Since I won a $100 gift certificate for HRO, I decided to use it on a little gadget I've had my eye on for quite some time now.
It's called an "SDRplay", and is a little software defined radio receiver,
I've experimented a bunch with the USB "dongle" receivers, and had a HackRF1 for a while. The problem with the dongles and the HackRF receivers is that they only use 8-bit analog to digital converters, resulting in a pretty severely limited amount of dynamic range, especially if you live in an "RF Alley" like the metro L.A. area.
Strong signals on far removed frequencies "break through", and I had to turn down the RF gain and the IF gain in the software to get decent performance out of them.
Running them with my 144 MHz "eggbeater" antenna and an SSB Electronic preamp, which includes a helical filter, made them perform much better for 2 Meter Ham Radio work, and 137 MHz APT weather satellites.
The SDRplay uses 12-bit ADC's, so it should be quite a bit better.
I haven't tried the SDR play on my Windows PC yet, but it looks like it's going to take some fiddling around to get it to work on my Linux PC.
It gets properly detected when I plug it in to the USB port, but Gqrx and Linrad both barf when I try and make it receive.
And yes, I followed the instructions to the letter from the SDRplay website about installing the drivers and API.
Just have to do some more digging around, I guess....