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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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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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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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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Cheap AIS Ship Tracking

Large ships and passenger boats are required to broadcast an identification signal containing position, course, speed, destination, and vessel dimension information to help prevent sea collisions. This system is known as the “Automatic Identification System” or AIS for short. AIS can be decoded with an RTL-SDR dongle and right software.

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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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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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Measuring filter characteristics and antenna VSWR with an RTL-SDR and noise source

By using an RTL-SDR dongle together with a low cost noise source it is possible to measure the response of an RF filter. Also, with an additional piece of hardware called a directional coupler the standing wave ratio (SWR) of antennas can also be measured.

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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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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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Virtual Radar Server running on a Raspberry Pi with Mono

YouTube user 907h9879070g9790 has posted a video showing Virtual Radar Server running on a Raspberry Pi with the Raspian hardfloat image OS installed. He used Mono to allow the .NET based Virtual Radar Server to run on the Raspberry Pi. Instructions for using Virtual Radar Server with Mono can be found here.

Combined with an rtl-sdr and dump1090, ADS-B packets can be sent to Virtual Radar Server, and then the aircraft radar map can be viewed on a PC or internet enabled device via a network connection. This can allow a small self contained remote ADS-B monitoring system to be set up.

EDIT: Unfortunately the video owner has taken down the video.

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