Creating a Standalone WSPR Receiver with an RTL-SDR V3 and Raspberry Pi 3

Thank you to Zoltan for submitting his scripts for installing the rtlsdr-wsprd WSPR decoder onto a Raspberry Pi, and showing us how to configure it for an RTL-SDR V3 dongle running in direct sampling mode. This set up allows users to create an extremely low cost and permanent RX WSPR monitor.

WSPR is an amateur radio digital HF mode designed to be decodable even if the signal is transmitted with very low power and is very weak. It can be used to help determine HF radio propagation conditions as WSPR reception reports are typically automatically uploaded to wsprnet. Direct sampling mode on the RTL-SDR V3 allows you to receive HF signals without the need for an upconverter. For best results it is recommended to use a simple bandpass filter for the band of interest.

Zoltan's tutorial comes with a companion YouTube video where he demonstrates his set up. He uses a random wire antenna on his roof directly connected to an RTL-SDR V3, which is connected to a Raspberry Pi 3.  The Pi 3 communicates to his home network via an Ethernet cable.

Making a standalone WSPR receiver with RPi and RTL-SDR V3 using rtlsdr-wsprd

3 comments

  1. Ernest Murphy

    You don’t need an amateur radio license to receive WSPR signals and automatically report them to the wsprnet.org website. Quite a few shortwave listeners and other unlicensed enthusiasts already do. You do need a license to transmit WSPR signals, but reports of “received” WSPR signals are every bit as useful (for signal propagation study) as those for “transmitted” signals.

    • Zoltan

      Hi Ernest,

      That’s interesting and good idea! However what’s the call sign used in such cases? I mean what the listeners fill in (in this particular case) into the wsprd command line config?

      • Mike

        People usually use “SWL” plus whatever they want, like a 2-letter country code, plus maybe some number. The important part is the QTH locator, to correctly show the receiving station on the map.

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