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where do beginners go to start with no knowledge of sdr

Propguy Member
edited January 11 in Amateur Radio Interests
which flex videos do I start with ? Thanks prop guy

Best Answer

  • Gord-VA7GP
    Gord-VA7GP Member ✭✭
    edited January 11 Answer ✓

    Before my FlexRadio, I had a couple of small SDRs - first a cheapie RTL-SDR dongle, then a better "small box". I used these for both receiving and as a Panadapter for my old-school radio. For software, I used HDSDR and SDRUno.

    This is an inexpensive introduction to SDR - click tuning, adjusting filters, enjoying the view of wide swaths of spectrum, trading filter-sharpness for delay, etc. My first moments with my Flex felt very comfortable.

    Don's YouTube suggestion is a great one for seeing demonstrations (and it IS specifically what you asked :-) ),. But if you want "hands-on" for under $20, you could try the cheap dongles on Amazon.

    Have fun!


  • VE7ATJ_Don
    VE7ATJ_Don Member ✭✭✭

    Hi Prop guy.... It really depends on exactly 'where' you are as a beginner. If you've never owned/seen/operatored an SDR, it is quite different from the regular 'knob' super-hetrodyne radio. And it does mean you have to think about what the device is doing (which is quite different from a standard transceiver) and how to interact with it. If you're a complete noobie (no slight intended), then it might be best to look into some more generic 'SDR Concepts' videos as well. If you are comfortable with SDR stuff and want to know more about Flex's implementation of said technology, then the channels below might help.

    Mike from Flex has a YT channel where he presents topics on a variety of subjects: FlexRadioSystems - YouTube

    I also found this one, which looks kind of interesting: Watch This Before Buying Flex Radio - 19 Questions Answered (youtube.com)

    And.... always feel free to come back and ask us questions at any time. That's basically what the community is all about.

  • Propguy
    Propguy Member
    Thanks Gord and Don for the info, i thought a little more on the quest after I asked it should have been a little more specific. THhnks to both of you. I will get start with this info. is there a test later on ??? lol!!!
  • Erika - KØDD
    Erika - KØDD Member ✭✭✭

    Hello PropGuy... We all start somewhere... I noticed a couple posts where the gang responded look into this dongle or that dongle... Thats great if you are not yet licensed, but my clock turns over 53 years on the radio next month. My money is very limited but I expect my radio to be unlimited... I'm not necessarily going to suggest you do this, but I had sold my get back on the air in our new house rig a simple FT450D, as I lost my IC-7800 POS in the divorce. The poor 450 couldn't handle a 1khz spacing on DX-peditions CW which was very very sad performance. I was thinking what do I do next? AND what's all this talk about SDR? I'm not one for 5W radios but I picked up a very nice condition Flex 1500 to see what I thought about that. I learned all about virtual audio cables and power SDR... and though I was weak and puny, I still worked a lot of stations. worked a dozen new states on 6m with a dipole stretched across the shack and made my first FT8 QSO's. Getting the radio to work was hard, but getting it to work on FT8 was even harder... I did get it all done and it worked. I had a decent computer as the 1500 uses the computer as the signal processor. But I got a feel for it. Also, the filter bandwidths were better than the 450D... NOTE this radio was a proof of concept for me... I knew I wanted the power of SDR... A few months later I bought a 6500 and still have it and use it daily. It had been used on a mac version and came with its original disc for v1 Smart SDR... Version one isn't very smart trust me. I opted for the version 3 license and made a step back to version 2 for a while when the Flex SDR server was acting up... I had to learn a lot about proper configuration and know some nice tricks like starting your com ports at 10 and going up from there instead of using available lower ports other software wants to grab. If you feel you're a real noob, find a local SmartSDR guy and have him talk you through the setup. After you've redone it 20-25 times like I have, I can do it in my sleep... You will have the least amount of trouble with the Smart SDR and 6K series radios than you will interlacing the zillions of addition pieces of software into the radio loop. I use absolutely the least amount of additional programs as I can. Erika DD

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