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.

61 comments

  1. Michael Blanc

    Junk quality unit can be purchased for $35 on walmart.com
    Original but second generation DSP2 w/ filters great quality components can be purchased from RX1CIM, just send email to [email protected] to get into waiting list. You’ll get it within month delivered for extra $14 to US.

  2. Michael Blanc

    And Georgi is actually selling DSP2 now, you can order from original developer RX9CIM and get lot better quality version of this radio vs clone:
    – cheap and lot darker and not as sharp version of LCD w/ barely functioning capacitive touch screen, doesn’t respond to every click as Georgi (RX9CIM) mentioned that replacement is misaligned badly some functions don’t respond and you have to click around control buttons to find the functional spot.
    – LCD connected to PCB with 3 times longer then original flat cable, making radio noisier from digital signals getting into RF and waterfall looks lot busier but reality is – it just own noise.
    – cheap encoders responding to every 5 to 10th click
    – Laser cut PCB fiberglass used on most of the cases vs aluminum quality case.
    – Audio codec chip used on clones is cheap model unlike original version. Personally I care about ssb only but for some who also likes FM Stereo or wide AM, could be significant.
    – FW: basic demo is up to 200Mhz w/ minimal features, but 2 Ghz version cost of the license paid to RX9CIM while chinese sellers sell cracked version with upgrade to future versions questionable meaning that hope that Georgi will be supporting future upgrades by intentionally making future fw version compatible with clones..
    – Importantly that Georgi already released next generation of his radio DSP2 which he is selling now, with second board of automatic filters getting this radio to the next level.
    And these are far from all and only major points that I remember after watching radio presentation by Georgi (RX9CIM)
    To reserve your radio w/ about month of waiting time, as of now, simply send mail to Georgi to [email protected] English is ok.
    While I have my own clone that I started with, I do NOT recommend to buy obsolete model build with cheapest and lowest quality components on a market. And it’s not worth the aggravation buying low quality build radio with illegal FW which chinese sellers will charge you for cracked version anyways and the price difference getting original radio is really not that much, but the difference is HUGE!
    73! To Everyone, hope this helps. Michael

    • Loris

      Too bad I see this post that now I bought what I thought was a good device, the original and it’s Chinese with exactly the issues you write …

  3. Michael Blanc

    And he is actually does that, you can order from original developer and get lot better quality version of this radio, as here is list you should expect when you buy clone:
    – cheap and darker version of LCD w/ barely functioning capacitive touch screen, doesn’t respond to every click as Georgi (RX9CIM) mentioned misaligned badly some functions don’t respond and you have to click around to find the functional spot.
    – LCD connected to PCB with 3 times longer then original flat cable, making radio noisier from digital signals getting into RF and waterfall looks lot busier but reality is – it just own noise.
    – cheap encoders responding to every 5 to 10th click
    – Laser cut PCB fiberglass used on most of the cases vs aluminum quality case.
    – Audio codec chip used on clones is cheap model unlike original version. Personally I care about ssb only but for some who also likes FM Stereo or wide AM, could be significant.
    – FW: basic demo is up to 200Mhz w/ minimal features, but 2 Ghz version cost of the license paid to RX9CIM while chinese sellers sell cracked version with upgrade to future versions questionable meaning that hope that Georgi will be supporting future upgrades by intentionally making future fw version compatible with clones..
    – Importantly that Georgi already released next generation of his radio DSP2 which he is selling now, with second board of automatic filters getting this radio to the next level.
    And these are far from all and only major points that I remember after watching radio presentation by Georgi (RX9CIM)
    To reserve your radio w/ about month of waiting time, as of now, simply send mail to Georgi to [email protected] English is ok.
    While I have my own clone that I started with, I do NOT recommend to buy obsolete model build with cheapest and lowest quality components on a market. And it’s not worth the aggravation buying low quality build radio with illegal FW which chinese sellers will charge you for cracked version anyways and the price difference getting original radio is really not that much, but the difference is HUGE!
    73! To Everyone, hope this helps. Michael

  4. Massimiliano

    i am an italian buyer and i am waiting for a shipment from russia bought from Georgiy
    RX9CIM [email protected].
    Initially on July 8 it was sent by Russian post with the tracking number CL083277721RU; then on July 16 the package was blocked at Russian customs and returned to the sender. Then on July 20 the sender reported that they had solved the problem with the Russian post office manager and sent the package back with the tracking number EL046773514RU. The tracking shows that on 23 July it was delivered to the Italian Post Office. The tracking shows that from the day of departure (20 July) to 23 July he used several postal couriers several times: RUSSIAN POST and the Chinese CAINIAO: the latest is this CAINIAO. Contact Poste Italiane they know nothing about this package and a tracking number appears at the Italian customs with this number EL046773514RU. Beware of this type of purchase you may not receive it

    • Massimiliano

      I want to make a correction to what happened, all the confusion was made by the Italian Post Office because after the problem indicated, the Russian colleague sent everything back with ordinary EMS. On July 21, the package arrived in Italy Customer (customs) (as indicated in the Russian Post tracking) but the Poste Italiane call center told me several times with various operators that they did not find anything. When I asked if by chance the package had been detained at customs, all the operators of the Poste Italiane call center in unison told me that everything that arrives first passes through them and then if it is outside the EU they pass it through customs so they excluded the 100% possession by customs indicating that the package had not really entered Italy, leading me to believe that Russian post had lost it. By coincidence the Russian colleague was also on vacation and therefore did not respond to emails. Later in the last few days he contacted me apologizing that he was on vacation and had no internet on the vacation spot. So all these ingredients obviously misled me. Then I contacted RUSSIAN Post (they immediately responded to all my communications and sent a communication to Poste Italiane on 2 August to inform them that their hand delivery took place on 21 July cm Obviously they gave the package to someone with relative receipt of handover and these pulled into question had to take it into account (the gnorri of Poste Italiane). In fact, magically on August 3, then on the Italian Post Office a slew of backlog tracking including all days 22 July 23 July 24 etc. .
      I apologized to my Russian colleague (who is also an engineer) in which I must say he was very understanding indeed he also sent me as an attachment the copy of the shipping receipt that the Russian post office gave him. it seemed only right to point out the clarification to whom I told my experience: ultimately the Russian colleague is very reliable, as well as his Russian postal system … and as usual the Italian Post Office is running water on all sides and creating tragedies and misunderstandings

  5. Massimiliano

    i am an italian buyer and i am waiting for a shipment from russia; initially on July 8 it was sent by Russian post with the tracking number CL083277721RU; then on July 16 the package was blocked at Russian customs and returned to the sender. Then on July 20 the sender reported that he had solved the problem with the director of the Russian post office and sent the package back again with the tracking number EL046773514RU. The tracking shows that on 23 July it was delivered to the Italian Post Office. From the tracking we can see that from the day of departure (20 July) to 23 July it has used several postal carriers several times: RUSSIAN POST and the Chinese CAINIAO: the latest is this CAINIAO. Contacted Poste Italiane they know nothing about this package and it results to the Italian customs a tracking with this number EL046773514RU

    • Massimiliano

      I want to make a correction to what happened, all the confusion was made by the Italian Post Office because after the problem indicated, the Russian colleague sent everything back with ordinary EMS. On July 21, the package arrived in Italy Customer (customs) (as indicated in the Russian Post tracking) but the Poste Italiane call center told me several times with various operators that they did not find anything. When I asked if by chance the package had been detained at customs, all the operators of the Poste Italiane call center in unison told me that everything that arrives first passes through them and then if it is outside the EU they pass it through customs so they excluded the 100% possession by customs indicating that the package had not really entered Italy, leading me to believe that Russian post had lost it. By coincidence the Russian colleague was also on vacation and therefore did not respond to emails. Later in the last few days he contacted me apologizing that he was on vacation and had no internet on the vacation spot. So all these ingredients obviously misled me. Then I contacted RUSSIAN Post (they immediately responded to all my communications and sent a communication to Poste Italiane on 2 August to inform them that their hand delivery took place on 21 July cm Obviously they gave the package to someone with relative receipt of handover and these pulled into question had to take it into account (the gnorri of Poste Italiane). In fact, magically on August 3, then on the Italian Post Office a slew of backlog tracking including all days 22 July 23 July 24 etc. .
      I apologized to my Russian colleague (who is also an engineer) in which I must say he was very understanding indeed he also sent me as an attachment the copy of the shipping receipt that the Russian post office gave him. it seemed only right to point out the clarification to whom I told my experience: ultimately the Russian colleague is very reliable, as well as his Russian postal system … and as usual the Italian Post Office is running water on all sides and creating tragedies and misunderstandings. Hello and excuse

  6. gerryk

    I feel I have to jump in on this statement… “Judging by the fact that the schematic, software and BOM is all freely released, the project appears to be open source”
    First off, there is no legal definition of “open source”. There are Open Source licenses, that describe explicitly what can and cannot be done with artifacts like source code, design files etc., but just because these things are available, no assumptions can be made.
    Additionally, even if something has an Open Source license, this may not always grant rights to use commercially, i.e. someone using the source code and design files to have units manufactured, which they then sell on.
    I have seen this lack of understanding used to justify purchase of a cheaper “unofficial clone” of a project numerous times, and because someone reads the words “open source” on a blog like this, they are happy to defer responsibility and just pirate away.
    Yes, this is a bit of a rant, but it’s something I feel strongly about, not just on principle, but I have seen many producers of amazing projects just lose interest and stop producing because their (reasonable, IMO) terms are just ignored,
    73 Gerry
    The only thing that can determine

  7. Eric

    The Russians design and build some great products, but getting them to the world is next to impossible. Putin needs to start puttin some work into that problem.

    • Raymond Perrin

      I just received my Russian Malachite today. Great radio. Nice solid thick case — well made. And the official firmware is a lot better than the “test” firmware on my Chinese clone! But waited 2 months after order for a radio to be shipped and then about 6 weeks for it to reach me in Canada.

  8. Kjartan

    Funny that this guy doesn’t realize he has a potential goldmine on his hands. He could set up a small production team and earn thousands of dollar on the international market.

  9. Christian

    Hi, I found this on Amazon:

    https://is.gd/Wd3V7t

    Not much info provided But I searched online and found what looks to be the same unit on Aliexpress. It has more details on the unit:

    https://is.gd/BQUb6t

    I am not sure…is this unit a “good” example…or is it representing the “junk” version referenced in these comments?

  10. Eric

    Don’t buy the Chinese versions !! Put an extra $ 100 and you will have a good, well tuned receiver with a one year warranty. In addition, if there is a problem, Georgye easily responds by email.

  11. D/R. ANGLE / WA8DGG

    NOT AVAILABLE !!! I did an on-line translaion of the Russian manual to English , but it is of very limited help. It is also not much good with the Chinese crap flooding the ebait market with their hacked ( more like slaughtered ) firm ware.
    Beware..the Chinese JUNK being offered is JUNK …. &
    JUNK IS JUNK. Firmware has been gutted and does not contain most of the features shown and advertised .

    • DF

      Don’t be so stupid. That is the free demo firmware available for evryone. If you want full functionalty you can buy commercial firmware. Write a message to author with the code on your displat to
      [email protected] ru , [email protected]
      Chinese’s receivers so cheap because it does not contain a price for firmware. Russians RX will be expensive in twice.

      • Raymond Perrin

        OK. I have purchased a Chinese “Thicker” receiver on ePay. It seems to work OK, but features are lacking. Also it lacks an internal battery. One feature it seems to lack is the ability to key in a frequency. I assume that this keyboard would also be used to key in an authorization code if you want to upgrade the firmware. If so, how can you upgrade it? Or is there way to purchase the proper Russian radio with the complete firmware?

        • Michael Thompson

          check the switch on the bottom. It is labelled “REST” and looks like a pushbutton; however, it is a slide switch for disabling the battery. Once you turn it on the battery will be connected.
          I ran into this too and thought the battery was simply flat from shipping, but when I looked close then I saw it, flipped the switch and all was good.
          This is information deemed “not important enough to tell the customer” LOL

          • Raymond Perrin

            Thanks for your help! You are correct! Who I saw the REST switch, I thought it was a RESET button! Sliding the switch activated the internal battery.

            As I said, I bought my radio from China. There were no instructions provided. After I received it, I sent a message to the seller asking him how to install an internal battery. He did not seem to know that the radio already had an internal battery and said I would have to modify it to accommodate an internal battery.

            Thanks again!

            Ray Perrin

  12. 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.

      • D/R. ANGLE / WA8DGG

        What does D and F stand for,, DECEIVE and FAKE? The3 DEMO version of firmware is a joke , and a bad one at that. It is a come-on to get the CHINESE hand in your pocket for an extra $55 or so. They BAIT you with features in their pictures then after purchase they ask if you want to flash some “real Russian” firmware. This is no more tha ntheft…AVOID IT !

    • Massimiliano

      i am an italian buyer and i am waiting for a shipment from russia; initially on July 8 it was sent by Russian post with the tracking number CL083277721RU; then on July 16 the package was blocked at Russian customs and returned to the sender. Then on July 20 the sender reported that he had solved the problem with the director of the Russian post office and sent the package back again with the tracking number EL046773514RU. The tracking shows that on 23 July it was delivered to the Italian Post Office. From the tracking we can see that from the day of departure (20 July) to 23 July it has used several postal carriers several times: RUSSIAN POST and the Chinese CAINIAO: the latest is this CAINIAO. Contacted Poste Italiane they know nothing about this package and it results to the Italian customs a tracking with this number EL046773514RU

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

      • D/R. ANGLE / WA8DGG

        NOT AVAILABLE !!! I did an on-line translaion of the Russian manual to English , but it is of very limited help. It is also not much good with the Chinese crap flooding the ebait market with their hacked ( more like slaughtered ) firm ware.
        Beware..the Chinese JUNK being offered is JUNK …. &
        JUNK IS JUNK. Firmware has been gutted and does not contain most of the features shown and advertised .

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