Airspy is holding their annual Black Friday sale, this year offering 20% off their range of products. The sale is active at all participating resellers, which includes our own store where we have the YouLoop on sale for US$31.96 including free shipping to most countries in the world, instead of the usual US$39.95. Please note that due to 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.
Back in 2020 we released a tutorial about how to use a 2.4 GHz WiFi Grid Dish antenna as a radio telescope which can detect and measure the Hydrogen line emissions in our Milky Way galaxy.
Recently matt from the TechMinds channel has uploaded a video showing this same project but using the NooElec mesh antenna that has been slightly modified for improved performance on 1.7G and 1.4G.
In his video Matt sets up a drift sky scan, where the rotation of the earth drifts the Milky Way through the beamwidth of the dish. Matt uses Stellarium to virtually visualize the live sky map, SDR# and the IF average plugin to average the spectrum, and an Airspy software defined radio.
Thank you to SDR# author Youssef for updating SDR# (SDRSharp) and fixing a recent bug that was causing RTL-SDR units to crash whenever the frequency was changed. We are putting this post out to inform everyone who was having this issue to please update their SDRSharp version to 1915 which can be downloaded from airspy.com/download. Our guide at www.rtl-sdr.com/QSG can be used to walk you through the installation procedure for RTL-SDR dongles in SDR#.
The new update brings the RTL-SDR control menu down to the sidebar making it much easier to control the gain and sample rate settings. Other recent changes have also brought improvements to the RDS decoder which will be useful for DXers.
Please remember to show your appreciation to Airspy for allowing RTL-SDR users on their platform by checking out their range of higher end softwire defined radio products at airspy.com.
Thank you to RTL-SDR.com reader André for submitting and sharing with us his QO-100 ground station setup. The setup also includes antennas and equipment to receive HF and VHF/UHF. His setup can serve as an example of a well set up permanent installation.
André's set up consists of a 1.8 meter prime focus dish, Raspberry Pi 4, GPIO connected relay, Airspy R2, Ham-it-up upconverter, coaxial relay for switching between Mini-Whip and Discone Antenna, and FM bandstop filter and a power terminal rail block. The Airspy R2 is used for HF/UHF/UHF reception and the antennas and upconverter are all controlled via a web connected relay system. All equipment is enclosed in an outdoor rated box, and André notes everything has been working well from temperatures range from -10C to 35C.
Inside the satellite dish feed is housed an Adalm Pluto SDR, and a wideband LNA and a USB to LAN converter with power over Ethernet. A small log periodic Yagi serves as the feed. In order to work the wideband DATV band on Qo-100, André' swaps out this feed for a custom feed and brings the PlutoSDR indoors where it is connected to a 120W Spectran Amplifier and modulator.
Since our last post OpenWebRX+ has progressed in development further, and now includes a HFDL decoder via dumphfdl, various ISM band equipment decoders via rtl_433, FLEX pager decoding via multimon-ng, and a SELCALL decoder has also been added. Many other improvements and changes to the software have also been added, and the full changelog can be viewed here.
OpenWebRX+ is software for Linux. If you want to install OpenWebRX+, an easy path is to use the ready to use Raspberry Pi 4 image available on the releases page, or to use their PPA.
Airspy is currently holding their annual summer sale which gives 15% off their line of products until June 25. The sale brings the price of the popular Airspy receiver products down to the following in US dollars (note that actual pricing may vary across local resellers):
Airspy R2: $169.00 $143.65
Airspy Mini: $99.00 $84.15
Airspy HF+ Discovery: $169.00 $143.65
Airspy SpyVerter R2: $49.00 $41.65
YouLoop Antenna: $39.95 $33.95
The sale is active at all participating resellers, which includes our own store where we have the YouLoop on sale for US$33.95 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.
Guglielmo is a Linux, Windows (and in this recent update x86 MacOS) based RTL-SDR FM and DAB tuner software that supports SDRs including the RTL-SDR, Airspy, SDRplay, HackRF and LimeSDR. It is designed to be an easy to use program designed for media users, rather than hobbyist technical users.
Regarding the release of Version 0.5, Marco writes:
This release sports full mac (x86 only, sorry) and windows installers, DAB and FM scans and a preset editor.
DCF77 is a long wave time keeping signal transmitting at 77.5 kHz from Frankfurt, Germany. It has been active since 1 January 1959. Using simple amplitude modulation, the signal encodes the current time and date, which is used by some devices like railway station clocks in Germany. Because it's a long wave signal transmitting at 50kW, it's possible to receive the signal across Europe, and sometimes even further away if propagation conditions are good.