lunedì 11 marzo 2024

SDRplay on PowerSDR

 Before entering the point of the post, I like to share my last purchase. Past week I've been in Malaysia for working purposes and I found this nice bluetooth speaker/FM radio from the brand Muzen, It's called Wild Jeep Radiooo - Series 1. The case is fully metallic and despite the small dimensions the set is very heavy. Wonderful Sound! I use it for connecting the audio of one of the laptop.

That said: I finally managed to use PowerSDR IF stage with SDR Uno and SDRPlay RSP DX.

I've always liked the graphics of Power SDR but never been able to use it. I finally found a video on youtube with explanations and managed in one afternoon to have it working. Like this:

it has also a waterfall option but here I made the snapshot while I was using just the spectrum.
The background of the spectrum can be whatever picture you like (here an old Hallicrafters model S38) as long as is in PNG format and is 1000 x 550. There's a tutorial from KE9NS on how to do this.

First the SDRUno has to be set in IQ out mode and the sampling rate of the Virtual Audio Cable has to be 192000, this will allow to see more or less 200 kHz spectrum on the powerSDR.

here below the setting in VAC and in Power SDR.

Every time one is changing the "slice" of frequency on SDRUno, the center frequency of the "new slice" has to be input also in Power SDR in the box "Center frequency" of the first settings picture above (where is written 16.750000 MHz) this will allow us to read the right tuned frequency also in PowerSDR dial.

lunedì 29 gennaio 2024

Nooelec LANA HF amplifier

 I am using a chinese build RF LNA model RF AMP 03A 0.1MHz - 60 MHz, despite this description, it works up to 150 MHz @11dB declared gain. As written elsewhere is powered with a battery pack of 3A, when this is exhausted the recharging to full takes various hours.

The Nooelec LANA is powered with 5V DC with a miniusb which I connect to the USB charger of the laptop external screen.

I got the Nooelec today, paid 43 Euros on Amazon, the performances between the two are quite similar, both LNA are good in terms of noise, could be the Nooelec is slightly less noisy and shows some better SNR...but it's a matter of peanuts.

The disadvantage of the Nooelec is that swutching it off the signal doesn't pass aymore, while the chinese LNA lets the signal passing through without amplificaton, which is a quite comfortable feature, listening with amplification is not always better than without.

Willing to suggest one or the other, I could not figure out what to say. Surely the Chinese is less expansive.

sabato 27 gennaio 2024

More experiments with Youloop + HF LNA

 I have just bought on the web a rotating stand-display for the Youloop, with a remote control.

It's quite an improvement while using the youloop, since I do not need anymore to stand from the chair to rotate the loop. I paid it 26 euros.

After getting the "rotor" and after putting the loop into a ridging plastic pipe, I decided to paint it with a solid army-green spray paint, it provides all the thing with a nice "rugged" aspect. I have been working with this set up quite a lot from MW to SW.

It's coupled wih a HF LNA working with a rechargable battery pack of 3 Amp, this way it feeds the Airspy HF+. I have noticed that the HF LNA on some bands brings in FM broadcasting noise, no issue: I still have a notch filter for FM band which I bought for few euros on the web. With this all the spurious signals from FM broadcasting have disappeared.

Here the notch filter connected to the HF LNA, the brand is not visible but the label just says: "Band reject 88-108 MHz"

However: what is surprising me, which is the reason to make this post, is the deep null of the Loop on every band ad the ability it has to reduce man made noise from neighbours.

Here the effect of rotation showing null and noise reduction on WRMI 9395 kHz eralier this morning (around 8 UTC):

Beaming the loop NW - SE the reception is stunningly clear with a SNR of 38, having the noise floor lowered down to -95dBFS

Beaming the loop E-W, WRMI signal gets burried in the noise with a SNR of 25, the noise floor rises to - 75 dBFS.

This Youloop is is becoming more and more interesting. One just needs to give it more attention and a chance. The LNA helps a lot.

venerdì 26 gennaio 2024

posts comments from readers

I have realised few days ago that I have hundreds of comments from readers that I never moderated and never read/published before. I have to honestly admit that I never went into the comments box to make a check simply because I have never seen that option in the menu of the blog.

I really apologise with everyone, many interesting comments some date back to 2016, I am not going to publish all of them, but I have just released the most recent ones.

Sorry gain for this, I will check with more attention in the future.

sabato 6 gennaio 2024

Anello per Youloop

Mi è sempre sembrato complicato lavorare con la Youloop dal momento che è un antenna costruita con semplice cavo coassiale.

Ho pertanto deciso di inserirla in un tubo in polietilene rigido da irrigazione con diametro 1 pollice, Il tubo è fissato in una scatola per usi elettrici. Questo assemblaggio lo tenevo in garage ed era una vecchia loop per onde medie he avevo costruito anni fa e che non utilizzavo più.

Per darle un po' di "sprint" l'ho collegata ad un amplificatore alimentato da un powerbank da 3A; è un amplificatore low noise e ad ampio spettro da 0,1 a 60 MHz che avevo acquistato in rete un paio di anni fa.

il risultato finale, visibile nella foto qua sotto, permette ora di manovrare e direzionare la loop in interno con maggiore facilità. Attualmente è collegata con il Malahit SDR V3 in DSC su 8414.5 kHz in contemporanea con un ATS25 a 8414.5 kHz collegato alla end fed esterna da 25m. E' un confronto un po' impari, ma fra qualche ora vedremo su anche la Youloop amplificata si comporta con onore.

venerdì 5 gennaio 2024

ATS 25 AMP Receiver

 I just got delivered - with 10days anticipation - my fifth ATS 25.

with this I have an old pink case ATS-25 with a soft touch tuning knob, which still performs good despite tuning with precision is quite tricky due to the soft touch knob. And I have ATS25X1 that suddensly stopped working some eeks ago after thousand hours of use, I guess is a battery trouble, and i got also an ATS25-Max with updated UI, an ATS25-Max Decoder, wch features native decoders for FT modes CW,RTTY and has also a WiFi connection for propagation foreacsts along the bands. And finally I have just got an ATS25-AMP, that has all above + a low noise amplifier which working status is detected by a blue led on the left side of the front panel. There  are as well other two leds for hi-Z and 50 ohm antennas.


As written many times these are just toys, but upgrading from one version to the next, the performances are also improving.


today they are connected to YaddNet for DSC spot reporting, with quite interesting rate results as shown in the picture here on the left.

the ATS25 Amp (8414.5 kHz) is connected with an active loop on the house roof

the ATS25 max decoder (16804.5 kHz) is connected to a vertical antenna on the roof of the house

the ATS25 Max (12577 kHz) is connected with a random EF wire 25m long as well on the roof of the house.

The LNA - whch is not active in this moment - shows an amplification of the signal as measured on the s-meter of around 10-15 dB.

I have finally realised that the Bluetooth is not installed in any of the version I have, maybe in a next development and software updates (?), I have also seen around a video with trials of airband reception and Ham VHF.

domenica 17 dicembre 2023

ATS25 Max-Decoder (SI4732)

 I write this in English so that maybe someone can give me a usefull hint.

I got some months ago my 4th ATS25: I have the very first version with a soft touch knob for tuning, an ATS25X1 an ATS25-Max and theis last the ATS25 Max-Decoder.

Basically the X1 and the Max are the same: they just have some more functions and much improved graphics compared with the fisrt ATS-25. It seems  to me that one of the two (either the X1 either the Max version) has less muting during tuning. This muting while tuning is the only aspect I do not like about this receiver. Concerning other properties I would say it's a nice toy, for easy scanning and reception without pretending too much from it.

That said: in this later version of the Harduino software I see a bluetooth option, but it does not turn on, wifi connection works pretty well, all the rest is fine. Just this bluetooth which I am not able to get working.
The software is the 4.16 Air, however, compared with the pictures available in the dedicated web page of Harduino, the receiver' screen shows another submenu, the following in the blue circle:

Apparently this works on the choices for the aerial impedence, could be that "BT" stands for bluetooth, but opening the submenu it cannot be activated. I do not see any instruction related to this also on user handbook I got from the seller.

Is there someone who has a clue about this?

Thanks and 73