[CQ-Contest] SDR's have knobs too!

Jack Haverty. k3fiv at arrl.net
Fri May 9 15:23:29 EDT 2014

On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:29 AM, Stu Phillips <stu at k6tu.net> wrote:

> But I would never go back to a non-SDR radio - the experience and the
> advantages are simply too compelling.

Hi Stu,

I agree with you - I also would never go back to a non-SDR setup.   Even
with the annoying quirks of an infant technology, today's SDR rigs really
are compelling once you give them a chance.

The problem I have is that I find it hard to explain what the experience
and advantages are, to someone who hasn't tried it.   I don't think it has
much to do with the traditional metrics like IMD et al.   Top-tier SDR rigs
are probably measurably better in the lab tests, but that's not what I find

The one aspect I can explain is the panadapter/waterfall capability.   This
suddenly allows you to operate by eye instead of just by ear.  You don't
just hear the signals on the band, you now can see them too.  It's a
totally new and compelling experience, akin to "letting the blind see".
Galileo must have had a similar experience when he first looked at the sky
through his telescope.  The experience is compelling.

I envision that the "tivo-ed waterfall" I described earlier, which would
allow an operator to "rewind/playback" signals, would be similarly
compelling to my amateur operating, just as "Tivo" changed how I watch TV.

Can you describe other "experiences and advantages" that are what we
SDR-users feel?

/Jack de K3FIV

PS - an interesting experiment would be to take a K3/0 (the "remote head"
for a K3) and build some little interface software that hooks it to an SDR
like a Flex.  I wonder if anyone has done that to get knobs for their
SDR....or if it's even possible.

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