Category: Airspy

SDRSharp Big Guide Book Updated to V5.3

Paolo Romani (IZ1MLL) has recently released version 5.3 of his SDRSharp PDF Guide. The book is available for download on the Airspy downloads page, just scroll down to the title "SDR# Big Book" and choose your language.

As before the document is a detailed guide about how to use SDRSharp (SDR#), which is the software provided by Airspy. While intended for Airspy devices, SDRSharp also supports a number of third party SDRs, including the RTL-SDR, and it is the software we recommend starting with when using an RTL-SDR.

Paolo writes:

Youssef Touil hasn't rested for a moment and the SDR# releases have been moving forward in leaps and bounds with new Denoisers (NINR), CCC, Audio/Baseband records and the new menu features.

I also had to re-update my Big Book PDF to v5.3 as a result!!

I have also implemented the SpyServer section a lot in multi OS and a chapter "Ideas and Suggestions" with two paragraphs: SDR & MacOS and the other using SDR# with two multiple monitors.

SDR# Co-Channel Canceller and Micro Tuner Updates

SDRSharp (SDR#) is one of the most popular SDR programs that is used often with Airspy and RTL-SDR devices. Recently Youssef, the developer of Airspy products and the programmer behind SDR# has again been adding new enhancements to the software that allow AM DX listeners to easily receive channels that are even on top of each other in frequency.

The Co-Channel Canceller has been in SDR# since 2020, but recently enhanced for better performance and easier use, and a 'micro-tuner' feature has been added, allowing users to easily select the overlapping channel that needs to be cancelled. 

Earlier in the year the noise canceller was also improved with a 'NINR' (Natural Intelligence Noise Reduction) algorithm that appears to be one of the best noise cancellers available in SDR software today.

Youssef's twitter @lambdaprog contains several videos demonstrating the effectiveness of the updates.

Airspy 2022 Summer Sale + SDR# Noise Reduction Improvements

Airspy is currently holding a 15% off summer promotion which runs until June 30. The sale is active at all participating resellers, which includes our own store where we have the YouLoop on sale for US$29.71 including free shipping to most countries in the world. Please note that due to new EU VAT collection laws, EU customers must purchase the discounted YouLoop from our eBay or Aliexpress stores. 

The YouLoop is a low cost passive loop antenna for HF and VHF. It is based on the Möbius loop design which results in a high degree of noise cancelling. However the main drawback is that it is a non-resonant design, which means that it works best when used with ultra sensitive receivers like the Airspy HF+ Discovery. 

Some good reviews include the YouTube videos done by Frugal Radio where he reviews HF reception and VLF & LF reception with an Airspy HF+, and later tests it with an RTL-SDR Blog V3 using direct sampling. Techminds also has an excellent review on his YouTube channel. We also have a product release overview on this post from March 2020.

Airspy SDR# Noise Reduction Improvements

We also wanted to highlight some recent improvements to SDR#, the official software for Airspy products, and compatible with the RTL-SDR. One recent development is the introduction of the Natural Intelligence Noise Reduction (NINR) feature which results less audio artifacts, deeper noise cancelling, and lower CPU usage.

Airspy "NINR" Noise Reduction on 40m

Frugal Radio: Experimenting with Rdio-Scanner and Trunk Recorder on P25 LSM

In his latest video Rob from the Frugal Radio YouTube channel has uploaded a video where he experiments with a SDR web interface and smartphone App called "Rdio-scanner". Rdio-scanner is an interface that tries to reproduce the user experience of using a real hardware scanner with an SDR and RF voice decoding/recording software like Trunk Recorder being used in the background. Rob writes:

rdio-scanner creates a customizable web interface from which to control your software defined radio. Using it, you can turn a computer, phone or tablet into something that closely resembles a hardware scanner!

Trunk Recorder is the software that decodes the unencrypted P25 signals and records them to disk. Here is it demonstrated working on a large Simulcast (LSM) site.

rdio-scanner reads the audio files. Through the rdio-scanner interface, you are basically choosing which audio files to play.

Rob runs the rdio-scanner software on his Panasonic Toughbook, noting that the interface looks really great in Tablet mode and works well with the touchscreen. He also notes that his toughbook has a SIM card socket, so a data SIM would enable him to access his P25 monitoring system at home from anywhere. 

SDR experiments with Rdio-scanner, Trunk Recorder, Airspy Mini & Panasonic Toughbook on P25 LSM

SDR# and other Hobbyist Ham Radio Software Spotted in Netflix TV Show Yakamoz S-245

Thanks to all who submitted, we recently received some interesting tip offs about the Netflix TV Show Yakamoz S-245 featuring a scene with various hobbyist SDR and ham radio programs clearly visible. Yakamoz S-245 is a show about a submarine research mission, and the scene appears to depict military intelligence specialists using the programs.

In the scene we've spotted SDR#, MMSSTV, FUNcube dashboard, SATPC-32, and Orbitron. For those interested, the scene is in episode one time 11:20 - 12:00. 

SDRSharp Guide V4.2 Released

Paolo Romani (IZ1MLL) has recently released version 4.2 of his SDRSharp PDF Guide. The book is available for download on the Airspy downloads page, just scroll down to the title "SDR# Big Book in English".

As before the document is a detailed guide about how to use SDRSharp, which is the software provided by Airspy. While intended for Airspy devices, SDRSharp also supports a number of third party SDRs, including the RTL-SDR, and it is the software we recommend starting with when using an RTL-SDR.

Paolo writes:

My new v4.2 SDRsharp PDF is out. The guide is now 139 pages long, and covers all the settings, UI customization, included and third party plugins, and use of some external decoders and software, now with Spyserver integration with Raspberry Pi 3/4, etc etc...

Lightweight Windows Software uSDR Updated to Version 1.5.0

Since 2021 we've posted about Viol Tailor's "uSDR" (microSDR) software a couple of times. uSDR is a lightweight general purpose multimode program for Windows that supports the RTL-SDR, Airspy, BladeRF, HackRF and LimeSDR radios. The software can be downloaded from SourceForce.

Viol notes that recently the project has been updated to V1.5.0 which brings the following new features and changes.

  • lock device frequency on zoom option
  • keep waterfall history – the very great option, do not lose any rare signals
  •  advanced passband IQ recorder
  • passband IQ TCP server for remote processing, C/C++ client source examples included
  • advanced audio player, auto selectable sample rate, separate left/right channels
  • CTCSS decoder
  • markers import option convenient for merge markers 
  • Ctrl+Shift+Drag Up/Down – change spectrum magnitude offset
  • Ctrl+Shift+Mouse Wheel – change spectrum magnitude range (vertical zoom)
  • Ctrl+Mouse Hover – highlight nearest marker
  • Ctrl+Double Click– tune to highlighted nearest marker
  • band plan visualization, simple text format
  • frontend interface improvements
  • GUI improvements
  • spectrum and waterfall popup menus improvements
  • a lot of bug fixes
uSDR aka microSDR. A lightweight SDR receiver program from Windows.

SignalsEverywhere: Review of SDR++ on Android

In our last post we mentioned that a 'pre-release' public version of SDR++ for Android was recently released. Now over on the SignalsEverywhere YouTube channel Sarah has uploaded a new video where she reviews and demonstrates the new SDR++ Android App. 

In the video Sarah demonstrates how to connect and start a SDR, shows SDR++ in action, then tests listening to NOAA weather audio reports, Inmarsat reception via the bias tee support, P25 and broadcast FM. She also shows how it's possible to use the split screen multitasking feature on Android to send audio from SDR++ into APRSdroid for APRS decoding.

She goes on to show how to fine tune the screen PPI resolution for different sized devices, and how to set up multi-VFO listening on the HF bands. Next, she compares the audio decoding quality between SDR++, SDRTouch and RFAnalyzer. Finally she shows that a HackRF running at a wideband 20 MHz of bandwidth can run smoothly. 

The Android SDR App That Beats Them All! Supports RTL-SDR Airspy HackRF and Many More!