At the RSGB Convention last week I broke my pledge to have a 100% homebrew station. There was a demonstration of an SDRPlay RSP1A right next to the Martin Lynch stand with a small pile of boxes on sale! Not only is it a wide band receiver there is also spectrum analyser software available and all this for just less than £90.
The justification was simple; I build transmitters and need to be able to check the harmonics and other spurious signals to conform to licence regulations. It does not have to be an absolute measurement just the level of the spurious emissions compared to the carrier. And spectrum analysers are expensive.
Then there is the imminent launch of Es’hail, so I need a 10Ghz receiver to listen to it. The conscience clincher was a demo by the microwave group of a modern satellite TV LNA connected to an SDR receiver. Simple. Another reason to get the RSP1A.
And then there is 630m. You get the message, justification for the temptation and I must confess I had a moment of weakness and succumbed. I am trying to atone by finishing the remote tuner.
Not had much time to play but what I have seen is impressive. SDR receivers are incredible, amazing etc. This morning I listened at the top end of 80m for the transatlantic DX spot, 3.798Mhz and was astonished to hear AA8KB at 5-7 on the meter. This is on an untuned inverted L sloper with the high end at about 10m and low end at 6m.
This is a short recording of AA8KB holding the recorder close the the PC speaker.
I can only confess to this lapse and argue that this was a one-off purchase of an extremely useful piece of kit!
The usual disclaimer, no connection with the company and these are my own views.
Update a half hour later. Just gone back to the SDRPlay and found the RF gain was almost turned to minimum.