RX-888: 32 MHz, 16 bit – A new standard SDR for HF

A bare sensation: the RX-888 covers 9 kHz to 32 MHz with 16 bit (nearly 100 dB dynamic range) with recording and playing the whole range via USB3.0 which also cares for the power supply. Price: just about 200 US-$.

With the RX-888 just has arrived here, I am busy with testing. The first results a very much encouraging with Simon Brown’s (G4ELI) unique software SDRC V3. More to come within a few days.

7 comments

  • Hi, Nils, interesting stuff.
    I hope you’ll be comparing with Airspy Discovery, which may be many people’s idea of “standard”?
    Kind regards
    Paul White

    • Hi, Paul – both receivers a a bit different animals. RX888 provides (now) up to 32 MHz HF streaming bandwidth, so that bandpass filters are difficult to implement (yes, also tracking preselector …). The Airspys do cover under 1MHz with a state-of-the-art performance, which can an does make also use of this much, much smaller HF streaming bandwidth. So both are “Standards” in their class. If you can live with <1MHz streaming bandwidth, there is no need for a change. If not, you have a very limited choice of 16bit/32MHz SDRs. I am using e.g. Win radio's SIGMA, representing the absolute benchmark of this class – at a price. Also my pre-production version of a hopefully future FDM-S3 is doing an excellent job – with 16Bit/20MHz at around 1.000 US-$.
      Comparing different receivers is as tempting, as being useful and time-consuming. I do that for my own, and do derive a recommendation (or not) from my findings. As I am not earning any money by this, I save the massive amount of time for preparing all the different audio clips/videos for publication to do other things. I think these comparisons are a good idea for the big amateur radio magazines: they have much money and manpower galore. Let them work for what they are payed for …
      73 Nils, DK8OK

  • … Driver: The drivers are in the Driver folder which is provided by the seller. One should locate “WestBridge” in your PC’s “USB Devices” – this is your RX-666/888. Update this driver manually: point to the sub-folder in your driver’s folder which matches your operating system. With me, it is W10, x64. Update, reboot, and the SDR should connect. Still any problems? please drop me a line at dk8ok@gmx.net
    73 Nils, DK8OK

  • Many thanks for a first image … am eagerly waiting for your review and first experience with it.
    When they have so much heat to dissipate at max sampling speed why is there no heat pipe? Instead they have mounted a million fins around a case that seems isolated from the thermal source? It needs a good thermal conductor from the case that is attached to the ADCs instead of fins everywhere and praying for heat conduction through thin air. I guess the good thing is that we can do that by ourselves and mount it into an appropriately modified case.

    Does its driver offer a reduced sampling mode that stops at e.g. at 22 MHz, which would be enough for me, since I want to use it mainly for 24/7 multiband HFDL decoding as well as all the other fun on other connected clients. This reduced sampling would be saving me almost 30% of the total heat and data to be processed from the server. Is that individually selectable in the driver?

    I also just ordered a unit when I read Simons Browns most brilliant SDR Console supports it. With around 170 € it is making the Airspy R2 at a similar price point look old, though it currently has the very best software compatibility apart from a simple RTL-SDR.
    It is supposed to arrive here in at least one month … will take the time to prepare the server and software and infrastructure for it.

    • Hi, Joerg – SImon is doing wonders (as he has no RX-888, but just an RX-666). All wokring fine now. There are HF streaming bandwidth now of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 MHz. No idea about the thermal management. The cooling fins around the case itself are making no big sense. Let me know when yours’ arrives! 73 Nils, DK8OK

  • I m very much interested in your high class reviews and a comparative test with dragon that I hope you still have !

  • … sorry, but I already donated my RX-666 for the best reason ever … with its 20dB LNA, the RX-888 shows a much better sensitivity than the RX-666. With a proper active antenna, you can use the whole dynamic range. 73 Nils, DK8OK

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