Decoding Digital Voice (P25, DMR, NXDN, D-STAR) with DSD+

Learn how to decode digital voice communications like APCO P25, DMR MotoTRBO, NXDN and D-STAR with DSD+ and an RTL-SDR dongle.

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Decoding DRM Radio

Digital Radio Monodial (DRM) radio is a type of digital shortwave radio signal that is used by international shortwave radio broadcasters. It provides superior audio quality compared to AM signals by using digital audio encoding. With an upconverter, good antenna, and decoding software the RTL-SDR software defined radio can receive and decode DRM signals.

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Receiving ACARS Airplane Data

ACARS is an acronym for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System and is a digital communications system that aircraft use to send and receive short messages to and from ground stations. With an RTL-SDR these messages can be decoded.

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The BIG List of RTL-SDR Supported Software

There are now dozens of software defined radio packages that support the ultra cheap RTl-SDR. In this post we will attempt to list, categorize and provide a brief overview of each software program.

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Analyzing GSM with Airprobe/GR-GSM and Wireshark

The RTL-SDR software defined radio can be used to analyze cellular phone GSM signals, using Linux based tools GR-GSM (or Airprobe) and Wireshark.

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Receiving NOAA Weather Satellite Images

Everyday multiple NOAA weather satellites pass above you. Each NOAA weather satellite broadcasts an Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) signal, which contains a live weather image of your area. The RTL-SDR dongle combined with a good antenna, SDRSharp and a decoding program can be used to download and display these live images several times a day.

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List of SDRSharp Plugins

There are a number of SDRSharp plugins that extend its functionality. Here is a collection of all the plugins and download links that we know of.

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Review: Airspy vs. SDRplay RSP vs. HackRF

When people consider upgrading from the RTL-SDR, there are three mid priced software defined radios that come to most peoples minds: The Airspy, the SDRplay RSP and the HackRF.  These three are all in the price range of $150 to $300 USD. In this post we will review the three units and compare them against each other on various tests.


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Cheap ADS-B Aircraft RADAR

Modern planes use something called an ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) Mode-S transponder, which periodically broadcasts location and altitude information to air traffic controllers. The RTL-SDR can be used to listen to these ADS-B signals, which can then be used to create your very own home aircraft radar system.

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Listening to TETRA Radio

Use your RTL-SDR in Linux to listen to TETRA, a digital trunked radio communications system that stands for “Terrestrial Trunked Radio”.

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2-in-1 RTL-SDR and HF Upconverter on a Single PCB

A Hungarian hardware developer has been working on what appears to be a 2-in-1 software defined radio, combining the rtl2832u and E4000 tuner chips together with a HF upconverter all on the same PCB. The device is able to tune from 1MHz to 1.7GHz, and has two antenna connectors, one for the HF antenna, and another for the VHF/UHF antenna. Using the Google translation is difficult, but it seems the board has a protection diode, 100MHz oscillator, low noise amplifier (LNA), isolation between the two antennas, and also retains the ability to receive DVB-T and DAB broadcasts.

The developers article in Hungarian on this combined tuner can be found here, and a Google English translation here. Another version of the page which looks to be a product ordering page can be found here, and Google English translation here. We aren’t sure if the developer is still shipping these devices as the eBay listings have all gone down, but it seems you can order one by contacting the developer from the website.

Update 27 May 2013: Version 3 of this combined rtl-sdr can be now found for sale at this link.

RTL-SDR Combined Tuner

The developer has posted example videos on YouTube of the device working with SDRSharp.


This video looks to be a demo of version 2 of the combined tuner.



  1. martinet

    Bjr, suite à l’ achat de: (dongle:clé usb 2.0 dvb-t stick)
    (converter hf sdr ham it up 1.2)
    je ne parviens pas à avoir avec SDRsharp toutes les fréquences , qu’en wfm mais avec une modulation haché . Pourriez vous me donner si possible le pourquoi et comment pour résoudre le problème
    je tiens à vous précisez que je n’ai sur mon pc que 512 ram et suis sous windows xp pro .
    Dans l’ attente d’ une réponse de votre part , recevez mes salutations .

  2. Domi

    Just wanted to mention I am Hungarian too, so if you need any help with translation or communication feel free to drop me a mail.

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