Tagged: sdrplay

SDRplay Release SDRUno V1.3 – Now with Frequency Scanning Feature

SDRplay have just released a major upgrade to SDRUno, the official software for SDRplay RSP software defined radios. Along with various bug fixes, the most interesting new feature in version 1.3 is the frequency scanner. This allows SDRuno to automatically tune to active signals between a set frequency range. SDRplay writes:

Major new features include:

Frequency Scanning (for both frequency ranges and stored memory panel lists)

I/Q → Audio Output (for CW Skimmer for example)

A new configurable IF AGC scheme

For a full list of additions/changes and bug fixes, please see the release notes at: https://www.sdrplay.com/docs/SDRplay_SDRuno_Release_Notes.pdf

This release of SDRuno uses a new version of the Windows Service based API (3.02) and so users that also used other applications such as dump1090 and HDSDR with the previous version of the Windows Service based API (3.01) will need to download and install the latest versions of API, dump1090 and the ExtIO plugin from our website at https://www.sdrplay.com/downloads

We have produced two new video guides which describe the use of the Frequency Scanner and I/Q Output functions. Links to these videos along with many others can be found by going to the SDRplay Applications and support catalogue on https://www.sdrplay.com/apps-catalogue/  , and on our Youtube Channel on https://www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP

However, the two new videos can be viewed directly by going to:  

https://youtu.be/ndMWIK1JLbQ (New Features in SDRuno 1.3 - Scanning and AGC)

https://youtu.be/w_pH56aOdE0   (SDRuno IQ output and CW Skimmer guide)

Using the new integrated SDRuno Frequency Scanner:   https://youtu.be/ndMWIK1JLbQ (This video also covers the new IF AGC scheme)

Using SDRuno with CW Skimmer via the I/Q Output function:  https://youtu.be/w_pH56aOdE0

The ExtIO version of SDRuno can still be downloaded from our downloads page and is included in the SDRuno 1.22 release. Make sure to install it in a different directory to 1.3 otherwise it will stop 1.3 from working.

For any questions  or help regarding this new release, please contact SDRplay support via our dedicated support system at: https://www.sdrplay.com/support

For any other suggestions, please email [email protected]

Finally, we recommend that all users join our community forum where there is a wealth of knowledge and help available for using our products and software in a wide range of applications and circumstances. This forum can be found at: https://www.sdrplay.com/community

New Features in SDRuno 1.3: Scanning and AGC

Photos of the MSi.SDR Dongle: A New SDRplay RSP1 Clone

Thank you to reader Mikael for writing in and letting us know that over on Aliexpress a new clone of the SDRplay RSP1 has been starting to show up. The sellers are terming it as the "MSi.SDR" in reference to that fact that it uses the Mirics MSi chips, which are the same chips used in all SDRplay SDRs. Currently the MSi.SDR is selling for about US$65 on Aliexpress.

In the past we've seen other SDRplay clones but this is the first version in a dongle format, and the first time that it is actually priced cheaper than the original. SDRplay and Mirics are owned by the same people, and Mirics note that they have not distributed any chips in over 5 years, so it a mystery as to why there are suddenly a lot of unauthorized Mirics chips available on the Chinese market. It is unclear if SDRplay will be able to enforce their IP rights in China, but it seems unlikely.

Mikael has provided some good photos of the PCB from the version he received which we show below. It appears to be similar to the RSP1, so it is missing the new features and filtering improvements of the newer RSP1A. When connected to a PC it shows up as an RSP1, so all compatible SDRplay software including SDRuno and HDSDR with the official SDRplay EXTIO should function with it.

Mikael writes:

I have seen this sdr on various China sites for quite some time and lately on ebay as well, I was kind of sure it was a rsp1 in a new pcb layout as it claimed it to be 10khz to 2Ghz with a 10Mhz bw and 12 bit resolution and containing an msi chipset with a 0,5ppm tcxo.

I ordered one two weeks ago from aliexpress for about 67$ incl postage and got it in the mail today, it was delivered with a micro usb cable and a magnetic telescope antenna with an about 2m coax cord.

pluged it in and watched the device manager, as I have a rsp1a and a rsp2 I already had the drivers loaded for those, and sure, it was identified as an rsp1, so I did a quick test and and started hdsdr and and selected the extio.dll for the rsp1, it started up as it should and it behaves just as a rsp1, did a quick tunearound in the 3,5 and 7Mhz band and it was working well, have not done any in depth analys yest, will examine the pcb to see if there is any kind of filtering in there.

In an upcoming post we plan to compare the various SDRplay and Airspy clones available on the market with the originals.

IMG_20190305_200819
IMG_20190305_193815
IMG_20190305_193829
IMG_20190305_194128
2019-03-05-20_01_21-Window
2019-03-05-20_05_26-Window
IMG_20190305_184622
Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image...

SDRplay Release SDRUno V1.3 – Now with Frequency Scanning Feature

SDRplay have just released a major upgrade to SDRUno, the official software for SDRplay RSP software defined radios. Along with various bug fixes, the most interesting new feature in version 1.3 is the frequency scanner. This allows SDRuno to automatically tune to active signals between a set frequency range. SDRplay writes:

Major new features include:

Frequency Scanning (for both frequency ranges and stored memory panel lists)

I/Q → Audio Output (for CW Skimmer for example)

A new configurable IF AGC scheme

For a full list of additions/changes and bug fixes, please see the release notes at: https://www.sdrplay.com/docs/SDRplay_SDRuno_Release_Notes.pdf

This release of SDRuno uses a new version of the Windows Service based API (3.02) and so users that also used other applications such as dump1090 and HDSDR with the previous version of the Windows Service based API (3.01) will need to download and install the latest versions of API, dump1090 and the ExtIO plugin from our website at https://www.sdrplay.com/downloads

We have produced two new video guides which describe the use of the Frequency Scanner and I/Q Output functions. Links to these videos along with many others can be found by going to the SDRplay Applications and support catalogue on https://www.sdrplay.com/apps-catalogue/  , and on our Youtube Channel on https://www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP

However, the two new videos can be viewed directly by going to:  

https://youtu.be/ndMWIK1JLbQ (New Features in SDRuno 1.3 - Scanning and AGC)

https://youtu.be/w_pH56aOdE0   (SDRuno IQ output and CW Skimmer guide)

Using the new integrated SDRuno Frequency Scanner:   https://youtu.be/ndMWIK1JLbQ (This video also covers the new IF AGC scheme)

Using SDRuno with CW Skimmer via the I/Q Output function:  https://youtu.be/w_pH56aOdE0

The ExtIO version of SDRuno can still be downloaded from our downloads page and is included in the SDRuno 1.22 release. Make sure to install it in a different directory to 1.3 otherwise it will stop 1.3 from working.

For any questions  or help regarding this new release, please contact SDRplay support via our dedicated support system at: https://www.sdrplay.com/support

For any other suggestions, please email [email protected]

Finally, we recommend that all users join our community forum where there is a wealth of knowledge and help available for using our products and software in a wide range of applications and circumstances. This forum can be found at: https://www.sdrplay.com/community

New Features in SDRuno 1.3: Scanning and AGC

Photos of the MSi.SDR Dongle: A New SDRplay RSP1 Clone

Thank you to reader Mikael for writing in and letting us know that over on Aliexpress a new clone of the SDRplay RSP1 has been starting to show up. The sellers are terming it as the "MSi.SDR" in reference to that fact that it uses the Mirics MSi chips, which are the same chips used in all SDRplay SDRs. Currently the MSi.SDR is selling for about US$65 on Aliexpress.

In the past we've seen other SDRplay clones but this is the first version in a dongle format, and the first time that it is actually priced cheaper than the original. SDRplay and Mirics are owned by the same people, and Mirics note that they have not distributed any chips in over 5 years, so it a mystery as to why there are suddenly a lot of unauthorized Mirics chips available on the Chinese market. It is unclear if SDRplay will be able to enforce their IP rights in China, but it seems unlikely.

Mikael has provided some good photos of the PCB from the version he received which we show below. It appears to be similar to the RSP1, so it is missing the new features and filtering improvements of the newer RSP1A. When connected to a PC it shows up as an RSP1, so all compatible SDRplay software including SDRuno and HDSDR with the official SDRplay EXTIO should function with it.

Mikael writes:

I have seen this sdr on various China sites for quite some time and lately on ebay as well, I was kind of sure it was a rsp1 in a new pcb layout as it claimed it to be 10khz to 2Ghz with a 10Mhz bw and 12 bit resolution and containing an msi chipset with a 0,5ppm tcxo.

I ordered one two weeks ago from aliexpress for about 67$ incl postage and got it in the mail today, it was delivered with a micro usb cable and a magnetic telescope antenna with an about 2m coax cord.

pluged it in and watched the device manager, as I have a rsp1a and a rsp2 I already had the drivers loaded for those, and sure, it was identified as an rsp1, so I did a quick test and and started hdsdr and and selected the extio.dll for the rsp1, it started up as it should and it behaves just as a rsp1, did a quick tunearound in the 3,5 and 7Mhz band and it was working well, have not done any in depth analys yest, will examine the pcb to see if there is any kind of filtering in there.

In an upcoming post we plan to compare the various SDRplay and Airspy clones available on the market with the originals.

IMG_20190305_200819
IMG_20190305_193815
IMG_20190305_193829
IMG_20190305_194128
2019-03-05-20_01_21-Window
2019-03-05-20_05_26-Window
IMG_20190305_184622
Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image...

rsp_tcp: An rtl_tcp compatible IQ Server for SDRplay SDRs

The SDRplay team have released an updated version of a program called "rsp_tcp" (originally written by F4FHH Nicholas). This is a streaming IQ server for SDRplay devices, which is directly ported from the original rtl_tcp code that was designed for RTL-SDRs. The rsp_tcp code is fully compatible with the rtl_tcp protocol, so this should allow almost any software that accepts an rtl_tcp stream as an input to use an SDRplay device as the SDR hardware instead of an RTL-SDR.

The downside to using this server is that in order to be compatible with the standard rtl_tcp protocol, the software will downgrade the RSP data stream from 14-bits to 8-bits only, thus forfeiting the RSP's greater dynamic range. However, if a custom ExtIO plugin is used on the client software, then the full 14-bits can be restored.

On their forums the SDRplay team write:

This software is based on a fork of F4FHH’s version of RTL TCP Server. It has been updated to support the RSP features, but also contains an extended mode. The extended mode allows the client (via a compatible interface) to fully control all aspects of the RSPs, including notch filters, Bias-T enable and switching ports (where applicable)

The user guide for the server software can be found on our downloads page and also here: https://www.sdrplay.com/docs/SDRplay_RS ... _Guide.pdf

We have provided binaries for Windows, Mac and RPi on our downloads page and the source code for all platforms can be found on our GitHub repository: https://github.com/SDRplay/RSPTCPServer

To utilise the extended mode, extra commands need to be sent from the client. We have provided an example of this in the form of an ExtIO plugin. You can find the Windows dll on our downloads page and the source code for the plugin on our GitHub repository: https://github.com/SDRplay/ExtIO_RSP_TCP

In standard mode, the server will be compatible with any RTL server client.

The team also note that they have updated their Raspberry Pi SD card to include the server.

Video Showing How to Decode Meteor M2 with an SDRPlay in Windows

Thanks to "Lolo sdr" for submitting his videos that show his process for receiving and decoding Meteor M2 weather satellite images in Windows with an SDRplay and SDR-Console V3. Since the SDRplay is not supported by SDR#, it is not possible to use Vasilli's excellent Meteor Demodulator plugin (site in Russian, please use the Google Translate option) which is only available for SDR#.

Lolo's method gets around this limitation by initially recording an IQ file of the satellite pass in SDR-Console V3, then opening that IQ file in SDR# via the Fileplayer plugin, which is also by Vasilli and available here. The process is a bit of extra work, and the image isn't live, but the image comes out clearly in the end.

The videos are shown below, and subtitles are available in English, French and Italian via the YouTube player options.

Recibir y decodificar Satélite Meteor M2 con SDRplay, parte 1 de 2, grabar el pase, con subtitulos.

Recibir y decodificar Satélite Meteor M2 con SDRplay, parte 2 de 2, decodificar imagen y corrección.

World Radio TV Handbook (WRTH) Reviews the SDRplay RSPDuo

A couple of days ago we ran a post noting that the Airspy HF+ WRTH review was now available for public viewing. Now thanks to Jon Hudson of SDRplay for letting us know that the SDRplay RSPDuo review from WRTH has also been released for public viewing (pdf). The SDRplay RSP Duo is a 14-bit dual tuner software defined radio that is capable of tuning between 1 kHz - 2 GHz, with two separate 2 MHz bandwidths tuned to anywhere within that frequency range.

The review provides an overview of the RSPduo noting it's various features and discussing the SDRuno software. They also note that diversity reception would be an excellent application for a dual tuner SDR, but SDRuno does not support this feature as of yet. In their tests they also mention how they found very few overloading problems.

Jon would also like to note that the pricing in the review is incorrect. The RSPduo is US$279.95, and right now there is a seasonal $50 discount for US customers at HRO.

SDRplay RSPDuo
SDRplay RSPDuo

Black Friday SDR Sales: Airspy 15% Off, SDrplay RSP2 $20 Off, HackRF 20% Off

Airspy

Airspy is currently running a 15% Black Friday sale over on the manufacturers website iead.cc, and on their US distributor airspy.us. The coupon code is BF2018.

This results in an Airspy Mini costing only $84.15, an Airspy HF+ costing $169.15, an Airspy R2 costing $143.65 and a SpyVerter costing $41.65. This is the cheapest we've seen these products to date.  

SDRplay

Over on Ham Radio Outlet, the RSP2 is currently reduced by $20, taking it down to a price of only $149.95. The RSP2 Pro is also reduced down to $192.95. Other SDRplay products, and products on their website appear to be not discounted.

HackRF

Over on SparkFun the original HackRF is 20% off, resulting in a price of only $239.96. It's still double the price of an Aliexpress clone, but it is an original unit. In the UK ML&S are also selling it for 15% off at £219.95. This is the cheapest price we've seen an original HackRF sold for.

Elad FDM S2

At the higher end of the SDR spectrum, we see that the Elad FDM-S2 is currently reduced by $51, resulting in a sale price of $529.

Most of these sales are expected to run until Monday, or until stocks run out.

Have you found any other great SDR deals? Let us know in the comments.

Reviews and Assembly Videos of our SDRplay RSP1A Metal Enclosure Upgrade Set

Over on YouTube we've seen several reviews and installation videos of our SDRplay RSP1A metal enclosure + portable antenna set that we released for sale back in July of this year. The set comes with a metal enclosure, carry case, and a bonus 7m portable wire antenna spool and telescopic antenna. It costs US$29.95 including shipping and is available on our store or via Amazon.

The first review is by Tysonpower. His review is in German, but English subtitles are available on YouTube. In the review he notes that interference appears to be reduced with the metal case, and notes that the SDR is better protected against bumps.

[EN subs] RSP1A Metallgehäuse - ShortReview

We've also seen a review by Danny Shortwave And Radio DX which also shows the assembly process and shows how easy it is to transfer the PCB from the plastic case to the metal case.

Metal Case Upgrade for SDRPlay RSP1 and RSP1A from Amazon

Finally the third video by Koptervision also shows an unboxing, review and assembly timelapse.

SDRPlay Metal Case Upgrade - Unboxing and Assembly

Receiving GOES Weather Satellite HRIT with an SDRplay and 2.4 GHz WiFi Grid Antenna

Over on the SDRplay forums member RSP2user has posted a new tutorial, this time showing how to receive weather satellite images from GOES satellites with an RSP2 and cheap 2.4 GHz WiFi grid antenna

GOES 15/16/17 are geosynchronous weather satellites that beam back high resolution weather  images and data. In particular they send beautiful high resolution 'full disk' images which show one side of the entire earth. As the satellites are in geosynchronous orbit, they are quite a bit further away from the earth. So compared to the more easily receivable low earth orbit satellites such as the NOAA APT and Meteor M2 LRPT satellites, a dish antenna, good LNA and possibly a filter is required to receive them. However fortunately, as they are in a geosynchronous orbit, the satellite is in the same position in the sky all the time, so no tracking hardware is required.

In the tutorial RSP2user notes that he's been using a $16 2.4 GHz WiFi grid dish antenna and the NooElec SAWbird LNA. In the past we've also seen GOES reception from Pieter Noordhuis who used a 1.9 GHz grid antenna from L-Com which seems to be a better match to the 1.7 GHz GOES frequency. However, 2.4 GHz WiFi grid antennas are much more common and therefore much cheaper. In the past there has been debate on whether or not these cheaper WiFi antennas would be good enough for GOES, so it's good to see that the cheaper option is confirmed to work, at least for the satellite elevations found in the RSP2user's part of the USA.

The SAWBird is a 1.7 GHz LNA which is required to improve SNR by reducing system noise figure, and to filter any interfering out of band signals. The SAWbird is currently not available for public sale, but NooElec have noted that it is due to be released soon. RSP2user also notes that the polarization of the dish is important, so the dish may need to be rotated, and also that flipping the secondary reflector significantly increases the gain at 1.69 GHz.

For software the XRIT demodulator from USA-Satcom for a small fee is used together with the SDRplay RSP2. As seen by Pieter Noordhuis' results, it's also possible to receive these signals with an RTL-SDR and Pieters free software. So it may be possible to reduce the costs of a GOES reception system by using an RTL-SDR, SAWBird and 2.4 GHZ WiFi grid antenna. With those components the total cost would be well under $100.

As a bonus, in later posts on his forum thread, RSP2user shows that the system can also be used to receive HRPT images from the low earth orbit NOAA 19 satellite by hand tracking the antenna as the satellite passes over.

RSP2users GOES Receiver: SDRplay, SAWBird LNA, 2.4 GHz WiFi Grid Antenna
RSP2users GOES Receiver: SDRplay, SAWBird LNA, 2.4 GHz WiFi Grid Antenna