Getting up and running with software defined radio can be pretty cheap when using one of the many RTL-SDR variants or something like the FUNcube dongle but what if you wanted to go upmarket.
S.D.R has exploded onto the radio scene in a big way this year with countless devices and software interfaces being produced for both the hobby and professional radio communication markets.
So if you suddenly had more money than could be hidden safety away under the bed what sort of S.D.R kit could you splash the cash on.
Winradio have been producing computer enabled radio kit for years and its good to see they’re fully embracing S.D.R with an ever increasing range of kit available. The two sides to Winradio’s range (hobby and professional) means there’s usually a piece of S.D.R gear to suit most budgets.
As this is a no budget situation its the pro side of Winradio that’s worth a look. The WR-G528e “CHEETAH” seems to be the latest piece of equipment in the pro line. A portable front end with coverage of 0.01 to 3000 MHz, the specs on the WR-G528e look very impressive.
No price on this S.D.R receiver as of yet and I wouldn’t like to even guess.
FlexRadio’s latest “flagship” offering is the FLEX 6700 (pictured below), giving all the coverage of a wide band receiver with the added benefits of S.D.R technology.
And the current price as stated by FlexRadio is $7,499.00 (how many RTL dongles is that?), but if your after a very serious piece of Ham S.D.R equipment this is the price range your looking at.
You can see more about this radio over at FlexRadio
As nice as some of these new S.D.R radios are the price can be a little scary for some but I think this depends which side of hobby radio your into.
While those of us into SW listening and general scanner use can pick up reliable radios pretty cheaply (more so these days), ham radio operators have been paying thousands for top quality setups for many years and that’s before your factor in the price of antennas.
There has always been huge price differences between pieces of radio equipment no matter which side of our hobby you dabble in and we don’t see that changing with the new S.D.R tech. Savings can always be made be having an understanding of whats on offer and only getting the type of radio gear that you need, leaving behind those products that have specs/functions you’ll never ever make use of.