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Application Note #3

Choosing a Receiver for Computer Aided Monitoring

Basic Requirements

Choosing a receiver for use in computer aided monitoring involves a number of factors, some of which are unique to the application. Here are the basic requirements:

  • The receiver must have a data port
  • Software must be available to control it
  • The interface protocol must support computer control
  • The receiver must have adequate performance

These requirements narrow the field of candidate receivers to a small group. Many older scanners and communications receivers don't have a data port.

Signal Intelligence attempts to support all radio equipment that meets these standards. There are a few receivers that aren't supported, and these are typically older units that don't meet the above requirements.

The last item, performance, needs some explanation. Any radio under computer control must be relatively immune to interference problems such as intermod or image. Since a computer (not a human) is deciding when to stop on a signal, a few undesired signals can reduce the effectiveness of the system to the point where it's unusable.

Suitability to Task

There are many receivers available, but given a specific task to be performed, the field of usable receivers is limited by the specific requirements of the task. The following factors need to be considered:

  • Scan Speed
  • Interference rejection
  • RSSI Linearity and Range
  • Dynamic Range
  • Power Requirements
  • Frequency Coverage

Please call us to discuss your specific needs.