Monthly Archives: March 2012

Softrock Ensemble RX TX VS Alinco DJ-X11

I thought it would be interesting to compare the $74 Softrock Ensemble RX TX kits’ receiver to the DJ-X11 wide-band portable SDR capable receiver. This is certainly an apples to oranges comparison and completely subjective. Unlike the Ensemble RX TX which has a receiver that is limited to reciever the three bands it is built for (although it will receive pretty well slightly out side of those bands), the DJ-X11 is a wide band receiver that covers AM, HF, VHF, and UHF bands. All the radios were tested with the same antenna (20 meter attic dipole), on the same bands with the same center frequency, and at the same time of day within a 30 minute time frame. HDSDR was used as the SDR decoder for both the Softrock Ensemble RX TX and the DJ-X11. HDSDR will not tune the DJ-X11, so the center frequency was set manually on the DJ-X11. I typically use PowerSDR-UI for the Ensemble, but it does not decode the IQ signal as well as HDSDR does for the DJ-X11. I sampled the center frequencies of WWV at 15.000MHz, 14.070 MHz, and  14.275 MHz for both radios. I also used the non-SDR Yaesu FT-450D which is …

Softrock RX TX Completed

Finally got the Softrock RX TX kit assembled. Everything seems to be working at this point. I will have to say again, that I am very impressed with the SDR receiver in the Softrock RX TX. Frankly, when couple with a good computer sound card, it is shockingly good for a less than $75 SDR radio kit. I would have to say the Softrock RX TX is an outstanding bargain for a QRP SDR Radio. The only catch is that you have to build it. How hard is it to build, well that depends on you. At any skill level I would say that it is a challenge. The trick is to have the proper tools as I mentioned in my previous post. A temperature controlled soldering station, a magnifying lamp, and a set of non-magnetic angled tweezers are essential. …