CR-1A | CommRadio

CommRadio » CR-1 A — Price & Specifications

HF / VHF / UHF software defined receiver (SDR) independent from a host PC with embedded 32-bit digital signal processing technology for real portability. All-mode, I/Q digital sampling signal output.

Reference market : ham-radio

General :
Frequency coverage 0.5000 ~ 30.0000 MHz [1]
64.0000 ~ 260.0000 MHz
437.0000 ~ 512.0000 MHz
Modulation mode CW / LSB / USB / AM / FM / WFM
Tuning step 10 / 100 Hz / 1 / 5 / 10 / 12.5 / 25 / 100 KHz / 1 MHz
Receiver :
Sensitivity CW [2] 0.2 uV (14 MHz, 10dB S/N)
FM 2.8 uV (108~150 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
WFM 8.0 uV (88~108 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
MDS (Minimum Detectable Signal) -130 dBm (500 Hz Bandwidth, HF)
AGC Adjustable
Features :
Memory Regular memories in 8 banks
Display 10 Hz frequency resolution
Antenna Jack 1000Ω connector (0.5~30 MHz) [3]
BNC 50Ω connector (0.5~30 MHz)
BNC 50Ω connector (V/UHF)
Power supply Battery (AA Li-Ion)
6 ~ 8 VDC external
5 VDC USB external
Power consumption 1.2 W max
Audio power 0.8 W
Audio output Jack 3.5 mm headphone
Jack 3.5 mm speaker
I/Q out [4] 200 KHz bandwidth
Connections Plug 5/2.1 mm (power supply)
USB Mini-B
Mechanical and environmental data :
Dimensions 143 (W) x 62 (H) x 155 (D) mm
Weight 680g

[1] Down to 150 KHz with reduced performance
[2] 500 Hz bandwidth
[3] Present only in units with serial number preceding 601-750
[4] CR-1A only, not present in CR-1

Description :

CommRadio with the CR-1A has created one of the first SDR receivers entirely autonomous from a PC. It is therefore a stand-alone device that, due to its characteristics, size and weight, can be used both in a fixed installation and in mobile. The internal configuration for the range 0.5~30 MHz adopts a double frequency conversion, in the VHF and UHF segments it is instead a single conversion, followed by the digital sampling of the I/Q components processed by a 32 bit DSP processor for the filtering and demodulation operations. The CR-1A as evidenced by the photo has a traditional front panel with not much commands, besides the large tuning knob only six buttons and a further multifunction rotary control oversee the receiver settings. In fact, many options such as tuning step, selectivity, mode, can be set to automatic, leaving the internal firmware to determine the typical combination in relation to the frequency. Listening to broadcasting in shortwave or PMR stations in V/UHF is simplified. Naturally the user can always intervene on every parameter for his own needs.

This receiver has in practice a double role. A minimal interface that makes immediate use and performances that make it competitive with the SDR that not need a computer. The firmware (DSP inside software) is easily updated and guarantees future optimization. Currently available selectivity values are 0.5 / 1.0 / 1.8 / 2.2 / 2.6 KHz for CW mode, 1.8 / 2.2 / 2.6 KHz for SSB, 2.6 / 5.0 / 7.5 / 15.0 KHz for AM mode, 15 and 25 KHz for the narrowband FM mode, 200 KHz for the WFM. The CR-1A can be powered from multiple sources and thanks to the internal batteries (Li-Ion) directly rechargeable, no external battery charger is required, it offers an autonomy of about 10 hours.

It should be noted that the minimum tuning frequency is nominally 500 KHz but can, from the operational side, go down as much as 150 KHz. In this extension band, however, the performances are not guaranteed lacking a suitable preselector within the receiver with image frequencies problems. Experimenters with technical notions can make use of this option by adding suitable pre-selection filters to the antenna input. Through the USB connection the CR-1A can be controlled by a PC, a useful function especially for firmware update. The manufacturer provides a basic software for the spectrum analysis on a 200 KHz band.

Performance and practical notes :

For those who are interested to buy this receiver, we point out that the apparatus described is the direct successor of the CR-1 model of which it retains the circuit philosophy. The latter is different from the CR-1A, without the sampled /Q signal output and at the same time not able to PC control via USB port. We also mention that the first series produced had some drawbacks such as an audio noise in coincidence with the tuning step and a AGC (automatic gain control) intervention not optimal in the presence of short and strong signals. These defects have been completely overcome in the most recent production series. Currently the fans opinion on the CR-1A is largely positive; a very relevant sensitivity in HF, not so good on V/UHF though better than official data according to the same users, a selectivity that expresses a good slope if the filters, not least a reduced energy consumption that favors portable use. A receiver with singular traits in other terms that combines aspects not identifiable in other Software Defined Radio.

CR-1A price :

We have collected for your convenience the CR-1A CommRadio sales prices and their trend over time. Of course offers, accessories, warranty terms and conditions can lead to different figures.

Price Date Condition
USD 459,-- 2018-oct Second Hand

The radio is in good condition. Includes owner's manual, USB cable, DC power cable, a 12 VDC linear AC power supply. Boxed

USD 379,-- 2018-sep Second Hand

The radio is in good overall condition with CR1 battery installed. Included are the manual, DC power cable, USB cable

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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