[op25-dev] rx.py Airspy MASTER GAIN Setting option?????

wllmbecks at gmail.com wllmbecks at gmail.com
Fri Sep 4 18:10:14 UTC 2020

As Graham pointed out, there is no "Master" gain control built into the
interface specification

of Airspy devices.  However, In addition to manual gain control, there are
sensitivity, and linearity modes

that apply AGC over the LNA and Mixer stages. 


The "Master" gain control it seems is a feature in SDRTrunk whereby some
values are applied to the

LNA, Mixer, and IF gains settings in addition to allow the end user input
specific Tuner gain settings.

That said, there is no need to mimic overall RF amplitude values displayed
on op25 FFT plots.


The fundamental difference between typical RTL SDR devices and the Airspy
R2's and Mini's

is the much lower noise floor and the superior signal handling
characteristics of the Airspy.

At the end of the day it's all about Signal to Noise (S/N) performance of
any given radio receiver

that defines overall usable sensitivity.   


Shown below are FFT plots captured from the same P25 system with an Airspy
R2 followed by

a NooElec SMArt.  Observe the Airspy exhibits an average noise floor of
approximately -80 while

the RTL exhibits an average noise floor of approximately -63 to -64 that
clearly demonstrates 

that the Airspy has a 16 to 17 dB advantage over the RTL device.


In addition to the lower noise performance,  the signal handling in crowed
RF spectrums

of the Airspy is also a plus.  I happen to live in a rural area where there
are few in-band 800 MHz

signals, but it should be noted that most RTL's suffer from self-induced
intermodulation interference

when operated in crowded RF spectrums.   



Airspy R2  ./rx.py --args 'airspy' -S 2500000 -N 'LNA:15,MIX:15,IF:10'




NooElec RTL  ./rx.py --args 'rtl' --gains 'lna:49'



The third FFT plot below does demonstrate the relatively poor IM performance
of an RTL SDR

captured from one of my remote instances of op25 tuned to a VHF P25 system
where there

are numerous in-band signals.   In this case I am using a five element Yagi
antenna aimed at the

distant RFSS in combination with minimum LNA settings to mitigate as much of
the IM products

as are possible.


Signals shown in the plot below approximately -45 are IM products and are
not real in-band signals

when at times there are legitimate in-band signals that do produce IM
products that cause bit errors

to the desired P25 control or voice channels.


NooElec RTL  ./rx.py --args 'rtl' --gains 'lna:49'





-----Original Message-----
From: op25-dev <op25-dev-bounces at lists.osmocom.org> On Behalf Of
op25 at zellners.com
Sent: Friday, September 4, 2020 5:35 AM
To: op25-dev at lists.osmocom.org
Subject: Re: [op25-dev] rx.py Airspy MASTER GAIN Setting option?????



Quoting Graham Norbury < <mailto:gnorbury at bondcar.com>
gnorbury at bondcar.com>:


> I'm not aware of a master gain parameter.   LNA, MIX, IF are the three

> controls.  All take value between 0-15.




SDRTrunk exposes:


4 CONTROLS and 3 options in a drop down.


A guess is these "modes" are some sort of custom setup? As you can set
CUSTOM MODE and you can then adjust IF,MIX,LNA separately... in SENSITIVITY
or LINEARITY MODES it has a "MASTER" slider which I will take it that if
there really are only 3 real gains must be a custom adjust to all 3 via that
slider???? Which it doesn't reflect in the GUI that its adjusting them....
but thats not really relevant here.


I am trying to match performance from an RTL to the Airspy, and the plot on
the spectrum is at least 20db down from the RTL (RTL Gain 49)..unless the
Airspys are significantly less sensitive which SDRT doesn't seem to show.


I get -20db power level with the RTL and and the airspy is at -40db...and
playing with those gains didn't seem to budge it... hmmm..


I'll give another whack tonight using only the 3 controls and see what I








-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osmocom.org/pipermail/op25-dev/attachments/20200904/d81a3598/attachment-0001.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image002.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 29275 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.osmocom.org/pipermail/op25-dev/attachments/20200904/d81a3598/attachment-0003.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image004.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 38085 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.osmocom.org/pipermail/op25-dev/attachments/20200904/d81a3598/attachment-0004.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image009.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 37110 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.osmocom.org/pipermail/op25-dev/attachments/20200904/d81a3598/attachment-0005.jpg>

More information about the op25-dev mailing list