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| IMPORTANT UPDATE : OUR "CHINESE VERSION TWO TEST SAMPLE"
Chinese Malachite (Malahit) SDR - "CHINESE VERSION TWO" was a TOTAL Disaster !
WARNING : "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 !
6 - 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)
IMPORTANT UPDATED INFORMATION on VERSION TWO from Mr. Saitou in Japan
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)
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