CommRadio CR-1a another SDR that looks interesting

CommRadio CR-1a another SDR that looks interesting…




I have never really spent much time on the Software Defined Radio arena, but the more I keep loo at them they are becoming so interesting. The CommRadio CR-1a communications receiver is a true SDR (software defined radio), but does not require a computer. Enjoy the benefits and performance of state-of-the-art SDR, but in a conventional radio package.


As much as I hate to say, it might be time for me to make a purchase and spend some time playing with these. I really like the size of the rig in comparison to the SunSDR2 ( Hard to tell until I see them both in person.


Here is a video I found and more information on other CommRadio CR-1a:



Frequency Coverage and Modes:


MW-HF: General Coverage: 500 kHz – 30.000 MHz

User Configurable Band Key:

    • Amateur Band Selections:                  160 m – 10 m
    • International Broadcast Bands:           120 m – 11 m
  • AM-SSB-CW  manual or auto-mode selection (based on tuned frequency)
  • International Broadcasting: manual or auto-selection: 5 kHz steps
  • Automatic -Filter Width select with override (manual selection)
  • Tuning Resolution (cursor control): 1 MHz  / 100 -10 – 1 kHz  / 100  – 10 Hz
  • MDS (minimum discernible signal):  nominal -130 dBm in 500 Hz Bandwidth
  • LW: 150 – 500 kHz is included for experimental purposes.  See Hardware Limitations below.

VHF-UHF General Frequency Coverage and Performance:

  • VHF: Continuous Coverage:   64.0 – 260.0 MHz
  • UHF: Continuous Coverage: 437.0 – 512.0 MHz
  • FM Broadcast: nominal -88 dBm in 200 kHz bandwidth
  • VHF Sensitivity  108.0 – 150.0 MHz: nominal – 98 dBm (or better) for 12 dB SINAD, 15 kHz filter bandwidth (5 kHz deviation)
  • UHF Sensitivity: nominal -86  to-98 dBm for 12 dB SINAD, 15 kHz filter bandwidth (5 kHz deviation)
  • Standard frequency steps for each band

VHF-UHF Band Plan:

  • FM Broadcast: 87.7 – 107.9 – Monaural – 5 kHz audio bandwidth (76.0 MHz International)
  • Aircraft Bands: 108.000 – 136.975 MHz, AM auto-select -25 kHz channel steps
  • Amateur: 2 m, 1.25 m, 70 cm (upper portion starting @ 437.0 MHz).
  • NBFM mode default with SSB-CW mode selects.
  • Marine & NOAA Weather Radio
  • Public Service: 137.0 – 225.0: 12.5 and 25 kHz steps.
  • FRS-GMRS 462 – 467 MHz ,  25 kHz Steps
  • General Coverage 467-512 MHz
  • Note: 6 m (54 MHz) is not available.

Receiver Architecture:

  • HF: Dual conversion (VHF-UHF: single conversion) with low -IF, I-Q digital sampling, 32-bit DSP with digital audio CODEC
  • DSP demodulation algorithms: DSB-AM, SSB, CW, WBFM, NBFM
  • User Selectable, DSP fixed bandwidth channel filtering selections

Audio System – Digital CODEC

  • Speaker Driver: 0.8 W into 8 Ohm load
  • Internal 2.5” diameter, mylar-cone communications grade speaker
  • External monaural speaker jack (3.5 mm stereo jack – back panel)
  • Headset Driver: 40 mW into 16 Ohms. (3.5 mm stereo jack – front panel).

Antenna Inputs

  • LW-MW-HF Port: 1000 Ohm – 3.5 mm jack – Retained S/N’s 601-749. Eliminated starting with S/N 750.
  • LW-MW-HF Port: 50 Ohm – BNC (female)
  • VHF-UHF Port:    50 Ohm – BNC (female)


  • 1.5″ diagonal – 64 x 128 OLED Display with EMI-filtered lens
  • Readable outdoors (not in direct sunlight) and manually dimmable

Power Supplies

  • Power Jacks: Powered-USB and 6-18 VDC (2.1mm diameter-center pin (+) x 5 mm diameter barrel)
  • Internal Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery 6-8 hour capacity with full speaker volume. 10-12 hours for headset and normal speaker volume.
  • Both supply inputs automatically charge the optional internal battery with the radio powered ON or OFF.

Power Consumption

  • < 1.0 Watt Headset and normal speaker volume
  • < 1.2 Watt maximum – full speaker volume

USB Mini-B 2.0 Jack

    • Automatically charges internal battery while maintaining maximum USB power use < 2.5 Watts
    • Software updates via ‘Dropbox’ with automated email notifications.
    • CR-1a Only: I-Q data and radio controls via USB port
    • CR-1a Only: CommRadio supplied basic 200 kHz Spectrum-Scope PC GUI (Graphical User Interface)


  • Overall Size: 5.65” W x 2.45” H x 6.10” D (including knobs, jacks , feet)
  • Weight: 1 lb. – 8 oz.
  • Knobs: Machined Aluminum – Black Anodized
  • Front Panel: Machined Aluminum – Powder Coated – Black Crackle.
  • Case: 20 Gauge Steel, Powder Coated – Black Crackle.

ESD Protection:  ESD Diodes on: Antenna port(s), Power Jacks, USB Port, Keys, and  Knobs

Hardware Design Limitations:

  • CR-1 only: The CR-1 is not controllable over USB.
  • CR-1 only:  Analog or digital IQ or IF signals are not ported to any connector.
  • LW (150 kHz – 480 kHz): Designed to tune down to 500 kHz.  The tuner is programmed to provide tuning to 150 kHz. However, there is no dedicated pre-selector in this range.  The IF is also in this range and signals from other bands can be heard. Performance is not guaranteed in this range and is provided for experimental purposes. Good performance has been reported from one CR-1 owner who uses an external LW pre-selector.

Regulatory Compliance:

  • FCC Mark  Declaration of Conformity – Part 15
  • CE Mark (Europe-elsewhere)
  • RoHS: No Pb (lead)

Origin & Warranty & Satisfaction Guarantee:

  • Designed and manufactured in USA
  • Limited 1 year warranty: parts, labor, workmanship


N1IC Ham Radio

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Ham Radio Volunteers Support Oklahoma Freewheel Bicycle Ride: from The ARRL Letter on July 9, 2015 Website: Add a comment about this article! Ham Radio Volunteers Support Oklahoma Freewheel Bicycle Ride:A small group of Amateur Radio operators and volunteers supported the Oklahoma Freewheel — a cross-state bicycle tour — June 7-13. Kenneth Baucum, […]


FDM-DUO SDR Amateur Radio   FDM-DUO is a SDR tranceiver that offers the possibility to operate STand-alone like traditional radio or attached to a Personal Computer discovering the possibilites offered by the SDR technologies. Stand-alone Specifications updated 6 June 2014 RX: Freqency range: 10KHz – 54MHz Direct conversion receiver operating @ 122.88MHz ADC: LTC2165 16bit DDC (Digital Down […]

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