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HF with SDR  

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Hello,

I'm trying to receive HF with my SDRs. I've got an rtl-sdr v3, an airspy mini, a spyverter upconverter and a nooelec balun 1:9.

- What's the best hardware to use ? rtl-sdr in direct sampling mode, rtl-sdr+spyverter, or airspy mini+spyverter ? Do I need the balun ? (In VHF and UHF, apart from the price, I can't see much difference in between the rtl-sdr v3 and the airspy mini. Maybe I'm missing something ?)

- Second question, the antenna. I live in a house with neighbours on both sides and I've only got a very small garden (about 5 by 5 meters) surounded by walls. I tried a wire (about 15 meters) going from the second floor to the garden, it didn't work very well. What do you think about the mini whips ? Some people seem happy with them, others don't like them at all... The one powered by bias tee seems a good choice for the rtl-sdr v3 in direct sampling mode http://www.chirio.com/prodotti.htm (number 6 at 27 Euros - I can't speak Italian). On the other hand, you can't use it with the spyverter (the 5v doesn't go through the spyverter).

One more thing, I'm not prepared in spending a few hundred Euros in a Wellbrook or a Boni-whip.

Thanks for your help and suggestions.

Regards,

James

4 Answers
1

Based on what you're telling me I'd  go with the airspy and spyverter since they are made to pair up.

HF on the rtl-sdr works quite well but you're going to do far better with a proper up converter on HF. You'll want to use that balun as it's going to ensure a proper match with the antenna. Without it you'll have a deaf rx.

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Sorry for the long wait James, yeah a long wire should be fine. If you can build a dipole to feed the SDR into your balun. It should work wonders.

I love my RTL-SDR v3, the airspy however is going to give you more bandwidth and does have tracking filters. I strongly believe in using the right tool for the job. For HF monitoring they both do great however since you have the up converter that's going to likely beat the modification used to pull in HF directly (although it still works quite well).

the lan4all is great but it could also increase noise, they have an HF version so if you're looking to use it for HF then that's what I'd pick up. The original lna4all is more for general rx.

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Hello, 

Thanks for your answer.

What type of antenna do you recommend? With my small garden, do you think that it's possible to use a random wire antenna? Would a LNA4HF help or would it just increase the noise?

In general, do you think that the airspy mini is better than the RTL-SDR V3 ? 

 

Thanks again for your help. 

 

James 

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Hello, 

What do you mean by feeding the balun with a dipole? 

For the moment, I'm trying  : airspy mini connected to the spyverter by coax cable, the balun is connected to the spyverter with coax cable and then a long piece wire is going out of the balun. Where should the dipole go? What sort of dipole?

Thanks again for your help. 

 

Regards, 

James. 

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