SDR++ Recent Updates: Plugins, Multi-VFO, Multi-Platform, Native RTL-SDR and More!

Back in July 2020 we first posted about the alpha release of "SDR++" which back then was a new project by "Whatsthegeek" that was determined to bring an open source, cross platform, C++ based GUI general receiver program for various SDRs including the RTL-SDR to the community. Over the past few months the author has been working hard on updating the software, and it's look a lot more mature today. Recently he has released the following updates as mentioned on his Reddit post:

As some of you might remember, I posted back in june about my SDR++ project. During the past 6 months, I've been hard at work to make it into usable software! The versions I released in june and july were extremely buggy and unusable. All of those issues have now been fixed. It's now simple to build and install. Here's a small rundown of the features it now has:

  • Fully modular architecture (plugins)
  • Multi-VFO
  • Support for most SDRs through dedicated modules or SoapySDR
  • Both baseband and audio recording with a level meter and volume adjust
  • Multiple bandplans available (very easy to write your own)
  • Switchable waterall colormap
  • Low CPU usage (lower than GQRX, CubicSDR, SDRConsole and in some cases SDR#)
  • Full waterfall update when zooming or changing min/max level

Also, SDR++ now runs on Windows, Linux, OSX and BSD!
Do note that it still has a few quirks and misses some features (see https://github.com/AlexandreRouma/SDRPlusPlus/projects/2 for the todo list)
In addition to what's in the todo list, decoders for common satellites will be written very soon. They will allow decoding of Meteor and NOAA with no external software needed!

I'd like to thank Airspy, Analog Devices, SDRplay and Howard Su for sending samples of their hardware for development! Would never have been able to add support for their hardware without it!

I hope this software will be useful to the community :)

SDR++ GUI

Releases for Debian Linux and Windows can be found over on the GitHub Releases page

We note that over on Twitter Whatsthegeek (@ryzerth) has been releasing further updates. He notes that some of the latest code updates for SDR++ add a native RTL-SDR module including bias tee support, and that it is also now available as a package for Arch Linux users over on the user Repository. However these latest updates are not yet available as binaries on the releases page.

In a recent tweet he also demonstrates the very useful looking multi-vfo feature allowing him to decode three AERO signals with Jaero simultaneously on a single RTL-SDR dongle.

21 comments

  1. OKCarl

    Will it work with USRP radios from Ettus? If yes, would I need two radios to listen to public safety digital? Does it reach all the way up to 6 GHZ?

  2. karl

    Tried the 0.2.5 preview3 : The software starts but most of the window is black without any graphics, only the buttons on the top and the frequency is visible. Is there any requirement for the graphics or did i missed something? Latest version of PothosSDR is installed and i also checked the path.

  3. Mark

    I wanna git it a try on my raspberry pi 4 but I need clear instructions to install it. I’ m really bad with Linux but this software looks really promising! Keep going

      • Peter

        Has someone here compiled SDR++ on a Raspberry 4 with success? I tried some time ago but it looked like there is a problem with the Raspi’s graphical hardware.

        • Mark

          I’m courious too. I also tried Hampi Image on my 4Gb ram Raspberry Pi4, but Gqrx was unusable. Cpu was running at ~70-80%

  4. Seasalt

    Tried with ubuntu 20.04

    sudo sdrpp
    returns this error.
    sdrpp: error while loading shared libraries: libvolk.so.1.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    libvolk installed fine.

  5. Rudolph

    Right now it can run 2 instances bon one box.
    As a rule the other SDR can only do one instance at a time, a. Hardware limitation.
    But software now exists that takes encryption and looks at the packets, assembly into a sign wave, no key is ever used to decrypt.
    100 percent effective so far.
    And, you would not believe what you hear.
    They say anything and everything!

  6. Roy

    I haven’t given this software a try, yet (but I will sometime this week). Does it allow for external tuning control? Fore example via GPredict or Hamlib? This would be a necessary feature if the software was to replace GQRX as a satellite Rx solution (to account for doppler).

    • Roy

      Alas, I’ve tested SDR++ directly with GQRX on the same machine (and old 4 core HP laptop running Ubuntu 20.04), and it seems that it requires 50% more processor usage.

      SDR++ averages 30% cpu usage on all 4 cores
      GQRX averages 20% cpu usage on all 4 cores

      Maybe I’m missing something? Nevertheless, always good to have new SDR applications – and I really like the gui of SDR++. Just a data point from one new user.

      • ryzerth

        Pretty strange… Make sure you’re running the latest version.
        Could be a few things. Make sure you run both software with the same demodulator selected running at the same bandwidth. Also make sure both run at the same resolution, because rendering a waterfall takes quite some CPU and GPU usage. You also need to run them both with the same source. As GQRX only support osmocom, the only equivalent would be to run SDR++ with the soapy source (dedicated modules are usually more efficient though).
        Also make sure that nothing else is running on the system at a time obviously.
        Everyone I’ve talked to has reported at least 20% less CPU usage when using SDR++

        • Roy

          Both were using FMN demodulators, both with “standard” filter width, and both listening to the same signal (NOAA weather radio, VHF). Of course, both were also using the same RTL-SDR.com V3 dongle and antenna. I was using the dedicated RTL-SDR module in SDR++. The waterfall resolutions likely weren’t identical (I wouldn’t know how to do that), but both were zoomed in so that the signal was about 10% of the width of the waterfall.

          I’ll try again sometime this week and take precautions to ensure that everything else is equal between the two.

    • ryzerth

      Hello,
      You’re missing PothosSDR or didn’t select “Add to path” when installing it.
      Please refer to the readme and release notes for more information.

      • Seasalt

        Ubuntu 20.04

        sdrpp: error while loading shared libraries: libvolk.so.1.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

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