A shortwave receiver comes from Belarus which triggers the "must have" effect! The Belka DSP. Various videos have been circulating on YouTube from this device since autumn 2019. Once looked at, the above-mentioned effect occurs. The Belka-DSP is tiny! It is smaller than a credit card. Despite the very small dimensions, it is a full-fledged shortwave receiver with digital signal processing (DSP). This means that the operating modes and the filter bandwidths are software.
Its designer Alexander Buevsky (EU1ME) attached great importance to maximum portability during development. Therefore, no loudspeaker was installed in the Belka-DSP. Only a lithium polymer battery can be accommodated in the housing. The device must therefore be operated with stereo earphones, headphones or a small passive or active loudspeaker. He doesn't have a built-in antenna either. For this purpose, a 70cm long telescopic antenna with BNC connector is included. The Belka-DSP is very robust. The housing is made of high quality, black anodized aluminum. The voting button is on the right. On the left side you will find the BNC antenna socket, the 3.5mm stereo jack socket and a micro USB connection with an LED that shows the charging status. The large, white backlit LC display and four push buttons can be found on the front. The device lies comfortably in the hand and makes a high-quality impression.
The interior of the device is very neatly processed, which suggests that it is equipped with machines. The practiced eye does not miss the fact that the Belka-DSP reveals a little secret, if you take a closer look at the board. Bandpass filters can be seen on the upper left half of the red circuit board. This means that the small Belka DSP has a preselection in the antenna input. This also shows the block diagram above that the manufacturer provides. The large LiPo battery with 2200mAh has enough capacity for over 24h continuous operation of the device.
Working with the Belka-DSP
Although the Belka-DSP offers some functions and has only a few controls, it is still easy to use. Even inexperienced shortwave listeners will quickly get along with the little one. Experience has shown that similar developments by radio amateurs contained some shortcomings in operation. That is different with the Belka-DSP. Alexander Buevsky (EU1ME) built a device with logical and simple operation. As an example, the operating modes note the step size and the bandwidth that was last used. So you don't have to change the bandwidth every time you switch from AM to USB etc. The operating instructions are only available in Russian and English. I took some time and translated it into German. It can be downloaded from the following link.
The comparison on stationary antennas
Unfortunately I had no
other portable receiver available in the test phase to make
comparisons. That's why I let the Belka-DSP compete against a "big
boy". His opponent was the Icom IC-R8600. Sure, it's like comparing
a mosquito to an elephant. The Belka-DSP also had to demonstrate its
ability on active station antennas.
Differences between the receivers can best be determined with audio comparisons and not with the written word. Both receivers were set the same if possible. The station received was carefully selected so that it could be received as consistently as possible over the recording period so that the differences can also be assessed. A few audio comparisons are from stations on the sward, which means they are just above the noise floor. I therefore recommend using headphones.
Second 0 - 15: Belka-DSP
On the road with the Belka-DSP
I often had the Belka-DSP with me on long walks. One thing caught my eye. It is ultra portable! The Belka-DSP literally fits in the tight pocket of your jeans. I don't know of any other receiver that is so small. Of course, the telescopic antenna and the stereo- earphones must be taken along. The reception with the small Belka DSP is really fun. It is low-noise, selective and has a balanced audio reproduction. Battery capacity was not an issue. The battery easily lasts 25 hours. Two things weren't so good after all. If the outside temperature is cold, the response time of the LC display is very slow. During portable operation with a directly connected telescopic antenna, it was noticed that the Belka-DSP had a few more whistling points than with a remote antenna. This is actually normal, but sometimes it was a bit annoying when the whistle was exactly on the transmission frequency of a station.
little Belka-DSP surprises and puts you in a good mood! No signs of
overload were found during the test phase. And that on stationary
active antennas. Despite its very small dimensions, the Belka-DSP
has a preselection. The reception quality can be heard. Compared to
the Icom IC-R8600, it does not have a particularly high-pitched
audio reproduction, which reduces the intelligibility somewhat for
weak transmitters, but makes listening more pleasant. The
sensitivity is almost at the level of the IC-R8600 and is constant
up to 30MHz. Portable operation is fun, except at low outside
temperatures. Then the display reacts very slowly. When the
telescopic antenna is directly connected, some whistling points are
noticeable. For remote antennas, this was largely not a problem.
Available from: http://www.belrig.by/