Re: AirSpy vs SDRplay

Allan Isaacs

Hi Barry

I’m new to SDR but decided I’d spend enough money so I wouldn’t feel disappointed with the results.

On the grounds you get what you pay for I decided on the SDR Play rather than a cheap dongle.

After experimenting with it together with different software I homed in on SDR Console (V3).

SDRUno is OK but whatever I listen to is modulated to varying degrees by our strong long wave broadcast. It’s a rubbery noise floor bouncing up and down.

You’ll have to raise this with the coders to figure why it affects one and not the other software package …

I’ve wrapped kitchen foil around the plastic box and put a large ferrite ring around the USB cable but I don’t believe either is too important at my QTH.

Your problem, other than general noise from domestic stuff, will be the local AM transmitter.

As you reduce the attenuation to see very weak signals you’ll find the noise floor will be modulated by the local transmitter and there will be lots of spurious copies of it dotted over neighbouring frequencies.

I suggest you make a notch filter in a tin box and use kitchen foil to cover the receiver plastic case.

At my QTH I have to use a loop aerial for MF and LF plus 40/80m and a discone for VHF etc. both positioned away from houses. If I remove too much attenuation from the software settings I see our local long wave station messing up the noise floor. I say local but it’s over 100 miles away! Turning the loop at right angles to the transmitter of course will reduce this.

Other listeners have problems with FM broadcasts and need a low pass filter to hear clean HF signals.

Also on my bench I have a Trio ATU borrowed from a companion transceiver for use with a long wire, but electrical interference is overpowering because the long wire is too close to houses.

Reminds me of the time my neighbour asked me to fix his HiFi receiver. It turned out to have a short-circuit FET RF amplifier I then realised one end of my inverted V ended at a stake only 3 feet from his house wall, the other side of which stood his HiFi setup. I fixed his receiver and quietly moved my inverted V….

Allan G3PIY

From: sdr-radio-com@... [mailto:sdr-radio-com@...]
Sent: 02 November 2016 02:34
To: sdr-radio-com@...
Subject: [sdr-radio-com] AirSpy vs SDRplay



Firstly, my apologies if this is not the right place for this question, feel free to delete it if that is the case.


I am looking to get an SDR receiver for general listening across the spectrum from around 20kHz - 1500GHz ideally keeping the cost below $300 US.


Research to date brings me to the Airspy + Spyverter or the SDRplay. Initially the SDRplay won out as it has continuous coverage, but then I discovered that the AirSpy / Spyverter combo effectively has continuous coverage as the Spyverter appears to be switched in automagically when required. 


Next concern is my location, about a mile away from a 50KW AM Broadcast transmitter, with an SDR dongle this station rears its ugly head all across the SW bands. Initially I thought that the SDRPlay would be better in this environment with its 8 preselector filters, but it seems that the only one that may be of use is a 12Mhz LPF which probably wouldn't help too much in the 2-12Mhz spread. I am thinking a PAR Bdcst LPF will help here for either receiver.


The Airspy has a metal case vs the plastic one for the SDRplay, I am not sure how much of a difference that will make.


Currently I am leaning towards the SDRplay, has anyone used both of these receivers, if so which do you prefer?


Posted by: Barry

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