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Thread: YouTube Airspy SDR Review and Comparison.

  1. #1
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    Default YouTube Airspy SDR Review and Comparison.

    looks like the reviews are starting to come in about the Airspy SDR.

    http://www.rtl-sdr.com/youtube-airsp...ew-comparison/

  2. #2
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    That's great for those DXing 28mhz but I'm waiting for somebody to compare it on FM to either another model SDR or something like a T-85.
    Mike B.
    Enfield, CT
    -72 30' W/41 59' N
    FN31RX

    Online since 1999 and still going at
    mikesdx.com

    Archives: The Original Mike's TV/FM Page with Tuner Mods and Lots of Old Stuff

  3. #3
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    here is another youtube video of independent reviewer William that received a unit early. have been chatting with him via IRC in the #airspy channel and he said that with a 2m/70cm band antenna receive wbfm stations that his akai at-v04 dont receive with a 1.5m long stick or far away in a lot of noise. has a 97.6 100kw station at +-20km from his location. he also said a better example dab+ is like 2kW at 2MHz wide spectrum block distance 5~7km and no overload from that when try tune 0.2MHz next to it.The Airspy board is bare PCB no casing or shielding laying ontop of a desktop pc next to a compaq p2 grade machine thats active kinda surpriced not picking up that much noise yet. He lives in the country of Holland.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BHBeWwNWeY

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR_EskfafFrCIuAF7ceBtxA

  4. #4
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    I took the plunge on the Airspy and received mine yesterday, but unfortunately did not have the right adapter to hook it up to my APS-13. That should arrive tomorrow. I look forward to playing with it over Thanksgiving weekend and providing a full report. Based on initial reports I am optimistic.

  5. #5
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    Great! Can't wait to find out how it does on FM.
    Mike B.
    Enfield, CT
    -72 30' W/41 59' N
    FN31RX

    Online since 1999 and still going at
    mikesdx.com

    Archives: The Original Mike's TV/FM Page with Tuner Mods and Lots of Old Stuff

  6. #6
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    I should receive my Airspy SDR tomorrow or Monday. NickNJ, I look forward to reading your full report on the Airspy SDR. and I will report how it does in my location.

    here is another Airspy SDR youtube review. Airspy Sensitivity Measurement by W9RAN. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cloJihBSR40

  7. #7
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    Work has precluded me from doing the in-depth review on the Airspy it deserves (hopefully I'll get to it this week), but all I can say is I am very enthused using it so far. It far outperforms the RTL SDR aimed at Philadelphia here, with very little in the way of images. Even from my current location 32 miles away from most of the Philly sticks, aimed at them with the bandwidth at 100 MHz. using the RTL SDR would require the gain to be turned down quite a bit for any kind of results. With the Airspy, an adjustment is needed on the gain aimed at Philly, but to a lesser degree, and while there is a dropoff in sensitivity aimed in that direction versus my Sony XDR-F1HD, it is in my opinion acceptable. Aimed away from Philadelphia, including in a southerly direction, I would put the sensitivity neck and neck with my Sony.

    At first I was chomping at the bit for SDR Console support to be released, as I have always preferred using it, particularly for recording purposes, but Mark N2VV tipped me off to a good recording plugin for SDR# here: http://rtl-sdr.ru/page/modificirovan...lekta-sdrsharp This helps manages the size of the 10 MHz of bandwidth being recorded (massive files), and also allows you to write directly to an external drive. Best of all with these files, as long as you rename them properly, you can play them through SDR Console, so you can get the best of both worlds (you just need to invert the baseband recording when playing them in SDR Console).

    I can't compare this to the ELAD (which I would have gone with had I not pulled the trigger on the Airspy), but I'm really loving this so far. I'm sitting here listening to WRBT, not a major accomplishment at 124 miles, but on a deadband soggy night I'm able to get it with the Airspy/SDR# intermod-free, again aimed at the Philly azimuth. With E-skip this should simply be outstanding. If time allows I will post a couple screen capture videos this week and maybe some comparisons to my other tuners.

  8. #8
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    I too have my Airspy. I haven't had the time to give it a good go yet. I am disappointed that I can't run it at 10 MHz... only the lower setting - 2.5 MHz. My PC isn't that old but it has just a Core 2 Quad CPU; apparently you need an i3. On 10 MHz the audio is chopped & distorted with a silent pause every 3 seconds. It works fine at 2.5 MHz. I'm using the latest SDR# software. * UPDATE - By connecting directly to USB and avoiding USB hub I can now use 10 MHz - but only with decimation 4 (so back to 2.5 MHz). In fact now 10 MHz - 4 decimation and 2.5 MHz - no decimation are the only two settings that work at all.

    I did some playing around in the FM band, nothing serious yet. It does seem reasonably sensitive vs. the Sony. Nice to be able to take a channel that has 1/2 the bandwidth eaten by IBOC and still be able to listen to it. RDS decode is quick - like the Sangean. Haven't made a good comparison yet though. It's definitely quicker than the Sony's.

    I often listen to more than just FM : WX, AIR, etc. I did a comparison to my Icom R-8500 in the VOR airband (108-118 MHz). Not really fair since the Icom cost much more than the Airspy, but this is a good test band because you have weak signals beside a band with strong signals. The Airspy did OK on my local VOR on 112.15 MHz but there was a lot of FM splatter regardless of the settings. On the Icom it's in the clear. This is still miles ahead of the RTL though, as the RTL was useless in this band.

    One weakness is software (SDR#) - what I would like to see at some point is an editable bandplan where you can setup frequency bands and then enter gain settings to match the band (and maybe other stuff such as default channel spacing, mode, etc.) I'm sure someone will come up with ideas like this. The gain settings that work in the WX band do not work in the FM band. In WX I have to crank the gain wide open to "almost" match the Icom. On FM these settings overload and I have to crank back on them. Re-adjusting the settings when switching bands is a pain and reduces the practicality of the Airspy. * EDIT : I deleted my gain settings - I was setting them wrong. Order should be LNA - Mixer - IF. Will play around again.

    I'm sorry that I don't have time to do any serious comparisons just now - but hope to soon. I'm still in 'playing around' mode.

  9. #9
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    Any images on FM from Toronto stations when you point at them? Overload?

    I'm on the SDR Console email list and SDR Console will be supporting Airspy in a day or two (7th of Dec, probably). FYI.

    Also I use the Elad and SDRPlay on a Dell optiplex 780 Core 2 Quad CPU 2.6mhz. Both SDRs work fine with it. SDR# uses about 15% CPU on 8mhz bandwidth while Console uses 17-21% CPU usage for 6mhz bandwidth. This might give you something to compare your computer with.
    Mike B.
    Enfield, CT
    -72 30' W/41 59' N
    FN31RX

    Online since 1999 and still going at
    mikesdx.com

    Archives: The Original Mike's TV/FM Page with Tuner Mods and Lots of Old Stuff

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the tip Mike - I downloaded the beta of the SDR Console software that is compatible with Airspy. Performs just as well with SDR#, with the (to me) ease of recording features. Here's a quick little YouTube video I made, of simply a 20 second long recording of a 10 MHz. bandwidth, just after midnight tonight. The first station heard is 92.9 WEZF Burlington VT, with a lucky TrS fadeup. I was beamed north for this and as a result was able to crank the IF all the way up to 10 dB with no overload. Aimed at Philly, I have to lower it to 6 dB. The main 'bug' you may notice in the video is that for stations that seem to trigger a partial RDS decode, the last station's fully decoded PI call is displayed. And the other obvious issue - this 20 second data recording is 757 MB in length. Obviously for any extended recording an external TB drive is needed. But I continue to be quite impressed with the performance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgTy...ature=youtu.be

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