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Dave N9EWO

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The lone fantastic reader who made a donation during the last plea for support of the web page. "THANK YOU" MICHAEL S. (Nov 06) !
"Dave's Radio Receiver Page" Contribution / Donation List

(subject to change)

Task "Mid Back" Office Chairs (Mid~Late December 2020)
  At least 3 maybe 4 different models are being tested.


- REVIEW (NEW) - Original "Russian" Malachite - Malahit DSP - SDR
(As usual frequent updates and additions are possible with any new review. Improved photo's are forthcoming. This took many hours of hard work....enjoy ! Dave N9EWO UPDATED Nov 18)

- NEW PAGE (updated - two new entries) - "Radio's That Never Were" - Including the AOR AR-7070 / HF-7070
- REVIEW (NEW) - Sangean HDR-16 AM/FM HD Portable (Guest Review)
- REVIEW (NEW) - FLEX-6400M Tabletop SDR HF / 50 MHz Transceiver (Guest Review)
- REVIEW (updated) - Grundig Satellit 750 / Tecsun S-2000 / Eton Elite 750 Receiver
- JRC NRD-525 Important Serial Number Information

- REVIEW (updated) - Ameco TPA / MFJ-1020B Tunable Preamp - Active Antennas
- REVIEW (updated) - WJ-8711A "Condor" SP-1348 Electrolytic Capacitor Chart
- REVIEW (NEW) - LOWE HF-250 HF Receiver - Audio Quality one of the Best Period (Communications Receiver)
- REVIEW (restored) - Sangean ATS-909X - "Downright Poor Audio Quality on MW/SW"
- REVIEW (updated) - ICOM IC-7300 "When the Rose is Not a Rose" (Poor Audio Quaility for Broadcast Listening)

- REVIEW (updated) - ICOM IC-R8600 Firmware 1.32 vs. 1.34 (Major Audio Quality Differences)
- REVIEW (updated) - AOR AR-DV1 No Longer Available / Massive USB Port Failures (with later production ?)
- REVIEW (NEW) - C.CRANE Skywave AM/FM/SW/AIR/WX Portable Pocket Radio
- REVIEW (updated) - AOR AR7030 - Added Old Age Check List / Audio Distortion Comparison
- REVIEW (updated) - SDRplay RSP-1 / RSP-1A SDR Receiver

*****  NEWS ITEM LINKS   *****

- UNIVERSAL RADIO in Ohio to close (after inventory liquidation at new location). We knew of this awhile ago but were not at liberty to disclose the information until now. (Nov 21)

RadioShack : “kicking the can further down the road” (again). (Nov 21)
- The Shambling Corpse of RadioShack Is Rising From the Grave
Retail Ecommerce Ventures has acquired the rights to the RadioShack brand in the U.S., Canada, India, Australia, Europe and China (does NOT include Mexico).

- Information on the Chinese Malachite / Malahit SDR's - "Caveat Emptor" (see below)
- ICOM IC-R30 NEW Firmware (v 1.11). Fixed issue with ANL use with DualWatch OFF (nothing major).
- WiFi Receiver News : reciva.com shutting down? also Reciva Internet Radio Portal closing?  
- The New FTDX10 Compact HF/50MHz 100W SDR (expected out late December 2020)
, FCC OET cleared on November 4, 2020.
- TECSUN PL-368 Prototype (improved PL-365 / CountyComm GP-5 SSB with keypad frequency entry / sync detection)

- ICOM IC-R8600 - LCD Display Failure Issue Report, Diming with straight lines)
- ICOM IC-R8600 - 2 Reports of Receive Dropout / Waterfall Intermittently Dies (firmware bugs : 1.34 ?)
- ICOM IC-R8600 - Reports of LCD Issues (LCD Module Failure)
- SDRPlay RSP1A Metal Case Upgrade - Available on Amazon (limited stock / while they last)
- JRC Display Failures

- "Knock off the knockoffs": A plea to cassette deck manufacturers (FAKE Chinese "JUNK" manufacturing)

- HF RFI Generator - "Electronic Defrost Timer"
- What happens when an Uniden SDS100 battery fails
- Uniden SDS200 - LCD Failures (again)

- Uniden SDS100 - J401 Bad Connection To PC Board


Icom IC-R8600 LCD Failure Reports

This is just as a FYI only. Have now seen 3 different LCD failure reports with the Icom IC-R8600 receiver. Some may very well be operator error and or connected with the current 1.34 firmware (we simply do not know and as I type this none of these issues have been fixed or addressed) ? NOTE : I do not use the current 1.34 firmware (still using 1.32 as it has much better audio quality to my ears). Full N9EWO IC-R8600 review can still be found here.
Seems like some of these have the POSSIBILITY of occurring ONLY when (or have been) connect to a computer ? We have not made any connections to a PC here with the HQ test sample. Exception are fast and temporary PC connections to ONLY program memory channels with the excellent and stable ICOM CS-R8600 software (we have NEVER used the reported extremely buggy and SLOW WCS-R8600 RT Systems software) ? Time will tell, will keep an eye on these failure reports. (Oct 19)
reports via Radio Reference :
report via “IC-R8600 Groups io” (need to be registered to read this , but pasted the general text below on this one). More than one report of this one happening as well.
“Greetings, I'm having an issue that is intermittent. My r8600 radio seems to lose signal and the waterfall disappears at times. When this happens, I switch antennas and sometimes that works, but now i have to turn off my r8600, wait a few seconds and the signal and waterfall is restored. This has happened ever since I bought the r8600 last year. I first thought that the r86000 was being overloaded or desensed somehow. Now I no longer used SDRC while using my r8600 and just using the scope for my monitoring. I thought that the computer was overloading the r8600. However sense not using the computer while monitoring I still experience the gradual waterfall and signal fade. Anyone else experiencing this?”

A number of Icom IC-R8600 LCD failure issues have now been reported. (N9EWO Photo)

"You Tube" Video : TECSUN PL-880 vs. PL-990(x)
Sangean's New ATS-909X2

Dan Robinson provides a very interesting 49 minute "You Tube" video comparing the elder TECSUN PL-880 receiver (our review on the PL-880 is here) to a pre-production sample of the upcoming PL-990(x).

Dan Robinson's "You Tube" Video : TECSUN PL-880 vs. PL-990(x)

We have to wonder if the SSB mode (not Sync) distortion issues that plagues the PL-880 BAD has been fixed on the PL-990(x)? Early 2020 "You Tube" video that shows the PL-880's nasty audio distortion on SSB (has it been improved here over the PL-880...NO it appears not ?....see UPDATES below) ?

Limiting the bandwidths on SW bands to 6 kHz is a huge drawback in our view. Hope this major oversight gets corrected in actual production PL-990 samples and allow 9 kHz bandwidth (as with the PL-880) ? Indeed the Sync mode appears to be MUCH improved watching the video (but as Dan says it's not perfect either with his pre-production test sample).

Of course the reason why the PL-880’s speaker has richer bass response is because of it’s "sealed compartment" passive subwoofer (it's the single most positive trait with it). Sadly it looks like the "sub-woofer" was removed in the new PL-990 ? Also the audio recovery seems better in the old PL-880 as shown in Dan's testing here ?

Yes too bad they did not make the SD card "record off air" as well. A manufacture can always record to a WAV format (as Icom does in the IC-R8600 and IC-R30 sets) and then no problems with any licensing issues / costs. But they did not provide this feature and that is a major drawback at this price point in our view. The super low cost V115 has off air MP3 recording, why not the PL-990(x) ?

We are stil not fans of the 18650 lithium ion batteries, AA use would have been better (sorry TECSUN). Has 5 volt "mini-USB" power operation / charging, but see the AC adapter info below for alternative to all of those RF noisy switching power supplies (117 vac mains users only). That is a good question IF the SD card slot will allow for future EASY firmware updates ?

At a street price rumored to be around $ 250~300. USD, the new TECSUN PL-990 is going to be a hard sell in our view for that amount. Nothing that exciting to offer over the PL-880 and at maybe near double the price ? Also lets hope that the quality control has also been improved ? The PL-880's track record with QC has been disconcerting over the years (as is the case with many Chinese radios).

UPDATES : "The SWLing Post" videos clearly show that the excessive AGC distortion issues have NOT been cleared up at all. So looking like the PL-990(x) is another Chinese receiver I will avoid myself !

Our Review on the TECSUN PL-880 can be seen here.
Fantasic Audio, however SSB modes are awash with exessive distortion.  (N9EWO Photo)

Sangean's new "ATS-909X2" portable (release date target early 2021). Should be available in White or Gray cabinets. Adding Air Band coverage. Display now showing 100 hz digit (plus digits being slightly larger). 10 hz tuning on SSB modes (was 40 hz), more memory channels. Will the nasty "clicky" tuning detent be removed (so a smooth tuning jog wheel out of the box) ? We hope that the old ATS-909X's unacceptable audio quality will be improved on MW / SW (plus at least improving some it's other undesirable gremlins) ? Appears it will have several AM mode bandwidth filters (bandwidth button on FRONT panel). Sadly is not to have sync detectiuon or built in recording function. (N9EWO Photo Edit - manufacture photo)

 (for USA 117 VAC input voltage)

Have covered this topic in the past with other radios that use a USB socket for power. What to do about the excessive RF noise that ALL switching AC adapters emit for use with a HF receiver ?  CCrane in California USA still has available an excellent , RARE and fairly inexpensive ANALOG / LINEAR / REGULATED 5 V 900ma USB power supply that provides enough “cool” and TOTALLY CLEAN current for operation with receivers that use a 5 pin MINI USB socket (example : Tecsun PL-880). CCrane Item # CWTPLP, Model: SR0509U. Yes it has a good old power transformer and linear type regulator. If one is handy enough, can add four .01 disc ceramic capacitors across its internal 4 power rectifier diodes to make it even cleaner (kills off diode hum for close indoor antennas, see photo). We just soldered them across the top of each of the diodes. But this is not a requirement of course AND DONE AT YOUR OWN RISK !!

Super RF quiet LINEAR 5 V AC Adapter with MINI USB connector (left). Sold by CCrane in the USA.
Hefty 900ma Output. CCrane Item # CWTPLP, Model: SR-0509U (subject to availability).
Right photo shows 4 - 0.01 disc-ceramic capacitors added to
 reduce rectifier hum with indoor antennas on MW and HF.

Possible downside is that the CCrane power supply has a MINI USB output cable and IF you need a MICRO USB for a receiver (example : Icom IC-R30 handheld receiver) of course it will not work out of the box. Not to worry as we located a nifty but very rare 3-foot (1 meter) Mini to Micro USB converter cable that does the trick perfectly from YCSbasics also in California USA (Product ID: A5575Q Part Number: U2JH3-B). Having a length of cable and not some adapter right at the radio helps to relive stress off the receiver’s USB socket. Please Note : This patch cable was out of stock at the time this text was being typed (do your own internet searches for an alternative cable or adapter). Alternative adapter here but will be more stressful on the receivers USB socket.

YCSbasics 1 Meter / 3 Foot USB Cable Adapter
USB 5 pin micro male to USB mini 5 pin female
(Product ID: A5575Q Part Number: U2JH3-B)

Mini Size "Stand Alone" SDR's with "Spectrum Scope" LCD
(Chinese Malachite (Malahit) SDR's Listed Separately Below)

R6DCY/R6DAN/RX9CIM Original "Russian" Version (N9EWO Review can be seen here).
 What the inferior Chinese SDR's that you see around the internet were based on (see below). Yes, the knobs are on the FRONT where they belong ! Need to keep in mind with any of these simple "audio ADC" SDR devices, one should NOT expect HF performance or features to rival say a Icom IC-R8600 ? For additional information contact George (Georgyi) direct at : [email protected]
, also see the near the bottom of this page and or click here. (click on photo for larger view) (N9EWO photo edit)

One of the few mini size-stand alone SDR's with "Spectrum Scope" LCD that uses
real "RF ADC SDR" guts (including it's own on board microprocessor and FPGA etc) is the 14 bit AFEDRI LAN-IQ (not tested) ? But it is a power hog, lack of front end filtering (this is easily curable but a PITA), no internal speaker and is pricey at around $ 350. USD plus shipping. Ordering it appears to be difficult (only direct from Alex in Israel) ? We tested the AFEDRI SDR NET (same main board but without the LCD) and performed decently. However it was REQUIRED to add external front end filtering to make it work properly at the test location, otherwise it was a mash of MW signals all over into the HF spectrum. Tuning encoder (knob) option is a downright requirement of course. Firmware updates are not easy to do for non computer techie person and currently is updated frequently (LAN-IQ) . AFEDRI "Groups io" is a great place for the latest information and support.

Fenu Radio "You Tube" Video : Comparison between the AFEDRI LAN-IQ and the Russian Malahit

Information on the Chinese Malachite / Malahit SDR's
  Audio ADC based as with the
original Malahit Russian version above.

Facebook User Groups :
"Radio Receiver Malachite-DSP" - User Group Page for Russian Version (public)
"China Malahit / Malachite Users Group" - User Group for Chinese Versions (public)

IMPORTANT NOTES : Please see the important update under VERSION TWO (only version tested by N9EWO).
At this time we
have ceased updating this section with any new Chinese models
 that may have appeared after

Chinese SDR versions on ebay "For Sale" (or WERE at one time or another).
200 MHz is the top coverage on all of these with the included lousy Chinese test firmware. The auction listings poorly elude to some password to increase coverage (purchase a license key from the Russian Developers, which is $ 55.). They have no SD card support or built in recording. Please Note : The 7 Chinese SDR's below all use USB C type power connector and any cable is NOT included (it's NOT B type Mini or Micro). The orginal Russian version uses a "B type" MICRO USB.

CHINESE VERSION ONE : Rev numbers that we see of this SDR include (as marked on the front panel): 2.1, 3.92 and 3.97 (3.99). Pictures you see in the ebay ads of THIS version show the use of internal shielding (but sadly they do NOT have these shields in actual production units !). Case is made out of fiberglass PC board material SOLDERED together (our thanks to Brett N2DTS for the update on this). The thumbwheel encoders are a "not so hot" idea. Has a internal Lithium Ion battery.

Chinese version what we call VERSION ONE. (click on photo for larger view) (N9EWO photo edit)

CHINESE VERSION TWO : Thinner size (similar to thicker version VERSION FIVE BELOW), antenna jack on TOP and headphone jack now is on the LEFT side. Rev on this one is marked as B.0. Case is more of that PC Board material (soldered together) with some paint thrown on it. See important information below as we TRIED one of these and the test sample was a total disaster !

  Chinese version (late July 2020) what we call VERSION TWO. (click on photo for larger view) (N9EWO photo edit)

Chinese Malachite (Malahit) SDR - "CHINESE VERSION TWO" was a TOTAL Disaster !
"Caveat Emptor" Save yourself major grief and FORGET ANY OF THESE CHINESE SDR's !
For MORE BAD EXPERIENCES WITH THESE CHINESE SDR's from others, see the bottom of this page !

Obtained one of these Chinese SDR’s (what I called VERSION TWO as shown, REV B.0). Came with barely (and I mean barely) improper operational firmware. Was downright missing stuff that the test firmware should have had and just poor performance on HF.

We only have 4 items (should be 8) . We are also not able to set the clock...that Menu selection has a totally blank screen. Yes again our test sample is downright missing menu items that SHOULD be in the basic test Chinese firmware !

Issues Included : 

1.-  On AM modes in HF / SW bands the actual received frequency is displayed 25 kHz higher than it actually is. (Example on 6.070.000 MHz is received at 6.095.000 MHz) 

At 162.000.000 MHz area (FM Wide mode) it's 30 kHz off (high). We found no way to adjust these display errors.

2. - USB and LSB modes are totally reversed.

3. - LSB Mode display is off LOW 2.5 kHz
    - USB Mode display is off HIGH 2.5 kHz
(Example : 1.490.000 MHz LSB is zero beat on 1.477.500 and 1.490.000 USB is zero beat on 1.502.000 MHz
(keeping in mind again that the USB and LSB modes are also backwards)

4. - Spectrum Scope is BACKWARDS (low frequencies are displayed high etc.)

5.- Both CHEAP thumbwheel encoders are loose feeling, extremely fiddly and sometimes make poor contact that is a hit or miss sometimes (PITA). Unacceptable they are !

- Spurious signals were all over the place on HF (short external antenna using coax feedline, forget about using any whip antenna's on HF.) !

Chinese Malachite (Malahit) SDR what we call CHINESE VERSION TWO (ultra thin cabinet REV B.0)
Our test sample was TOTAL RUBBISH !
(click on photo for a larger view) (N9EWO Photo Edit)

Attempted to update the firmware but it locked up and became a brick. Just before I threw it in the (recycling) trash I cracked it open (to TRY and access the BOOT switch) and I mean CRACKED it open in pieces into total rubbish (it was NOT made to be taken apart period !) There is NO way one can get into this SDR to flip the "boot" switch on the PC board without destroying the "PC board material" case. A totally unacceptable case design !

Also I noticed right off (after busting it out of the case) it was lacking with internal part count. The worst I have seen of all them in comparison (using ebay pictures, see below photo). Front end filtering appears to be using fewer parts (and just about over it's entire circuit board) ?

We asked for a properly / WORKING replacement sample from the Chinese manufacture (and loaded with at least usable test firmware) and that was very rudely denied (is not going to happen). As it stands now with the lousy "TEST" firmware they include these are SDR products they should not even be sold at all in our view ! The "TEST" firmware AS SOLD WITH THE PRODUCT SHOULD AT LEAST be able to do basic functions properly ! It does NOT !

Chinese Malachite (Malahit) SDR what we call CHINESE VERSION TWO garbage.
  Internal photo easily shows (as compared to other Chinese SDR version pictures on ebay)
 that the parts count is FAR LESS less here (where's the BEEF ?)
Our test sample of this SDR exhibited EXCESSIVE spurious junk on the HF bands !
(click on photo for a larger view) (N9EWO Photo)
So it's a MAJOR hardware screwup (firmware update will not fix this bug !)

  (translator required to read the link below)

We can hope for improved products down the road ? It’s still an extremely exciting idea, that is a "decent performing" affordable mini-size standalone SDR (with spectrum scope) with low current consumption and internal speaker !

Please Note : We have NOT tested any other Chinese Version and have no plans to do so. Only exception now would be if we receive DONATED test sample(s) and as sent (with shipping included) to my mailing address in the USA. Contact me at my email address located at the top of this page. (Updated : Oct 08)

Dave N9EWO
N9EWO, all rights reserved 
Ver 4.5

CHINESE VERSION THREE : This version has NO case, NO knobs, NO speaker or battery. It's 2 rotary encoders are closely spaced together (are not using thumb wheels on this version). It's SMA antenna connector comes out of the top vs. the other 2 that are on the left side. Admittedly this versions PC Board looks to have the most parts on it (viewing ebay photos), however it has no mounting holes.

Chinese VERSION THREE (click on photo for larger view) (N9EWO photo edit)

CHINESE VERSION FOUR (No longer sold ?) : This version has a large annoying green LED on the front. However the USB port is more properly located on the left side away from the thumbwheel controls as is the headphone jack. By viewing the internal pictures appears to have less parts than the OLD "VERSION ONE" above. Thin design similar to the unacceptable VERSION TWO. Entire case here again is made out of PC Board material (and soldered together).

Chinese VERSION FOUR that appears to have reduced parts
when compared to other versions (similar to VERSION TWO
). (click on photo for larger view) (N9EWO photo edit)

CHINESE VERSION FIVE : Appears to be a variant of the VERSION 2 PC board ? But in a case with knobs AND a subwoofer speaker with bottom rubber feet to boot. However has battery does not come with it (perhaps the larger speaker and subwoofer made it impossible to squeeze that into the cabinet ?), and the bottom speakers are totally unprotected. Another one built in the cheesy PC Board material "soldered together" case. One picture shows the tuning knob to be bigger than the volume one, while another photo shows both being the same size (go figure). Rev is marked as A.0.

Chinese VERSION FIVE has rotary knob encoders with the tuning knob being larger (maybe?). Has a larger speaker with an additional subwoofer. However does NOT include any internal battery. The one picture in operation shows it with the Russian firmware installed which it does NOT come with ! WARNING : IT APPEARS TO BE MUCH LIKE THE ROTTEN "SAMPLE TWO" Rev B.0 WE TRIED ! (click on photo for larger view) (N9EWO photo edit)

CHINESE VERSION SIX : Price around $ 200. as we type this entry. Housed in a real metal case. This version appears to include the Russian Firmware (or sadly a hacked version of it) ? Early Chinese ebay auctions of this version indicated that frequency coverage started at 50 MHz. This was wrong information, it actually starts at 50 khz as normal. Now corrected in most of the ebay auctions (but not all). In a ALL METAL case with all jacks and encoders (except for the antenna) CRAMMED on the right side. Pretty tight for all of those together ! Sadly it has the same undesirable lousy encoders. Now seen and shipped from Amazon (at a ridiculous inflated price !). 

This version now seen sold by a Ham Radio Dealer (as of Oct 08, 2020) : "R & L Electronics" (Ohio USA). We see a extremely poor Chinglish manual posted here. Does this really arrive with the FULL REAL Russian firmware ready to go with no activation monkey business to have to deal with (a very good question) ? Model marked as the MDR2000.

Chinese VERSION SIX APPEARS to include the FULL VERSION Russian Firmware (or sadly ANOTHER hacked version of it ?) ? In a real METAL case. (click on photo for larger view) (N9EWO photo edit)

CHINESE VERSION SEVEN : Appears to be in a metal case (but some ebay descriptions says different) ? They show this one (again) with the updated Russian firmware installed (which it of course does NOT come with). WARNING : Has been reported to still be extremely difficult to near impossible to open the case if the 2 jumpers are required to be used (say if the first attempt of a firmware update goes bad). If anyone can verify this case issue, please let me know.

Chinese VERSION SEVEN has a different (and very TIGHT) encoder layout. Also appears to be in a metal case.
(click on photo for larger view) (N9EWO photo edit)

Seems that George (Georgyi) RX9CIM sees no problem in other people building the HARDWARE. He confirmed he sells the licenses to activate the firmware and open all features. As we made comment to above with these Chinese versions and you go to the item listings on eBay and the vendor makes comment the need of an activation license : " Frequency range: 50KHz to 200MHz, can up to 2GHz after purchase registration code from the officia ! For more please go to the officia site !" (that means the Russian developers ?). Here are the schematics of the Russian version (PDF Format).
Also see here CQ HAM RU :
Also here on VK.COM :

Key items from the Russian forum :

The receiver was developed with the participation of: RX9CIM (idea, dsp, general circuit), R6DAN (gui and control), R6DCY (clarification of the circuit, wiring, design, additional board which adds additional HF bandpass filters) and dadigor - Igor Naumenko.

Key features (virgin Russian text via translation):
1) the radio is built on the principle of SDR - the functionality is determined by the loaded software;
2) the frequency range is from 50 kHz to 49.999 MHz, from 50.001 MHz to 249.999 MHz, from 400 MHz to 2 GHz;
3) all types of analog modulations: AM, SSB, NFM, WFM;
4) great functionality: variable filter width, adaptive noise suppressor, threshold noise suppressor, Noise Blanker, AGC, equalizer;
5) applied a cheap but functional chip msi001;
6) a powerful stm32h743 processor with a clock frequency of 480 MHz was applied;
7) the presence of a 3.5 inch IPS display with a touchscreen;
8) the presence of a built-in UHF;
9) controls - 2 encoders with buttons and a touchscreen, power button;
10) power from the built-in battery and USB, charging from USB. The capacity of the built-in battery is not less than 1500mA / h.
11) consumption - 300mA when listening to headphones;
12) reception on the built-in telescopic or external antenna. For improved HF reception on a telescopic antenna, an additional board with a source follower, filters and attenuator up to 30dB has been developed.

The frequencies and characteristics of the filters:
- Low-pass filter 500kHz
- 500kHz-1500kHz
- 1500kHz-4500kHz
- High-pass filter 4500kHz.
The board involves installation in a standard receiver design.

13) USB connection to a computer with the ability to transfer CAT, IQ and audio.
14) 160 kHz span with scalability;
15) sensitivity - 0.2-0.3 μV;
16) the dynamic clogging range is about 85dB, due to the characteristics of the msi001 chip used.
17) the aluminum case is applied;
18) there is a backlight control;
19) antenna socket type SMA;
20) receiver dimensions 120x88x39mm;
Appears that in the Chinese versions, without activation with license key/fee, there will only be test firmware, which is quite a receiver for itself, but it can’t do much and has a lot of differences from firmware that requires activation. :

- the frequency range is limited
- there is no stereo FM reception
- there is no frequency error correction
- there is no usb connections
- a stick or hole in the middle of the spectrum
- there is no support for the shield with IP
- there is no normal gain control msi001, which will cause problems when working on large antennas
- the interface is inconvenient
- the brake interface is low FPS and a long reaction to the controls
- there is no normal choice of frequency tuning step
- there is no normal aru
- there is no frequency input function
- there is no function
- turn off the display to minimize interference
- high consumption in the off state - 10mA
- there are no visual settings for the spectrum and the waterfall - there were a lot of settings
- there are clicks during the adjustment
- there is no telegraph decoder
- the number of memory cells is less and there are not all settings are saved
- the interference from the display is much greater

- From RTL-SDR.COM : ".......this SDR runs on the MSI001 tuner chip, which is the same tuner chip used in the SDRplay line of units. However, unlike the SDRplay units which use a wideband MSi2500 ADC, the Malachite-DSP uses an audio chip as the RF ADC. This provides a 16-bit ADC, resulting in high dynamic range, but at the expense of the available bandwidth which is only 160 kHz. A STM32H743VIT6 with ARM Cortex A7 processor runs what appears to be custom DSP and GUI software. The software doesn't seem to support DRM, but AM, WFM, NFM, LSB, USB are all supported."

So you too ! Please send me a email as given at the top of this page so it can be added here.
Please be sure to indicate the VERSION you have / had the bad experience with along with your comments.
If you wish to remain anonymous, please be sure and tell me. Your first name and Ham Call (If you have one) is fine.
(Number Versions are as per my numbering scheme above)
[Last Updated : Oct 30, 2020]

- (via Facebook, Savage A. Stark) "I bought one (Chinese Version 7 as listed above) from a USA seller on eBay for quicker shipping. It is defective. I bought a code from George for $55, so now have the cost of a genuine unit from Russia in a defective clone item. The USA seller is actually in China, using a CA warehouse to fulfill. They would not replace the unit and are forcing me to wait on a slow boat from China for a replacement main board and for me to be the repairman.George has said he will give me a new activation code for the replacement board. Point is, 1) Don't buy the Chinese stolen clone designs (you never know what version you'll get), 2) Be patient and order the real-deal from Russia. Those are my lessons from this mess. BTW, I have the same experience of buying a HackRF. Don't buy it from China and save up for the real thing. Chinese goods take too long for delivery, are hit'n'miss and difficult to return, repair or get refund after you wait 6 weeks for delivery."

- N2DTS (via eham) : "The new ones with the metal case seem to have a very high failure rate. One of mine no longer works, and someone I know also had theirs crap out. Pass on these things."

Randy KB3GGC purchased one of the CHINESE VERSION TWO SDR's (same as N9EWO's dud sample above and also came from the from the same Chinese ebay vendor (NOTE : Be sure and read the "negative" feedback here). It would not receive any signals at all on mediumwave and shortwave. The Chinese ebay seller claimed that he did not have the PREAMP activated or did not have the RF gain properly adjusted. Both of these items were managed and the receiver still did not hear even very strong signals (was dead). His sample ONLY worked on the FM Broadcast band period.

- Mark T. purchased a CHINESE VERSION TWO and exhibits the same identical lousy performance issues as covered with N9EWO's sample above.

- Francesco IW1BFT from Italy reports to us with information on these Chinese SDR's (his translated text as below). He used all battery operation with his test samples as noted below :

"In the past I purchased an RSX RS928 and was very satisfied with it, so I approached these receivers with curiosity. My friend and I took 2 of CHINESE VERSION ONE, with case and battery and one CHINESE VERSION THREE (PC Board only). The VERSION ONE's were REV 3.97 (3.99 printed on PC Board). I must tell you that we were both very disappointed. Both models receive very badly, with a lot of digital noise and numerous spurii signals. VERSION THREE seems to be doing a bit better but in both cases they are valid only to receive the commercial FM . The VERSION ONE box is made of printed circuit board fiberglass plates soldered together. The front panel, if the screws are tightened, locks the knobs and there are NO shields on the board. The speaker, then, is bad. The price is absolutely not justified. Another friend owns the Russian model and says it's okay, I haven't tried it. I made the comparison with a Belka DSP, and there really are no words to describe the superiority of the Belka. I don't know if we were unlucky and we ended up with two bad samples (taken from 2 different ebay sellers, arrived in about 20 days) or if they are all like that, but I certainly do NOT recommend to buy these Chinese SDR's. An old sdrplay, first type (RSP1) is so much better."

UPDATE : "I have been able to test my sample more thoroughly, and I think it is faulty. The Chinese seller assured me that they are all tested, but mine, VERSION ONE, is less sensitive than my friend's VERSION THREE. In practice mine is usable only connected to an external antenna.The preamplifier, selected from the menu, has no effect and so does the selection of the internal or external antenna. However, the biggest flaw is the interference generated by the display. Pity it can't be turned off, at least I couldn't. Another big problem with my sample is that when receiving narrow fm sometimes the audio disappears and I am forced to switch it off and on again. The tuning management is very bad It is very missing not being able to enter the frequency directly with a keyboard and by changing the steps the value is often rounded down, forcing you to adjust the vfo for a long time. I made a comparison with an rsp1 sdrplay, which uses the same MSI001 tuning chipset and the comparison is pitiless The only advantage of the Chinese is that it is less disturbed by the spurious of the commercial FM, but perhaps because it is less sensitive ?"

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