Soft66IP: Network Connected RTL-SDR with rtl_tcp

Previously from JA7TDO who is a RTL-SDR builder in Japan we’d seen the Soft66RTL and Soft66Q which are both modified RTL-SDR units that are capable of receiving HF as well. To receive HF the Soft66RTL used an upconverter circuit and the newer Soft66Q uses an implementation of the direct sampling mod. Both units come with a preselection filter for the HF bands.

Now JA7TDO has managed to come out with a new modified RTL-SDR which he calls the Soft66IP. The Soft66IP appears to have the same specifications at the Soft66Q except without the additional preselection filter. Instead, its defining feature is that it is built together which what we assume is a Linux enabled wireless router, or some other networked single board PC. This allows you to easily get set up with rtl_tcp for streaming the radio over your network, or the internet. It seems that the unit comes preloaded with the rtl_tcp software installed, making it almost plug and play. JA7TDO advertises the features as:

  • RTL-SDR based
  • 3kHz to 1.7GHz (15MHz to 24MHz is over sampling)
  • 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • DHCP
  • Wifi(option)
  • cheap price

Streaming the radio over a network might be advantageous as it allows you to place the unit near the antenna, avoiding long coax or USB cable runs. But rtl_tcp is quite bandwidth heavy, so it can have trouble streaming at higher sample rates. However, whatever single board PC is used on the Soft66IP may also be capable of running other more efficient streaming software such as OpenWebRX, or more specialized applications such as networked ADS-B decoders as well.

JA7TDO is selling the Soft66IP for a pre-order price of $80 USD which includes worldwide shipping. Shipping starts on March 1. After the pre-order phase the price may rise to $96 USD.

The Soft66IP, networked RTL-SDR.
The Soft66IP, networked RTL-SDR.

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