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Guy Atkins Perseus Recollections

guy atkins perseus
Credit: HOKA Electronic, Netherlands

Guy Atkins Perseus activities became well known to the DX community in 2008. Recently, I asked Guy to provide some recollections about this wonderful receiver.

A resident of Washington State, Guy is an avid listener to the tropical and medium wave bands. I became aware of Guy Atkins Perseus experiments early on, which were instrumental in my decision to get this radio for myself. Here are Guy’s thoughts…

“In 2005 I started experimenting and DXing with FlexRadio’s SDR-1000 (receive-only version). Although I was intrigued by the new opportunities that SDR radios provided, I was frustrated that the path to greater bandwidth was an upgrade to more expensive external sound cards. The best and most expensive models provided good S/N ratio performance suitable for the task.

I’d made the jump from 48K to 96K sound cards – with the resulting “amazing!” 96 kHz bandwidth for the SDR-1000. Often-confusing software driver configurations and physical cable snarls were de rigueur, and I was left dreaming about what I could do with 192 kHz of bandwidth if I’d spend enough dollars for a 192K quality sound card.

In late 2007 the Microtelecom Perseus came along with a totally different approach to SDR architecture at a consumer grade price: the direct sampling SDR. I knew I had to have one, despite it’s price. It would solve my sound card woes for good; plus, Perseus offered a whopping 400 kHz of bandwidth!

I received my Perseus in December 2007, and in early 2008 started the “Five Below” blog to share my DXing with Perseus experiences with others. (The blog’s name reflected my interests in Tropical Bands and medium wave DXing.) The blog was active from 2008-2013.

Guy Atkins Perseus Performance Grows

It wasn’t much later in 2008 when the genius behind Perseus, Nico Palermo, announced a software revision that boosted anti-aliased (artifact-free) bandwidth coverage of 800 kHz. A few months later a full 1600 kHz bandwidth was a reality, with no extra expense or purchase of accessories. This meant that the entire medium wave band could be saved/recorded in digital form (I-Q data in WAV files) for later demodulation, filtering, and DXing!

Having this “time machine” of the entire band at my disposal was a concept which was a dream come true! This one key feature changed the MW DXing hobby, and was the source of many debates and articles in the hobby press. For those willing to embrace new technology and features though, the future was very bright.

Although we’re 12 years past its introduction, Perseus is anything but a dinosaur in the timeline of technology. Even with numerous additional SDR players in the market it still is a top choice, especially if wide bandwidth and strong signal handling are concerns. For a number of reasons an Elad FDM-DUOr SDR receiver is my primary rig now, and other lower cost SDRs have come and gone as backups. The fact remains, though: the Perseus SDR is the receiver which gave the biggest boost to my DXing enjoyment in decades. Perseus will always be a winner!”

Thanks for the insights, Guy.

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