Comprehensive Video Guide to Trunking and Digital Voice with the RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube user AVT Marketing has uploaded a five part video series that very clearly and slowly shows how to use an RTL-SDR to set up trunking and digital voice monitoring. In the videos he uses SDR#, Unitrunker, DSD+ and VBCable for the monitoring.

The first video in the series shows a brief overview of the digital trunking voice set up, and explains a bit about digital voice communications. The second video shows how to install an RTL-SDR, and walks you through downloading Unitrunker and DSD+. The third video is a tutorial about SDR# and also explains how trunking radio systems works. The fourth video shows how to install Unitrunker, DSD+, VBCable, and how to configure each program. Finally the fifth and last video in the series shows the final steps in using Unitrunker and DSD+.

This looks like a very good video series, especially for those that like to see every step in the process played out in full.

RTL-SDR Digital Scanning Software & HW | SDR# Install

7 comments

  1. Doug

    Nice set of videos for pc based reception and decoding of digital trunking. I would like to see
    (or find out) how to get more accurate sounding playback of voice with no digital artifacts. No
    matter how I configure the software involved on a capable intel i5 quad core pc the playback is
    dissapointingly garbled at times. Performance wise, pc is not being taxed much by the software
    which leads to the question, is the software or OS just not utilizing the available cpu power?
    A small, yet expensive digital trunking scanner does not sound like this. It would just be nice
    to see a video on fine tuning pc/software to solve these issues.

    • aly nicholls

      one thing that helped me with sdr listening was using a graphics card with as many cuda cores as possible.
      now i dont know if sdr# can use them, or indeed any of the others.
      my radio system is an old quad core opteron with win7 and 8 gigs of ram it also has a gtx950 2g vid card, i use sdr console v2.5, i never really got on with sdr# or hdsr, anyway a setting in the menu allows you to use the graphics card and its cuda cores to process signals, before enabling this feature it sometimes struggled it is worth looking into for nvidia users.

  2. Robert

    The guy that did the how to videos , did a very good job . I looked up the frequency’s in Pensacola and they are all encryption , boo ,hiss

  3. Rob T.

    Sorry, Nevermind. I was on my iPad and didn’t notice that link in the text appropriately linked to the user and not the playlist. I usually try to get the videos to launch directly in youtube instead of the embed.

    I did skim these videos. They are a fairly good intro/overview. But there are some gaps, for example he just sets the gain to 34 and doesn’t explain how he got that or how you’d figure out an appropriate gain setting for you your antenna/environment.

  4. Rob T.

    For convenience, the link to his YouTube Digital Trunked Scanning playlist is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9KJrtIO8_4&list=PL1fGEpsCNIpYAVyTZrIl2wc4nazYiY0ob

    (The link in this article is for the user, not the playlist. You’ve got to sort through some car/engine related videos and try to figure out which SDR video to start with.)

    Also check the comments for the videos since they contain the links, etc.

    Video List

    Video 1: Cheap Digital Trunked Scanning Using SDR for the Absolute Beginner – https://youtu.be/g9KJrtIO8_4
    Video 2 : RTL-SDR Digital Scanning Software & HW | SDR# Install – https://youtu.be/gcVcJoAgrjk
    Video 3: SDR# Sharp Walkthrough & Trunking Explained for the Absolute Beginner – https://youtu.be/IeBlEC9e5cQ
    Video 4: Unitrunker, DSD+ Plus, & Virtual Cable Installation & Config for Digital Trunked Scanning – https://youtu.be/pN9-1unOsu0
    Video 5: Listening to Digital Trunked Radio Communications Using Unitrunker, DSD+ Plus, VB-Cable – https://youtu.be/bmtEzJaxLpE

    Exterior Links:

    RTL-SDR Quick Start Guide: https://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-quick-
    SDR#: http://airspy.com/
    Unitrunker: http://www.unitrunker.com/download/
    DSDPlus: https://www.dsdplus.com/dsdplus-1-101
    Virtual Cable: http://vb-audio.pagesperso-orange.fr/

    • admin

      The playlist embed should be visible at the end of the text on this post. Unless it’s not on your device? Please let me know if it isn’t showing up on your device.

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