SDRPlay - Buy or not?

Talk about other SDR products like the FunCube, HackRF, BladeRF etc.
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jmaurin
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 2:41 pm

SDRPlay - Buy or not?

Post by jmaurin » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:04 pm

Hi!
I just finish reading review of SDRPlay and AirSpy and I still don't knwo which to buy, so I have some questions that may decide.

1) SDRPlay works fine with current version of SDR#?
2) If yes to question 1, plugins of SDR# works fine with SDRPlay? Because I'll use mainly for QPSK demodulator.
3) In the review, I saw something about dynamic range and the 'problem' in SDRPlay dynamic range, that's is main because of LNA in the frontend.....but in some screenshots of SDRPlay configuration (I guess for SDR#?), you can turn off LNA. So. it's possible? This can help with dynamic range problem?

Today I'm using rtl-sdr dongle and my main goal is to receive NOAA and METEOR images. I'm doing this right now with rtl-sdr dongle and it's working fine, except that these dongles has a lot of noise, it's not clear signal.....but works. I would like to step up and get a better receiver, so I'm in doubt with AirSpy and SDRPlay. I live in a city with a lot of cell towers. I know that AirSpy works better in this enviorement (acording to review), but for my purpose (receive meteor and noaa), is better to keep with AirSpy mini ($99 + $46 shipping) or SDRplay ($186 including shipping) and get more bandwith + more range, including HF?
I also have to mention that I'm using and external LNA with my dongle (LNA4ALL) to receiver these sattelites, so using SDRPlay I'll have and LNA already inside my receiver.
With SDRPlay, I'll have that 'clear' reception that AirSpy clains?! I'm not talking about strong RF signals/noise from neighbors, but from the board/cables itself.

Thank you!

rtlsdrblog
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Re: SDRPlay - Buy or not?

Post by rtlsdrblog » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:37 am

Answers to your questions

1) It works, but with the SDRplay plugin functionality is not active.
2) So you cannot use the SDRplay with the QPSK plugin.
3) The SDRplay has two LNA's. One at the very beginning of the front end, before the external filters, and then one later on in the chain in the Mirics tuner chip. The first LNA cannot be turned off, but the second one can. The AS definitely has better dynamic range with or without the LNA turned on.

Remember about your LNA, that you want to place the LNA neat the antenna for optimal performance. If you place it by the receiver (as in the SDRplay) then it will not help overcome any coax losses.

But anyway, if you want to use the plugins for SDR#, then you need to use the Airspy. With the Airspy you can also power the LNA4ALL using it's bias tee, which is handy.

jmaurin
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 2:41 pm

Re: SDRPlay - Buy or not?

Post by jmaurin » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:40 pm

Thank you very much for those information!

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