Sunday, July 15, 2018

My new ham radio passion revealed.

My new adventure arrives
  IARU contest was in full swing and I felt it was a great time to see if my I.P. address both static and dynamic as well as the good old Subnet mask was going to bring me joy! I started the PC and with the pushing of a few buttons I was up and going. I am the proud owner of a new Expert Electronics SunSDR2 Pro. So the cat is out of the bag as some had already guessed my new adventure is SDR radio. For real VFO spinning and button pushing I still have my Elecraft KX3.  Expert Electronics has currently 4 transceivers, the MB1, SunSDR2 Pro, SunSDR2 and SunSDR2 QRP. I chose the SunSDR2 Pro for a few reasons first being the MB1 was way out of my price range. I wanted a bit more than QRP power so the SunSDR2 QRP was out of the question. The U.S dealer is NSI communications and on their site the SunSDR2 Pro was on sale as well! I order the rig and it took about a week to make it up to me in Canada. Before it was shipped Yuri from NSI communications called me just to let me know if there was any issues with setup to call him. He also advised me to download and start reading the manuals.

The SDR radio is a learning experience for me and I’m sure it is going to be the way of the future and I’m a slow learner so I wanted to get on the wagon soon. I “tried” to set the radio up on my own to have it communicate with my PC and it just went from bad to worse. I had to get the rig to communicate with my PC via the Ethernet card. I have two Ethernet cards and was getting them intermixed until I was lost. I didn’t want to get frustrated as this is a huge learning curve BUT I did give in to emailing Yuri about my situation. He promptly called me and set up a time to use Team viewer and take over my PC to figure out the issue. Within 15 minutes he had my PC and SDR radio “talking” with each other.

SunSDR2 pro 

The SunSDR2 Pro tops out at 20 watts and includes VHF and a lot more that you can read about from this LINK. As I was saying at the start of this post the IARU contest was on this weekend and I threw my SDR rig into the action. This contest gave me an opportunity to see how the receiver stacked up on a busy band. I was impressed and very much enjoyed using the second independent receiver/transmitter.
I was not an active participant in the contest I was there to see how the receiver preformed. Next I want to get my contest software and logging software on board with the SDR radio. Some draw backs I have found with this rig is.....at this point in time there is no QSK and there is no one button split operation. For split it involves a few button pushes. I have been told and read on the forum that these issues are known and solutions are being worked on.
Using the 2  receivers 

4 comments:

  1. Hello Mike, it looks nice but complicated. Personally I prefer a rig with knobs. Like a Icom IC-7300. Good luck with the learning curve and hope to read more about your SDR adventures. 73, Bas

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    1. Good evening Bas and very nice to hear from you, I guess it's as complicated as I want it to be. I plan on taking it one step at a time and considering this may be the way of the future I just would like to get a jump on it.
      73 and thanks for stopping by.
      Mike

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  2. Hi Mike, congratulations with your new SDR rig. It looks very nice. I'm doubting about this kind of rigs. It's the problem as you mention, get the rig up and running with the PC. I never get my rigs working with e.g. CAT control. Always problems. But this SDR is very nice and you got it running. ;-) Good luck with the new transceiver. 73 Paul PAØK

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    1. Good evening Paul and very nice to hear from you, I agree that sometimes using a PC in conjunction with ham radio can be frustrating. I have had issues in the past just getting FT8 to communicate with my rig. But having said that I just wanted to move my ham radio career in this direction. I still have the Elecraft KX3 just in case I want to spin the VFO now and then.
      Thanks for stopping by Paul and have a great weekend.
      Mike
      VE3WDM

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