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
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
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.
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.
Today I'm happy to release the beta version of SDR++ Server! It works with all devices SDR++ supports. Since it's beta it's still missing compression and VFO+FFT mode.
As a demo, here is a LimeSDR being streamed over WiFi at 16MS/s
Get it here: https://t.co/DqvgHMZmm9#SDR#SDRPPpic.twitter.com/116JftzEOy
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.
Started working on adding lossless compression to SDR++ server. How well it works depends on what signals you're looking at and what SDR you're using. What I'm seeing with general purpose compression tables is 1.1 to 2.5 times compression (usually 1.5+). Custom tables should help pic.twitter.com/a1WRvxmdDs
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.