You are right in many aspects the SDR-1000 does not
equal the Orion, it surpasses it. I own 2 SDR-1000's
and one Orion. My Orion has been relegated to being
my 75M ragchew radio because the SDR is better at weak
signal work, contesting and DXing especially on CW.
The receiver has better selectivity (yes I have the
Inrad 600hz roofing filter) and it is quieter than the
In addition while the Orion is updated once every
12-18 months you can download the latest beta code for
the SDR daily using version tracking software. If you
don't like it the change you just flip up the most
recent iteration of the software you do like. And
guess what!! The software actually improves the radio
without breaking a bunch of other features.
If your smart enough you can add features to the
software and if people like your addition it will be
included in the next release. If your not that smart
but have a good idea and can convince someone to imp
lament it, it also will see the light of day. Those
guys DO monitor the reflector, and since they are
interested in being sensitive to the needs of their
customers they actually either respond with the change
needed or explain the rationale why the suggestion
can't be implemented or is impractical to implement.
The Original software was written in visual basic, and
that has changed to a .Net framework i.e not just a
change around the periphery but MAJOR surgery to the
code to make the radio better. And better is gets all
the time. The code is presently rewrite so it will
become modular seperating the front end GUI code from
the back end DSP and control code, making it easire to
customize the front end for various needs. I don't
think that's in the cards for the Orion.
There is an open source hardware group that is in the
process of developing DSP hardware that has MDS down
around -160db and dynamic range of around 120db. It
will plug into the back of the SDR-1000 widening
performance gap between the Orion and the SDR-1000.
Try doing that with your Orion. Certainly there are
features of the Orion that are superior such as
diversity RX and its antenna switching flexibility and
its QSK, but as the SDR improves the list diminishes
How good is it? I have 160M, 80M and 40M verticals
100ft or less apart. I can work S-2 (-120dBm my noise
floor on 40 is -125dBm) strength dx on 40 or -116 dBm
stuff on 160 while transmitting 1500W SSB or CW on 75
or 80. When transmitting 1500W on 80, I measure
2000mw (2 watts) of power on the receive antenna aka
+33dBm. There isn't even the slightest hint of
desense or added noise in the SDR's receiver. I could
probably muster another 3dB but that would be illegal.
The Orion does just about as well if I run the test
in reverse, but there is some noise noticeable in the
Orion on 160 when I am transmitting with the SDR at
1500W on 80. I have both radios as tricked out as you
can make them. I have large horsepower on the
computer for the SDR and the best DSP cards available
at the present time, so both radios are as maxed out
in terms of performance as you can make them for
prosumer quality hardware.
So scoff if you want, but I have both radios sitting
on my desk and it is totally up to my whim which radio
I decide to use for what purpose, and I assure you it
is not my nature to choose the inferior radio to do
the harder job.
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