So I decided to buy one. At 780 EUR + Norwegian VAT I could easily buy three RSPdx for one S3. And probably fit six of not more of them inside the S3 cabinet. But it was intriguing to test a proper 16-bit ADC SDR with HF and FM coverage and 24 MHz sampling rate.
The money drain didn't stop there. To be able to sample 24 MHz, none of my PCs are even close in performance. So I bought a Lenovo ThinkCentre desktop which set me back as much as the S3. The all-cores passmark is 13000-ish so it's reasonably quick.
The S3 arrived two days ago, one day after the Lenovo. I set up the combo at my home here in Tana, where I have no antennas, for testing performance and compatibility. They seem to work very well together. I have been running the S3 with SDR Console at 24 MHz sampling for 30 hours now, with no issues at all. CPU usage is quite stable around 34 %. During IQ recording, the load increases to 40 %.
During the Easter holiday I expect to have lots of time to explore the SDR in depth, including doing the mandatory MW sensitivity measurements. Below some photos from unpacking and first run.
|S3 in blue colour, "matching" USB 3 cable + Powerpole DC cable. No PSU supplied but three SMA to BNC adapters were most welcome.|
|S3 running with a headless Lenovo ThinkCentre (behind), remote-controlled with the Dell laptop.|