Category: SDRplay

SignalsEverywhere: Setting up and using SDR++ Server

On this weeks SignalsEverywhere episode, Sarah demonstrates and shows us how to use the SDR++ Server, which was released as a beta earlier this year. SDR++ Server is similar to software like rtl_tcp, and Spyserver as it allows us to connect to a remote networked SDR like an RTL-SDR. Compared to rtl_tcp and Spyserver however, SDR++ Server has a huge advantage in that it is compatible with almost any SDR, and enables the full range of control options for RTL-SDRs.

In the video Sarah shows us how to activate the SDR++ server module and how to connect to a remote RTL-SDR running the SDR++ server on a Raspberry Pi. She goes on to show how to connect to other SDRs running on the Raspberry Pi as well, such as the SDRplay RSP Duo, LimeSDR, Airspy R2 and Airspy HF+ Discovery. Finally she goes on to show how to set up the server on Windows and a Raspberry Pi.

SDR++ Server | Remote RTL-SDR SDRPlay LimeSDR AirSpy and More! | Raspberry Pi and Windows Setup Tut

SDRplay Updates on Hardware Shortages

As we all know many electronic components are currently in shortage, and this global shortage is affecting some SDR manufacturers like SDRplay. Recently on their blog SDRplay have provided some updates on their hardware shortage situation. They write:

As we have mentioned before,  due to the worldwide shortage of electronic components, we are suffering from production delays at both our manufacturing subcontractor operations here in the UK.  This means that many of our resellers have completely run out of RSP1A and RSPdx devices.

However we are pleased to say that this week, we have  been able to build some additional units.  This means that by the end of next week (February 25th), our resellers should have more stocks of RSP1A and RSPdx.   More RSPduos are promised for mid to late March.

It is highly likely that even after the latest production runs are delivered, some of our resellers will run out again in the weeks ahead.  Meanwhile we are working to do all we can to secure more critical components for our manufacturers. This includes tweaks to the designs so that they can accommodate alternative more readily available parts.

Many thanks to customers who have been left waiting to buy, and to our resellers for your patience as we navigate though this situation.

A list of our authorised resellers can be found here: https://www.sdrplay.com/distributors/

SDRplay Manufacturing

SDR++ Server Beta Now Available

SDR++ is a general purpose receiver program compatible with almost any software defined radio including the RTL-SDR. Recent developments have seen the author release a beta of  "SDR++ server" which is a program that allows users to access SDRs remotely, by connecting to them over a network connection. This is similar to existing server applications like rtl_tcp and Spyserver, however like SDR++ itself, SDR++ Server is compatible with almost any SDR and that is a major drawcard.

The server is still in development and the author notes that he is still working on adding new features like lossless compression techniques in order to reduce network bandwidth requirements. However, it has already seen to be running well in tests with a remote server positioned half way around the world, even without compression enabled.

We note that SDR++ author 'Ryzerth' has a Patreon. If you like seeing these SDR++ developments please consider support him.

SDRAngel Features Overview: ADS-B, APT, DVB-S, DAB+, AIS, VOR, APRS, and many more built-in apps

SDRAngel is a general purpose software defined radio program that is compatible with most SDRs including the RTL-SDR. We've posted about it several times before on the blog, however we did not realize how much progress has occurred with developing various built in plugins and decoders for it.

Thanks to Jon for writing in and sharing with us a demonstration video that the SDRAngel team have released on their YouTube channel. From the video we can see that SDRAngel now comes stock with a whole host of built in decoders and apps for various radio applications making it close to an all-in-one SDR platform. The built in applications include:

  • ADS-B Decoder: Decodes aircraft ADS-B data and plots aircraft positions on a map
  • NOAA APT Decoder: Decodes NOAA weather satellite images (in black and white only)
  • DVB-S: Decodes and plays Digital TV DVB-S and DVB-S2 video
  • AIS: Decodes marine AIS data and plots vessel positions on a map
  • VOR: Decodes VOR aircraft navigational beacons, and plots bearing lines on a map, allowing you to determine your receivers position.
  • DAB+: Decodes and plays DAB digital audio signals
  • Radio Astronomy Hydrogen Line: With an appropriate radio telescope connected to the SDR, integrates and displays the Hydrogen Line FFT with various settings, and a map of the galaxy showing where your dish is pointing. Can also control a dish rotator.
  • Radio Astronomy Solar Observations: Similar to the Hydrogen line app, allows you to make solar measurements.
  • Broadcast FM: Decoding and playback. Includes RDS decoding.
  • Noise Figure Measurements: Together with a noise source you can measure the noise figure of a SDR.
  • Airband Voice: Receive multiple Airband channels simultaneously
  • Graves Radar Tracker: For Europeans, track a satellite and watch for reflections in the spectrum from the French Graves space radar. 
  • Radio Clocks: Receive and decode accurate time from radio clocks such as MSF, DCF77, TDF and WWVB.
  • APRS: Decode APRS data, and plot APRS locations and moving APRS enabled vehicles on a map with speed plot.
  • Pagers: Decode POCSAG pagers
  • APRS/AX.25 Satellite: Decode APRS messages from the ISS and NO-84 satellites, via the built in decoder and satellite tracker.
  • Channel Analyzer: Analyze signals in the frequency and time domains
  • QSO Digital and Analog Voice: Decode digital and analog voice. Digital voice handled by the built in DSD demodulator, and includes DMR, dPMR and D-Star.
  • Beacons: Monitor propagation via amateur radio beacons, and plot them on a map.

We note that the video doesn't show the following additional features such as an analog TV decoder, the SDRAngel "ChirpChat" text mode, a FreeDV decoder and several other features.

Black Friday Sales on Airspy and SDRplay Products

Black Friday is upon us again. This year we were not expecting any major sales as the component supply chain crisis has meant that many electronic products, including SDRs are very low in stock. However, there are two great sales that we have found:

Airspy

Airspy is holding a 25% off sale for this years Black Friday event. Discounts should track across most of their distributors and their main direct sales platform on iTead. On our own store we resell the YouLoop and have also discounted it there, however stock may be backordered by a few days (discount only available via direct sales, or via Aliexpress).

Airspy HF+ Discovery: $169 $126.75
Airspy Mini: $99 $74.25
Airspy R2: $169 $126.75
SpyVerter: $49 $36.75
YouLoop: $34.95 $26.21

Airspy are also holding a #Freebie promo via Twitter.

Airspy Sale Banner

SDRPlay

Direct sales from the SDRplay website appear to have no discount and the RSP1A is backordered until Jan.Feb, but Ham Radio Outlet are holding a site-wide sale including their SDRplay stock.

SDRplay RSP1A: $119.95 $99.95
SDRplay RSPdx: $239.95 $199.95
SDRplay DUO: $279.95 $239.95

Did you find any other great Black Friday sales? Please let us know in the comments. Unfortunately this year due to low stock we will not be holding our own sale for our products, but over the next year as the situation hopefully improves we hope to drop prices naturally.

Frugal Radio: Choosing a “Step Up” Software Defined Radio

In this weeks Frugal Radio episode Rob explores some low cost "Step Up" radios that for a moderately higher price, can give improved receiver performance when compared to RTL-SDRs .

In the video Rob overviews and compares the Airspy Mini ($99), SDRplay RSP1A ($119), Airspy R2 ($169) and the Airspy HF+ Discovery ($169). He discusses their differences such as the tuning ranges, bandwidths and ADC bit depths and why these parameters matter.

Choosing a "Step Up" Software Defined Radio (SDR)

Lightweight Windows Software uSDR Updated to Version 1.4.0

Back in July we posted about the release of Viol Tailor's "uSDR" software, which is a lightweight general purpose multimode program for Windows which supports the RTL-SDR, Airspy, BladeRF, HackRF and LimeSDR radios. Recently Viol has updated the software to V1.4.0. The new release brings SDRplay support, and various performance and GUI improvements listed below.

The software can be downloaded from SourceForce.

  • customizable tool panel behavior (fixed, floating, undocked)
  • SDRPlay frontend support (API v.2.13)
  • RTL-TCP streaming interface support, presets quick switch (server, port, description)
  • high precision Wav IQ file play back
  • support RIFF 8, 16, 24 and 32 bits integer, 32 bits float, FR64 file formats for playback
  • recognize Wav IQ file central frequency for play back
  • frequency offset (shift) for x-verters
  • swap IQ (invert spectrum) option
  • improved FFT spectrum calculation and visualization
  • waterfall color map range may be changed manually on the spectrum window as well as on tool panel, also included the auto scale option
  • color map palette can be customized and fast switched, palette presets are included
  • FIFO buffer size (IQ history time) may be changed on the fly, all memory allocations are under hood, no losses of previously stored history 
  • pass band may be attachment to global frequency as well as to local baseband frequency or to screen position
  • squelched threshold control and level indicator for demodulation (in addition to adjustable spectrum threshold detector)
  • stereo FM demodulator
  • low latency audio
  • frequency manager, groups and interactive markers, visualize, edit, navigate, tune the pass band
  • spectrum and waterfall popup menus
  • improved GUI controls
  • "fine tune" option: set pass band to rounded frequency (spectrum right click)
  • statistics visualization window
uSDR aka microSDR. A lightweight SDR receiver program from Windows.

Tech Minds: Testing the Cloudmarkers SDRuno Community Plugin

This week on the Tech Minds YouTube channel Matthew introduces the "Cloudmarkers" plugin for SDRuno. SDRuno is the official software for the SDRplay RSP line of software defined radios, but the EXTio version also supports the RTL-SDR.

Cloudmarkers is a plugin that allows users to query the online Cloudmarkers database to determine what an unknown signal at the currently tuned frequency might be. The database is created by other Cloudmarkers users, so if you have your own information to add you can add information about particular frequencies to the database for others to query later.

In the video Matthew shows  the Cloudmarkers plugin in operation and notes that the plugin can work with both SDRplay SDRs and the RTL-SDR.

CLOUDMARKERS - Community Plugin For SDRuno