Over on YouTube Double A Labs has posted a new video demonstrating how to use an RTL-SDR and Android device to receive broadcast FM stations, and to decode any associated RDS data.
In the video Double A uses the SDR Touch Android app and the Advanced RDS function to show the RDS information. He goes on to explain the various pieces of information RDS data provides including clock time, active RDS groups and alternative frequencies.
Tune broadcast FM radio and decode Radio Data System (RDS) information using your Android phone and an RTL-SDR USB (see parts list below). RDS can include station identification, song name, the current time for a receiver to sync its clock, alternative frequencies the same program is on, and more!
Tuning FM Radio & Decoding RDS Data on ANDROID using RTL-SDR USB
Back in September 2021 we posted about Manahiyo's software that allows the RF spectrum and related graphs to be viewed in virtual reality, using a VR headset and an RTL-SDR. Back then the software was only demonstrated on YouTube, but not released.
A few days ago Manahiyo released the VR software on GitHub. The software requires a Oculus/Meta Quest2 VR headset, and the it is able to run directly on the headset's computing hardware. This makes it possible to have the RTL-SDR attached to the headset itself.
Over on his YouTube channel Frugal Radio, Rob has uploaded a new video whilst on holiday travelling through the USA. In the video he shows what sort of scanner radios, antennas and SDR gear he carries with him on his travels. His gear includes a Uniden SDS-100 scanner, a BCD325 scanner, a Radio-Tone RT4 internet network radio and of course an RTL-SDR Blog V3 and laptop.
He goes on to demonstrate the hardware in action from his Hotel room, decoding local digital audio.
A peek in Frugal's Travel Bag : SDR & Scanner gear on the road
Tech YouTuber Lon.TV has recently uploaded a video demonstrating how to identify and decode various digital transmissions with an RTL-SDR dongle. In the video he explains how to use VB Cable to pipe audio from SDR# into various decoders, and then goes on to show DMR, APRS, POCSAG, L-Band AERO, FT8, and JS8/JS8CALL all being decoded via an RTL-SDR Blog V3 dongle.
Software Defined Radio Part 2 - Decoding Digital Transmissions with an RTL-SDR USB Radio
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.
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...
DragonOS is a ready to use Ubuntu Linux image that comes preinstalled with multiple SDR software packages. The creator Aaron also runs a YouTube channel showing how to use the various packages installed.
In his latest video Aaron tests his Pi64 image with GR-GSM and IMSI Catcher running with the GNU Radio 3.10 platform on a Raspberry Pi 4. He tests operation with an RTL-SDR and LimeSDR.
GR-GSM is a GNU Radio based program capable of receiving and analyzing mobile GSM data. We note that it cannot decode actual messages without additional information about the encryption key, but it can be interesting to investigate the metadata. GSM is mostly outdated these days, but still used in some areas by some older phones and devices. IMSI Catcher is a script that will record all detected GSM 'IMSI' numbers received by the mobile tower which can be used to uniquely identify devices.
Short video setting up and testing GR-GSM on DragonOS Pi64 w/ GNU Radio 3.10 and the RTL-SDR. The current DragonOS Pi64 build has GNU Radio 3.8 and all the necessary tools to accomplish what's shown in this video. If you'd like to test the build shown in this video, it's temporarily available here until I finish and put it on Source Forge.
A LimeSDR and DragonOS Focal's Osmo-NITB-Scripts was used to create the GSM900 lab environment. The RTL-SDR was able to see and decode the GSM900 network and although only briefly shown in the video, the IMSI Catcher script works.
Here's the fork used for this video and for testing. There's also a pull request on the main GR-GSM repo for this code to be added.
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
markers import option convenient for merge markers
Thank you to Don for submitting news about the release of his new software titled "Skies-ADSB". Skies-ADSB is a browser based app that provides a 3D view of the air traffic around your area. The software can be served on a local networked Raspberry Pi, with ADS-B data being provided by an RTL-SDR connected to the Pi.
skies-adsb is a virtual plane spotting progressive web app (PWA) / virtual aquarium (with aircraft instead of fish) / interactive real-time simulation.
Aircraft are tracked via unfiltered ADS-B transponder data in real-time and rendered in 3D.