SATSAGEN Spectrum Analyzer Software Updated: Now Supports RTL-SDR

Back in March last year we first posted about the release of SATSAGEN, and program by Alberto (IU1KVL) that allowed the PlutoSDR to work as a spectrum analyzer. SATSAGEN has recently been updated to version 0.5, and it now supports the RTL-SDR, HackRF and Simple Spectrum Analyzer hardware as well. 

Spectrum analyzer software allows you to monitor spectrum activity over a bandwidth much larger than what your SDR supports. It works by rapidly sweeping over multiple frequencies and stitching the spectrum slices together.

Some highlights of the new features include:

  • Works with:
    • HackRF One
    • RTL-SDR Dongles
    • Simple Spectrum Analyzer series like NWT4000, D6 JTGP-1033, Simple Spectrum Analyzer, and so on.
  • Video trigger, real-time trigger, and fast-cycle feature
  • ADALM-PLUTO custom gain table and Extended linearization table for all devices
  • Transmit from raw format files
  • I/Q balance panel
  • Waterfall
SATSAGEN Interface


  1. arjit

    i was disappointed when i found that the rtl sdr based spectrum analyzer is very slow comparing with si4432 based i have Arduino si4432 module based spectrum analyzer project ranging from 230 to 930 MHz and it’s very fast in wideband around 230 to 600 mhz may be because it is sweep based .. but I am not sure, this project was made by Chinese guy.
    I wondering if it is possible for you to make sdr like software interface with this fast scanning ic si4432 may be using Arduino and extra i/o , adc etc. chip

  2. Martin

    Hello Alberto,
    I try to run the newest version of the spectrum analyzer on a Ubuntu 18.04 machine with Wine.
    My HACKRF ONE is not found. The scan button does actually nothing.
    Do you have any idea what went wrong?
    Maybe something with the USB connection…?

    best regards,

    P.S: On my windows 10 machine the software works! Same HACKRF one.
    Also gnu-radio works on the Ubuntu 18.04 machine.

    • Alberto

      Hi Martin,
      USB devices aren’t recognized by Windows applications under Wine, except the serial communication ports one.
      Wine 6.0 claims an initial USB driver support based on libusb library, but I haven’t been able to see working USB devices with that version anyway. We look forward to furthering developments.
      best regards,

  3. Tom

    just installed the newest version. I get the loadStandardRXGainTable return error -1 after I PowerOn the software with HackRF One unit.

    • Alberto

      Hi Tom,
      Check if the file hackrf_RX_SGT.xml in Documents\satsagen\settings folder exists. If not exists, try to uninstall and install again the latest version.

      • Tom


        thank you! The problem was, that the installation was executed by another account with admin rights, so the satsagen settings folder was created for the another account. After the installation the programm was started by a user with limited rights and the satsagen folder do not exists in the documents. Copy the folder solved the problem!

        Maybe it could be impoovement to create automatically create the folder after it do not exists…

  4. snn47

    Hello Alberto,
    great work and improvement for getting affordable DIY test equipment

    “Dreaming Mode” on
    since you support already Full Duplex TRx SDR, do you think implementing a tracking generator like old YIG based SA used to have is feasible, since todays SA don’t have it any more?
    vy 73 _.. .._. ….. .__. _.__
    “Dreaming Mode” off

  5. Rick

    Hi Alberto.
    Downloaded version for Windows. Unfortunately it does not ask for install location, only installs to C:\Program Files …… I’d prefer to install it on a different drive with rest of my SDR software.
    Can this be fixed in the next version?

  6. Mir

    It’s great software! I love it using with PlutoSDR but it has failed to locate RTL-SDR. I will check it again for RTL-SDR. It shall be great if the support is extended to USRP as well.

    • Alberto

      Hi Mir,
      Thank you! Let me know about your problem with RTL dongles. We could find a fix.
      I want to extend the support to USRP, but I need the hardware to test all.

      • D. Kevin McGrath

        I would be willing to loan some hardware for this effort. Alternatively, I could help test a USRP B210, BladeRF (110 and 2.0 A9), and the LimeSDR, if that would be of interest. I’m computer science faculty at Oregon State, so the software side I’m solid — less so on the signal processing, but would love to help!

        • Alberto

          Hi Kevin,
          Thank you very much for your interest.
          Based on your availability, I hope to make a version to test on USRP or BladeRF soon.
          Best Regards

  7. Linden

    This is great news! Though I’m now wondering whether anyone has a recommendation for SpecAn s/w that works with the LimeSDR as well?

  8. Val

    Amazing software that makes a very useful tool out of PlutoSDR.
    I’ve used the Spectrum Analyzer to compare a few antennas, and Generator to check capabilities of my oscilloscope, both features works flawlessly and are very easy to use.
    Works great with PlutoSDR, but I couldn’t make it work with HackRF (it just shows an empty modal dialog for a short time and then crashes). Maybe there is something wrong with my HackRF, or drivers, but it works with SDR#

    • Alberto

      Thank you so much, Val!
      I’m working on the next release of SATSAGEN to fix the support of the HackRF with old firmware; maybe it solves your problem.

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