Tag Archives: Review
Ham Radio Science occasionally get emails from our readers on suggestions for a good reasonably priced HF SDR radio that won’t break the bank. So, we spent a little time investigating what was available in the under $300 price range. Frankly, there is not much to be found with the exception of a few kits. The kits are great learning tools, but some of our readers may not prefer trying to build a kit that includes tiny sma parts. Also the kits and some of the less expensive SDR radios are still sound card based and we were really looking for a direct sampling receiver. The $249 Afedri SDR-Net HF SDR met our requirements and more. The Afedri Net-SDR allows for connection to your pc via an USB interface and what truly puts the Afedri SDR-Net in a class of its own is the ability to connect via TCP (Lan connection). After looking into the very positive comments on the internet regarding the Afedri SDR-Net, we thought it would be well worth investigating this amazing little budget HF SDR receiver. The Afedri SDR-Net is made by Alexander Trushkin 4Z5LV and is available in a case for $249 or as a board for $199 from Alexs’ website. We highly recommend the version with case, since the case is very well constructed. We contacted Alex and he sent us out a sample Afedri SDR-Net Vers. 2.3a to take a look at. We have been using the Afedri daily for HF monitoring for about a month and have been very impressed with what you get for the price.
The bad news is that the venerable RTL2832U / E4000 chipset DVB-T stick that has been the source of many SDR projects is getting a little harder find. The good news is that the new kid on the block the RTL2832U / R820T looks like a worthy replacement. The other advantage is the the RTL2832U / R820T is a bit cheaper. The RTL2832U / E4000 is typically selling from $25 – $35 while the RTL2832U / R820T sells for around $10 to $20. The frequency range of the RTL2832U / E4000 is generally around 64MHZ to 1700MHz with a gap around 1100MHz to 1250MHz. The RTL2832U / R820T frequency range is 24MHZ to roughly 1850MHz with no gaps (found yet), and no DC offset spike. RTL2832U / E4000 uses a Pal type antenna connector and adapters are easily found at your local Radio Shack for external antennas.
If you are not yet in an area where APCO 25 has taken over, or looking for a good desktop analog trunking scanner for your Ham shack, look no further the GRE 410 offers a lot of radio for a little money. The GRE 410 desktop scanner can be found online for around $160, making it an excellent value for an analog trunk tracking scanner.
I am sure that you have read all the great reviews for this little radio, but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents worth. This is one of the most FUN little QRP radios that I have had the pleasure of owning over the past years. The audio quality is extremely good and is a real pleasure to listen to. I have had a great deal of difficulty in the past enjoying HF radio while living in a high RF environment and restricted to a very crappy attic dipole. The Flex doesn’t seem to mind any of this. With the various noise reduction tools and filters, it makes HF a real pleasure to use. The 5 watts output seems to be plenty for most applications. I have had no trouble getting heard around the world on WSPR. Overall, this is an excellent little radio for the money!