MSI.SDR vs SDRPlay RSP1A

SDR receiver discussion
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daveB
Posts: 1688
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 16:49

MSI.SDR vs SDRPlay RSP1A

Post by daveB »

My original RSP died recently.

So I decided to try one of the MSI.SDR clones to see if it would be an adequate replacement for FM DXing. It cost me £38 inc delivery via eBay.

The attached screenshot is a side-by side comparison of the two - running on SDR# build 1361.
MSi.SDR vs SDRPlay RSP1A FM Band.jpg
As you can see the performance appears to be identical, and I repeated the comparison at every MHz and everything looks OK. So a good result.

However open the comparison out and some serious issues show up.

Firstly - it does not have the low noise preamp between the antenna and the Msi tuner chip. So I have to run the gain some 18dB higher than on the RSP1A. For me this is not a problem as all my aerials go though 20 dB pre-amps anyway.

The following issues may be with the specific unit I received.

1. It is deaf on the Airband. I can see strong signals on the RSP1A popping up but none on the MSI.SDR above a little over 120 MHz.
2. It is deaf on DAB. I gt no more than 10 DB SNR on the MSI.SDR pushing the gain up. On the RSP1A it is 45 dB.
3. Similarly the UHF TV channels barely show on the MSI.SDR but are around 20dB on the RSP1A.
3. Dropping to Long Wave - BBC R4 is very poor compared to the RSP1A, but medium wave is reasonable.
4. Shortwave also is down in strength and has lots of hedgehog spikes.

As I would only use the MSI.SDR for the FM Band the above doesn't worry me. I suspect, base on other post I've read that it is potluck as to how good the receiver you receive will be.

In case you are wondering why I didn't buy something better -

I am 'wedded' to SDR# 1361 until the other software offerings match the functionality of all the plug-ins. I can't see how you can have two RSP1As on the same PC and link them to a particular unit.

If the scheduler in SDR-console v3 gets the facility to ignore the date and just use the time that would be a game changer for me

If SDRUno had a logfile for the RDS decoder, and the RDS sensitivity was tweaked - that would be a game changer for me as it has an in-built scanner.

David


David
Location: Sittingbourne, Kent JO01ji
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, ST311, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele yagi 20ft agl - 70 deg. FM5 - 80 deg, 5.1 Yagi 16ft agl - 120 degFM5 -180 deg. Vert 3-ele Moxon - 80 deg. Shielded magnetic loop 0.1-200 MHz - 10 ft agl

pe1etr
Posts: 2563
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 00:40
Location: Near Lobatse, Botswana

Re: MSI.SDR vs SDRPlay RSP1A

Post by pe1etr »

Hello Dave,
I have the MSi.SDR and it isn't great on FM, a lot of buzzy sprogs etc. My Airspy HF+ Discovery blows the MSi.SDR out of the water.
I've been busy with 10m FT8 lately, and there is no competition, the HF+ Discovery is in a different league.
The only other SDR I'd consider is the RX888, but I'd need a much better laptop.

Peter

daveB
Posts: 1688
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 16:49

Re: MSI.SDR vs SDRPlay RSP1A

Post by daveB »

pe1etr wrote:
23 Oct 2020 20:41
Hello Dave,
I have the MSi.SDR and it isn't great on FM, a lot of buzzy sprogs etc. My Airspy HF+ Discovery blows the MSi.SDR out of the water.
I've been busy with 10m FT8 lately, and there is no competition, the HF+ Discovery is in a different league.
The only other SDR I'd consider is the RX888, but I'd need a much better laptop.

Peter
I think that the speculation that the chips used have failed QC tests and got out of the factory bears some merit as elsewhere I've read someone enthusing about the VLF performance of their unit.

For me - wideband capability is an essential - so that rules out the HF+ Discovery. I've considered the RX888 and if/when SDR-Console has an easier to use recording scheduler I would give it serious consideration.

Failing that I will likely go for another SDRPlay RSP1A as I've worked out how to run two on separate SDR# instances, if Windows 10 doesn't assign them uniquely. Basically open one in SDR-console, then the other in SDR#. Next close SDRConsole, and start up the other instance of SDR# - which will then only have one SDRPlay RSP!A left to choose from.

You didn't mention the Elad S3 - but at £950 that's way more than I'm prepared to pay out.
Location: Sittingbourne, Kent JO01ji
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, ST311, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele yagi 20ft agl - 70 deg. FM5 - 80 deg, 5.1 Yagi 16ft agl - 120 degFM5 -180 deg. Vert 3-ele Moxon - 80 deg. Shielded magnetic loop 0.1-200 MHz - 10 ft agl

pe1etr
Posts: 2563
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 00:40
Location: Near Lobatse, Botswana

Re: MSI.SDR vs SDRPlay RSP1A

Post by pe1etr »

The RX888 works with HDSDR, which does have a good recording scheduler.
The Elad S3 is way too expensive, I wouldn't even consider it.
An RX888 + FM downconverter is much cheaper, then you can record the full FM band @ 16bit. If you have a good spec PC.
I'd never buy another SDRplay.
Peter

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