AirSpy taking pre-orders for their $199 SDR receiver


From their website:

Airspy is an advanced software defined radio receiver capable of sampling 10MHz of spectrum anywhere between 24MHz and 1.7GHz – and even beyond with extensions. It all started when we needed a good performing receiver that’s still affordable but could not find a good solution in the market, so we designed ours. We believe that as of today, Airspy is the only serious wide band receiver solution that’s high performance and yet affordable.


Some specs:

  • Continuous 24 – 1750 MHz RX range with no gaps
  • 3.5 dB NF between 42 and 1002 MHz
  • Tracking RF filters
  • 35dBm IIP3 RF front end
  • 12bit ADC @ 20 MSPS (80dB Dynamic Range, 64dB SNR, 10.4 ENOB) – Yeah, size does matter.
  • Up to 80 MSPS for custom applications
  • Cortex M4F @ up to 204MHz with Multi Core support (dual M0)
  • 1.5 ppm high precision, low phase noise clock
  • 1 RTC clock (for packet time-stamping)
  • External clock input (10 MHz to 100 MHz via MCX connector) – Ideal for phase coherent radios
  • 10 MHz panoramic spectrum view with 9MHz alias/image free
  • IQ or Real, 16bit fixed or 32bit float output streams
  • No IQ imbalance, DC offset or 1/F noise at the center of the spectrum that plagues all the other SDRs
  • Extension ports: 16 x SGPIO
  • 1 x RF Input (SMA)
  • 1 x RF Output (Loopthrough, U-FL)
  • 2 x High Speed ADC inputs (up to 80 MSPS, U-FL)
  • 4.5v software switched Bias-Tee to power LNA’s and up/down-converters


From what I’ve read, the big advantage of this over a standard RTL-SDR dongle is much less noise. I haven’t used one, but if it really lives up to their claims the $199 price point is actually pretty reasonable. / $199

Matt, W1MST, is the editor of


Most of you have undoubtedly heard by now that the Antares rocket, launched from NASA's Wallops Island Launch Facility in Virginia, blew up 6 seconds after lift off.

Unfortunately, the rocket was carrying various OSCAR satellites, specifically the GOMX-2 and RACE CubeSats.  Fortunately, it appears that no ground personnel were injured or killed by the mishap.

According to the ARRL:

"The 2U GMX-2 CubeSat was intended to test a de-orbit system designed by Aalborg University in Denmark. Karl Klaus Laursen, OZ2KK, is listed as the “responsible operator” on International Amateur Radio Union frequency coordination documents. The Amateur Radio payload proposed using a 9.6 k MSK data downlink on 437.250 MHz. Also on board was an optical communications experiment from the National University of Singapore. The mission also hoped to flight qualify a new high-speed UHF transceiver and SDR receiver built by an Aalborg University team.

The Radiometer Atmospheric Cubesat Experiment (RACE) CubeSat was a joint project between The Texas Spacecraft Laboratory (TSL) at the University of Texas-Austin and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). It carried a 183 GHz radiometer, a new science instrument designed by JPL. The primary objective of the RACE mission was to collect atmospheric water vapor measurements. The spacecraft was equipped to transmit using GMSK at 38.4 k and CW telemetry on a downlink frequency of 437.525MHz, as coordinated with the IARU. TSL’s Edgar Glenn Lightsey, KE5DDG, was listed in the IARU coordination documents as the responsible operator."

The Antares rocket is a design of the Orbital Space Sciences group. It was on a re-supply mission to the International Space Station and had 5000 pounds of cargo as well as more than two dozen satellites on board. Mankind has been launching payloads into earth orbit for 57 years now. This just goes to show, that as much as this is "rocket science" - that stuff still happens.

On a related note, I was able to visually witness a very nice pass of the ISS this Monday evening.  It was about a 60 or 70 degree pass just around local sunset.  The ISS was very bright and showed up on the horizon right on cue. Wonderful how that works, isn't it?  As I watched it fly overhead, just over the waxing crescent moon, I was reminded of the many passes of RS10/11 and RS12/13 in the 90s. I used to work those LEOs a lot, and had many pleasurable contacts over them.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

The Completely Updated Incomplete List of Ham Radio iPhone Apps

iphonesIt is about time I updated one of my more popular posts about my favorite ham radio apps on the iPhone and IPad. As usual, I will focus on free or low cost (less than $5) apps that I am actively using. Some apps have just disappeared from iTunes and new ones have emerged. While this list is completely updated, it is still incomplete, because there are so many apps to choose from.


From the Simple Utility Category:

Ham I Am (Author: Storke Brothers, Cost: Free) A handy app that covers some basic amateur radio reference material (Phonetic alphabet, Q Signals, Ham Jargon, Morse Code, RST System, etc.) Although I find the name to be silly, I like the app!
Maidenhead Converter (Author: Donald Hays, Cost: Free) Handy app that displays your grid locator, uses maps and does lat/lon to grid locator conversions.
HamClock (Author: Ben Sinclair, Cost: $0.99) A simple app that displays UTC time and local time. This one reads out to the second.


There are quite a few good apps for looking up amateur radio callsigns:

CallBook (Author: Dog Park Software, Cost: $1.99) Simple ham radio callbook lookup with map display.

Call Sign Lookup (Author: Technivations, Cost: $0.99) Another simple ham radio callsign lookup with map display.


There are a few repeater directory apps out there and my favorite is:

RepeaterBook (Author: ZBM2 Software, Cost: Free) This app is tied to the web site, works well and is usually up to date.


For a mobile logbook (and other tools):

HamLog (Author: Pignology, Cost: $0.99) This app is much more than a logbook because it has a bunch of handy tools including UTC Clock, Callsign Lookup, Prefix list, Band Plans, Grid Calculator, Solar Data, SOTA Watch, Q Signals and much more.


To track propagation reports, both HF and VHF:

WaveGuide (Author: Rockwell Schrock, Cost: $2.99) This is an excellent tool for determining HF and VHF propagation conditions at the touch of a finger.


If you are an EchoLink user, then you’ll want this app:

EchoLink (Author: Synergenics, Cost: Free) The EchoLink app for the iPhone.


There are quite a few APRS apps out there. I tend to use this one because my needs are pretty simple….just track me, baby!

Ham Tracker (Author: Kram, Cost: $2.99) APRS app, works well, uses external maps such as Google and “Share” feature allows you to send an SMS or email with your location information.


Satellite tracking is another useful app for a smartphone:

Space Station Lite (Author: Craig Vosburgh, Cost: Free) A free satellite tracking app for just the International Space Station. It has annoying ads but its free.

ProSat Satellite Tracker (Author: Craig Vosburgh, Cost: $9.99) This app is by the same author as ISS Lite, but is the full-featured “pro” version. Although it is a pricey compared to other apps, I recommend it.


For Summits On The Air (SOTA) activity, there are a few apps:

Pocket SOTA (Author: Pignology, Cost: $0.99) A good app for finding SOTA summits, checking spots and accessing other information.

SOTA Goat (Author: Rockwell Schrock, Cost: $4.99) This is a great app for SOTA activity. It works better when offline than Pocket SOTA (which often happens when you are activating a summit).


For ham radio license training, I like the apps. (OK, I am biased here as I contribute to that web site.)

HamRadioSchool Technician (Author: Peak Programming, Cost: $2.99) There are a lot of Technician practice exams out there but this is the best one, especially if you use the license book.

HamRadioSchool General (Author: Peak Programming, Cost: $2.99) This is the General class practice exam, especially good for use with the book.


Morse Code is always a fun area for software apps:

Morse-It (Author: Francis Bonnin, Cost: $0.99) This app decodes and sends Morse audio. There are fancier apps out there but this one does a lot for $1.


Well, that’s my list. Any other suggestions?

– Bob K0NR

The post The Completely Updated Incomplete List of Ham Radio iPhone Apps appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

Late October and DX with the DSW

It’s still beautiful even though most of the leaves are off the trees. I’ve gotten out the last two days. Yesterday a bike ride in East Andover… today I used the DSW in a field on Shute Hill to work Curacao, the Netherlands and a 2-way QRP QSO with Pennsylvania. I’ll start with today.


Judy and I hiked up the Rufus Colby Road and down the lane way into Will Ellis’s field. The beech trees are still glowing orange. I brought the beautiful DSW for 20 meters and a dipole. I decided to put the dipole up as a sloper… one end in a pine tree… the other end tied to a line and held down by a rock in the field. It didn’t go smoothly. I pulled off the PL259 connector from the RG-174 when it caught on some stubble in the field. Fortunately I had a knife and a little screw driver in the backpack, and I cobbled a connection together.


What a sweet rig. 2 watts… digital VFO with a built in keyer and nice filtering. As soon as I got set up, I worked Al WA3PTY in Pennsylvania! He was only running 1 watt. Wow… We’ve worked each other a dozen times before, but what a hoot to make this QSO from Shute Hill… 2-way QRP.

After that I went down the band and worked PA2EVR in the Netherlands. It was a quick 599/599 exchange. Then I worked PJ2/DL8OBQ in Curacao, an island just north of the Venezuelan coast. This was also a quick exchange. But what a lot of fun! A tiny rig, low power, simple antenna from the top of Shute Hill. It doesn’t get much better. Thanks Dave for designing the little DSW!

Bike Ride in East Andover

Yesterday, Judy and I rode our bikes about 5 miles on the old rail trail in East Andover. There were so many leaves on the trail, we couldn’t even see the ground.


I stopped at a little brook to operate and discovered that I’d left the backpack and the rig in the camper. This is not a good sign. Before heading home, we stopped at Highland Lake.


I tossed 33 feet of wire into a maple tree and sat down on the grass with the KX3. I started on 12 meters. W1AW/7 in Nevada was very strong and we made a quick exchange. Then I switched to 15 meters and called Oscar EA1DR. I’ve worked him in Spain at least a dozen times from the field. He’s always a welcomed QSO.


Things may look a lot different in a few days. There’s a forecast of snow for Sunday.


Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

New Loop, Perseus and CLE187 Results

The weekend CLE event described in an earlier blogpost provided the first real opportunity to put my new LF loop to the test. Actually, it has already passed the most important test...surviving a large 60+ mph windstorm, while I was away on a short vacation. Unfortunately, a 60' Douglas Fir, just a few feet from the loop, blew completely down...thankfully, over the bank, in the other direction. Cleaning it up will take a few weeks but should provide some good firewood as well as exercise.

Before leaving, I tied the end arms of the loop down just in case it might get windy, but it seems that the light PVC frame does not produce the same windage as my large wooden 10' loop frame.

Beacons logged over the three-night event:

2014-10-25 0600 198 DIW Dixon, NC
2014-10-25 1100 205 XZ Wawa, ON
2014-10-25 1100 209 IB Atikokan, ON
2014-10-25 1100 212 YGX Gillam, MB
2014-10-26 0700 215 AT Watertown, SD
2014-10-25 0600 216 CLB Willmington, NC
2014-10-25 1100 233 QN Nakina, ON
2014-10-26 0700 233 BWP Brekenridge, ND
2014-10-25 1100 242 EL El Paso, TX
2014-10-25 0700 245 YZE Gore Bay, ON
2014-10-26 0700 245 FS Siuox Falls, SD
2014-10-27 1230 248 GLA Gulkana, AK
2014-10-25 1330 251 OSE Bethel, AK
2014-10-26 0700 251 AM Amarillo, TX
2014-10-26 0700 253 GB Marshall, MN
2014-10-25 1100 254 EV Inuvik, NT
2014-10-26 0700 256 TQK Scott City, KS
2014-10-26 0700 257 SAZ Staples, MN
2014-10-25 1100 258 ZSJ Sandy Lake, ON
2014-10-26 0700 260 AVZ Terrell, TX
2014-10-26 0700 263 ZQT Thunder Bay, ON
2014-10-25 0700 264 ZPB Sachigo Lake, ON
2014-10-25 1330 270 FA Apia, SMO
2014-10-26 0600 272 GP Grand Rapids, MN
2014-10-27 0700 272 LD Lubbock, TX
2014-10-27 0800 272 GLS Galapagos, GAL
2014-10-26 0700 274 RG Red Wing, MN
2014-10-27 1330 275 CZF Cape Romanzof, AK
2014-10-26 0700 276 YEL Elliot Lake, ON
2014-10-26 1232 277 ACE Homer, AK
2014-10-25 1100 278 NM Matagami, QC
2014-10-25 1300 281 CRN Sparrevohn, AK
2014-10-26 0700 282 ROS Rush City, MN
2014-10-27 1330 283 DUT Dutch Harbor, AK
2014-10-25 1100 300 YIV Island Lake, MB
2014-10-25 1000 305 YQ Churchill, MB
2014-10-26 0700 323 HJH Hebron, NE
2014-10-25 0600 326 MA Midland, TX
2014-10-26 0700 326 FO Topeka, KS
2014-10-26 0700 326 LTU Spencer, IA
2014-10-25 1330 327 VYI Kahului, HI
2014-10-26 0700 327 JMR Mora, MN
2014-10-26 0700 329 YEK Arviat, NU
2014-10-26 0700 330 PWC Pine River, MN
2014-10-25 1330 332 POA Pahoa, HI
2014-10-26 0700 332 FIS Key West, FL
2014-10-25 0600 335 YLD Chapleau, ON
2014-10-26 0700 337 FF Fergus Falls, MN
2014-10-26 1232 338 CMQ Campbell Lake, AK
2014-10-26 1232 338 RYN Tucson, AZ
2014-10-26 0700 340 YY Mont Joli, QC
2014-10-25 1300 341 ELF Cold Bay, AK
2014-10-26 0700 341 OIN Oberlin, KS
2014-10-26 0800 344 ZIY Georgetown, CYM
2014-10-25 0600 346 YXL Sioux Lookout, ON
2014-10-25 0600 346 YKQ Waskaganish, ON
2014-10-25 1300 346 OLT Soldotna, AK
2014-10-26 0700 347 YK Yankton, SD
2014-10-25 1100 350 RG Oklahoma City, OK
2014-10-25 1200 350 VTR McGrath, AK
2014-10-25 1330 353 LLD Lanai, HI
2014-10-26 0700 353 IN International Falls, MN
2014-10-25 0600 355 YWP Webequie, ON
2014-10-26 1300 355 AUB King Salmon, AK
2014-10-25 1000 356 ODX Ord, NE
2014-10-27 1230 359 ANI Aniak, AK
2014-10-25 0600 360 SW Warroad, MN
2014-10-25 0500 362 YZS Coral Harbor, NU
2014-10-25 0500 365 HQG Hugoton, KS
2014-10-25 0500 365 PAL Palma, EQA
2014-10-25 0600 366 YMW Maniwaki, QC
2014-10-25 1300 366 PNI Pohnpei, FSM
2014-10-26 0700 368 PNM Princeton, MN
2014-10-26 0700 368 PHG Phillipsburg, KS
2014-10-25 0600 370 OUN Norman, OK
2014-10-25 1100 371 GW Kuujjuarapik, QC
2014-10-26 0700 371 MD Bemidji, MN
2014-10-25 1330 373 HHI Wahiawa, HI
2014-10-26 0700 374 EE Alexandria, MN
2014-10-25 1100 376 YAG Fort Frances, ON
2014-10-26 0700 376 ZIN Matthew Town, BAH
2014-10-26 0700 377 EHA Elkhart, KS
2014-10-25 1300 379 IWW Kenai, AK
2014-10-26 0700 379 OW Owatonna, MN
2014-10-26 0700 380 OEL Oakley, KS
2014-10-26 0700 380 BBD Brady, TX
2014-10-26 1000 380 UCY Cayajabos, CUB
2014-10-26 0700 382 YPL Pickle Lake, ON
2014-10-27 1330 382 JNR Unalkleet, AK
2014-10-25 1330 385 EHM Cape Newenham, AK
2014-10-26 0700 385 JD Belleville, IL
2014-10-25 0700 388 AM Tampa, FL
2014-10-26 0700 389 EN Kenosha, WI
2014-10-27 0700 389 CSB Cambridge, NE
2014-10-25 0600 390 HBT Borland, AK
2014-10-25 1000 391 DDP San Juan, PTR
2014-10-25 1300 392 AGZ Wagner, SD
2014-10-26 0700 392 ML Charlevoix, QC
2014-10-26 0700 392 AGZ Wagner, SD
2014-10-25 1330 393 UKS Kosrae Island, FSM
2014-10-26 0700 393 2M Opapimiskan Lake, ON
2014-10-27 1330 393 TOG Togiak, AK
2014-10-25 1100 395 RWO Kodiak, AK
2014-10-26 0700 395 ULS Ulysses, KS
2014-10-25 0600 396 YPH Inukjuak, QC
2014-10-26 0700 397 CIR Cairo, IL
2014-10-25 1100 399 ZHD Dryden, ON
2014-10-27 1330 399 SRI St. George, AK
2014-10-26 0700 400 PPI St. Paul, MN
2014-10-27 0700 400 AI Ardmore, OK
2014-10-25 0700 401 YPO Peawanuck, ON
2014-10-26 0700 407 ZHU Montreal, QC
2014-10-26 0700 407 OOC Natchitoches, LA
2014-10-27 0700 407 AQ Appleton, WI
2014-10-26 0700 408 JDM Colby, KS
2014-10-26 0700 410 DAO Fort Huachuca, AZ
2014-10-25 1300 411 ILI Iliama, AK
2014-10-26 0700 411 SDA Shenandoah, IA
2014-10-26 0700 412 CMY Sparta, WI
2014-10-26 0800 412 BWR Alpine, TX
2014-10-25 1100 413 YHD Dryden, ON
2014-10-26 0700 414 SU Sioux City, IA
2014-10-26 0700 414 MSD Mansfield, LA
2014-10-25 0600 415 CBC Cayman Brac, CYM
2014-10-26 0700 416 LB North Platte, NE
2014-10-25 1000 417 IY Charles City, IA
2014-10-26 0700 418 CW Lake Charles, LA
2014-10-26 0700 419 RYS Detroit, MI
2014-10-26 0700 420 FQ Fairmont, MN
2014-10-25 1100 421 VLY McKinney, TX
2014-10-26 0700 422 EA Kearney, NE
2014-10-25 1000 428 POH Pochahontas, IA
2014-10-25 1000 434 SLB Storm Lake, IA
2014-10-25 1000 512 HMY Lexington, OK
2014-10-26 0700 515 PN Ponca City, OK
2014-10-26 0700 516 YWA Petewawa, ONT
2014-10-25 1000 521 ORC Orange City, IA
2014-10-25 0800 525 ICW Nenana, AK


2014-10-27 1300 200 5M Sparwood, BC
2014-10-27 1300 200 YJ Victoria, BC
2014-10-27 1300 203 YBL Campbell River, BC
2014-10-27 1300 203 ZKI Kitimat, BC
2014-10-27 1300 206 EF Castlegar, BC
2014-10-27 1300 214 LU Abbotsford, BC
2014-10-27 1300 218 PR Prince Rupert, BC
2014-10-27 1300 223 YKA Kamloops, BC
2014-10-27 1300 227 CG Castlegar, BC
2014-10-27 1300 230 YD Smithers, BC
2014-10-27 1300 236 YZA Ashcroft, BC
2014-10-27 1300 242 XC Cranbrook, BC
2014-10-27 1300 242 ZT Port Hardy, BC
2014-10-27 1300 246 ZXJ Fort St. John, BC
2014-10-27 1300 248 ZZP Sandspit, BC
2014-10-27 1300 250 2J Grand Forks, BC
2014-10-27 1300 251 YCD Nanaimo, BC
2014-10-27 1300 257 LW Kelowna, NC
2014-10-27 1300 260 YSQ Atlin, BC
2014-10-27 1300 260 ZXS Prince George, BC
2014-10-27 1300 261 D6 Fairmont Hot Springs, BC
2014-10-27 1300 266 VR Vancouver, BC
2014-10-27 1300 269 YK Castlegar, BC
2014-10-27 1300 272 XS Prince George, BC
2014-10-27 1300 278 1U Masset, BC
2014-10-27 1300 290 YYF Penticton, BC
2014-10-27 1300 293 MB Victoria, BC
2014-10-27 1300 312 UNT Naramata, BC
2014-10-27 1300 325 YJQ Bella Bella, BC
2014-10-27 1300 326 DC Princeton, BC
2014-10-27 1300 326 XJ Fort St. John, BC
2014-10-27 1300 332 WC White Rock, BC
2014-10-27 1300 332 XT Terrace, BC
2014-10-27 1300 344 XX Abbotsford, BC
2014-10-27 1300 346 N9 Tumbler Ridge, BC
2014-10-27 1300 350 NY Enderby, BC
2014-10-27 1300 356 ON Penticton, BC
2014-10-27 1300 359 YQZ Quesnel, BC
2014-10-27 1300 364 4D Helmet, BC
2014-10-27 1300 368 SX Cranbrook, BC
2014-10-27 1300 368 ZP Sandspit, BC
2014-10-27 1300 368 ZVR Vancouver, BC
2014-10-27 1300 374 EX Kelowna, BC
2014-10-27 1300 378 AP Mayne Island, BC
2014-10-27 1300 382 YE Fort Nelson, BC
2014-10-27 1300 382 YPW Powell River, BC
2014-10-27 1300 385 WL Williams Lke, BC
2014-10-27 1300 389 YWB Kelowna, BC
2014-10-27 1300 391 TK Smithers, BC
2014-10-27 1300 394 DQ Dawson Creek, BC
2014-10-27 1300 400 QQ Comox, BC
2014-10-27 1300 414 YZK Kamloops, BC

Not heard:

UAB - 200 (probably on but hvy QRM)
YDL - 200 (probably on but hvy QRM)
M9 - 240
HE - 245
V6 - 280
2U - 284
3G - 330
B3 - 335
YAZ - 359
Highlights of the log include beacons from the Galapagos Islands (GLS-272kHz), Samoa (FA-270kHz), Cayman Islands (ZIY-344kHz), Guayas, Ecuador (PAL-365kHz), Pohnpei, Micronesia (PNI-366kHz), Matthew Town, Bahamas (ZIN-376kHz), Cayajabos, Cuba (UCY-380kHz), Kosrae Island, Micronesia (UKS-393kHz), two new Hawaiians and numerous first-time North American catches.
Needless to say, I am pleased with the way the new loop is performing. The loop and preamp appear to provide a measurable improvement in overall S/N compared with my large LF inverted 'L'. All listening was done using the Perseus SDR.

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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