If you are interested in manually decoding some unknown signals you may be interested in this write up as it discusses his entire journey including the failures he encountered along the way. Basically he records some packets using his SDR dongle, works out their bit patterns manually and then attempts to find correlations between the packets in an attempt to discover their structure. In the end his efforts are successful as he discovers that he is receiving a temperature sensor and is able to decode the temperature readings.
This week on the popular YouTube show Hak5, SDRSharp plugins are discussed once more amongst other topics. This time at around the 17 minute mark, Shannon discusses how to install plugins that do not have automated installers. For an example she shows how to install the Level Meter plugin.
Autonomous Boats, Hacker Printers And RTL-SDR Plugins, Hak5 1623
Over on YouTube user John Miller has uploaded a video showing an example of DSD+ decoding an NXDN96 voice signal. NXDN is a digital voice protocol by developed by Kenwood that is often used by public safety organizations.
John uses SDR# to receive the NXDN signal and then pipes the audio to DSD+ using Virtual Audio Cable for decoding.
Over on YouTube user Jiao Xianjun has uploaded a video showing a HackRF simulating an Estimote iBeacon which is being received by an iPhone. An Estimote iBeacon is a wireless beacon that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and can be use to notify nearby mobile devices of the beacons presence. This can be used for many things like indoor positioning or by retail shops to for example alert owners of special coupons.
There are several levels to contribute at but the ideal contribution is the ‘Voter’ level at $50 USD. By contributing to the fundraiser at the ‘Voter’ level you will be able to have a vote on what features are to prioritized. It is also possible to contribute at a lower level of $10 USD and forego the voting perk.
The list of features to be implemented and the voting system can be found at igg.kmkeen.com. Important improvements will be made to the librtlsdr library, rtl_sdl, rtl_adsb, rtl_tcp, rtl_power and rtl_fm..
We hope that if you have enjoyed the RTL-SDR in some form you will contribute to this developer and help make this hobby an overall better experience.
Over on YouTube user Guilherme Dattoli Cirigliano Cortes has uploaded a video showing his use of the RTL-SDR in some MATLAB based cognitive radio experiments. Cognitive radio is a upcoming technology which aims to increase radio spectrum use efficiency by finding and using the intermittent periods of unoccupied frequency space.
The uploader explains his task below.
The fundamental task of each Cognitive Radio (CR) user in CR networks, in the most primitive sense is to detect the licenced users, also known as primary users, if they are present and identify the available spectrum if they are absent. This is usually achieved by sensing the RF environment, a process called spectrum sensing. Here we use one of the technique of spectrum sensing called energy detection.
The ISEE-3 is a exploratory spacecraft that was launched in 1978 and placed in an orbit around the sun. It was mission was to study the interaction between solar wind and the earth’s magnetic field and was later the first spacecraft to pass through the tail of a comet. NASA suspended communications with the spacecraft in 1997 and it was last heard of in 2008.
Recently there has been interest in rebooting the spacecraft and bringing it back into an earth orbit. Once safely in orbit the spacecraft’s science instruments would be made publicly available for educational purposes. Unfortunately, the RF communications hardware and knowledge that was used to interface with the spacecraft has long been lost.
Amateur radio astronomer Y1PWE has uploaded a pdf document describing how he created a low cost hydrogen line telescope using an RTL-SDR dongle. Hydrogen atoms randomly emit photons at a wavelength of 21cm (1420.4058 MHz). Normally a single hydrogen atom will rarely emit a photon, but since space and the galaxy is filled with many hydrogen atoms the average effect is an observable RF power spike at 1420.4058 MHz. By pointing a radio telescope at the night sky, a power spike indicating the hydrogen line can be observed in a frequency spectrum plot.
Y1PWE created a radio telescope using a quad 22 element yagi antenna, several LNA’s and filters and an RTL-SDR dongle and laptop. Using this setup he can capture some raw IQ data from the RTL-SDR and then use an FFT averaging program to produce some plots. In his plots the hydrogen line is clearly visible.