The FDM-S3 receiver is an exceptional SDR with very powerful features. Here the Italian manufacturer has taken the possibilities of modern SDR design to the extreme. The FDM-S3 offers a fabulous bandwidth of 24 MHz, which can be scanned at the same time and in which up to 4 receivers can be operated at the same time. Up to now, this has only been reserved for far more expensive receivers in this form.
The FDM-S3 works as a direct sampling SDR with a variable sampling rate of maximum 122.8 MHz. The reception range is from 9 kHz to 108 MHz, an optional downconverter has been announced for even higher frequencies.
One of the special tricks of the receiver is the variable sampling rate, which is changed between 98 and 122 MHz depending on the band range. Due to this flexibility, the divider ratios can be chosen more favorably for down-sampling, the sensitivity and the achievable dynamic range increase.
Another special feature of the SDR FDM-S3 is the flexible selection of the clock source. The receiver is optionally supplied with a TCXO or an OCXO. The TCXO (Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator) offers good accuracy and stability with moderate power consumption, the OCXO (Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator) offers significantly better stability with higher power consumption. In addition, the FDM-S3 can be equipped with a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System, aka GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo) antenna. This antenna ensures a frequency connection to GNSS satellites (aka GNSS-DO, GPSDO). And if that is not enough, an external 10 MHz reference clock can also be fed in from a high-precision source.
All clock signals and sources are handled more or less automatically by the newly developed ‘Reference Clock Manager Module’, the user does not need to intervene.
The SDR receiver FDM-S3 is equipped with two automatically switching low-pass filters, and a band pass for the 3m radio band is also available. Optionally, up to 8 additional low, high and band pass filters can be used. These are the same filter modules that are already known from the Elad FDM-S2R and Elad QSF-06 Pre-Selector. A switchable attenuator works with three stages, and a preamplifier can also be switched on.
For short wave the FDM-S3 offers two switchable antenna inputs, one of which can be provided with a bias voltage, for example to operate an external preamplifier. An input is available for VHF, also with switchable bias voltage. The SDR is connected to the PC with a USB3 port, a suitable cable is included. The Windows PC used (Windows 7, 8 or 10, 32 or 64 bit) should have sufficient performance depending on the required operation. The recording of a 24 MHz wide spectrum requires considerable amounts of memory and data rates for the hard disk or SSD. More detailed information can be found in the manual. Power is supplied via Powerpole sockets, the voltage must be in the range of 8 to 16 V. A power cable with Powerpole plugs on one side is included.
The software available is the free FDM-SW2 software, which offers up to 4 independent decoders (receivers). This software can also be used to set up all of the receiver’s options, such as band filters, etc. Alternatively, the software ‘SDR Console’ from Simon Brown is available.
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