RTL_HPSDR: RTL-SDR to HPSDR Translation Server

The High Performance Software Defined Radio (HPSDR) project is an open source SDR project that aims to create a modular SDR for ham radio use. The idea is that users only need to include the specific HPSDR hardware that they need for their particular application.

Recently, Richard Koch has written a Linux based tool called RTL_HPSDR which allows RTL-SDR based dongles to be used with HPSDR software, such as cuSDR64 which is capable of displaying and controlling up to seven receiver slices simultaneously and PowerSDR which can display and control up to four.

Using his tool Richard was able to get seven R820T RTL-SDR dongles running simultaneously on an EKB311 Quad core ARM Cortex A9 based mini-pc using a USB 2.0 hub with a modified power supply to provide 5V@2A.

Seven RTL-SDR Setup.
Seven RTL-SDR USB Setup
Five RTL-SDR Dongles used with RTL_HPSDR and csSDR64.
Five RTL-SDR Dongles used with RTL_HPSDR and csSDR64
Two RTL-SDR dongles running on PowerSDR.
Two RTL-SDR dongles running on PowerSDR

 

7 comments

  1. John

    Hello! Great work!
    I can’t seem to get the tuner gain to work properly. No matter what figure I put in there it is the same. I have tried 70 -70 30 -30 -100 100, etc. I am putting it in the rtl_hpsdr.conf using what is in there already as an example. I can see where it verifies my settings. Any ideas?

    Is there a way to avoid the center DC spike? Maybe use the left or right half of the dongle’s bandwidth and avoid the spike. It would be only half the bandwidth but would still be fine. When using PowerSDR, it seems to like having the tuned station right in the center.

    Thanks,
    John

  2. Richard Koch

    The RTL devices being USB and cheap are subject to noise and spurs.
    If you google a bit you’ll find various ways to reduce the noise.
    I’ve recently put the USB hub, 7 dongles, an upconverter and an LNA
    in this enclosure:
    http://home.comcast.net/~n1gp/open_7.jpg
    http://home.comcast.net/~n1gp/closed_7.jpg

    I’ve used bypass caps and toroids wrapped around USB to help.
    This signals don’t look bad. This certainly isn’t a QS1R, HPSDR, or Perseus SDR.
    Just a cheap way to make use of multiple receivers.

    Here are 7 simultainiously using cuSDR64:
    http://home.comcast.net/~n1gp/cusdr_7.jpg

    I’ve also modified rtl_hpsdr to work with CW SkimSrv using Vasiliy K3IT’s
    HermesIntf.dll plugin which he modified for rtl_hpsdr so it can use up to
    8 dongles to cover 8 bands. This is SkimSrv running on the 7 dongles:
    http://home.comcast.net/~n1gp/skimmer7.jpg

    -Rick / N1GP

  3. Dave Carr

    How did he get Power SDR to work with an RTL based stick?

    The last time I looked there was no EXT IO dll for Power SDR to support the RTL based sticks.

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