which is the majority of transceivers). It appears CATSync allows control of tuning and mode changes via your radio and from the web SDR interface back to your rig.

One interesting use of this would be to use a remote SDR for receiving while using your home antenna for transmitting. This could help those inundated with RFI at home. While this might not be an allowed practice for contesting (having your receiver and transmitter in two different locations) it’s certainly permitted if you want to check in with a net or chat with friends. You don’t need CATSync to do this–you can always manually tune a web SDR separately–it would simply facilitate keeping both your RX and TX on the same frequency.

CATSync has a free trial with limited control–you can purchase the full version for 9.95 EUR.

Click here to check out CATSync.

Thanks for the tip, Rob!

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The RX888 SDR – Up Close Photos

I received my new RX888 SDR receiver today, via DHL shipping in only seven days from ordering on Ebay from seller “shenglongsi”. I’ve noticed that some Chinese Ebay sellers use a placeholder shipping number when choosing the DHL carrier, and then some days later they forward the actual shipping number when the product is out the door.  That was the case with the RX888– four days in limbo, and then BINGO!–a real tracking number was sent and the package arrived three days later.

It should be noted right up front, as others have pointed out, the RX666 and RX888 SDRs are commercial implementations of the excellent, open source BBRF103 receiver. The BBRF103 is the creation of talented Italian designer Oscar Steila IK1XPV.

Hopefully tonight I’ll be sorting out files to get the radio operating, and if there are hiccups along the way I have help from some other early adopters around the globe.

The radio arrived with zero documentation or links to support files, but I already have files known to work with the RX666. The receiver should work with HDSDR after the correct additional files are added to the HDSDR folder, as does the similar RX666 model. Cypress USB drivers also need installation on the host computer. One concern is operating the LNA (low noise amplifier) on the RX888, which the RX666 lacks. This may take a different EXTIO .dll file than the one intended for the earlier RX666.

I’m aware of the developer of another popular SDR program who will almost certainly add support for the RX888/RX666 to his software.

I’ve read that the powerful ADC chip inside these two models is a USD ~$60-70 component (or from the same chip series) which is also found in a few commercial grade SDRs plus the newer WinRadio G33DDC & G35DDCi models. Translation? The RX666 & RX888  could turn out to be amazing performers for the price.

Below are up-close pictures of the receiver’s printed circuit board. Construction and soldering look quite good considering the USD $188 price. In my opinion the build quality appears to somewhat exceed that of the RX666, which was the first of these two units on the market.

Note that in the last photo the whitish square on the bottom of the PCB is a thick foam pad, perhaps some thermal transfer material. It is sticky-backed and placed so that it’s wedged between the bottom of the chip (ADC?) with the blue heat sink and the bottom of the case.

In the below photo, note the small LEDs with indications “PWR”, “MODE”, “OVLF”, and “MODE” (again). At the upper-right corner are two pads marked “RST” (reset?).

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

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The New RX-888 16 bit ADC Direct Sampling SDR with 32 MHz bandwidth

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

While doing the daily eBay and AliExpress strolling for new and cool radio stuff, this showed up:

RX888 ADC SDR Receiver radio1.8GHz 16bit direct sampling HF UHF VHF HDSDR

Like the DragonFly RX-666 you posted about recently, it’s based on IK1XPV Oscar’s BBRF103 works. Both share a hefty metal case.

I really like this seller of RX888 on eBay. The person provided quite a bit of technical details. The seller is also up-front about the current challenges regarding thermal issues, software stability and bandwidth available above 32MHz.

(How many manufacturers let you know in advance the negatives? I like this guy!).

The bandwidth limit above 32MHz is a curious one. Apparently, coverage above VHF and UHF coverage relies on Rafael Micro’s R820T2 tuner chip (also used on RTL dongles and AirSpy R2 and AirSpy Mini). However, R820T2 can only push a slice of 8 to 10MHz of the spectrum into RX888’s ADC. So, FM broadcast DXers, be warned. You may need to use a downconverter that brings the 88-108MHz to 8-28MHz. Perseus SDR uses this approach.

Another interesting tidbit. As we know, TaoBao is a huge marketplace, but their sellers focus exclusively on the China market (very few also deliver to South East Asia). There are LOTS of cool, never-seen-before products on TaoBao that don’t have visibility to us here in the Western hemisphere. The RX888 was one of them, I recalled seeing it about a month ago and thinking “Hey, this is so cool, why are they not selling it on AliExpress yet?”

Thank you so much for the tip! I agree with you: it’s refreshing to read not only a thorough eBay description but also frank comments from the seller.

I must admit, the receiver world is going through a dynamic change and its champion is the SDR. It’s hard to keep up with the innovations and technology is pushing limits I could not have imagined even a decade ago.

I’m looking forward to checking out these super wideband SDRs like the RX-666, RX-888, and the ELAD FDM-S3.

Click here to check out the RX-888 on eBay (partner link supports the SWLing Post)


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