SDRPlay Independent Community Forum › Forums › General › RSP1a Problems
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August 16, 2020 at 2:34 am #1288VK3ZSCParticipant
I recently bought a RSP1a and put up a long wire antenna about 15 m long. I’ve been “playing” with it for 2 weeks now without much success. My software is CubicSDR on an iMac.
When I last did any short wave listening about 30 years ago (on a dual band transistor portable with a whip antenna) I could hear SW broadcast stations from around the world, the odd ham and various unidentified squawks and warbles.
With my RSP1a I receive strong signals from both AM and FM broadcast bands but between them I can only occasionally separate a weak signal from the noise. My software settings are shown in the attached screenshot. On the spectrum display I see lots of what appears to be unmodulated carriers.
I am in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.
Can anyone help?
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Attachments:August 16, 2020 at 8:17 am #1291Andy2Participant
Hi Graham. Sadly this is a subject that comes up a lot. Only the other night on our net we were reminiscing about how in the 60’s and 70’s we could throw up a random wire and hear clear signals from all over. In more recent times this has become impossible, due to all the digital and switch-mode devices we (and our neighbours) have scattered around the house. TV’s, computers, phone chargers, you name it, they all radiate some noise, and cheap stuff from China is terrible.
I’m a radio amateur active on the lower HF bands and any attempt to use a simple wire antenna is defeated by high levels of noise. My solution was to spend some cash on a loop antenna, in my case the Wellbrook 1530*. In a flash my troubles were banished and I could hear signals standing out against a quiet background, even with the loop indoors. Outdoors, mounted at gutter height at the end of the extension things were even better. A cheap rotator from Maplin enabled me to use the loop’s nulls to eradicate the more stubborn noises.
It’s also worth fiddling with the gain slider, as sometimes noise can be the product of overload from strong stations. Also make sure you have the correct IF bandwidth for the mode in use – maybe 6 or 9 kHz for broadcast AM, 2.7 kHz for SSB etc.
*Other loops are available. Even a home-made passive loop using a plastic hula hoop and a few turns of wire can work surprisingly well. Add a wideband amplifier at the ends of the loop and you have a mini Wellbrook.
This forum is no longer the ‘official’ board of SDRPlay, it is run independently. The SDRPlay guys call in only occasionally. The Facebook site is quite busy and there is lots of sage advice over there. Good luck.August 16, 2020 at 8:26 am #1292Andy2Participant
Graham, I forgot to mention that the HF bands are in a terrible state and have been for some years. Signal levels are low and lots of the big international broadcasters have closed down. Great swathes of HF now seem to be almost deserted. If the last time you listened was in the 90’s, be prepared for a shock.August 16, 2020 at 8:51 am #1293VK3ZSCParticipant
Thank you Andy. Your clear explanation (no noise) is most appreciated.
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