Firstly, this is not technical review, this is a quick review from an average users point of view, I'm not getting into technical details and comparing 12bit to 14bits etc...
So with that said, Today, SDRPlay announced the release of the RSP1A, a replacement and ugrade to the RSP1. The RSP1 has been out for several years now, and was due for retirement or upgrade, don't get me wrong, the RSP1 performs well, and will continue to be supported in SDRuno and SDR-Console and is still a great SDR radio, but production has now stopped on the RSP1 and has been replaced by the RSP1A.
There are quite a few upgrades compared to the RSP1, filtering has been improved, comparable to the RSP2/RSP2Pro, MW/FM/DAB notch filters, Bias-T Output, 0.5ppm TCXO are the main upgrades
Yes the RSP1A looks just like the RSP1 on the outside, but the case is the same material as the RSP2 with internal shielding.
So what does all this mean to the average user in the real world, not in a lab setting using test instruments. Overall the HF performance has been improved, many, if not most of the HF spurious signals that were visible on the RSP1 have now gone, HF performance is pretty amazing, when tied to SDRUno and SDR-Console, the 1A is on par with the 2, if not slightly better, but the 2 still has the edge when selecting Antenna, and also the Refernce clock out to enable synching with multiple RSP2's.
Here we see a nice clean span of the HF Band, gone are the spurious signals, just clean HF signals, same on VHF.
The filters installed on the RSP1A are as follows
Front End Filtering Automatically configured front end filtering:
The Low pass filter is new, and not available on the RSP2. this is a nice addition. It's amazing how small of an antenna you can use to get good signals on HF, the above shot is just using a 60ft wire at 25ft high. I've been testing the RSP1A now for many months, and I'me very pleased with it's perfomance, very hard to get an overload warning in SDRUno.
Signals on the 40m band during daylight hours, nice just signals again, none of the spurious one, if a signal is there, it's a real signal.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the RSP1A, I know there will be more in depth technical reviews, but as a regular ham radio user, would I buy the RSP1A, at $99.00 Yes with no hesitation, I've been running the RSP1A and RSP2Pro in tandem here at the NN4F station, and find that they compliment each other very well, I've been using the 1A on HF and the 2pro on VHF and Up
So i got a new laptop a few weeks ago, a MSi GT72VR Dominator, it's a gaming laptop, but I use it for Video editing, and SDRRadio use, here we are running two SDR's the LimeSDR is on the left running 30mhz of bandwidth covering 100khz-30mhz in one slice and also a SDRPlay RSP2 running 10mhz of bandwidth.
Announcing The SDRPlay RSP2 & RSP2pro.
It was back in August 2014 that SDRPlay launched the RSP1, a wide range SDR, covering 10kHz to 2GHz. It has sold 1000's of units world wide, and has become the goto SDR in the sub $200 price range. Accompanied by the amazing SDRUno Software, it is the complete package.
Well now SDRPlay have announced the RSP2 and RSP2pro an upgrade to the RSP1, many enhancements that users have been asking for.
Built in MW/FM Notch Filters
Improved Band Filtering and Extra Band Filters
3 Antenna Connectors 2x SMA(PortA/B) 1x HiZ
24mhz Reference Clock In/Out
RSP2 - Metalized Plastic Case
RSP2pro - Metal Case
4.7V Bias-T on Antenna PortB Switchable
So as many of you may know, I'm a Beta Tester for SDRPlay, and we've been testing the RSP2 for a few months now, comparing it against the RSP1, I've had a few versions with hardware upgrades along the way as we tested (Mike & Preben were in on the secret too). Switching between the RSP1 and RSP2 comparing signals on various antennas. This post is just to wet your appetite, more to come....
Let me start by just saying WOW, SDRPlay hit this one out of the park. They took on user comments about the RSP1 and have applied them to the new version.
So where to start,
Gone is the single SMA connector, replaced with Dual SMA Connectors, and a Plug-able 3 screw connector for the HiZ port. The SMA ports are slightly different, Port A is a normal antenna port as on the RSP1, Port B lets you enable the Bias-T, so it's recommended that you use Port A for your general listening on all bands, and if you have an external LNA that requires power for VHF/UHF etc, then use Port B. the Bias-T is turned on in the software.
I've been concentrating on comparing Port A and the HiZ Port, SDRPlay recommend the HiZ port for HF listening, and I can tell you, they are not wrong, the performance on HF via the HiZ port is just amazing. I have just the long wire running to the P connection and my station Ground connected to the GND pin, I have left the N disconnected, but SDRPlay also say you can connect a small loop from N t the GND pin, I personally didn't see any difference when I did. I also connected my 160m ladderline fed antenna to the P and N and it performed flawlessly.
Port A worked just as good when fed with the long wire, gain settings were slightly different from the HiZ connections, but once you have them set, it's fairly easy then swapping the antennas over, and the signal remaining the same.
Port B works as port A, but also has the 4.7V @ 100mA Bias-T available to power an external LNA via the coax feed, this is enabled in the software (SDRUno V1.1)
On the opposite end of the case are the 24MHz Reference Clock In/Out ports, these allow for multiple RSP2's to be clock synced for diversity reception and more. These are MCX connectors.
SO this is a biggie, the RSP2 now includes a MW/FM Notch filter, and it works very well....
Port A - No Notch Applied
Port A - New Notch Filter Applied
There is just one button that applies the notch filters, when applied the MW(AM) and FM Broadcast filters are both applied, I saw some spurs on HF from the local AM power houses, but as soon as the filter was applied, all the spurs vanished and HF was clean as a whistle. Also the RSP1 suffered from Broadcast FM images in the 380Mhz area, these are now a thing of the past, even without the Notch Applied, the notch just makes doubly sure.
The RSP2 now includes a 0.5ppm TCXO, the unit is VERY stable, you can still adjust the PPM down to 0.01ppm, and SDRUno V1.1 will auto calibrate this for you if you tune to WWV or another accurate source, tune in SAM mode and then go to RX/SETT/CAL and hit Auto CAL, it will them set your PPM, once set, it is ultra stable, I have had one of my Pro's running for several days and virtually NO drift at all.
The RSP2 comes in two versions, The RSP2 and the RSP2pro, so what are the differences, well it's just cosmetic, the internal workings are the same, the RSP2 comes in a Black Plastic Case, the difference from the RSP1 is the case has a metallic coating on the inside of the case, giving it adequate shielding from the outside world of RF.
The RSP2Pro comes in a rugged metal case, it still offers the same amount of shielding, and during testing, no real difference was noticeable, the metal case is heavier and is intended for a professional environment, or so the guys at SDRPlay tell me.... I just love the metal case, but again I think you will need a very expensive piece of test equipment to see any difference between the two versions of case, my eyes and ears certainly can't see it...
A more in depth review will be added soon, we've just finished the testing, now we get to play with it....
It's an AMAZING box, and a MAJOR step up from the RSP1, It's so good I have 3 of them at the moment, one is a early beta, but it works, and 2 RSP2pro's, do I want more...YESSSSSS
The Specs from SDRPlay.... for more info go to http://www.sdrplay.com
A new version of SDRUno is about to be released, V1.1 this is a major update for SDRUno, with many new options.... and also the EXTIO version for radios other than the SDRPlay now supports 2.5Mhz of bandwidth, so RTL's are up from 0.96Mhz to 2.5Mhz of bandwidth. As always the cookbook has all the details of the new release, download it from the sdrguides link http://www.nn4f.com/index.php/sdrplay-guides.html
SDRUno Version 1.1
Tighter integration of RSP controls
Invert mouse wheel scroll direction
Support gain and gain reduction
Automatic S-Meter calibration (with support to include external gain/losses)
Add support for IARU S-Meter standard
Calibrated power measurement
Fix waterfall direction in combo mode
Changed filter presets (LSB & USB now the same)
USER filter preset changed to DIGITAL (DRM)
Added additional frequency step sizes (in RX Frequency Window)
Additional Controls in some SETT windows
SNR Reading in SP1
Changes to SP1/SP2 Scales. The signal is now in dBm referred to the antenna port as opposed to dBfs at the ADC input.
Auto Calibration of the PPM Offset.
Some bug fixes
Extio Version 1.05
Updated Available Bandwidths to a maximum of 2.5Mhz for all Extio driven sdr’s
A new version of SDRUno is about to be released, V1.03 some nice changes, better filter bandwidths, some bugs killed and small updates... This is the official software from SDRPlay for the RSP, it also supports other SDR's via the ExtIO DLL interface to a maximum of 1Mhz of bandwidth.
Changes for 1.03
High DPI resolution support for 4k monitor resolutions
Reworked filter cutoffs (20khz AM/SAM Wide USB for DRM/Data)
Filter button stays lit
Separate out EXTIO functionality (separate exe file for EXTIO radios)
RSP Ready notice in Main Window/SETT/Input indicator
Rename FM Stereo NR button & slider for clarity
Improved tuner AGC scheme
Improved DC offset scheme
Removed unused buttons on SP1/SP2 windows
Temporary LO frequency display in advanced window
Various bug fixes
Change defaults (LNA OFF / AGC ON)
Added LO to SP1 display
Added PTY to RDS display
13 Colonies Station K2L, So over the July 4th weekend, I operated as part of the K2L team for the 13 Colonies Special Event, we put South Carolina on the air as one of the original 13 colonies, this is the 8th year of operation, and the event is getting bigger, this year our total contact count was down, as SC K2L we made 13,811 contacts with stations in the USA and Around the world. K2L made the most contacts as state, and we achieved TOP STATE again, this is the 3rd year we have done this. In total, all 13 colonies made a total of 139,772 contacts, up from 126,296 in 2015. The event is getting larger every year, for more info on the event visit www.13colonies.net I would like to thank all of my K2L operators, Doug, Brian, Frank, Ariel, Bill, Loyd, Tom, together the 8 of us made a great team.
At 0800 UTC this morning SDRPlay released the amazing SDRuno software, it's aimed at the SDRPlay RSP, but will operate other SDR's with limited functionality. And see my SDRUno Guide on the menu above...after several weeks of testingf the public can now access this great software for use with thier SDRPlay RSP SDR, and amazingly, It's FREE, yes FREE...
SDRUno running 4 Virtual Receivers
Official Press Release...
SDRplay is pleased to announce the official release of SDRuno for the RSP. SDRuno is the new name for the RSP compatible version of Studio1, the rights to which we obtained and announced on 28th April. SDRuno contains native support for the SDRplay RSP and no extra plugins are required. Third party hardware can also be supported via the ExtIO interface, but with reduced functionality.
SDRuno provides a rugged and flexible, high performance SDR receiver capability and boasts some excellent features:
• Multiple ‘Virtual Receivers’ which allow for simultaneous reception and demodulation of different types of signals within the same receiver bandwidth.
• A selectivity filter with an ultimate rejection greater than 140 dB.
• A unique distortion-free double stage AGC with fully adjustable parameters.
• Multiple notch filters with BW adjustable down to 1 Hz, Notch Lock feature.
• A unique synchronous AM mode with selectable/adjustable sidebands, dedicated PLL input filter, and selectable PLL time constants.
• SNR (stereo noise reduction), featuring a proprietary noise reduction algorithm for stereo broadcast.
• AFC for FM signals.
• Calibration for receiver frequency errors.
Over time, we plan to add many more features to SDRuno to enhance the user’s experience of this very powerful piece of software. This software runs on Windows and we don’t yet know how easy it will be to migrate it to other platforms but this is something we will be investigating.
SDRuno will be made freely available to all current and future users of the RSP – to download a copy – simply go to http://www.sdrplay.com/windows.html
Our support for SDRuno in no way lessens our commitment to support HDSDR, SDR Console, Cubic SDR or ANY other software solution where the authors are willing to work with us. We fully recognise that many people have strong preferences for particular pieces of software and we do not want to do anything to undermine the options that people have to use their favoured software packages. Indeed, our view is quite the opposite. Our objective remains aim to have our hardware platforms support any and every SDR package out there. This of course may not be possible, but it is our philosophy and part of the ethos of our company.
About Studio 1:
Studio1 was developed in Italy by SDR Applications S.a.s. and has hundreds of happy customers around the world.
Studio 1 is known for its user friendly stylish GUI, CPU efficiency and advanced DSP capabilities, including features not
available on other SDR software packages.
SDRplay limited is a UK company and consists of a small group of engineers with strong connections to the UK Wireless
semiconductor industry. SDRplay announced its first product, the RSP1 in August 2014