Even with all the physical radio equipment at my disposal, I find myself spending more and more of my time logging into the various excellent shortwave SDR’s available on the web.
There’s no denying that the way some of these online SDR feeds give you access to the sort of antennas we’d all be throwing up if we had the Space/Money/Understanding Partner/Understanding Neighbors (delete as you see fit), is a big draw for any SWL.
You only have to look at the setup that HackGreen has on the go, to see what I mean. Mix in the SDR’s dedicated to the amateur bands with the all HF (0 to 30 MHz) setup over at Twente University and its all covered.
But it Feels So Wrong
After always being a firm believer in spending the time, effort and cash to set up the best receiving station possible (given the space available) it seems like cheating to get signals just fed to me over the web.
In my defense, I do use online SDR as a sort of scouting tool to find transmissions before trying to find them on my own analogue radio gear. This does cut out a huge amount of dial spinning and sometimes takes me to parts of the radio spectrum that I’d usually never go 🙂
There’s Still Hope!
I’ve even started to use SDR from all around the world for decoding datemodes!, but still believe that provided I don’t get the same sense of achievement at bagging a great bit of DX unless it was through my own shortwave radio gear and antennas, then I still have a little but of control.