Kriss Kliegle KA1GJU
Here's more detailed operating information on SDRC and using it via online servers.
When you fire it up for the first time, you will have no radio definitions. You need a radio to be defined in order to operate, so the first screen you get is the following. Click on the Definitions button (I placed a red star there):
You must search for radios to operate, both locally and on the web. I am concentrating this on web servers, but if you have your own and it's plugged into a USB port, the procedure is very similar. So, hit 'Search':
You will now get a list of compatible SDR rigs that work with SDR Console, if you have your own, and it's plugged in, you would select the mfg and model. But we are concentrating on remote servers, so scroll all the way to the bottom of list and hit V3 Server:
Another server keeps track of all the SDR servers and that list is kept at SDRSpace.com, so click on it:
Once the list populates (can take time), scroll down to a server you wish to add to your list of servers. Highlight it, and hit Select:
If the server is properly functioning, (many appear to be but are unable to be defined) you will see some radio data in the lower portion of the Auto-detect box.
Hit OK if there's a valid radio and no errors reported back.
If this is your FIRST and ONLY definition, you will get the following, so hit Add:
If you are adding another server to an existing list you will get the following choice, be careful as to NOT ERASE the ones previously entered. You will see this screen only after server number two and higher:
Now hit Save:
Repeat Steps 2 thru 9 to build a list of servers to quickly choose from, which are saved for the next time you open SDRC!
Once a list of definitions is built, you can sort through them by clicking on "All", "Local", or "Server". When you click on server, you get them listed in alphabetical order by name. I include the radio in the name so users can quickly identify what band(s) the server is good for. If I want to listen to VHF/UHF, I wouldn't use an HF only server! Currently, only one of my servers/radios will do VHF/UHF properly, that would be the Airspy R2 server. The SDRPlay can do VHF and higher, but it's attached to a horizontal end fed wire cut for HF. Being horizontal, there's a 20dB loss due to cross polarization of repeater's being vertically polarized!
Simply click on the server of your choice:
Then select a radio from the list and set the desired max bandwidth. This number depends upon whether or not you are using WiFi and how robust your WiFi link is and what your ISP's (Internet Service Provider) bandwidth allows you to download. A full 1MHz bandwidth on the SDRPlay is about 18.6MB/s bandwidth, but a easier to handle 192 KHz is only 3.6MB/s of bandwidth. If your audio and waterfall start to stutter, hit the stop button and select a lower bandwidth. Or connect your client computer via an Ethernet cable to the ISP router.
Lastly, hit the start button:
Some Operational Notes Of Importance:
The default colors are not really impressive, but everyone holds beauty to a different scale. I like the bright colors of similar software
called SpectraView. So, click on the View tab, and hit the Colour (British for color) button and play with the various colors. The color
saturation (for the lack of the technical term) is adjusted manually by the slider on the far right or left in Auto (up top):
The signal meter (S-Meter) can be digital or analog, and units changed from S-units, dBM, or dBuV, along with the size. You can zoom in, zoom out and center the screen using the tools that appear in the upper right only when the mouse is in motion on the scope or waterfall. Be sure the Auto Center and Mouse Over are checked! Then when you zoom in, the frequency in use will be centered upon zooming in. For frequency hopping, you can put mouse over the frequency readout digits and scroll or place mouse anywhere in the scope or waterfall and enter the number in kHz or mHz. A box should appear when a number is pressed or a double press of the CTRL on the keyboard.
One final note!
The SDR-iq radio default gain when INITIALLY used is set too high, back the IF Gain DOWN to +12dB and the RF Gain DOWN to +0. THEN
adjust the color gain slider on far right to make the waterfall display weak signals without being washed out.
If you ever have the DSP window disappear (where the Frequency, IF display, AF display, Mode, filters are located on the far left), by accident or otherwise, you can have it re-appear by hitting the Receive Tab, and then DSP button:
There's so much more in this software, all it takes is some time poking the menus and buttons. Much of which I haven't even mastered like listening to a dozen RXR's at a time, you can add as many RXR's you wish (providing your computer is up to the task) as long as they all fall within the bandwidth selected.
For example, if I am on 3.900 MHz and have bandwidth set to 100kHz, I could have numerous RXR's open and working from 3.850MHz to 3.950MHz in that 100kHz spectrum!
Here's an example of four RXR's open, any and all can be muted, and with VAC (Virtual Audio Cables) installed, you can have each RXR's audio piped into the proper digital decoding software like PSK, FT8, CW, etc! Each RXR can have it's own mode (AM,FM,USB,LSB,CW, etc), filter width, etc!
There are two ways display multiple RXR's, normal mode like this of some HF BC stations near 9395 kHz, each RXR is in a different color on the spectrum display:
Or the Matrix Mode:
73 Kriss KA1GJU