SignalsEverywhere: Setting up the Retrogram Terminal Spectrum Analyzer for the PlutoSDR

This week on the SignalsEverywhere YouTube channel Sarah shows how to install the "Retrogram" software. This is a command line 'retro' styled spectrum analyzer designed to be used with the PlutoSDR. The software makes use of ASCII art to display the spectrum, meaning that a spectrum can be viewed directly in an SSH terminal, without any GUI. 

In the video Sarah goes through the steps to install the software before demonstrating it in action.

Retrogram - A Command Line Spectrum Analyzer For The PlutoSDR


  1. Joseph Corrigan

    I am looking to start a project based around a Software Defined Radio device (e.g., Hack RF One) untethered to home base. I want to monitor Cellular signals here in the Northeast USA. If I can get any feedback on what I need to buy that would be great. E.g., the antenna, CPU, software., etc. I have a very portable cheap laptop in the Gateway (GWTC116-2 with an Intel Celeron(R) N4020 CPU at 1.10 GHz with 4GB RAM) at my disposal for a display/CPU but was not sure it will be suitable in processing such high frequency signals? I have watched many videos on the subject and read many blogs which gives me a sense processing cellular signals digitally on SDR devices does not require super fast CPU processing speeds. Is there any advantages in running it on a , e.g., Raspberry Pi, creating a self contained unit with its own display? RE powering it I have an inverter installed in my van where I will be running it from. I have had some trouble running some electronic laden tools (Fein Multi-purpose tool will not run) from my Power Drive 3000W inverter. I was told I should possibly try deep cycle batteries as base power for the inverter vs the standard truck (Ford Van) batteries in order to get cleaner more universally usable power. In short I am looking for a reliable cheap alternative to buying a costly portable spectrum analyzer. The granularity of the signal is not that important (for now), detecting just basic signal strength is fine. My price range is $1000-$1500 for this project. I recently purchased a Hakko FX951-66 soldering station and AmScope SM-4NTP-144 7X-45X to make it seems like I know what I am doing, so if soldering is needed I can give it a try. Thank you to the hacker community here, and elsewhere, for inspiration.

  2. beta-tester

    oh, it is running directly on the PlutoSDR ?! very interesting.
    thank you for the link and information, i’ll give it a try soon.

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