Remote SDR Station operated by HB9AZT

Remote SDR ColibriDDC Receiver Project (Oct. 2017 - July 2018)

A couple of months ago Fredy, HB9CQK and I got in touch with Markus, HB9AZT who could grant us access to his remote radio receive location in the Canton of Appenzell.

This location has very little QRM (man made electromagnetic noise). We had to configure our own remote receivers. We discussed our requirements and came up with the following points:
- The receiver must cover all shortwave HAM bands and the RX quality must be state-of-the-art.
- Since there are several antennae available the remote system must be able to remotely switch 4 antenna ports
- We must be able to power on/off the devices remotely
- We must be able to do firmware updates remotely
- All devices must fit into a 19" rack
- All the components must be designed for 24/7 operation
- We must be able to use the LAN available at the remote site
- The system to be built shall contain its own 1GB network switch for simple integration into the LAN
- The used components must be quiet! And by quiet we do not mean free of acoustic noise, but free of HF noise
- The power consumption should be low such that no fans are needed

The Russian company Expert Electronics has developed and produced this excellent SDR Receiver called ColibriDDC SDR.
The ColibriDDC SDR is a high-quality receiver in mini size! The software ExpertSDR2 Remote Client is very easy to use.

Download Project Documentation: details [6’809 KB]

Remote SDR Operation

Having access to a remote receiver with the option of 4 different antennas is nice, but this solution allows me to use the remote receiver seamlessly with my Flexradio 6600M or ICOM IC-7700. This means I can listen to the remote RX or look at its panadapter and change frequency and mode on the local radio just like the receiver was built in! This wonderful piece of functionality is enabled by the OmniRig software which is supported by the Expert SDR Remote Client Software. A new version of OmniRig allows fast settings giving really smooth control of frequency. This new OmniRig v2.0 is available from my website.

I am really just starting to explore the capabilities of this new solution. For example: It is easily possible to receive digital modes on the remote RX (using a virtual audio cable in the local PC) and transmit using the local station. Additional capabilities are coming out regularly for the Expert Remote Client (e.g. native support for virtual audio cables, support for the second receiver etc.). If you want to know more about this solution just send me an e-Mail.

This was/is a great project and it is not entirely done yet (e.g. replacement antennas to be installed). I want to thank Markus (HB9AZT) for his support with the site and the control setup, Frédéric (HB9CQK) for his help by supporting me during the whole project and finally Roman Volchkov from sunsdr (Expert) who always answered our endless questions swiftly and patiently.

Panoramic View from 950m ASL - South and Noth