January 2020

FT-818 with SDR panadapter

A loyal friend and customer of ours sent us photos of the installation of our universal IFace interface inside his Yaesu FT-818.

If you wonder what an SDR panadapter can do for your station, watch this video.

This radio is practically the same as the FT-817, so the installation of the interface is identical for both radios. Now that little gem is equipped with an SDR panadapter which makes it an exceptional adventure companion.

Click here to access the installation instructions on this and other radios.

For more information use the form below.

HDSDR settings for SDR panadapter and CAT control

Our IFace interface is used to add an SDR panadapter to any radio, present or future. The image below shows the typical application context where the IF signal of our receiver is sent to an external SDR receiver (in the specific case one from SDRplay).

The configuration we are going to examine is, therefore, the following.

We sample the signal after the first IF mixer but before the bandpass filter, the so-called “roofing filter”, and we send it to our IFace. This is nothing more than a broadband buffer that allows you to replicate the signal without overloading the mixer circuits. At the output of the card, the signal can be sent to an external receiver, typically an SDR, through a common 50 Ohm line.

At this point, there is nothing left to do but install the drivers for our A / D converter for RF signals and the demodulation software. In the specific case, we will use an RSP1 from SDRplay and the HDSDR program. In addition, through the CAT port, we can control our radio so as to have a perfect match of what we see on the screen with what we are receiving from the radio. The CAT interface is managed through the OmniRig software.

The main advantage is that of having a second receiver much more powerful than the internal one of the radio.

The following images show how the HDSDR program should be configured.

The result is also shown in a video where you can appreciate the reception quality and ease of radio control.

For any questions, use the form below.

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The best SDR panadapter

After a few months of tests and various evaluations, we can claim to have identified the best SDR panadapter to combine with our IFace. We have tried cheap 8-bit products as well as much more expensive high-end products but this seemed to us the best compromise.

It is a small device to be connected to the USB port of our computers and allows you to digitize RF signals from 10 kHz to 2 GHz with a resolution of 12 bits. It works at a sampling rate such as to have up to 10 MHz of frequency band. It also features a 0.5 ppm TCXO.

Its technical characteristics are as follows:

  • continuous coverage from 10 kHz to 2 GHz
  • 12 bit resolution ADC
  • TCXO 0.5 ppm reference oscillator
  • up to 10 MHz of RF band viewable
  • low background noise compared to 8-bit devices
  • micro-USB 2.0 interface
  • SMA 50Ω antenna connector
  • it can also be used as spectrum analyzer (RF input power 0 dBm max)
  • compatible with all programs for SDRPlay RSP1
  • works with the most popular SDR software (HDSDR, SDR Console, Cubic SDR, and SDRuno)
  • case in anodized aluminum
  • power supply current from USB: 120-175mA
  • high quality/cost ratio

Purchase option 1: SDR panadapter only

Option 2: SDR panadapter bundle + IFace kit

You can find more information in our previous article on which SDR panadapter to use.

In this article you can find how to set up HDSDR to use this SDR receiver together with our IFace.

For further information, please write via the following form.