Not my video
Alinco is bringing out a new HF radio that uses SDR technology. I have received a brochure in PDF form (not posted here due to not knowing if I'm allowed) with a few details on it, subject to change. It appears to be a 10-160 all-mode radio. According to the above video it doesn't come with a head but you will be able to get one for it. It is meant to plug into a PC which will be running SDR software, I'm guessing much like the Flexradios do?
- TX 10-160m
- RX .15-30Mhz looks like
- FM/SSB/CW 100W
- AM 40W
- looks like SDR bandwidth is either 15khz or 20.5khz? Very odd.
The specs say the receiver is a double conversion superhet and lists modulation methods for the transmitter side. This is very confusing to me because I expect SDRs to have direct conversion receivers. It may be that the radio is fairly conventional and the SDR is an IF type. There is an SDR entry in their table with the associated text being "3rd IQ", I suppose that could be a typo and really mean "3rd IF". One bullet point says that the receive and transmit audio is through the PC's mic/speakers. But then the table lists SSB as balanced modulation and FM as DSP modulated. I would hope the TX could be modulated by the SDR software on the computer but time will tell.
No indication has been made to me at this time on how the radio connects to the PC. I would hope that one USB cable is all you would need for CAT control and also an audio device for the IQ TX/RX to the computer so people could use their usual soundcard device for the TX/RX audio. This would also reduce the necessary cabling which is always a positive thing. Plus you could add a small single-board-computer such as the Raspberry Pi to enable such a device for Ethernet and then find new applications for it. Mount the radio remotely at the antenna to minimize line losses. Stick it on a mountain, establish a wifi link and allow shared access with your Amateur Radio Club. Network it and operate from anywhere in your house or property with wifi or ethernet connections.
As said earlier, I believe a head is going to be released that will allow standalone operation without a PC.
This, along with Yaesu's new digital HT, seems to be the start of exciting times in Ham Radio. It's a good sign if more manufacturers are going to enter the marketplace with products based on these non-traditional technologies.