Looking at SDR

The other day I was checking out the ARRL website and I read Stan Horzepa’s, WA1LOU column Surfin’: Hamming on the edge.

Since I am a computer guy, SDR has always intrigued me.  I have been looking at sticking my toe in the water for awhile, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money.  The softrock stuff looked good, but I didn’t want to be stuck on one band.

Stan had a link to http://garage-shoppe.com/wordpress/ , so I followed it and started reading about Pete Goodmann’s LD-1 SDR receiver.  The price and performance look good, so as soon as I get the Sienna done, I might order one and start playing.  I looks like it might be a good match to the Sienna for a Pan-Adapter.  We will see.


  • Dave

    Hi Allen,
    This is Dave K0RWM in Nebraska City. Last year I purchased the Elektor SDR for $139, struggled with it from April until January and learned all the computers, desktops and laptops did not have a hardware stereo input for the I Q signals. Purchased the Creative Labs E-Mu 0202 external USB card and I was in business. I am using the free Winrad software that allows viewing and recording of 190 kHz bandwidth. I played a recording from the SDR at the Lincoln hamfest last weekend of the 3982 SSB net check ins. The problem with the Softrock is the limited range. I receive 500 kHz to 30 mHz. The audio is awesome. The filtering is brickwall. The LD-1 is like my Elektor, it requires a good stereo line input on the computer. While I am in computers and spent my life in broadcasting I was shocked to learn most of the audio cards on computers are not stereo input. So if you buy the Elektor SDR for $139 or the LD-1 you will need to keep the stereo part in mind. I ordered the RF Space SDR-IQ from Universal Radio this past week. I think I have the Elektor SDR board sold to a friend here in Nebraska City. The SDR-IQ is $500 and offers the audio through the USB cable, so no actual 1/8 inch stereo plug. I have two connections between the SDR and the computer, a USB cable which tunes the oscillator and the 1/8 inch stereo plug feeding the IQ signals to the sound card.
    Allen, I have several files I recorded the past couple of weeks of the 75 meter SSB 3982 morning net. If you like I could mail you a DVD copy. Then you download Winrad for free and play the wav file. Not a wave file like you may be accustomed to, but one the Winrad will play. You will see 190 kHz of spectrum from about 3820 to 4000 kHz. Tune any station in like you are real time.

    Allen, take a look at the SDR-IQ review in February QST. Universal Radio said they have problems keeping them in stock as the military buys them in bunches.


  • Thanks for the input Dave. I would love to hear your recordings. I got to the hamfest late and didn’t catch your presentation.

    Brian with DZKit is using the SDR-IQ with the Sienna for a second receiver and pan adapter. He even has plans to let you put it inside the rig. It goes in the space provided for the 100W Amp, so I doubt I will do that, but i will look at it for an external option.

    Thanks, for the heads up.

  • Dave

    Allen I will mail it your address. Can you forward that??

    I will include my phone number so you can call and I will fast track you with the software.

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