Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just When You Thought You Had Enough SDRs

You suddenly discover that you don't. I was prompted by Alf Årdal to check out the new Winradio SDR - actually I had heard people talk about an ad in the upcoming WRTH but a few days ago there was no info on their website of any new product.

When I checked yesterday, that had changed. The Winradio WR-GR31DDC Advance Information page shows a very interesting product, with the magic words: "Audio and IF recording and playback".

At last! In fact, the "Excalibur", which is a lot easier name to remember than WR-GR31DDC, promises to record a 2 MHz DDC spectrum to hard drive. If I understand the preliminary info correctly one will have 21 different bandwidths to choose from when making an RF recording, making it the most versatile RF-recording SDR so far.

And if that didn't make you drool, three different "radios" can run simultaneously within the DDC passband, with audio recording.

The program window looks a little cramped with three displays; a 30/50 MHz wide general coverage spectrum at the bottom, the DDC spectrum above left, and the current "radio" above right. I assume the spectrums are resizeable.

With a stated 500 Hz MDS at -130dBm, I expected the AM sensitivity to be higher than the stated -98 dBm. This is a disappointing figure. About on par with the QS1R SDR, and 5-7 dB worse than the Perseus. It will need an external preamp.

According to the Excalibur specifications, it has a"MW Filter" which appears to be highpass filter with a cut-off frequency of 1.8 MHz, attenuating 60 dB on 500 kHz. I assume that it is switchable... if it isn't the radio will be useless for MW DX.

Stated IP3 is +31 dBm, but no info on IP2. Frequency range is 9 kHz to 50 MHz and it uses 12VDC, 500 mA power.

No info yet on availability or price. Could we hope for 1st quarter of 2010? Their HF receivers are priced from 500 to 1200 USD, and I'll be surprised if the Excalibur is more expensive than their current top of the line WR-G313e.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Can't wait to learn more.