Airspy Sensitivity Measurements and HF Performance

Over on YouTube user ranickel (aka W9RAN) has uploaded a video discussing and reviewing the sensitivity of the Airspy software defined radio. In the video he uses a signal generator to generate a reference signal and shows what the effect of software decimation has on the signal to noise ratio. His results show that the Airspy is a very sensitive and low noise receiver that is comparable to some very expensive hardware.

Airspy Sensitivity Measurement by W9RAN

In another new video W9RAN shows a quick sneak peak at the performance of the Airspy on the 20 meter CW band when using a prototype HF upconverter that he is developing.

Airspy HF Converter Sneak Peek by W9RAN

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Hi ! Was someone able to run any A/B test on FM (band II) or 2m Airspy vs FunCube Pro+ or ELAD FDM-S2 ? If so, what about selectivity / sensitivity. I already own a FCD Pro+ and wondering if it’s worth purchasing Airspy. Thanks.


MDS in SDR context is the unmodulated carrier level visible on the waterfall or spectrum.
This number depends on the FFT bin width which can be made very narrow. It is not clear what was the bin width in this case.
A more general definition of MDS is “minimum signal level that can be heard by the operator”. The CW reception test in the video gives a more realistic number of 0.1uV (-124dBm at 600Hz filter bandwidth). This is still good, but not miraculous.


Have a look on the youtube comments. Alexandru Csete asked the same question and got the answer.

Ton muller

i got mine to, need only a proper antenna.