FiFi SDR—Presentation I Gave at Montrose Amateur Radio Club Meeting

Have you heard of the FiFi SDR? It was featured in the September, 2013, issue of QST. I ordered one, put it together, played with it, and gave this presentation at the last MARC meeting. I re-narrated the charts into a video, which you can watch below. The other video is a demonstration of FiFi using SDR Commander software (but see below), available for free on the web. Note that the first video is low-resolution—it’s all that YouTube allows in the 4:3 aspect ratio that the charts were created in. The demonstration video is in HD.

The FiFi comes as a “kit,” meaning they’ve left a few things for you to solder yourself. Please note that soldering is involved—this is not a “snap-together” kit, but the soldering is not hard. All the surface-mount components are already in place. The FiFi comes with a CD with a couple of different software programs to use with the radio, neither of which I like. I followed QST’s suggestion and use SDR Commander, which is written by the same Swiss ham that originally wrote Ham Radio Deluxe, HB9DRV, Simon Brown. (Brown refers to the software as a “kit” also, in this case meaning it actually downloads several closely-related programs.) It’s great software, but please, please be careful what you download. See the figure below for instructions.

Please be very careful what you download. There's a bunch of misleading advertising that will snare you if you are not careful. I know from experience!

Please be very careful what you download. There’s a bunch of misleading advertising that will snare you if you are not careful. I know from experience!

I clicked one of these ads by accident and spent a couple hours reversing the damage done to my computer. I ended up going back to an earlier system restore point. BEWARE! Once you have the right software loaded, you’ll be okay. If you’re careful on the download, you will find Brown’s software to be easy to install. You’ll need to do some experimenting to get things going. Hint: the radio must be “started” in the software before you’ll see anything.

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