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Can't decide... Icom-R75 or go SDR?

Discussion in 'Scanning & Shortwave Listening' started by dc2rf, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. dc2rf

    dc2rf
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    I've been in the radio hobby since the '60's. I'm used to 'twiddling knobs" on my radios, tuners, and pre-amps. I'm presently using a Yaesu FRG-100 and am looking to upgrade to an Icom-R75...

    but...

    I'm real curious about the SDR "revolution" going on. My main interest is DC to 30Mhz, but I see I can get an SDR to perform above that. I'm looking at the Elad FDM-S2 which I can purchase under $600, the R75 will be about $100 higher. The specs on the Elad seem to be very impressive.

    Thus the quandary... what do I do? I'm not afraid of new technology, but I'm wondering if I'll make a financial mistake. In five years will the SDR be supported? Will it be compatible with a higher version of Windows/Linux/whatever? Will it be like owning a PC with antiquated hardware that no one would want on the used market? Is this SDR a better performer all around than the R75?

    The R75 should probably hold some value in, let's say, 5 years. I would think it would always have more value in the used market than any SDR over time.

    Man, this is a tough decision!

    Any thoughts?


     

  2. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker
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    real radios glow in the dark,............ I can tolerate the YaeKenCom rigs

    SDR's,............ might as well use an internet chat room.... YMMV
     
  3. GnG8d

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    Yep, it's exactly the same .......... well, except the SDR requires an antenna and depends on propagation and all that stuff.
     
  4. Mudfoot

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    Popular, high quality SDR rigs hold there value pretty well. If you buy the ELAD and decide you don't like it, just sell it. Consider your slight loss a rental fee.
     
  5. dc2rf

    dc2rf
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    m42duster,

    Your right, for the "short term"... deciding if it was what I wanted and then selling it if it wasn't right for me.

    I think if I kept it too long though, it might be like trying to sell an old desktop PC when the state of hardware has long moved passed them.

    I believe that SDR's are just in their infancy now and will become a lot more powerful within the next few years... kinda like PC's rapidly went from the Pentium 60 era to the 3 Gig multi-core processors in just a few years.

    Like most radio guys, I'm kinda frugal and don't want to spend a fair amount of money on a box that will just become a "brick" in a few years.

    That's what I'm worried about with the SDR thing.

    I guess the old adage applies...

    Ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer chances. :laugh:
     
  6. GnG8d

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    I think you're right dc2rf, sdr is the future, but at what point do you dive in? Only you can answer that question.
     
  7. dc2rf

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    I guess you pretty much summed it all up. Yes... at what point do I "dive in", and I am the only one that can answer the question for myself.

    The R75 is the "safe bet" financially speaking, but the temptation of the "new toy" has a mysterious allure. ;-)
     
  8. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot
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  9. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot
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    I'd look at the Palstar and Lowe receivers.
     
  10. dc2rf

    dc2rf
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    m42duster,

    Yes, the CR1-a certainly is an alternative to the PC only SDR "box".

    Here's another alternative from Elad that has my eye also:

    FDM-DUO

    Shown is a transciever, but apparently there is a receive only model called the FDM-DUOr. I'd be very tempted to purchase this when available.

    If you look at the link at the bottom of the page, a pdf can be viewed. In the pdf is the block diagram of the FDM-DUOr.

    p.s. The Palstar looks very interesting. I'll have to check out owner reviews on this radio.
     
  11. GnG8d

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    This reminds me of the $2500 flat CRT I bought, lol. A few years after I bought it, I couldn't give the 1000# behemoth away. But I think SDR will be more forgiving than that.
     
  12. dc2rf

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    I hear ya. I paid $1200 (in 1990's dollars) for my first PC. It wasn't even a 286. It had an 8088 processor if memory serves me right, and it was a real piece of garbage. Soon after I bought it, the prices on the 286-386 machines came down to under a $1000 to make way for the early Pentiums. :headbang

    Like you, I don't think the SDR situation will be as drastic.
     
  13. dc2rf

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    Decision made... I'm taking a new path and going the SDR route.

    I'm going to purchase the Elad receive only version of their FDM-DOU SDR transceiver, rather than purchase the S2 (PC only) SDR.

    This way I can operate the DOUr model (with a tuning knob and in standalone mode) without a pc if I wish. I can hook it up to the PC whenever I want to take advantage of the better filtering and other enhancements that the software offers.

    Just have to wait now until the DOUr version is released for sale.
     
  14. CollinsMan

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    I enjoy my SDR very much. Mine is basically an inexpensive unit intended for Chinese TV reception inserted into a custom made filter that plugs into a USB port. I configured it for direct sampling, and it covers everything from DC up to 1.7 GHZ. It works amazingly well for what it is.

    If you are interested in shortwave broadcasts, with a SDR you can choose the bandwidth to match band conditions. It's amazing how good some stations sound when you widen the filter out to 12 kc or so!

    These units are only about $53.00 delivered from China via E*ay if you want to try SDR on the cheap. SDR# software is free...
     
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  15. Mudfoot

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    There were a few posts on these cheap SDR's a while back, but haven't seen any more responses lately.

    I wanted to jump in and get one, but haven't yet. I just got another Flex 1500. I had one about two years ago, but sold it due to the CW latency issues that required the use of an external keyer and utilize it's sidetone.

    I heard they solved the latency issue and is why I got another one. I'm using the default USB buffering rate and notice zero issues with full QSK up to 30 WPM. I'm content with the Flex now.

    I'd recommend to the OP a Flex 1500 for SWL. It has a decent receiver and commands a high resell value should you choose to sell it.
     

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