Earlier in the month SDRplay released SDRuno V1.4 RC1. This is a beta version that amongst other changes now has the capability to run "plugins". Plugins allow developers to easily create modules that extend the functionality of the SDRUno software. For example right now there is a plugin included with V1.4 RC1 that allows users to listen to DAB audio. Up until recently plugin functionality has only been available in Airspy's SDR# software, so it's good to see SDRuno finally including this feature too.
Over on the Techminds YouTube channel Matthew has uploaded a short video where he tests out the new plugins feature. First he tests out the DAB decoder, noting that the CoreAAC codec needs to be installed first separately. Later he tests the second plugin which is an audio recorder that allows users to record audio to MP3.
SDRplay recently released news about their upcoming RSPdx software defined radio, which replaces the RSP2 as the top of the line unit in the SDRplay lineup. The RSPdx is not yet on sale, but a few YouTube reviewers have already received their units. The first review comes from Mile Kokotov who is known to have reviewed several SDRs in the past. Mile's impressions are that the receiver works very well. He writes on his video blurb:
Today i have received the new SDR receiver from SDRplay, the RSPdx and was eager to turn it on and do some tests receiving on HF and VLF. Although at the moment my mini-whip antenna is not operational, I have connected some 20 meters wire as an antenna and start listening on VLF, LW, MW and HF...
I have to say that SDRplay team did a good job with this SDR-receiver, putting better filters and redesigning front-end to improve dynamic range and enhance overall performance in relation to its predecessors RSP2 and RSP2pro. The new RSPdx is very good indeed. Especially on HF and below.
The RSPdx has new features like HDR (High Dynamic range) mode for reception within selected bands below 2 MHz. HDR mode delivers improved intermodulation performance and less spurious responses for those challenging bands.
The New SDRplay RSPdx receiver - First Impression: Excellent!
The second review is by SevenFortyOne who runs through the various features of the SDRplay and also tests it on various HF signals.
SDRplay RSPdx Overview and SDRuno V1.33 Demo
The third video isn't exactly a review, but here TechMinds shows us how to run the RSPdx as a panadapter on his FTDX-3000.
Why use this app? It makes it easy to slog through lots of recording files, looking for interesting signals. Load a file, and a waterfall for the entire file is created. You can scroll around, and if you see anything that looks interesting, you can drag select it, and then demodulate it. You can even save the demodulated audio as a WAVE file, that you can listen to later, send to someone else, or play into your digital decoding software, if it is an RTTY, SSTV, etc. transmission.
Support for other SDR recording file formats is possible, you'll need to work with me by providing sample files and details on the format. This program is presently for macOS only. Support for Windows may happen... stay tuned!
Over on our forums user qrp has released a modified ExtIO that allows the direct sampling mode to work correctly in SDRUno. SDRUno is SDRplay's official software for their RSP line of software defined radios, but SDRUno can also work with ExtIO input dlls which allow other SDRs like the RTL-SDR to be used.
The commonly found RTL-SDR ExtIO however doesn't seem to work properly with direct sampling mode in SDRUno, so HF on RTL-SDR Blog V3 or other direct sampling modified RTL-SDR dongles is inaccessible. The new ExtIO fixes the direct sampling problem, and also enables a Remove DC algorithm to remove that center spike, which isn't an option in SDRUno.
To use the ExtIO simply extract the ExtIO_RTLSDR_u8.dll and rtlsdr.dll files from the zip file into a folder on your PC. Then from the Start Menu find the SDRUno (EXTIO) shortcut and run it. When it asks you, select the ExtIO_RTLSDR_u8.dll file. Note that you will probably need to use the older v1.22 SDRUno version as V1.31 doesn't appear to have an ExtIO version.
At this years Hamvention Chris Howard from ICQ Amateur interviewed Andy at the SDRplay booth. In the interview they discuss various new features and improvements to SDRuno, the official software for SDRplay devices.
Later they also discuss the RSPduo, and the new diversity feature coming in a new version of SDRUno that is due to be released in a few weeks. The diversity feature works with the two tuners on the RSPduo to combine or subtract signals from two different antennas. Andy notes that diversity should be able to achieve a net 3dB increase in SNR, and is most useful for a moving or dynamic signal environment.
Finally Andy discusses the future development of SDRUno and notes that they're working on a plugin environment which will allow the creation of third party demod/decoders, a multiplatform server for remote SDR, and eventually cross platform drivers and SDRUno.
SDRPlay Announce Update to SDRUno and Future Plans for Software Defined Radio at Hamvention 2019
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)
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
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.
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
The official software package of the SDRplay range of products is SDRuno and it has recently been updated to version 1.22. SDRuno is also compatible with the RTL-SDR.
In addition to some UI improvements for new users, the main changes are pasted below. What's also very interesting is their road map which states that future versions of SDRuno will have frequency scanning capabilities, a remote network streaming server/client implementation and an API for the support of third party plugins. This would improve it's capabilities similar to that of SDR#.
Added • Support for 1366×768 default layout • ADC overload detection in AGC off mode • ADC overload acknowledgment system to avoid lockout condition • Custom step size for each mode • Band Button Groups (Ham Lower, Ham Upper, Broadcast) • Two additional SP1 width presets (2560 and 3840) • Additional menu option in memory panel to reset column widths (helps when upgrading) • Scheduled Recording • Auto update
Changed • Registry reset now only clears 1.2+ entries • SP1 Window max size supports 4K displays (3840×2160) • Small improvements to the memory panel (panel width and field width changes) • Improvements to the IF output mode • UTC time fixed to 24 hour format • Play!/Stop button colour coordinated • Move MUTE button to make way for VOLUME label • Moved Squelch value display to the right
Fixed • Log10 SING error • Aero support detection to try to prevent rendering issues • Freezing when switching to HiZ port in gain mode • Gain “pumping” issue when in gain mode • Settings panels not displaying properly when “un-minimised” • Zoomed in frequency scale drag out of bounds bug • Noise floor measurement bug • Improved RSP error handling • Sample rate change causing spectrum display issues • Device selection bug
Known Issues • SP2 CWAFC drift issue (Zoom/window size/freq display) – will be addressed in 1.23, workaround for now is to zoom out fully in the SP2 window and then the CWAFC feature will work. • IF output mode disabled SP1 spectrum mouse clicks – temporary issue until LO is separated from the VFO (see plans below)
Following on from the 1.21 release where we outlined the features for coming releases, we have updated our plans, as shown below. The purpose of publishing this information is to give people an insight to the development plans but it is NOT a guarantee of the exact feature line-up and we cannot give release dates.
1.23 Intermediate update • Recording of selected signal only (either I/Q or audio) to WAV file format • Selected signal piped to VAC in I/Q format
1.3 Major update • Separation of VFO and LO frequency control • Frequency scanning
1.31 Intermediate update • Remote client for network based streaming I/Q server applications
1.4 Major update • Addition of new API for third party plugins
Over on YouTube Mike from the SDRplay team has created a tutorial video that shows how to use the SDRuno EXTIO edition. SDRuno is the official software of the SDRplay line of products and can be freely downloaded from the SDRplay website. The EXTIO edition allows other non-SDRplay SDR units to freely be used with SDRuno. The only restrictions are that the maximum bandwidth is artificially restricted to 2.5 MHz and some DSP filters are missing.
In the video Mike shows how to set up the SDRuno workspace to work with an RTL-SDR dongle and demos reception of some signals. Note that the EXTIO dll file for the RTL-SDR mentioned in the video is the same one required for HDSDR, and can be downloaded from the dll table on the HDSDR website.
If you’re interested in more, Mike has a full SDRuno tutorial series available on the SDRplay YouTube channel which mostly focuses on usage with the SDRplay units, but could be applicable to the EXTIO version as well.
SDRuno EXT/IO Edition for a range of SDRs and dongles