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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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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Receiving Weather Balloon (Radiosonde) Data with RTL-SDR

Use your RTL-SDR to decode data from weather balloons (aka Radiosondes) that are launched twice daily by meteorological agencies all around the world.

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RTL-SDR for Budget Radio Astronomy

With the right additional hardware, the RTL-SDR software defined radio can be used as a super cheap radio telescope for radio astronomy experiments such as observing the Hydrogen Line and meteor detection.

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Following Trunked Radio with Unitrunker

Follow trunked radio conversations with your RTL-SDR and a program called Unitrunker. Also decode digital communications like P25 and DMR using the Digital Speech Decoder (DSD+) software.

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RTL-SDR Direct Sampling Mode

The RTL-SDR software defined radio can be told to run in a mode called “direct sampling mode”, which with a small hardware mod allows the dongle to tune to the HF frequencies where ham radio and many other interesting signals are found. This means that no upconverter circuit is required.

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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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JAERO: A RTL-SDR compatible decoder for Inmarsat AERO signals

AERO is a system that provides a L-Band satellite based version of VHF ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System). ACARS is typically used by ground control and pilots to send short messages and is also sometimes used for telemetry. With JAERO and an RTL-SDR these signals can be decoded.

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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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Roundup of Software Defined Radios

New software defined radio (SDR) products are popping up every few months these days so we thought we’d compile a big list of available SDRs.

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SDR# now with IF Stage Noise Reduction Algorithm

SDR# has recently been updated to include an IF stage digital noise reduction algorithm. Previously digital noise reduction could be done at the audio output stage, but now it can be done to the IF signal as well. Performing digital noise reduction on the IF stage appears to work much better than at the audio stage. Update SDR# by running the install.bat file again.

Here are some comparison audio files tested on a noisy NFM voice signal for listening.

Original Signal

IF Noise Reduction (set to -12 dB)

Audio Noise Reduction (set to -80 dB)

sdrsharp_if_nr
SDR# IF Digital Noise Reduction Plugin

4 comments

  1. Megavoid

    Strange, but “waterfall display splitter bug” still not yet fixed :(
    I’ve re-compiled the SDR#.exe (build 1186), that fixes situation (just added panSplitContainer.FixedPanel = System.Windows.Forms.FixedPanel.Panel1;) – replace the original exe with this one: http://yadi.sk/d/weTP92ZdKoqSP

  2. Megavoid

    Strange, but “waterfall display splitter bug” still not yet fixed :(
    I’ve compiled the SDR#.exe, that fixes situation (just added panSplitContainer.FixedPanel = System.Windows.Forms.FixedPanel.Panel1;) – replace the original exe with this one: http://yadi.sk/d/weTP92ZdKoqSP

  3. CS7AEL

    Its working great!!! Awsome, now its possible to dig in voice SSB and more over noise!!!

    Note of advise:

    If you update, you will lose configurations plugins like orbiton and so. You will have to config again , but no big deal :)

    73,

    CS7AEL

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