Wednesday, January 13, 2021

SDR-PC advantages over standard receivers:

 SDR advantages over standard receivers:


This is a short collection of all features used by PC-SDRs i collected by time and experience. I keep the nice wording of someone in the User magazine mentioning "SDR is as a net fishing comparing to a hook"


General advantages:

-DC to light reception with just one small SDR (SDRUno + family ,Hack RF etc)
-active spectrum from 125 kZH to 50MHZ (for band recording as example )
-show spectrum and waterfall with ability to closeup . Signal analysis good for finding intruders hidden signals ,modulation problems and exact latency between parallel frequencies in case of more than two parallel VRX (virtual receivers).
-spectrum minima and maxima range adjustments  on amplitude and waterfall speed , auto option included (standard option)
side bandfiltering according to the received content via the mouse even for FM.This can show  also the signals audio span. 
-much better and sharper audio than the typical Dx receivers (6 khz is a minimal standard  that is close to HiFi quality in M-HF can widen to 300kHZ on VHF )
-Automatic frequency locks with SAM and D/SSB (SDRplay /kiwi &Twente remotes )
-infinite memories and  banks and  ability to import frequency databases such as EiBi aoki
-scan the band or memories (SDRuno) and record only the transmitted content by removing the squelched  data (SDR Console v3.14 +)
-Multiple digital signal noise reduction formats (Sharp)on all stages pus adjustable NB.  
-diversity reception with ability to use ISB and/or antenna phasing for nulling out unwanted local noise or QRMer  (RSPDuo and 2 )
-Phasing out stations in noth AM and FM mode with separate plugin (SDRsharp) instead of using  a rotatable antenna
-Bin-aural mode (or stereo ISB decoding of AM stations) for spectrum panoramic reception that has the following advantages over the traditional way : 

  • Audio spatiality and panning  due to selective fading
  • Fake stereo as a retired DXer call it humorously (reminds him the recordings of 80s)
  • Identification of hidden stations as per one video in u2b
  • Two station parallel listening if they are inside the filter bandwidth


Digital decoders

-DSD /RDS /TETRA /TRUNK decoders
-DRM listening (by piping to external software  or by using SoDiRa)
-C-QUAM (SoDiRa and kiwi Sodira has the best decoder that  surpasses the FM demod in fidelity)
-DAB+ listening (with external programs)
-TMate hardware provides the feel of a typical traditional receiver

Some more general uses  (not all legal! info from rtlsdr blog )
-Receiving GPS signals and decoding them.
-Scanning for cordless phones and baby monitors.
-Remote Telemetry Radio Receiver
-Inmarsat decoding
-Radio astronomy
-Monitoring meteor scatter.
-Decoding aircraft ACARS short messages.
-Receiving wireless temperature sensors and wireless power meter sensors
-Receiving trunking operators.

Technician pro usage :

-antenna testing (spectrum analysis)
-easier antenna installation even for satellite systems. 

More serious or pro HF usages :

-simultaneous usage with multiple  VRXs (virtual receives)  form 2 up to 24? Good for info gathering esp for digital modes.
-multiple  audio recording
-steam  recording and IQ analysis for uncommon and occasional signals inside the operating band
-program these recordings (audio / IF/ full band  stream)?
-extract signal levels for further analysis and statistics using CSV method for schedules, propagation , signal analysis and other related reasons. (Uno- Console)
-Extract sonograms (pseudo 3D view of spectrum vs time and amplitude) as photos and do statistical  results of them (Console 3.0.27+ offers 3D analysos too )
-collect amateur CW content via CW skimmer for further reading (Console )
-Analyze signals and measure them (SoDiRa)
-DCF 77 (77.8kHz) and RF  sensor analysis
-FM stereo signal analysis


Pro level  work:

-analyze digital signals with the help of external programs
-mix that with up to 24 instances for the highest level of information 



-DX clustering
-remote listening  with other SDRs.  (SDR Console and networked programs )

And : (Kiwi SDR operations)

-listen to  DX signals via remote servers that are closer to the station of interest.
-real time fading pattern analysis  (CSV signal history )
-Direction finding via triangulation  (TDoA plug in )
-SSTV  decoding (plugin)
-Wefax /radio fax  decoding ( plugin)
-RTTY  and NAVTEX signals (plugin)
-ALE  decoding (plugin)
-IBP and WSPR propagation analysis
-IQ signal analysis ....
-DRM and C-QUAM decoding

and many more because as time passes Kiwi's are continuously updated.
"Remote receivers are he best way to listen to stations you cannot otherwise listen or stations you know and can listen for much better and clearer" 

The scientific process SDR analysis (new)

The holistic approach of spectrum analysis
  • Modulation analysis vs carrier
  • Close up for jammers and nearby Interference

The holistic approach for waterfalls:
  • Interference per time 
  • Doppler analysis - carrier zoom ins
  • Easy identification of mysterious modes  (zoom in)
  • Transmitter's signal signature (extra zooming)

The holistic analysis of propagation patterns:
    Statistical analysis :
  • Box diagram (min max average )
  • Histogram : signal db amount per level
Fading and propagation anomalies
Station schedules in graphic per time
Fade ins ,fade outs,  plateau (in between fading time  times )
Cross bands/ frequency  patterns
Cross transmitter patterns
Cross day patterns   (requires IQ bank)
Cross seasonal patterns (requires IQ bank)


And more important: sending  immediately [reception] reports !(with audio and /or technical analysis as extracted from the program used) SDRconsole offers also screenshots and video recording

More to come..

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