RTL-SDR Portable Listening Station

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Talel
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:33 am
Location: Los Angeles, California

RTL-SDR Portable Listening Station

Post by Talel » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:37 am

A while back I saw a thread relating to Software Defined Radio and surmised that it's theoretically possible to build a kit that will allow one to monitor a wide array of frequencies, while also allowing the computer operating the system to record data about what it "hears", meaning that someone won't necessarily have to monitor it 24/7 to avoid missing something.

Right now I'm going back to school and (hopefully) starting a part-time job within a week. I hope to get my HAM license soon but I'd also like to set up this listening station too when time allows.

I've done a lot of research and succeeded in hopelessly confusing myself. I know I need an RTL-SDR USB dongle, but which one? I'd like to monitor HAM, CB, MURS, GMRS, and FRS, in addition to aircraft and emergency services transmissions.

The second item is the computer aspect. I've read that some tablets can run SDRs and the related software but it kills the battery in a hurry. I'd like for the computer component of the system to be compact and ruggedized, with at least a reasonable battery life. At least compact enough to load into a vehicle, I'm not going backpacking with the thing. The computer component can be dedicated to radio use, but it has the spare capacity to do other prepper stuff in the boonies that's good too.

The third is the antenna. I've gathered that if you're receiving only and not transmitting, antenna length is less important. I'm not worried about this aspect yet as the first two would need to be addressed first.

Any help at all, especially concerning SDR, is much appreciated.

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