RTL-SDR as a Cheap Panadapter

For people already with expensive ham radios, the RTL-SDR can be used as a cheap panadapter. A panadapter is device that allows you to visually see the RF spectrum and waterfall being received by the ham radio. There are multiple (expensive) commercial panadapters available, but combined with a PC or laptop, the RTL-SDR will work just as well.

In this video YouTube user akdude47 shows a tutorial on setting up the RTL-SDR as a panadapter for a Yaesu FT-857. The setup involves connecting the IF output of the radio to the RTL-SDR, and putting in some settings into HDSDR.

How to setup a RTL SDR with HDSDR and a FT-857 for a panadapter and second receiver.

10 comments

  1. Richard Steele M6DVK

    I would very much like to hook into my first I.f please can you advise on the location where to do this. Would it be the output of Q1073 (BB305CEW) so its amplified abit first and if so do i need to use a capacitor and if so what type and value. Hope its ok to post my question here. Really like the radio but turning it into a SDR tranceiver would be cool….
    P.s this is on a Yaesu FT-857D European version. Cheers regards Richard

  2. Pingback: SDR $20 Radio | The Oakville Amateur Radio Club Blog
  3. Don Peacock

    I think the reason your LO and Tune is losing sync, is that your setting of 100ms poll and timeout settings are too small. I haven’t used that software, but I do recall reading that the Yaesu implementation of the CAT commands required higher timeouts (I think it was 256ms between setting a value and being able to read that value back). Give a try of something higher and see if that makes it better. Nice video by the way, I plan on playing with HDSDR and a softrock in the near future.

  4. christopher zolnowski

    hello radio friend. i have been trying to research how to modify my icom 706 for the panadapter and use with the hdsdr. i cant find any direct instructions. are you willing to help me out?

    • Tehrasha

      I am looking to do this as well. I -think- that can be done by tapping off of the Optional Filter sockets inside the radio. There is also tiny ‘blank’ on the back of the 706 with 2 screws holding it in. If it works, I will mount an SMA connector there for easy access to the IF stage I will be sure to post pictures of it if/when i get it to work.

    • KB2WYL

      I am looking into the same thing with an ICOM 703? Have you had any luck? I think there is something out there for you to use for the 706 called MDSR, look that up. It’s PC though, and I’m running mac. But please tell me if you have found any info at all, Thanks much,

      Loren

  5. Richard Steele 26ND01

    I would very much like to hook into my first I.f please can you advise on the location where to do this. Would it be the output of Q1073 (BB305CEW) so its amplified abit first and if so do i need to use a capacitor and if so what type and value. Hope its ok to post my question here. Really like the radio but turning it into a SDR tranceiver would be cool….

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>