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What’s so Special with the New MB1?

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What is all this hype around the new MB1 SDR Transceiver? What makes it so special and unique? In our series of blog posts about this new all-in-one SDR transceiver we take a look at how the MB1 is different and why it represents the future of ham radio.

The MB1 looks like a classic high-end transceiver in the €10k price range with one significant difference; its big, high contrast and wide-angle touch screen covering half of the front panel. But judging the transceiver by the surface is just scratching… the surface. The MB1 so so much more! With an MB1 in the shack you are getting the most advanced and modern transceiver of today. Here are a few things that makes the MB1 special:

It looks and operates like a classic transceiver, but it’s not!

The MB1 is a modern, very high performance transceiver using the latest SDR, Software Defined Radio technology. The high performance receiver is built around the Direct Down Conversion principe (DDC) and the transmitter signal is created using Direct Up Conversion (DUC).

Is it a radio… a computer, what is it?

MB1 With Keyboard
The engineers at Expert Electronics took a deeper look at how you, the hard-core DX’er and radiosport enthusiast use your equipment. Guess what? You touch your computer more often than you touch your radio! Further analysis made it clear that every shack also has wiring, a lot of wiring that is messy and susceptible to RF pickup among other problems. What if most of that mess could be eliminated? Enter the all-in-one MB1! It’s not only a high performance HF, 6 meter and 2 meter transceiver. It is also a high end Intel Core i5 PC running the latest Windows 10 operating system. Say goodbye to all the cables used to connect your logger, your digital mode software to the radio, your external cw keyer etc. With the MB1 you can now setup your whole shack inside the digital domain of the radio. Isn’t that wonderful? We know it is! Are you ready to cut your cables, clean your desk and put this gorgeous transceiver as the centrepiece of your ham radio experience?

A Gorgeous Screen with a Great GUI

The big screen with its high contrast and wide-angle view is the perfect display for the clear and easy to use GUI, Graphical User Interface of ExpertSDR2. When you need a bigger screen just plug it in, the MB1 is prepared to use one or two external monitors.

MB1 demo of using dual external monitors

Mechanical Perfection

While most amateur radio transceivers contain a lot of plastic making them look a feel cheap, the MB1 is housed in well shielded heavy-duty cabinet. It’s a steady and sturdy box with a machined aluminum front panel and a very large and heavy VFO wheel which lets you tune the bands with confidence.

It has a Great Receiver

Using the direct down conversion concept the MB1 samples the HF spectrum using a high quality 16 bits ADC, Analog to Digital Converter. The signal is then processed and two independent receivers extracted using the FPGA, Field Programmable Gate Array. This is the future of receiver technology. It removes most of the analog components from the circuit as most of the signal handling is taking place in the digital domain where far more sophisticated signal processing shapes the perfect receiver.

Unlike most SDR Transceivers it’s also a great 2m transceiver

Most SDR transceiver are HF transceivers with a limited coverage sometimes including 6 meter. The MB1 comes standard with an excellent receiver and a 50 watt transmitter for the 2 meter band. The 2 meter signal path contains a great LNA, Low Noise pre Amplifier making the MB1 a fantastic performer for weak signal work.

A Capable and Clean Transmitter

The transmitter in the MB1 is based on the DUC, Direct Up Conversion principle. In plain English, the transmit signal is created converted to the desired frequency in the software domain. Then the signal is amplified to the 100 watt output level in the analog domain. But it doesn’t end here. A sample is taken of the transmit and analysed for distortion (created in the analogue signal amplification path). The digital transmit signal is then adjusted to correct the signal so that its clean. This predistortion* feature creates an output signal with much less distortion than would normally be possible in the analog world. Best of all, the signal can be sampled from the output of your power amplifier letting predistortion work on your full signal path.

And it’s also an automatic Band Decoder and Antenna Switch

The MB1 has four (4) HF antenna connectors, it has features for quickly reassigning any antenna connector to a receive only input and it has two VHF antenna connections. Each antenna HF antenna connector is also associated with its own PTT output signals. When you’re building that great radiosport station, you can have one pre-tuned amplifier for each antenna. Then of course, if you use a modern automatic amplifier you can control it via CAT or the 7 band decoder collector outputs.

The revolutionary MB1 transceiver is available for pre-order from Reserve your MB1 today to secure delivery before your summer vacation.

Previous post in this blog series about the new MB1: Say Hello to the New MB1 SDR Transceiver!

Download MB1 brochure.

More information about the MB1 is found here.

*The hardware is prepared for Predistortion, the manufacturer plans to add this feature in a future firmware release.