Arinst Dreamkit V2D Reviewed by Fenu-Radio
Back in August of 2021 we posted about the release of a Russian made portable software defined radio receiver called the "Arinst Dreamkit V1D". The Arinst SDR consists of a portable LCD screen and enclosure, with 16-bit ADC, 5 MHz of bandwidth and 1 - 3100 MHz tuning range. It was released for sale in September 2021 and was priced at only $230 + shipping.
It did have some drawbacks involving a lack of preselector filtering, and there being no digital decoding capabilities implemented in the software.
Fenu-radio is a popular tester of various software defined radios and has recently posted a review of the Arinst Dreamkit V2D. Initially he notes how in 2021 he first received his V1D model from Kazakhstan, and noted some problems with the lack of preselection, but other than that it worked well. His unit also had a display defect, however the manufacturer replaced the entire unit with the newer V2D model.
Fenu-radio notes that a battery is no longer included due to restrictions involving the transport of batteries through airmail, so he had to order a separate battery from Aliexpress. He importantly notes that the polarity of the battery is reversed from what the radio expects, so this has to be manually adjusted by changing the pins on the battery. If this is not done the battery or radio itself could be destroyed.
Other than that, Fenu-radio is impressed with the outer design of the V2D. He goes on to note how the V2D makes use of the R820T2 tuner, the same tuner used in standard RTL-SDR dongles. An up and downconverter is used to expand the range.
Fenu-radio then goes on to show the features of the radio, shows how it is operated, and provides a few audio examples of some stations received. He concludes positively:
The Arinst V2D is almost a "dream kit". It offers amazingly good reception on long, medium and shortwave without immediately clipping. And that on domestic active antennas. If you work with the manual gain control, you largely avoid intermodulation products and noise. The variety of functions is enormous and of high quality. At that point, you realize how hard Arinst has put in. The V2D can also convince above shortwave. What it particularly lacks here is a search function (scanner).
The case is sturdy and of good quality. But unfortunately there is criticism here. The housing shells were painted in places that shouldn't be painted! The painted flanks of the housing significantly worsen the shielding effect, which becomes noticeable with strong interference in reception if the V2D is operated with a telescopic antenna. The interference is particularly strong in the VHF range. Not only that. During the development of the V2D, far too little attention was paid to decoupling the display to prevent interference radiation in the reception branch. The approx. 4 hours Battery life was unfortunately never reached. After almost 3 hours of operation it was over.
Otherwise, the V2D is great fun. Especially with a remote antenna.
Arinst showed itself to be a very committed manufacturer when it came to correcting errors in the software and implementing suggestions.
At the time of this post the Arinst website and their sales platforms on Aliexpress and eBay does not appear to feature the 'Dreamkit V2D' product and we have no further info on the release date or pricing.
Nice review. Looking at the block diagram makes me wonder: does it receive HF by an upconverter in front of the R820T2 chip? Or does the converter block provide the 1700-2800MHz range? Puzzled what the actual HF frontend is.
Oh I see now. Both range extensions are via up/down conversion…