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A different SWL experience
#1
I don't remember exactly when I first read about SDR - software-defined radios. Judging from the fact that I am an SWL since the early '70s, one may excuse my bad memory. I can safely say though, my first sdr brand was not SDRPlay. 

Yes, it was early 2000's and my first sdr was WINRADIO, for a simple reason: It came out much before SDRPlay! 

A forum of seasoned radio listeners is not going to ask 'hey, what's an SDR and how does it work?' but here's a quote from WINRADIO website winradio.com about my unit: "A Software Defined Radio (SDR) is such where demodulation and the last IF (intermediate frequency) processing are done entirely in software. Usually this means using a DSP, but in the case of the G305e, this processing is done on a PC. Most modern PCs are now faster and more powerful than many DSPs were only a few years ago. So, if you own a PC, the chances are that you already own an important part of a software-defined radio receiver!"

WINRADIO was Australian and I had to carry out a lot of online correspondence to get it put on my credit card: The amount of money involved at the time was a wee bit outside my limit but was not impossible thanks to a quick shift up of the figure on my accountWell, I managed to buy the lowest rung on the ladder and had it DHL'd to Canada where I was at the time.  It arrived swiftly, after a brief but uneasy wait, but I had to go to a store to pick it up because there was a customs duty to be paid. The flat I stayed was a certain 14th storey of a high-rise and of course, I did not have a proper antenna. However, that did not keep me from trying out the radio. With the help of a telescoping antenna, also a simple longwire balun -both sold by WINRADIO, of course- I was able to test my new outfit. [To see the unit, go to http://winradio.com/home/g305e.htmToday I can tell you the interface on my Mac was bland -it was their cheapest unit- but the result was exciting. I still have the unit, truly in a mint condition, in its original box, working perfectly, with a DRM decoder too. (I can happily sell it to anyone interested, by the way.)

Well, years went by and I came across some web material about a new sdr unit, marvelous in price and reception, called SDRPlay which was British made. I got their web site and after a short consideration, took a bold step to order it. Bold, because it was going to come through 'mail'! I didn't know what I had to endure in terms of customs red-tape.

So, one day I found a mail slip on my door, saying I had a packet but had to pick it up at the post office. I felt 'oh boy, here we go!' But... Nothing happened! The guy checked my ID and just handed me the packet. It was such a small envelope that I guess they didn't bother opening it. I took the unit out of the envelope right there in my car. A small, black, plastic box, it was. 

Went home quickly, but couldn't try the unit right away. Being a Mac person, I had to figure out a way to get the needed software. 

OK, let me speed up: After a short period of time and labor with the required simple terminal operated things, I got the software called CubicSDR up and running. (PCs that run on Windows or Linux are catered better in software but, anyway.)

And voila! My home in Alaçatı-Turkey had a plain but fair antenna arrangement, a longwire and a Wellbrook loop, and a good geographical location. So, I was able to see the claimed marvel with my own eyes on my Mac's screen. Even the weak signals were detectable and separated, tuned to. There was also a resident 'sound recording' feature.

To learn more about RSP1, the SDRPlay unit I got (though discontinued now), the official stuff, you can go to https://www.sdrplay.com/rsp1

I have this unit to this day too. Still working properly, given the right antenna... And no, I am not gonna sell it even if someone wants to buy it.

There are by the way much cheaper sdr units in the market, but, hey... 

One's gotta be rich to buy the cheapo.
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