Sunday, July 17, 2016

Test and Review of Airspy vs SDRplay vs HackRF SDR Receivers

I had a HackRF, and sold it after a few weeks of playing with it. My biggest gripe was that it has an 8-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter in it, the same number of bits as a $15 "dongle" receiver. It was also as easily overloaded as all the dongles I've played with.

Earlier in the week, I used the $100 gift certificate I won to buy an SDRplay receiver from my local Ham Radio Outlet.

So far, it's been a royal PITA to get running on my Linux PC. I made the mistake of RTFM, and installed the MiricsAPI on this PC before I tried to run any of the Linux software I already have on this PC, like Gqrx and Linrad. The MiricsAPI installs some things that stop Gqrx and Linrad from working properly, and there's NO uninstaller to remove the API!

The Linrad developer was kind enough to contact me, and has given me excellent advice on how to get the SDRplay running on Linux, but until I can figure out how to get their damned API removed, I'm dead in the water.

I'd heard of the Airspy receiver before, but never really looked in to it, but it looks like one will be my next SDR purchase, at least until the piggy bank is full enough to get a Flex 6500 that will be the replacement for my Flex 5000A.

ANYWAY......while searching for ways out of this current dilemma, I stumbled back across the RTL-SDR website. I'd first found this website when I started messing around with the "$15 Dongle" receivers, and it was a wealth of information to get my feet wet.

A few minutes ago I found their comparison on the three receivers listed in the title of this post, and from my experience with 2 out the 3 receivers, I'd say they're bang-on!

IF you're considering something better than a $15~$20 toy, by all means check out the review.

There's a lot you can do with the dongles as long as you're aware of their limitations, but if you want something more, then check this out.



  1. Uh, yeah. What he said!

    Sometimes I don't understand much of your posts, but at least I know you are still alive!

    1. I still visit your blog when I see you've made a new post, Harry.

  2. Sounds like you may have to reformat and start over if the API won't remove...

    1. The problem is that I can't find it to remove it!

      The Linrad developer has been in contact with me, and he's given me a lot of good tips and advice.


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