20 Sept. 2012- The Software-Defined HF Receiver

We had a very good turn out for our meeting including visitors from Cambridge, St. Neots and Huntingdon increasing our usual total.

We heard an overview of the company and their products and their users.

Software defined receivers have come a long way in the last few years and the unit of most interest was the G31DDC ‘Excalibur’ which, although expensive, was within the range of the amateur market. It is described as a high performance, direct-sampling, software-defined short wave receiver.

The frequency range runs from 9 kHz to 50 MHz which includes a real time 50 MHz wide spectrum analyzer with a 2 MHz wide instantaneous bandwith available for recording, demodulation and further digital processing.

The only downside that could be noted was the lack of RX/TX switching for those who would be using it with a transmitter on the same antenna, as most radio amateurs do. It transpires that even the smallest whiff of RF into the receiver will damage the front end, rendering the entire unit next to worthless since the building technique does not allow easy access to components.  Having said that, the receive facility is very impressive.