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.
...for amateurs more interested in exploring radio science and technology than handling traffic or collecting QSL cardsMost radio amateurs think they have earned a license to transmit. That is false: anyone can transmit.
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.