After having read the article named 'Design Notes' in the November 2014 edition of RSGB's RadCom, there was an irresistible urge for taking part in some SDR experiments. Why ? I imagined that having SDR equipment, would add some excitement to my radio hobby : new technology and, as a result of this, a journey of rediscovering the RF-bands. As an SWL, I always enjoyed listening.
After having seen dozens of YouTube movies about SDR and reading lots of articles, I decided to buy the SDRplay receiver. Why ? Great value for money, technically superb compared with other SDR (rx) products in the same price category.
Friday February 6th 2015, I ordered the SDRplay receiver via the SDRplay website in the UK. Within 3 days (!), a well wrapped package arrived at my place in Riemst. What a great service, thanks Jon and the rest of the SDRplay crew !
After the unboxing process, the SDRplay was up and running quickly : I downloaded the latest Mirics SDR AP Installer (hardware driver) from the SDRplay website, installed this driver and connected the SDRplay via USB (cable not supplied) to the computer. Next step was installing the SDR Console software (also available via the SDRplay website), software which later turned out to be my favourite 'client'. Last but not least : connecting the antenna. No errors occured during the process.
Only two connectors needed to make it work : USB (left) and F-connector (right).
My experimental SDR 'setup' after the unboxing process …
Scope of the experiment
Till now, February 16th 2015, the following experiments are in progress or have (partly) been accomplished successfully. Using the SDRplay as a :
- Radio Spectrum Processor (RSP) / SDR-receiver : it's capabilities are very good -> selectivity (filtering), sensitivity, RF-intermodulation, dynamic range and versatility. At this moment I use the SDR Console software (SDR-Radio.Com) as the radio 'listening' interface. SDR Console works in mainly two ways : directly linked to the SDRplay (=stand-alone receiver) or linked to a remote (web)SDR receiver. More information about the 'remote' capabilities of SDR Console, can be found futher down this page.
- SDR Server : in conjunction with SDR Server (SDR-Radio.Com), the SDRplay works as a real webSDR / SDR server.
And a very nice thing about a worldwide webSDR network, is that it enables us to monitor RF-propagation even better.
Thus far, the SDRplay and the Radio Console software work more than satisfactory on HF + 6m. In the months to come, there is enough to play and/or experiment with : RF spectrum > 52 MHz, SDR#, HDSDR, DSD+, SDR-J, DAB et cetera. SDR, here I come !
SDR Console – remote operation
For those who want to use SDR Console for listening to an online webSDR receiver, follow the instructions mentioned below (I assume that you already installed the Radio Console software) :
1. Click the 'Remote Connection' button (top left corner) -> a small pop-up window appears.
2. Click the 'Browse Web' button -> another pop-up window appears.
3. Select the webSDR receiver you want to connect to and press the 'Select' button.
For more information about the online SDR receivers, jump to the last two screendumps.
After the selection process, the previous pop-up window appears again.
4. Enter de Username and Password (if applicable) and click the 'Connect' button -> a new pop-up window appears telling you what the Session lifetime and the Warning period will be.
5. Click the 'Close' button.
6. Click the 'Start' button -> Radio Console's operating interface appears.
>>> Now you are able to remotely operate the chosen webSDR receiver.
The YouTube movie "Remote access to an SDRplay RSP using SDR Console" can be seen here.
This is the SDRSpace.Com website where all the online webSDR receivers are present. In this case the webSDR receiver from ON2PCO shows 'Idle' and there is no user connection, so one should be able to connect.
As you can see in the picture above, a user named 'guest' is connected to ON2PCO's SDR receiver, who has been active for 9 seconds and is listening to the 40m band.
Link(s) : Remote access to an SDRplay RSP using SDR Console (source : SDRplay)