December 17, 2015

Advanced Signal Acquisition and Experimental Communications


Many in the RF hobbyist scene have talked about the RTL-SDR, a European TV Receiver Dongle that can be used as a wideband VHF/UHF receiver.  This device has become so popular that a website was started to support hobbyist efforts, and many spin-off designs have been created to improve on the original.

It remains, however, that many of these devices are made in China, and require a computer to work.  One of my favorite authors, KK7B, said in a presentation a few years back:

Note that experimental gear that requires a computer before you can hear anything will no longer work in five years.

Interestingly enough, his go-to handheld transceiver is an Icom IC-Q7A, the transceiver version of this radio:

The Icom IC-R6A Wideband Receiver

How do the new USB dongle receivers compare and stack-up when compared to more traditional receiving equipment?

If you presume to be a communications specialist, you must go beyond the Baofeng and expand your communications horizons.

Are you an appliance operator, or a communications specialist?

Want to learn more towards becoming the latter?

These are the matters I will be discussing next year in upcoming issues of Signal-3.

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