AirSpy promises to be an improvement on the RTL-SDR with its large 10 MHz bandwidth, 24-1750 MHz tuneable range, 12-bit ADC and a programmable Cortex M4F @ 204 MHz on board CPU. In comparison the typical RTL-SDR has ~2.4 MHz of usable bandwidth, a 24-1750 MHz tuneable range and an 8-bit ADC. A higher bit ADC can help in receiving weaker signals. AirSpy is expected to sell at around the $100-$150 mark, with it being on the cheaper end if there is greater interest.
Back in November last year we posted about the possibility of an “LNA4HF” low noise amplifier (LNA) for the HF bands being made available for sale. The LNA4HF is now available for purchase.
The LNA4HF is a low noise amplifier with built in low pass filter that runs on a 6-12 V power supply and covers a frequency range of 150khz to 30MHz, with a 18-20 dB gain and 1-2 dB noise figure. It costs 20 Euros. The low pass filter can also be disabled with a small board modification which will allow the amplifier to be useful at up to 2 GHz.
Akos from the SDR for Mariners blog has reviewed the LNA4HF on his latest post. His results show that the low pass filter significantly reduces broadcast FM interference and that the amplifier also increases signal strength by around 20 dB as advertised.
The RTL-SDR radio support package enables you to design wireless receivers using real world signals. Using Communications System Toolbox™ in conjunction with an RTL-SDR USB radio, you can design and prototype systems that process real-time wireless signals in MATLAB® and Simulink®.
Wireless engineers, students, and hobbyists can learn to receive and decode real-world radio signals using this low cost RTL-SDR hardware connected to your computer.
RTL-SDR radio as an I/O peripheral to receive streaming RF signals
Configurable center frequency and sample rate
NooElec™ NESDR Mini USB Stick (R820T) and NooElec NESDR Nano USB Stick (R820T) SDR devices with frequency range 30MHz – 1.8GHz
Compatible with other RTL-SDR USB radios (eg., Terratec T-Stick E4000)
Revision 5 promises to be lower priced as it will run using the direct sampling mod instead of using an upconverter which would require more components. It will also use a Mini-Circuits MAR 8 wideband amplifier to improve weak signal performance.
Andy, programmer of the RTL1090 ADSB decoder software, and owner of the 1090Mhz webstore has notified us that he will soon be selling to international buyers the TCXO RTL-SDR dongle modified by Nobu Saitou. We recently featured a story about the TCXO RTL-SDR and also gave it a review on this blog. From the review we concluded that the TCXO RTL-SDR is a good product and will be useful for applications that need good frequency accuracy and stability.
Interested buyers can look for the contact us link on the 1090MHz shop TCXO page description to contact Andy for a reservation and notification on when the TCXO RTL-SDR becomes available for sale. Andy expects the first batch of TCXO RTL-SDRs to arrive in January.
AmateurRadio.com has teamed up with Nooelec.com to give away RTL-SDR packages to 10 hams. To be eligible to enter the competition, you must be a registered amateur radio operator, and you must comment on the competition page. The prizes are
Two (2) Complete HF sets including:
NESDR Mini receiver
Ham It Up upconverter
SMA to MCX cable
SMA to BNC adapter
SMA to PL259 adapter
SMA to F adapter
Two (2) Complete Touch SDR sets including:
NESDR Nano receiver
SDR Touch license (for Android tablets)
USB OTG micro & mini cables