Guess what showed up in my shack? I couldn’t resist. Here are my SDRPlay RSP2 first impressions. And they are very good.
Recently, I noticed that SDRPlay had dropped the price on its first generation RSP1 software defined radio. So I went to Radioworld Central in Calgary intending to buy one before they were all gone. But in the end, I chose the second generation RSP2, shown above. The RSP2 has the same core technology but adds some features. These include multiple antenna inputs, extra filtering and better shielding.
SDRPlay is a British company that has attracted a lot of attention recently. It’s RSP (Radio Spectrum Processor) line of software defined radios appear to offer great value. Their radios feature a 12 bit analog to digital converter. You will find that this offers more quality than the cheap 8 bit dongles, and compares favorably to the 14 bit ADC found in more expensive gear. Since introduced a few years ago, the price of the RSP1 has dropped several times, from US$299 down to US$99. The newer RSP2 remains priced at US$170. Either rig provides DC-to-Daylight coverage of all the radio frequencies up to 2 GHz.
RSP2 First Impressions – Running in SDR Console
I was able to get the radio up and running in two minutes. All I needed to do was install the USB driver and discover the radio in SDR Console V3. After that, the Console ran the SDRPlay just fine
What makes the RSP2 a bit trickier to run than the Perseus is the variety of front end and IF gain settings. You need to be careful not to overload the radio. However, I found the SDR Console default settings to be just fine. Signal levels with the RSP2 were the same as with the Perseus.
My first impressions were based on HF listening. It was hard to see or hear much difference from the Perseus, which is a much more expensive rig with a 14 bit ADC. Next, I will explore VHF, UHF and microwaves. As well as the SDRuno software that comes with the SDRPlay radio.
If you are looking for a cheap wideband radio, consider the SDRPlay radios. The RSP1 at its current price is a pretty good deal, in particular.