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Ensemble HF RX II poor reception problem

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  • dave_g3zqh
    I recently completed building the Ensemble HF RX II kit. This is my first SDR and also my first time soldering surface mount components. So, plenty to go
    Message 1 of 39 , Jan 11, 2014
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      I recently completed building the Ensemble HF RX II kit. This is my first SDR and also my first time soldering surface mount components. So, plenty to go wrong.


      The RX when completed was almost completely deaf. I can hear a signal when I use the TX on my transceiver running at lowest power on all bands but apart from that, only one weak CW station has ever been heard on any of the ham bands. My antenna is a 132 foot doublet at 50 ft high, so should give good reception and I am feeding it through an antenna tuner to present 50 ohms at the rig.


      I'm using HDSDR, and this seems to work OK with the Si570 checking out fine on all tests. I have some audio noise, which may be a grounding problem, and this registers at about S3 on the HDSDR 'S' meter, so I'm assuming it is not the main problem. There is no image on the TX signal I receive from my transceiver in the HDSDR window, which I believe is good, suggests that the basic SDR process is working, but I can see a few spurious signals at lower levels. 


      All the voltages were checked according to the build instructions and are as expected. Also, I carefully checked continuity for all the toroids and coils. There could be soldering problems- but I have carefully checked using a magnifying glass and re-soldered anything which looked suspect.


      This site is excellent and has many great tips on how to get the Softrock SDRs working at their best. I have tried quite a few of the suggestions (rewinding toroids, using a good quality power supply and a proper antenna, etc) but none of these have helped.


      So, I am at a loss about what to do next. Any advice or suggestions from the experts on this group would be very welcome, indeed.


      73 Dave G3ZQH

    • dave_g3zqh
      Hi Alan For the record, the laptop which did not work with the RX was a Samsung 300E with a Realtek sound card (not sure which model). The older laptop which
      Message 39 of 39 , Jan 14, 2014
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        Hi Alan

        For the record, the laptop which did not work with the RX was a Samsung 300E with a Realtek sound card (not sure which model). The older laptop which worked was a Dell Studio XPS.


        Thanks for the links to your amazingly detailed SDR pages- I'm embarrassed to say that I hadn't seen them before and ish I had looked there earlier. The link with the FT1000MP looks straightforward with the Softrock with RF input, but not quite so easy with an IF tap. I'll let you know how I get on. So far I am very impressed with what this little RX can do.


        73 Dave G3ZQH

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