Today NooElec have released a new product called the "Ham-it-up Nano" for US$49.95 on their store and Amazon. The original Ham-it-up is an HF upconverter that enables reception of the HF bands with SDRs that do not natively support HF. Upconverters work by shifting these low HF frequencies "up" into a range receivable by most VHF/UHF capable SDRs.
The new nano version is much smaller than the original design and about $15 cheaper if you compare against the version with metal case. The nano can also be powered directly via bias tee capable SDRs, so no external power source is required. Compared to the original version the nano misses out on the pass through switch and bonus noise source circuit.
The Ham-it-up Nano probably most directly competes with the SpyVerter from Airspy, which is another small form factor and bias tee powered upconverter for US$49.00. Spec-wise, the SpyVerter appears to remain superior with better LF/VLF support, less conversion loss and it's ability to use a 10 MHz external reference clock for advanced users. But the Ham-It-Up Nano is designed and made in the USA vs designed in France and made in China for the SpyVerter. The nano may also be a little cheaper and faster in terms of shipping to obtain via Amazon.
Below is a table comparing the advertised specifications with specs taken from the Ham-it-up Nano datasheet and SpyVerter sales page. Overall, most HF dabblers probably won't notice a major difference between the two unless you are truly setting up HF DX antennas. And as always our advice is if you are heavily interested in HF and DX, then it may be wiser to spend a little more and get yourself an Airspy HF+ Discovery (US$169) or an SDRplay RSP1A (US$109) or RSPdx (US$199.95) instead of an RTL-SDR + upconverter (US$20 + US$50 = $70).
|Frequency Range||100 kHz - 65 MHz||1 kHz - 60 MHz|
|Conversion Loss||10dB (typ)||5.2 dB (typ)|
|LO Frequency||125 MHz||120 MHz|
|IIP3||Not Specified||35 dBm|
|Max Input Power||1 dBm||10 dBm|
|Operating Voltage||4 V - 5.5 V||4.2 V - 5.5 V|
|Current Consumption||65 mA (typ)||10 mA (typ)|
|Power Methods||Bias Tee, microUSB, Pin Header||Bias Tee, microUSB|
|LO Stability||0.5 PPM||0.5 PPM|
|10 MHz External LO Capable?||No||Yes|
|Input Return Loss||-10 dB (max)||-10 dB (max)|
|Output Return Loss||-10 dB (max)||-10 dB (max)|
|Phase Noise @ 10kHz||Not Specified||-122 dBc/Hz|
|Dimensions||2.0" x 1.2" x 0.75" (50 x 30 x 18mm)||2.1" x 1.6" x 1" (53 x 40 x 25 mm)|
|Design & Manufacture Country||Designed and Made USA & Canada||Designed in France, Made in China|
|Price||US$49.95 + shipping (free US shipping on Amazon)||US$49.00 + shipping (~US$5 to US, or US$10 via US reseller)|