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