Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Perseus SDR - First Six Months

Thanks to my friend Chuck R's willingness to part with his Perseus SDR last year, I made the plunge into the next generation of software defined radios. There are lots of other places dedicated to this great radio (see sidebar link to Guy's "Five Below" blog and other links found on his site) so I won't go into details here. Suffice to say this little box, about the size of a Hayes Smartmodem of the 1980's (anyone remember those?) has once again changed how I "do DX."

For example, at the Long Beach Island DXpedition this year, I used both the Perseus and the SDR-IQ to simultaneously record from different antennas throughout the 3 day event. Most notable was that I was less concerned with “rushing” to every new station before it disappeared. Knowing that my SDR would be recording the entire long and medium wave band both nights, I felt less pressure to search out as many stations in real-time as possible, and could spend more time ferreting out the details on an interesting channel, trying different antennas or phasing to get a better signal. I brought both SDR and conventional receivers, and let the SDRs act as DX “vacuum cleaners” all weekend while I tuned real-time on my Drake. I filled about 750 GB of disk space that weekend, enough to give me months of listening opportunities back home. In just the first week back after LBI, we had identified seven new stations and one new country on just a single ½ hour-long SDR file. It's definitely a paradigm-shifting way to approach the radio hobby.

The Perseus is a true "DX Vacuum"

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