- Andrew September 2, 2015 at 3:17 pm
We are providing the necessary files needed for our spectrum analyzers to interface the popular and free HDSDR (formerly WinradHD) software. Check out HDSDR here, http://www.hdsdr.de/ and download everything needed to get the software running with any one of our spectrum analyzers here http://signalhound.com/sigdownloads/Other/HDSDR-SignalHound.zip. Setup guide is included.
A.J.KB0NE September 2, 2015 at 3:26 pm
THANKS!KB0NE September 4, 2015 at 4:21 pm
After fiddling around with HDSDR with SA44B and comparing it with the Elecraft KX3/PX3 and SDR-IQ I made the following general observations:
1) The KX3 and SDR-IQ are both much more sensitive for Low level RF signals. Tested mostly on the ham bands where weak signals can be found. Also doing quick A-B comparisons via an antenna switch.
2) With the SA44B I can’t get a 0 on the HDSDR S meter, there is a constant reading around 3-4 S units with the antenna disconnected. I suspect the IF gain may be a bit hot on the SA44. Of course, S9=50uV is adjustable.
3) The SA44/HDSDR spectrum graph is far superior to either the SDR-IQ/Spectraview or KX3/PX3 combo. Having adjustable RBW really helps pick out individual tones and audio components when analyzing RF and audio signals.
4) Woe is me!!!! With LO<=>TUNE (both the same numeric value and locked to each other) the SA44 is 4.26 HZ high at 10MHZ (WWV). I think I can live with that. 😉
All in all, being capable of decoding audio and seeing the spectrum at the same time is a very welcome addition to the SA44B software for those occasions when that is needed.
Andy September 7, 2015 at 12:51 am
- This reply was modified 7 years, 5 months ago by Andy.
I use SDR# and HDSDR with the SDRPlay receiver and both give good results, so I thought I’d try the Signal Hound application. I know the SA44 was designed as a spectrum analyser (as opposed to a radio receiver) but I’m afraid I’m not impressed so far. Gain seems very low and operating the gain slider (with AGC on or off) seems to have little or no effect.
Clicking the EXT-IO button does nothing – is this correct?
KB0NE September 7, 2015 at 7:06 am
- This reply was modified 7 years, 5 months ago by KB0NE.
After messing around some more…. In the lower left quadrant of the HDSDR display is an ICON/button that says [RF +0]; By right clicking that and turning the adjustment slider all the way up to 50 I found the background noise is diminished (open antenna S meter reading goes to almost 0) and the weak signals are easier to hear. I still think performance may be more HDSDR software related than SA44 related.
PS: Checked out teh SDRPlay site an found additional info on adjusting the HDSDR program, will try that out. Also ordered a radio from them. I suspect I may end up replacing the SDR-IQ with this unit. Thanks for the pointer.Andrew September 8, 2015 at 9:11 am
Hey John and Andy,
John, thanks for working with the unit and giving us the feedback. I’m glad you found the RF adjustment, it’s definitely required for the low level signals. The RF adjustment is the equivalent of changing the reference level from 0 dBm (0) to -50 dBm (50) in our spectrum analysis software.
Andy, I don’t have much experience with other SDR hardware and I don’t have access to anything like the SDRPlay. It is possible there is still some more optimization to be had for the SA44/BB60 in the HDSDR software. I only utilized the basic interface functions. I took a look at the Ext I/O button. The Ext I/O button is going to be hardware dependent. For the SDRPlay, the window that pops up was developed by those guys. It allows you to control the full RF path. I added the RF button and slider for our device which accomplishes similar functionality. Changing the RF slider adjusts the internal attenuators and pre-amp for the SA44. Repeated from the response to John, the RF adjustment is the equivalent of changing the reference level from 0 dBm (0) to -50 dBm (50) in our spectrum analysis software.
Thanks again for the feedback,
AndyParticipantAndy September 9, 2015 at 5:59 am
Thanks for the information AJ. I doubt I’d ever use the SH as a ‘radio set’ but as usual curiosity gets the better of me.
My usual ‘quick test’ of a receiver’s VHF performance is to tune to Manchester Airport’s recorded information service on 128.175MHz AM. This is fairly weak but readable here. Here is the situation as found this morning on my various receivers:
AR5001d: indicated signal -99dBm, readable..
SDRPlay/HDSDR: indicated -60dBm (don’t know how it gets this figure), readable..
Signal Hound using Audio Player utility*: indicated -110 dBm, readable but not as clearly as the previous receivers..
Signal Hound/HDSDR: indicated -113 dBm, carrier visible but unreadable almost no audio recovered. This with RF gain at various settings..
*Set for AM, BW 8KHz
NShepherdParticipantNShepherd April 4, 2022 at 4:38 pm
Hello, I have been comparing the weak signal sensitivity of my SA44B using Spike and HDSDR. In Spike the gain control can be manually set to maximum with 0 dB front end attenuation and the pre-amp engaged. Weak signal sensitivity is excellent. In HDSDR it seems there is no control allowing the pre-amp to be selected. Otherwise the RF gain control seems to function as it should. However to get equivalent sensitivity in HDSDR I have to use an external pre-amp. Not sure if this is me doing something wrong in HDSDR or if it’s a safety feature to prevent accidents for HDSDR users. Nick VE3OWVAndrew April 6, 2022 at 9:08 am
It’s possible the preamp is not being configured in HDSDR. We don’t actively maintain the HDSDR interface, but we do provide the source code (It should be in the HDSDR zip folder). You could open up the project and verify that indeed we are not setting the preamp through the API, and recompile it to add this functionality.
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