Tag Archives: shortwave

New Dragonfly wide band SDR with 32 MHz bandwidth

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Franco (K4VZ), who writes:

Last night I came across a new SDR receiver from China called ‘RX-666’. On paper its specs are interesting: 16bit ADC, max sample rate 32MHz (in theory one could sample the whole LW+MW+SW bands at the same time), USB 3 interface, and tunable from 1kHz to 1.8GHz.

Its design seems to be a “derivative” of Oscar Steila’s (IK1XPV) BBRF103 SDR – see this post from Oscar – it looks like they upgraded the ADC, made use of a better voltage regulator, and moved to a 4-layer PCB (the original was a 2-layer PCB).

Unfortunately (for Linux people like me) they only have proprietary drivers running on Windows.

Besides the AliExpress store, I saw it is also available on eBay – the AliExpress vendor has two versions, a cheaper one with a ‘standard crystal’, and a more expensive one with an ‘upgraded crystal’; I messaged them earlier to find out what is the difference between the two, but I haven’t heard back yet.

I thought some of those readers of the Post who are interested in capturing large parts of the radio spectrum to decode later might want to look into this SDR receiver.

Thanks for the info on this SDR, Franco. I was not familiar with it. A 16 bit wide band SDR with a 32 MHz working bandwidth is most impressive–I’m sure FM DXers will be following this closely. I’m glad they’re using a USB 3.0 port but am very curious if it can even handle the amount of data should a user initiate a really wide spectrum recording. Perhaps recordings have capped bandwidths?

As a side note, someone should tell the manufacturer that their model number “RX-666” is…well…a culturally sensitive number!

Post Readers: Please comment if you’re familiar with this SDR.

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Finally confirmed reception of LRA36 Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel Antarctica

For years now I’ve attempted to get decent reception of LRA36 Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel in Antarctica. At times, I’ve been able to barely hear their AM signal here in North Carolina–at least, see it as a faint line on my spectrum display and barely hear audio rise above the noise. But in truth I could never confirm anything more than “male voice” and “music” thus never bothered with a report in good faith.

Recently, we’ve posted announcements for a series of test broadcasts from LRA36 in single sideband (SSB). Two weekends ago, I couldn’t receive a single inkling of their signal, but this past Saturday, I finally heard the station well enough to submit a detailed report and recording in confidence.

I had actually set my SDR to record 20 kHz of spectrum at home while I made my first CW POTA activation at the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. A pop-up storm chased me away from the POTA site and it worried me that I had left my SDR running and connected to the antenna. Fortunately, none of the small thunder storms were directly over my home. Although there was heavy QRN due to local pop-up thunderstorms, their signal was there.

The following sample recording starts at 17:51 UTC  (July 25, 2020) on 15476 kHz.  It’s weak signal DX for sure, but interpretable. I made the recording with my WinRadio Excalibur SDR hooked up to a large Skyloop antenna. This clip starts with the song  Juana Azurduy by Mercedes Sosa:

I’m so chuffed to add the LRA36 QSL to my collection! Broadcasting in SSB made all the difference!

Have you successfully logged LRA36 from your home?  Please comment!

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The new Silphase R1 SDR receiver


I’ve just learned about a new SDR receiver in development by the Polish company Silphase. It’s called the Silphase R1 and appears to be a stand-alone, high-performance SDR receiver.

What could set this receiver apart from the rest is the:

  • Color backlit 5″ TFT touch screen display
  • Magnesium alloy body/chassis
  • USB out for recording and native logging
  • Record to internal “flash memory” (unclear if audio and/or spectrum)
  • Four internal speakers
  • 12.6V 12000 mAh, internal battery
  • IP55 rating for water/dust protection
  • The price is $1199/€1099 with no expected availability date at time of posting
  • Click here to download the PDF product brochure.

The receiver is portable and will measure 11.25×4.3×2.2in (285×110×55mm). Looks like the screen will be 5″ which should allow for a detailed spectrum viewing area (for comparison, the Icom IC-7300 TFT display is 4.3″)

Siphase is a new company based in Poland and they claim they also plan to eventually produce transceivers:

“At the end of 2020 we will introduce a 25W transceiver in the same form factor powered by an internal battery, and a bit little later a 100W transceiver in the same form factor also powered by an internal battery.”

The Silphase product page has a complete list of specifications, but here are some worth noting:

  • Frequency coverage RX 0.1–30MHz
  • Frequency resolution 1Hz
  • Frequency steps 1Hz to 1KHz
  • Dual VFO
  • Direct sampling 16bit high speed 122 M/s ADC
  • Modes: CW, SSB, AM, FM
  • Sensitivity 1.8–29.999MHz, SSB/CW: (BW: 2.4kHz at 10dB S/N) – 132 dBm, 0.06?V
  • 20dB LNA
  • Spurious and image rejection >90 dBm
  • Clipping level -3dBm
  • DSP (various filters, adaptive noise reduction, automatic notch filter, notch blanker, adjustable filters (0-1KHz HPF,0.5-6KHZ LPF, 50Hz step, etc.)
  • AGC (slow, medium, fast)
  • Main filter sharpness Factor 1.05 and lower
  • Audio recorder (use the internal flash memory or USB 16GB external flash memory)
  • Virtual USB audio card for OS update
  • Ham radio hardware log
  • OS QNX (“UNIX-like” real time operating system)
  • Telescopic antenna with F connector
  • Main optical encoder and four multifunction encoders
  • 6 input modes buttons (attenuators, adjustable filters, AGC, NB, auto notch filter, NR)
  • Power supply requirement 12.6 DC ±15%
  • Power consumption RX 0.6 A typical
  • Battery 12000 mAh, 12.6V (3×3.7V/12000 mAh)
  • Operating time 20 Hours
  • Operating temperature range –10C to +60C; 14F to 140F
  • Frequency stability Less than ±0.2ppm (–10?C to +60?C; 14?F to 140?F)
  • Dimensions (W×H×D) 285×110×55mm; 11.25×4.3×2.2in
  • Weight (approximately) 1.8kg; 4 lbs
  • Magnesium alloy body, IP55 (in future IP 67)
  • “Expected Operational Lifetime 30 Years” With One Year Warranty – Additional Warranty
  • Made in EU

As I learn more about this receiver and the company producing it, I’ll post updates with the tag: Silphase R1

Click here to check out the Silphase website.


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LRA36: Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel test broadcasts July 18 and July 25, 2020

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Ulis (K3LU) and Harald (DL1AX) who note that Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel (LRA36) will broadcast tests again Saturday July 18th and July 25th, 2020, from 1700 to 2000 UTC on 15476 kHz USB.

Check out Harald’s LRA36 QSL card above!

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Special VORW Radio International Broadcasts This Weekend!

Hello readers! I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be doing a special broadcast of VORW Radio International on Saturday the 18th of July and Sunday the 19th of July. This is purely being done for the fun of it and no other reason.

The show will feature good music, listener requests, comments and responses to listener emails. There will be a 1 Hour show on Saturday and a 2 Hour show on Sunday. The broadcasts will be transmitted live for listeners in Europe from Moosbrunn, Austria and repeated for listeners in North America from WRMI in Florida.

Here is the broadcast schedule:

(LIVE) Saturday 1700 UTC (1 PM Eastern / 7 PM CEST) – 6070 kHz – Moosbrunn 300 kW – Europe, The Middle East & Africa

Saturday 2200 UTC (6 PM Eastern / Midnight CEST) – 9395 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America

(LIVE) Sunday 1300 UTC – 1500 UTC ( 9 AM Eastern – 11 AM Eastern / 3 PM CEST – 5 PM CEST) – 6070 kHz – Moosbrunn 100 kW – Europe 

Sunday 2100 UTC (5 PM Eastern / 11 PM CEST) – 7780 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Eastern North America

Monday 0200 UTC (10 PM Eastern / 4 AM CEST) – 5850 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America

A QSL will be given to any and all listeners who submit reception reports. Feedback is most welcome at vorwinfo@gmail.com

I hope you can tune in!

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What are your Sunday radio plans?

Icom IC-756 Pro Transceiver Dial

I had planned on today being a rather laid-back Sunday with a good book lined-up and lots of radio time. Instead, my wife has convinced me to work on a home project this afternoon. That’s okay, because it is a project I’d like to get out of the way and the weather today is ideal.

Still, this morning, I’ve been hunting a few Parks On The Air (POTA) stations with the ‘756 Pro to help park activators along with their numbers. I try to do this when I can because I’m typically the activator and I truly appreciate logging well over my ten required stations for a valid field activation.

After the project this afternoon, I also plan to hit the 31 meter band and lower, catching a few broadcast stations and soaking in the shortwaves most likely with my RSPdx and HF+ Discovery SDRs.

It won’t be all SDR, though! I’ll be busy doing band-scans with my beloved Yaesu FRG-7 (Frog 7) while my SDRs record audio and spectrum.

Post readers: What are your plans today and this week?  Please comment!


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LRA36: Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel test broadcast Saturday July 11, 2020

Source: Base Esperanza – Antártida

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adrian Korol, who shares the following notice from the Argentine Antarctic station, LRA36:

Saturday, July 11, from 1400 to 1500 UTC, a test broadcast from LRA 36 Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel on 15476 khz using USB.

Thank you for the tip, Adrian!

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