Airspy-R2 | Airspy

Airspy » Airspy-R2

Single conversion receiver with digital low-IF (SDR) in PC controlled box, all mode, 24-1800 MHz coverage. Ideated in USA.

Reference market : ham-radio

General :
Frequency coverage 24.0000 ~ 1800.0000 MHz
Modulation mode CW / LSB / USB / AM / FM / WFM
Tuning step 1 Hz min
Receiver :
Selectivity User-defined bandwidth
A/D conversion Freq. 20 Msps
Res. 12 Bit
NF (Noise figure) 3.5 dB (42~1002 MHz)
IP3 (3rd order intercept point) +35 dBm [1]
Frequency accuracy ± 0.5ppm
Features :
Memory Unlimited memory channels
Antenna SMA 50Ω connector
Power supply USB 5 VDC
Power consumption 340 mA
I/Q out 10 MHz bandwidth
Connections Micro-USB2.0
MCX (10~100 MHz frequency reference in)
Mechanical and environmental data :
Operating temperature from -10°C to +40°C
Dimensions 53 (W) x 25 (H) x 39 (D) mm
Weight 65g

[1] Front-end only, performance on center band

Description :

The Airspy-R2 is a space-saving receiver for VHF and UHF. It adopts a frequency conversion to a low-IF value, following is an ADC sampler that originates a digital flow for the in-phase and quadrature (I / Q) components of the signal. These are sent to a PC where all the functions for processing, filtering and demodulation are carried out in the numerical domain. It is therefore an SDR with hybrid architecture and peculiar characteristics. Software compatibility is guaranteed with all major applications such as HDSDR, SDR#, SDR-Radio, GQRX, GNU-Radio. The supported operating systems are therefore different and cover Windows, Linux, OSX. At the hardware level, the Airspy R2 receiver adopts a plug-and-play technology that makes it easy to use. This aspect is in line with the philosophy of the Airspy brand that aims to make available an apparatus with application flexibility, placing itself as an ideal competitor for traditional scanners to which it adds the ability to perform coherent receptions using multiple devices (thanks to an input for clock synchronization) and monitor broad bandwidth emissions as required, for example, by the ADS-B in the aeronautical field.

Other features: possibility to expand the frequency coverage down to a few KHz with the SpyVerter option. I / Q data output on 10 MHz bandwidth, or at 2.5 Msps low speed for interfacing with Raspberry-Pi and other devices. Spectrum analyzer function up to 9 MHz (10 MHz if accepting artifacts caused by aliasing phenomena). Also many ports and connections accessible on the printed circuit board (PCB) for experimental purposes. These include an passing-through RF output for the series connection of another receiver, 2 direct inputs to the ADC for a high-speed conversion up to 80 Msps, bias-tee circuit to provide 4.5 Volt on the antenna line so as to power preamplifiers or external frequency converters, 2 terminals for 5.0 and 3.3 Volt power supply, various terminals for programmable digital in / out lines.

Performance and practical notes :

In its own way the Airspy R2 stands out compared to other SDRs to implement an open platform, useful for advanced enthusiasts, and to have at the same time made easily accessible the potential of Software Defined Radio to the generality of hobbyists who dedicate themselves to listen on V/UHF bands. Correctly this model can support or even take the place of a traditional scanner as it meets the same needs. Since performance such as selectivity, memories, signal analysis depends on the software and not on the apparatus as such, it is significant to emphasize the two main positive and negative traits of this receiver. On the positive side there is the undoubted excellent sensitivity, which makes the Airspy R2 able to broaden the field of listening even to the weakest and most distant stations. On the negative side there is an RF dynamic that is affected by the modest rejection to the image frequencies, an aspect that is inherent to the circuit configuration. Overall we emphasize that those who have exhaustively tested this small SDR have never been disappointed.

Valuation :

Dynamic range
Spurious response
Signal functions
Control functions
User friendly

Stars: 1=insufficient, 2=just sufficient, 3=mediocre, 4=good, 5=excellent

Review :

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