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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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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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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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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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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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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Decoding Inmarsat STD-C EGC Messages

With an RTL-SDR dongle, a cheap $10 modified GPS antenna or 1-2 LNA’s and a patch, dish or helix antenna you can listen to Inmarsat satellite signals, and decode the STD-C NCS channel which contains information such as search and rescue (SAR) and coast guard messages as well as news, weather and incident reports.

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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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Receiving Meteor-M N2 LRPT Weather Satellite Images

The Meteor-M N2 is a polar orbiting Russian weather satellite. With an RTL-SDR an appropriate antenna, you can receive and decode its image downlink and download LRPT weather satellite images.

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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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SeeDeR: New SDR GUI Software Supporting RTL-SDR

SeeDeR is a new software defined radio GUI program that supports the RTL-SDR. It also supports the Funcube Dongle and BladeRF. Currently it is in an early beta release.

SeeDeR contains features specifically developed for decoding radio data transmissions from satellites – in particular the crowdfunded SkyCube satellite – such as a built-in AX.25 decoder, and a satellite pass predictor.

SeeDeR requires a PC with Windows 7+, 1+ GB RAM, 2+ GHz dual-core CPU, 20 MB HD space. The executable is 32-bit.

We need to note that SeeDeR has been a cause of some friction with the author (Youssef) of SDR# and may be part of the reason why SDR# was temporarily removed. Youssef is claiming that SeeDer has illegally used licenced code from SDR#, however the author of SeeDer refutes that claim.

SeeDeR Software Defined Radio GUI
SeeDeR Software Defined Radio GUI

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