Saturday, April 02, 2016

Fifi SDR - like a Softrock but with a built-in sound card

The nicest way to tune around is with a software defined radio. Being able to see a wide area of a band and simply click on the active signals is superior to spinning a dial up and down. This weekend a Fifi SDR arrived from Germany. They cost around 140 Euros from Funk so in a different bracket to the low cost RTLSDR devices.

This radio looks to the computer like a Softrock and frequency is controlled using the i2c USB interface to the Si570 clock oscillator. It has I/Q audio out but much more convenient is the built-in USB audio device which can do up to 192kHz. The USB audio worked without any extra driver install.

While it's a kit, all the hard stuff is done for you and you're just left to solder a few connectors, plug in a transformer and construct the case. Here's how it comes.

It's a nice snug fit in the excellent quality metal case.

It worked on first power up and I'm using it with SDRSharp and other software without too much messing around. Here's a few videos showing how it looks tuning around 40m.