Well, let?s look at the complaints.
?RF suppression is inadequate. The SDR has little to
"NO" RF shielding. This means if you run an external
amplifier...GOOD LUCK! If you run the internal 100W PA...
you will need some luck as well. This radio was
originally designed as a QRP 1 watt transmitter...
since then they added a 100W PA without adding
suppression...youre just asking for problems.?
It?s a metal enclosure. If you use shielded cables to
connect to it, you may be okay.
I remember decades ago when I used to get an RF burn on
my lip when it touched the microphone. RF in the shack
is often an antenna/feedline issue.
I haven?t hooked up an external amplifier yet, but I am
running the 100 Watt internal PA. I was disappointed
with the output power until the software version 1.4.4
came out. Now there's lots of power.
I don?t use a direct microphone input, but I use an old
Shure microphone mixer ($20 on eBay) that gives me
flexibility on transmit audio sources, and I can turn
down the sound card gain and avoid RFI issues.
?The SDR's PA board oscillates between 1 watt and 200 watts
all by itself (most notably when running an external
amplifier on the lower frequencies, but occasionally if
you're not running an amp and on the higher bands).
I have partially cured this instability by running
I have not observed this. My SDR-1000 was ordered at
Dayton 2005. I have since done the PA bias adjustment ECO.
One fellow was having problems until he re-soldered some
suspicious-looking solder joints on the PA
?-The radio locks up in receive, transmit, or both a little
more often than periodically. I talked to flex and this is
a known issue that should be taken care of in newer models.?
I have not observed this. Note: by applying the Engineering
Change Orders and updating the software, you have the latest
version of the transceiver.
?-The sound card recommended is a Delta 44 which has 1/2
inch Phono connectors...the SDR connectors are sloppy 1/8
inch connectors. When you plug the cables in you can feel
the guts of the radio shift back and forth...and the 1/8
inch input cables are cheesy and prone to just fall out of
the radio. The power terminals to the SDR are cheesy.
The whole 4 pin mic connector just spins when you try to
screw on a mic. Basically all the connectors on the SDR
chassis are cheesy and weak. You can plug the parallel
cable upside down into the radio and not even know it!!!?
Yeah, the miniature phone jacks are not the most elegant
choice, but it was originally designed for a PC sound card.
There are a bunch of these connectors in use in the world.
If you don?t have a plug with extra molding around it that
keeps it from seating properly through the back panel holes,
The power terminals are traditional binding posts.
I?d like to use a banana plug, but it won?t handle the
high current. I crimped a lug on to 12 gauge stranded
wire and it handles more than 20 Amps. I couldn?t measure
any voltage drop across the posts. The red and black
insulated ?nuts? will unscrew all the way off the post,
so you can use a lug with a hole; you don?t need one that
is open. One guy modified it for the RACES connectors,
if that?s what you like.
Parallel cable: I look before I screw a cable on to see
the orientation. I suppose that I could put it on upside
down. The external control connector is a DB-15 high-density;
very standard in the industry. The microphone connector
is a traditional one; mine doesn?t spin. Perhaps he got
one that wasn?t tightened properly. The antenna connector
is a BNC. I am glad to see this instead of the SO-239
The Delta-44 sound card does have a remote dongle with
phone jacks. I soldered phone plugs on some miniature
phone cables, so it works fine. There is a kit that plugs
right into the sound card and does away with the dongle
and supports using a off-the-shelf miniature phone cord
?-The inside of the SDR is wired by a lot of loosely
connected stereo speaker like connectors. You know the
ones that always don"t seat properly, always get noise,
and you just end up cutting them off and hard wiring them.
Well that is how most of the jumpers connect to the PA
boards are configured etc etc etc. Almost all of the
connectors visible from the top don't even snap on they
are just pushed in and hope for the best.?
No problems here yet.
?-No Vox, QSK or the like?
I think VOX is coming. No QSK. I believe that this is a
PC issue, not a SDR-1000 hardware one. Definitely not a
?-No ON/OFF LED on the chassis.?
No power indicator on the transceiver. I went to AutoZone
and bought an illuminated power switch that fits in the
same hole. Works fine.
?-Don't plan on surfing the web or working on documents
while RX / TX with the SDR...the audio will get choppy
like a skipping CD and or PowerSDR will lock up.?
I?m running on a 2 Ghz PC. I use other software (Ham Radio
Deluxe and PSK31) and I surf while using the SDR-1000.
The SDR-1000 takes less than 10% of my CPU. I do notice
it get choppy when I am doing something like a Windows
software update, or a Symantec update.
?-You will need a nice set of amplified computer
speakers...otherwise you wont get much audio from the
Yep. Same as a regular PC. Off the sound card I?ve got
an old ?HiFi? receiver with some big speakers and when I
open up the bandwidth on the SDR-1000, the audio is just
?-The monitor circuit is almost unusable do to the delay
in the software buffers. This makes CW almost unusable
if your not using an external electronic CW Iambic Keyer.
The SDR is certainly not setup as a contester or CW rig.?
Yep, I don?t use the monitor because of the delay.
Mike - AA8K
Post by Tim Ellison
Bom dia. Oi.
For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am very seriously considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In preparation, I have upgraded my computer, purchased the Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only thing that has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to leave the country for 2 months on business.
I am going into my SDR-1000 adventure with my eyes wide open. I am aware that the software is a work in progress and that this is not an "appliance operator" type of radio. No problem. I've lived on the cutting edge before so I know what to expect. The support and contributions of this group also has lessened my fears that the ~$1500 will be a well spent future investment.
What concerns me is that a core part of my reasoning for going ahead with the SDR-1000 purchase was based on the assumption that the hardware component of the radio was, for the most part solid. I am aware that there have been minor improvements in the past to correct issues. That is to be expected.
But the e-ham review brought up some interesting issues. Mostly about the construction quality, PA oscillations and RF susceptibility. I realize that one review doesn't properly describe the true state of things, but along with the other threads on this forum about problems being attributed to cold solder joints, I started wondering about my future purchase.
The rebuttal e-ham review by KD5RD clearly defined the well known accolades and potential issues of *software* defined radios but doesn't address any of the hardware construction issues raised by AA8VL.
Therefore I am interested in the discussion that this review will generate in this forum and also on e-ham. Hopefully my fears will be abated by the responses.
73 de W4TME