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New SDR app for iOS (iPhone)

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:10 am
by hotpaw2
Hi. A first version of my iOS SDR app is nearing completion. So I'm interested finding a few users who would like to beta test a pre-release of the app, and provide some feedback. The beta test requirements are having a 64-bit iOS device (iPhone or iPad) running iOS 11.2.x or newer, having Apple's TestFlight app installed, having a Mac, PC, Raspberry Pi (or other Linux box) that already has rtl_tcp installed and ready to run. (And an RTL-SDR obviously.) The rtl_tcp server must be on a fast WiFi network reachable by your iOS device.

iOS devices do not recognize arbitrary USB devices such as an RTL-SDR. This is even true when using Apple's Lightning Camera Connection kit to provide an iPhone with a wired USB port. So an adapter must be used. I use a headless Raspberry Pi 3 running rtl_tcp as the USB adapter to provide raw IQ samples from the RTL-SDR to the iOS app. A Raspberry Pi Zero W would also work. I then connect to the server either over WiFi, or via wired ethernet.

This iOS SDR app is fairly simple. I've been experimenting with developing low-level DSP code in Swift. So this SDR app was written from scratch in the Swift programming language. Because the app is targeted for the iOS App store, it uses none of the existing SDR C++ code base.

The app currently demodulates AM, N-FM, and mono W-FM. It also displays a spectrum and rudimentary waterfall, and allows one to swipe-to-tune. There are not a lot of controls, as screen real-estate on an iPhone is quite limited. But I can walk around the house and, from my iPhone, monitor if my RTL-SDR or AirSpy HF+ are picking up any interesting signals.

Contact info for beta testing can be found here:
Note that iOS TestFlight app distributions do have an expiration date.

Source code to librtlsdr and rtl_tcp can be found in many repositories on github, but zero support for finding or installing such, and/or setting up your Raspberry Pi, will be provided by me.

Here's a screen shot of the current version of the app:
sdr1.ss1.jpg (20.85 KiB) Viewed 8513 times

Re: New SDR app for iOS (iPhone)

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:38 am
by tgunr
I would be interested in helping out with this project.

Re: New SDR app for iOS (iPhone)

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:11 pm
by hotpaw2
If you meet the iOS app testing requirements mentioned in the first paragraph, please send the email address you want associated with Apple's TestFlight program to the email address found on the hotpaw website (e.g. don't post it here).

Beta-test copies of the iOS SDR app have already been sent out, via TestFlight, to the first two groups of beta testers. So far, seems to not explode on the launchpad.

Re: New SDR app for iOS (iPhone)

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:40 pm
by hotpaw2
Beta testing was successful, and the HotPaw rtl_tcp SDR app is now available from Apple's iOS App Store.

See: ... ?ls=1&mt=8

Re: New SDR app for iOS (iPhone)

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 4:44 pm
by hotpaw2
Forgot to mention, my rtl_tcp SDR iOS app supports LSB and USB on HF (via Direct Sampling or an upconverter), and it also includes a CW audio filter.

Re: New SDR app for iOS (iPhone)

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:29 pm
by hotpaw2
An update to my rtl_tcp SDR app for iOS (iPhone) should now be in Apple's App store. ... ?ls=1&mt=8

The rtl_tcp SDR version 1.0.7 update includes:
- support for the SDRPlay rsp_tcp 16-bit mode for a better signal-to-noise ratio
- a much improved complex-modulated SSB filter, plus an added filter indicator
- some optional fine tuning buttons
- fixed some issues with some limited pinch-and-zooming into the spectrum
- fixed a bug with configuring the proper sample rate for the Airspy HF+
- fixed a bug with setting a PPM adjustment value

Standard disclaimer: I am the developer of this app.
Please send comments and bug reports to the email address listed in the app.