SDR Radio front end

SDR Radio.  I’m hooked.  I’m a glutton for punishment I guess, but have been looking hard at going full on SDR for my next HF rig.  This doesn’t seem to be an altogether wise choice as it WILL be full of set-up issues, software quirks, likely become useless with unsupported software upgrades and hardware connections becoming obsolete and changing in the future.

It will very likely have a useful life much shorter than my 21 year old Yaesu FT-920 which purrs right along with the best… but I’m still very interested in the technology and figuring it all out.  I know I’ll regret it in the long run.  Reminds me of a saying my uncle told me about a girl I was interested in….  he said  “no matter how hot you think she is, somewhere there is some guy that’s completely sick of her bullshit!”   Stuck with me, but I’ve always been bad about advice in that arena too 🙂

I’ll admit I’m completely hooked on the ‘waterfall’ it’s so beautiful and I like to see visually what is going on the entire band.  I tried to avoid it and keep it simple… just turn the knob lazy! But after purchasing my SDRplay a few years back and seeing waterfalls incorporated into the IF stages of newer radios it’s hard not to want that.

In my research of all this SDR stuff, I realized I really just needed to put my SDR receiver in the chain.  Not much different than the old twin radios of the past.  Transmit with the transmitter and receive with a capable receiver. 

There were a lot of videos and kits available to tap the IF stage of almost any older radio to get a waterfall but the IF stage in between filters is just not very wide compared to the SDR receivers that are capable of displaying as much spectrum as the device can based on the soundcard bandwidth built in.

Steve, K1GMM, that gets on Venture Overland from time to time, has a great YouTube channel where he is playing with this stuff.  He has both an Icom IC-7300 in a TR switch set-up like this and a couple of really nice SDR radios including an Anan. Also has some great HiFi SSB content.  I’ll thank Steve for saving me the cost of a new vehicle! As he talked me through adding an SDR specific TR switch that would allow me to work in ‘twin mode’ with the gear I mostly already had

I’m going to work on a video of how it’s all set up and operates.  Here is a diagram of my station wiring until then.

SDR Console software with the SDRplay RSP1a. Using OmniRig to control the Yaesu FT-920

73, KB7RQQ

One Comment on “SDR Radio front end

  1. I know of your love for yeasu so get the FT101DX, folks claim its the best SDR HF rig out there

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