Airspy HF+ and mini whip antenna

For a few weeks now I have been using my new receiver the Airspy HF+, its the latest must have SDR and many people have purchased one.  From what I have read online the vast majority of people are amazed how well this little receiver hears.  I myself am very happy with my purchase and for the price performance is stunning.

Mine cost £220 from Moonraker UK and was delivered on a Saturday with DPD, the first thing you will notice once you open the box is how small the thing is.  But when you pick it up it feels reassuringly heavy and solid with its metal case….no plastic here !

The other thing you will notice and that I really like is the two antenna ports both SMA so it makes connecting to antennas very easy, with my SDR play RSP2 the HI Z port was a pain when connecting to 50 ohm antennas and to tune the low frequencies you had to use that port.

I immediately connected the Airspy HF+ to my PC and within seconds was tuning with SDR console v3….just that easy! no messing around with drivers and such.

After I had it a day I noticed online people saying the low bands sensitivity was reduced and this was a bit alarming but then prog from the Airspy group forum posted a mod that could be done, so not ideal to be taking the case apart on a new SDR but the process is really simple four screws holds the case on and once inside the the part of the circuit board that needs the mod is spacious and unless you are really careless no damage can be done, the mod is basically shorting a capacitor with a small bit of wire…the “R3 Bypass”  the process took less than 10 minutes.

Once the mod was done sensitivity on the low bands was as good or even better than any other SDR receiver I have used previously and that includes SDR play, Perseus and Elad.

The software that Airspy offers namely SDR# is good and there is many third party plugins that can be used with it, for shortwave I just cant get used to it and prefer to use Simon Browns SDR console v3 for vhf SDR# might prove to be more useful with the available plugins.  But overall you are spoilt for choice with the current available free! software.

Feeding the Airspy HF+ with my mini whip I have had to take extra care with noise suppression as the little receiver is so sensitive and is very susceptible to noise if care is not taken.  I have uploaded a video to YouTube showing my current setup and the difference an RF isolation transformer makes in a mini whip power feed unit.

With this small antenna and small receiver from my town apartment in Southern Scotland, with current propagation I can receive Trans Atlantic NDB beacons and MW broadcast stations almost nightly with some really amazing signals check out my recent YouTube videos.

YouTube video Airspy HF+ and Mini Whip

This entry was posted in MW Dxing, NDB Dxing, Shortwave and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Airspy HF+ and mini whip antenna

  1. Paul says:

    Hi mark,just wondering if you could help me?I’m looking into buying a airspy HF+ .and would like to know what the noise pickup is like when using a normal wire antenna.i have a sdrplay rsp1a at the moment and the antenna is a ewe antenna.


  2. GM1004SWL says:

    Hi Paul I no longer live in the country so no longer have access to outside wire antennas, but im sure the HF+ will perform well with your EWE antenna…I used cores and tried several USB cables till I got any noise under control. If you look at my latest YT videos you will see how well the HF+ performs with a Mini Whip antenna mounted on my balcony. With perseverance I managed to remove most noise from the mini whip without using an Earth connection. Cheers Mark


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s