DX Patrol Mk 4 and HF with SDR-Radio


Francesco Basta
 

Hallo all, first of all my excuses if this subject has already been covered somewhere else, but I could not find it. I have to say that, in spite of being a licensed OM since 1974, I have just started venturing into SDR. I have a Dx Patrol Mk 4 SDR that I want to use with SDR-Radio 3.0.10. The radio works well in VHF - UHF, but I don't seem to be able to make it work on HF. Dx Patrol gives very scant notices about this function, they only say that "To listen HF on options select Q- channel input.". I tried this with HDSDR and it works indeed. But how can I select Q-channel on SDR-Radio ? I looked at all menu items and I could not find it - maybe I overlooked something. Thanks in advance for your help - Francesco, PE1F


Dale Elshoff WB8CJW
 

Take a look at https://www.wimo.com/dx-patrol-sdr-wide-band-receiver_e.html.  I recommend using CC- closed caption but you can see in the video that the I.F. is set to 40MHz. for up-convertion in the Select Radio >Definitions >Converter selection >Edit


On 6/29/2019 10:37 AM, Francesco Basta wrote:
Hallo all, first of all my excuses if this subject has already been covered somewhere else, but I could not find it. I have to say that, in spite of being a licensed OM since 1974, I have just started venturing into SDR. I have a Dx Patrol Mk 4 SDR that I want to use with SDR-Radio 3.0.10. The radio works well in VHF - UHF, but I don't seem to be able to make it work on HF. Dx Patrol gives very scant notices about this function, they only say that "To listen HF on options select Q- channel input.". I tried this with HDSDR and it works indeed. But how can I select Q-channel on SDR-Radio ? I looked at all menu items and I could not find it - maybe I overlooked something. Thanks in advance for your help - Francesco, PE1F


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jdow
 

That's another rtlsdr receiver. HF performance will be disappointing if you lack a moderately serious antenna. If you really REALLY want to try it and are willing to forget 10 meters, I have a "solution" for you. Quite awhile ago, now, I decided to code my own rtlsdr.dll file and got sufficient information from Simon to craft a "replacement" for his rtlsdr source dll file. These days it sits along side Simon's file so Simon's source dll does not get removed. My configuration panel allows you to do HF.

Go here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4ImLhg3WKL5fnhRalBOVU8wVmFma1ZzR25LVEZYR0RBMzBwTFh6M0psbkZOei03ZVBDeTQ

Go into the SDRConsole folder. Get the "SDRSourceRTL2832U Distribution 20180320.zip" file. Find a place to unzip it.

Copy the following three files into "C:\Program Files\SDR-Radio.com (V3)":
libusb-1.0.dll
rtlsdr.dll
SDRSourceRTL2832UFull.dll

libusb-1.0.dll is a newer version known to work well. (I use it.)
rtlsdr.dll is my rtlsdr.dll file.
SDRSourceRTL2832UFull.dll enables more rtlsdr.dll capabilities than Simon's tool.

Be sure to read "ReadMe.1st". I get a little verbose maybe. But there is good information present. Note that the "RtlSdr Catalog.exe" file does not do much of anything useful unless you have several dongles with different serial numbers. So skip worrying about it for now.

And FWIW, 89 quid sounds a little pricey for what is in it if you are at all good with a soldering tool for very small parts.

{^_^} Joanne (Who has graduated to the AirSpy products and a Pluto SDR.)

On 20190629 07:37:31, Francesco Basta wrote:
Hallo all, first of all my excuses if this subject has already been covered somewhere else, but I could not find it. I have to say that, in spite of being a licensed OM since 1974, I have just started venturing into SDR. I have a Dx Patrol Mk 4 SDR that I want to use with SDR-Radio 3.0.10. The radio works well in VHF - UHF, but I don't seem to be able to make it work on HF. Dx Patrol gives very scant notices about this function, they only say that "To listen HF on options select Q- channel input.". I tried this with HDSDR and it works indeed. But how can I select Q-channel on SDR-Radio ? I looked at all menu items and I could not find it - maybe I overlooked something. Thanks in advance for your help - Francesco, PE1F


Francesco Basta
 

Hallo Dale and jdow, thanks for the suggestions. I did not feel like putting my (clumsy) hands on other dll's, so I tried what Dale suggested. Unfortunately it did not work. I then contented myself to explore the HF with DX Patrol with HDSDR and indeed it works - but I found strong broadcasting signals on 21 MHz, in the 15 mtr. amateur band. This was already strange, but my heart sank when I tuned the same frequencies with my faithful Yaesu FT-897 and found nothing like that. It has to be some sort of artifact (on a conventional superhet I would think of image frequencies).  I think I'll skip HF listening with the little gizmo for a while...

Best regards,
                                  Francesco - PE1F


EB4APL
 

Hi,

As far as I know, this receiver is a RTL TV dongle with an upconverter to cover HF. The limited dynamic range of the A/D converter can make funny things like the one that you are experiencing. Try adjusting the RF gain so you trade sensitivity versus saturation but you will see that the performance in HF is quite poor.

73 de Ignacio, EB4APL


El 02/07/2019 a las 17:28, Francesco Basta escribió:
Hallo Dale and jdow, thanks for the suggestions. I did not feel like putting my (clumsy) hands on other dll's, so I tried what Dale suggested. Unfortunately it did not work. I then contented myself to explore the HF with DX Patrol with HDSDR and indeed it works - but I found strong broadcasting signals on 21 MHz, in the 15 mtr. amateur band. This was already strange, but my heart sank when I tuned the same frequencies with my faithful Yaesu FT-897 and found nothing like that. It has to be some sort of artifact (on a conventional superhet I would think of image frequencies). I think I'll skip HF listening with the little gizmo for a while...

Best regards,
                                  Francesco - PE1F
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jdow
 

I believe I did say the performance at HF for the RTL dongles leaves something to be desired. It works with very limited dynamic range and depending on the mode used very poor sensitivity.

For a dongle like DX Patrol use a VERY poor antenna or put in attenuation until hooking up the antenna only slightly increases noise. Also put in a BCB high pass filter to cut off below 1.6 kHz. (Yes, that impedes use on 160 meters; but, as I say, the dongles leave something to be desired.)

At about twice the price of the DX Patrol you can get an AirSpy HF+ Discovery. It is MUCH nicer on HF and has some limited VHF capability.

{^_^}

On 20190702 08:42:48, EB4APL wrote:
Hi,
As far as I know, this receiver is a RTL TV dongle with an upconverter to cover HF. The limited dynamic range of the A/D converter can make funny things like the one that you are experiencing. Try adjusting the RF gain so you trade sensitivity versus saturation but you will see that the performance in HF is quite poor.
73 de Ignacio, EB4APL
El 02/07/2019 a las 17:28, Francesco Basta escribió:
Hallo Dale and jdow, thanks for the suggestions. I did not feel like putting my (clumsy) hands on other dll's, so I tried what Dale suggested. Unfortunately it did not work. I then contented myself to explore the HF with DX Patrol with HDSDR and indeed it works - but I found strong broadcasting signals on 21 MHz, in the 15 mtr. amateur band. This was already strange, but my heart sank when I tuned the same frequencies with my faithful Yaesu FT-897 and found nothing like that. It has to be some sort of artifact (on a conventional superhet I would think of image frequencies). I think I'll skip HF listening with the little gizmo for a while...

Best regards,
                                  Francesco - PE1F
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