Tagged: amateur radio

Two Videos Showing the LimeSDR on HF in SDR-Console V3

The LimeSDR is a RX/TX capable SDR with a 100 kHz – 3.8 GHz frequency range, 12-bit ADC and 61.44 MHz bandwidth. It costs $299 USD and we think it is going to be an excellent next generation upgrade to SDR’s with similar price and functionality like the HackRF and bladeRF. Back in August we posted how they had added HF functionality to their drivers, and posted some videos from LimeSDR beta tester Marty Wittrock who had gotten HF working well  in GQRX.

Now that SDR-Console has added support for the LimeSDR and HF reception, Marty has uploaded two new videos showing it in action. The first video shows some SSB reception on 40M and the second shows some CW reception on 20M. Marty runs SDR-Console on a MSI Core i5 Cube PC. Marty also writes:

Even with the ‘older’ LimeSDRs that I have that don’t have the proposed modified matching networks on them the performance at 20m and 40m was actually REALLY good for voice and CW. Obviously if the band conditions for 15m and 10m were better the days that I tested the LimeSDR it would have been even better since ‘as-designed’ matching networks seem to do better at 30 MHz and up. Checking the performance at 162.475 MHz (my local Cedar Rapids, Iowa NOAA Weather Station) the performance is excellent on a VHF antenna.



Using a direct sampling enabled Airspy as a Panadapter for a Yaesu FTDX-5000

Tim Havens is an avid CW operator on the ham bands and primarily uses his Yaesu FTDX-5000 transceiver for this purpose. At the same time he also uses a software defined radio coupled with an upconverter as a panadapter by connecting the SDR to the 9 MHz IF output of the Yaesu.

However a problem Tim encountered was that the frequency drift of any SDR he tried was too large, even with a TCXO based software defined radio (like a modded RTL-SDR or the Airspy), and that it was a constant hassle to recalibrate. Furthermore, he noticed that the upconverters he used introduced their own drift which just added to the overall frequency drift.

To get around this Tim decided to use the Airspy in a special configuration. First he used the external clock input of the Airspy to connect to his Jackson Labs “Fury” GPSDO. This device uses GPS satellites to generate a very accurate 10 MHz clock, with almost zero drift. Secondly, to get around the need for an upconverter with it’s own frequency drift he used the ADC1 direct sampling input ports on the Airspy to connect to the 9MHz IF output of his FTDX-5000 through an extra band pass filter and LNA.

Tim writes that he will soon update his post with more images and a video.

Airspy with external GPS clock and ADC1 output connected.
Airspy with external GPS clock and ADC1 output connected.

Listening to a Radio Amateur Stratosphere Balloon with an RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube user kpappa has uploaded a video showing his reception of the J43VHF radio amateur stratosphere balloon with an RTL-SDR dongle and discone antenna. On the 10th of May radio amateurs in Greece launched a high altitude balloon. The balloon carried a transceiver payload which allowed amateurs to talk to each other via the balloon at a frequency of 144.200 MHz. The video shows good reception of the balloon and also shows it’s tracking via APRS.fi.

More information about the balloon can be found at https://j43vhf.wordpress.com/ and http://hellashab.blogspot.gr/.

The high altitude balloon's radio payload recovered after landing.
The high altitude balloon’s radio payload recovered after landing.

Listening to FreeDV Digital Speech with an RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube user BSoD Badgers has uploaded a video showing his reception of FreeDV digital speech at 14 MHz. He uses SDR# combined with the FreeDV software to decode the signal.

FreeDV is a open source software application that allows digital speech to be sent at HF frequencies in a 1.25 kHz wide signal. The same software can be used on the receiving end to decode the signal into speech.


Receiving Hellschreiber with the RTL-SDR and an Upconverter

Over on YouTube user BSoD Badgers has uploaded a video showing reception of Hellschreiber on HF at 20m. To receive the HF frequencies he used a ham-it-up upconverter. He used SDR# to receive the signal and the Fldigi decoding software to decode the signal.

Hellschreiber is a fax-like communications mode used by amateur radio hobbyists.


Understanding Filtering in an Upconverter for the RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube user w2aew has uploaded a video tutorial explaining how filtering in an upconverter works. In a previous video w2aew explained how a simple upconverter for the RTL-SDR worked and noted that for best performance the upconverter needs three filters, one preselector at the input, one after the local oscillator and one after the mixing stage.

In this video w2aew takes a Nooelec Ham-it-up upconverter which has the three filters mentioned above implemented and scopes the output after each filter to show their effect on an input signal.


Using a Mixer to Listen to HF on a RTL-SDR Dongle

Over on YouTube user w2aew has uploaded a tutorial video that clearly explains the theory behind upconverters. Upconverters are commonly used with the RTL-SDR to receive the HF (0 – 30 MHz) bands. In the video he shows how to make a simple homemade double-balanced diode ring mixer for the RTL-SDR and shows its performance in HDSDR.


RTL-SDR HF Preselector Project

Over on YouTube user Theo Faber has uploaded a video showing his adjustable multiband HF preselector project for his RTL-SDR dongle. The preselector covers the entire HF band. Theo designed and built his own homemade upconverter for this project as well.

Preselectors on the RTL-SDR can vastly improve reception quality. Without preselection, noise and strong images of other nearby stations can cause strong interference.

My project ‘pre selector’ for wideband radios and in particular the popular tv-sticks than can be used for SDR reception. The sticks are very cheap and the software free available on the internet. SDR Sharp in this case, is operating stable under XP and W7. Sticks are sensitive, however the input level can only vary +- 20dB. The sticks are easely overloaded and will produce cross and intermediation. So you need in front of the stick / converter band pass or tunable filters. Hopefully this inspired you to build your own set of filters, to fully benefit from the perfect performing of this affordable SDR.
for more info contact me on: t.faber87__AT__upcmail.nl
kind regards and 73’s