[TangerineSDR] Nils Reviews the RX-888: A Sub $200 16-Bit 32 MHz Bandwidth SDR

Larry Dodd 101science at gmail.com
Mon Sep 7 08:12:55 EDT 2020

I have both the RX-666 and RX-888 (They are receivers only by China import.) The RX-888 is an improved version with a much needed LNA. I am on the SDRc Test team for the RX-666. As Bill noted the R-888 on HDSDR works well as a clone with scarce documentation but the price is right. It really needs a fan for cooling.  I'm only interested in the 3-32 MHz HF spectrum where these SDR's perform the best. The Elad FDM-3 is finally in pre-production now and has great promise as a transceiver as judged by those that have pre-production test units with a price around $1k depending on options ordered.  The long promised CloudIQ SDR from RFSpace is also getting closer to reality (they say) in the $1500 range.
Larry, K4LED

On 9/7/2020 5:40:30 AM, Bill Liles via TangerineSDR <tangerinesdr at lists.tapr.org> wrote:
No direct connect for a clock reference needed for multiple receivers. 
https://www.rtl-sdr.com/nils-reviews-the-rx-888-a-sub-200-16-bit-32-mhz-bandwidth-sdr/ [https://www.rtl-sdr.com/nils-reviews-the-rx-888-a-sub-200-16-bit-32-mhz-bandwidth-sdr/]

Nils Reviews the RX-888: A Sub $200 16-Bit 32 MHz Bandwidth SDR
admin [https://www.rtl-sdr.com/author/rtlsdr/]September 7, 2020
A lot of affordable Chinese clone SDRs have been coming onto the market recently, and the RX-888 is one of the most interesting. The RX-888 appears to be an improved clone of the RX-666 which in turn is a clone derived from Oscar Steila (IK1XPV)'s BBRF103 original open source design [http://www.steila.com/blog/index.php?controller=post&action=view&id_post=32].
The RX-888 is based on the LTC2208 16-bit ADC chip which is capable of streaming the entire 1 kHz to 32 MHz frequency range to the PC over USB 3.0 with direct sampling. Frequencies from 32 MHz to 1.8 GHz can also be received via an R820T2 tuner which is on the board (the same tuner used in most RTL-SDRs). Due to the bandwidth restrictions of the R820T2 silicon, the bandwidth above 32 MHz is restricted to 8 - 10 MHz. The main change when compared to the RX-666 appears to be that there is an LNA which improves medium wave and small antenna performance which was a problem on the RX-666. The RX-888 also adds several heat sinks to the enclosure, as excessive heat generation of the LTC2208 ADC appears to also be an issue.
[https://www.rtl-sdr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/rx888_1.jpg]The RX-888 Software Defined Radio
Recently Nils Shiffhauer (DK80K) wrote up a great review of the RX-888 [https://dk8ok.org/2020/09/04/rx-888-32-mhz-16bit-200-us-pricks-up-your-ears/]. In the review he covers the specs, shows a few screenshots of some signals he's received and also provides multiple audio samples of signals received.
The RX-888 is currently available on marketplace sites like Aliexpress and eBay priced at around US$180. In the past SDRs that could receive the entire HF band at once were rare, with the only affordable SDR with this capability being the KiwiSDR. So it is good to see that we may now be entering a stage of new advancement in affordable SDRs.
One thing to note is that this design can be considered a clone. However the original design by Oscar is open source and from this post on his blog [http://www.steila.com/blog/index.php?controller=post&action=view&id_post=32] he seems happy and accepting of the clones.
We note that we have ordered a unit and will be uploading a review once we test it.
[https://www.rtl-sdr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/rx888_2.jpg]The RX-888 PCB

Sent from my iPad
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