Radio Panadapter project

 I recently came across a panadapter buffer board designed by G4HUP  ( and decided that it would be a really nifty feature to be able to have a visual representation the signals adjacent to the tuned frequency.

Thanks to a fellow ham who did the soldering for me (THANKS W8VFR!), I now have the board installed and functional.

Basically, we tapped the radio's IF (at very high impendence, so as to not affect the main receiver sensitivity).  Then this signal is amplified about 1dB, then output to an SMA connector installed in the rear of the radio.  Finally, we connect the buffer board's output to an RTL-SDR USB stick, which interfaces to a modified android device running an app called "RF Analyzer".

The total cost of the project is around $100:  Android device:  $50, RTL-SDR USB stick:  $15, G4HUP buffer board $35, homebrew USB interface cable $0.

The result is a fully functional spectrum analyzer / waterfall display connected to the radio's IF.  This gives me a 30-KHz wide view of the spectrum.  I can see 15Khz on either side of the tuned frequency.

My particular radio has a common IF for all bands (160m - 70cm), so the panadapter works no matter which frequency I'm tuned to.

This is a really neat project, and I feel that I've added alot of value to my Yaesu FT-897d.  This could be VERY useful on field day - use your imagination :)

Attached is a picture of the PAT board installed inside the radio, and also a picture of the panadapter in action on 40m.