My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It works, so, so far, so good!

I bought an ELAD FDM-S2 SDR Receiver at Hamvention.

Its software is Windows-based, but the gent in the ELAD booth assured me that it would run on a Mac under a Windows emulator. Even if it did not, I had some old Windows laptops at my disposal that I could use, although I preferred to run it on my Mac because empty space on my radio desk was lacking,

Back at my Hamvention hotel room, I checked the contents of the box containing my purchase. In addition to the receiver, there was a USB stick containing the SDR sofware and documentation, two BNC-to-SMA adapters to mate the receiver's HF and VHF SMA connectors to antennas, a USB cable, a USB Y-cable, a cloth bag for storing and transporting the receiver and four stick-on feet to attach to the receiver.

After returning home and catching up, I installed the software in a laptop running Windows 7. The installation was quick and easy without any problems.

I connected the receiver to the laptop and to my 80-meter inverted Vee antenna, then I powered up the receiver and started the software. The software loaded quickly and soon I was staring at an impressive graphical user interface (GUI), but I could not hear a thing and the display indicated that nothing was being received, as seen in the image above.

My first thought was "dead on arrival" and I was not a happy camper. Thumbing through the manual did not provide a solution and then I noticed an on/off button in the lower left corner of the GUI! I clicked it once and, voila!, I could hear plenty ― what a relief!

Without reading the manual, I fumbled around and managed to tune the receiver to the AM broadcast radio band. My first impressions were that the receiver was as sensitive and perhaps more sensitive than my Elecraft KX3 on the AM band.

That was promising, but I did not play with the receiver much because I wanted to concentrate on getting the software up and running on my two-year-old MacBook Pro Retina 15-inch laptop.

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