A Homebrew All-In-One RTL-SDR with Screen and Control Knobs Running on a Mini PC

Over on YouTube user Pablo Sala (KI7OJL) has uploaded a video that shows a neat all-in-one receiver build based on an RTL-SDR. Pablo's build runs on a Pipo x8 Mini PC which is a US$110 PC/tablet that includes a build in LCD touch screen. The build also adds several Arduino powered control knobs for tuning, mode and bank selection, squelch and volume to the base. The knobs directly interface with HDSDR, his chosen software.

The video titles are dated 2017, but the video only seems to have been uploaded recently. Unfortunately we weren't able to find much more information about this build, other than the video.

Homebrew: RTL-SDR Receiver with Arduino-powered knobs on a Pipo X8 Mini PC running HDSDR, May 2017

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At that point just buy a “normal” receiver


I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea, it improves ergonomics by several orders of magnitude (how many mouse-clicks when changing frequency, mode, bandwidth, volume, RF gain…?).

If you look at modern aircraft, even if they rely heavily in software, the pilot’s interface is still made of levers, knobs and gauges. Can you imagine trying to land a Navy helicopter on a ship’s flying deck with the help of mouse clicks?


Pointless use of extra hardware. Just run on the tablet with a wireless mouse to make it easy, simple.


If your point is using less hardware, then sure. I think this is a fantastic use of hardware. It seems like a very cool addition to what he made, and can be engaging for anyone you show it off to. It really underscores an experience that is less widespread in digital applications. Love me some switches and knobs.


Windows 10?!
You are unserious