The Malachite-DSP: A $195 Russian Made Portable Wideband SDR Receiver with Touch Screen

Over on the SWLing.com blog we've seen news about the release of a new Russian designed and made portable software defined radio called the "Malachite-DSP". The Malachite-DSP is an "all-in-one" portable SDR that is controlled via a touch screen and two control knobs. It covers 0.1 MHz to 1000 MHz with a bandwidth of up to 160 kHz, and the custom software supports all common modulation types. The whole device consumes 300mA and is powered by a Li-ion cell. It's marketed as a modern DEGEN and TECSUN replacement, so it appears to be targeting the HF short wave listening (SWL) customer.

Production appears to be small, with purchasing currently done by contacting RX9CIM, one of the project creators, directly at his email address (details on this forum post). The cost for a fully assembled unit is 12500 Russian Rubles which is 195 USD (not including international shipping). You can also purchase just the PCB without components for 1100 Rubles (17 USD). Importantly the forum post notes to watch out for scammers, who appear to be trying to take fake preorders for the device.

From the components list we can see that this SDR runs on the MSI001 tuner chip, which is the same tuner chip used in the SDRplay line of units. However, unlike the SDRplay units which use a wideband MSi2500 ADC, the Malachite-DSP uses an audio chip as the RF ADC. This provides a 16-bit ADC, resulting in high dynamic range, but at the expense of the available bandwidth which is only 160 kHz. A STM32H743VIT6 with ARM Cortex A7 processor runs what appears to be custom DSP and GUI software. The software doesn't seem to support DRM, but AM, WFM, NFM, LSB, USB are all supported.

The main place for news and discussion on the Malachite-DSP appears to be on a Russian ham radio forum thread. Judging by the fact that the schematic, software and BOM is all freely released, the project appears to be open source. There is also a group on the Russian Facebook clone vk.com where some discussion is occurring.

The YouTube videos below are by a Russian reviewers. Be sure to turn on the YouTube closed captioning and auto translation feature if you want to follow along in English.

😲ПРИЕМНИК КОТОРЫЙ ЛОВИТ ВСЁ!!!💥🔝 ЭТО ВАМ НЕ Degen и Tecsun ВСТРЕЧАЙТЕ НОВЫЙ МАЛАХИТ DSP V2💯🆕

SDR приемник МАЛАХИТ DSP

The Malachite-DSP reminds us a bit of the unreleased PantronX Titus II SDR, which is supposed to be a low cost (aiming for less than $100 USD) 100 kHz - 2 GHz tablet screen based SDR that was supposed to make DRM reception more popular. However the Titus II hardware has never eventuated since it's initial news in 2016, and at this time appears to be a dead project.

18 comments

  1. D/R. ANGLE / WA8DGG

    ENGLISH MANUAL… DOES NOT EXIST! download Russian manual then try to convert – it can be done , its not easy. Just gotmy Malachite “DSP_SDR ” from china. WHAT A MESS! Firmware (HARD menu) is missing 12 of the 14 items (FEATURES) it should have come with. The 4 items that are on the “HARD” menu only two actually function. The firmware has been hacked and missing features like: Frequency bar between spectrum & waterfall displays …not there .Also missing is Freq. Calibration, , Spectrum Scale set , and about another 10 features …all missing. The seller builder (china) then offers to give you a code to flash so you can get the lost features (for a mere $55.00 more ). The basic receiver is VERY difficult to tune. <oving the Frequency digit cursor is a challenge and even once adjusted I find the 2 meter repeater frequencies are randomly from 25 to 95khz off , with no way to correct. The list of short comings goes on and on. These EBAY – CHINA units are definately not ready for prime time.
    New units have started to appear on Ebay with direct frequency entry but no information as to what is on and what is not on the GUI. I suspect still no frequency bar display. Pay your money and take your chances. What could have been a real neat receiver is just a toy and not a very good one at that.

    • D and F

      That is not “hacked” firmware, that is a free Demo firmware. Buy in additionally a full futured firmware from russian designers.

  2. Eric

    Stop confusing the real Russian Malahit receiver with the Chinese Malachite copies !! It’s not the same thing ! The Russian receiver covers from HF to UHF. I own one.

  3. GIORGIO POZZI

    Appena ricevuto Questa radio, assemblata, dalla Cina. Non c’è allegato un manuale di istruzione. Ho provato quasi tutti i comandi, ma non sono riuscito a capire come cambiare il modo della modulazione. Non c’è un tasto “MODE” dedicato come ho visto in altri apparati su You Tube. Qualcuno mi può aiutare? Grazie
    IW2JKT Giorgio Italy

  4. Gains

    Unique and cool device. It’s a pity that so far there is no serial production for this thing. You need to contact manufacturer by email and gather support information and manuals through russian forums.
    http://hamforum.ru/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=193
    It seems manufacturer is really busy because device is quickly gaining popularity.
    Hopefully manufacturing and marketing process will improve soon. Would get one for myself.

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