SDRSharp (SDR#) is one of the most popular SDR programs that is used often with Airspy and RTL-SDR devices. Recently Youssef, the developer of Airspy products and the programmer behind SDR# has again been adding new enhancements to the software that allow AM DX listeners to easily receive channels that are even on top of each other in frequency.
The Co-Channel Canceller has been in SDR# since 2020, but recently enhanced for better performance and easier use, and a 'micro-tuner' feature has been added, allowing users to easily select the overlapping channel that needs to be cancelled.
Earlier in the year the noise canceller was also improved with a 'NINR' (Natural Intelligence Noise Reduction) algorithm that appears to be one of the best noise cancellers available in SDR software today.
Youssef's twitter @lambdaprog contains several videos demonstrating the effectiveness of the updates.
Airspy is currently holding a 15% off summer promotion which runs until June 30. The sale is active at all participating resellers, which includes our own store where we have the YouLoop on sale for US$29.71 including free shipping to most countries in the world. Please note that due to new EU VAT collection laws, EU customers must purchase the discounted YouLoop from our eBay or Aliexpress stores.
The YouLoop is a low cost passive loop antenna for HF and VHF. It is based on the Möbius loop design which results in a high degree of noise cancelling. However the main drawback is that it is a non-resonant design, which means that it works best when used with ultra sensitive receivers like the Airspy HF+ Discovery.
We also wanted to highlight some recent improvements to SDR#, the official software for Airspy products, and compatible with the RTL-SDR. One recent development is the introduction of the Natural Intelligence Noise Reduction (NINR) feature which results less audio artifacts, deeper noise cancelling, and lower CPU usage.
In his latest video Rob from the Frugal Radio YouTube channel has uploaded a video where he experiments with a SDR web interface and smartphone App called "Rdio-scanner". Rdio-scanner is an interface that tries to reproduce the user experience of using a real hardware scanner with an SDR and RF voice decoding/recording software like Trunk Recorder being used in the background. Rob writes:
rdio-scanner creates a customizable web interface from which to control your software defined radio. Using it, you can turn a computer, phone or tablet into something that closely resembles a hardware scanner!
Trunk Recorder is the software that decodes the unencrypted P25 signals and records them to disk. Here is it demonstrated working on a large Simulcast (LSM) site.
rdio-scanner reads the audio files. Through the rdio-scanner interface, you are basically choosing which audio files to play.
Rob runs the rdio-scanner software on his Panasonic Toughbook, noting that the interface looks really great in Tablet mode and works well with the touchscreen. He also notes that his toughbook has a SIM card socket, so a data SIM would enable him to access his P25 monitoring system at home from anywhere.
SDR experiments with Rdio-scanner, Trunk Recorder, Airspy Mini & Panasonic Toughbook on P25 LSM
Paolo Romani (IZ1MLL) has recently released version 4.2 of his SDRSharp PDF Guide. The book is available for download on the Airspy downloads page, just scroll down to the title "SDR# Big Book in English".
As before the document is a detailed guide about how to use SDRSharp, which is the software provided by Airspy. While intended for Airspy devices, SDRSharp also supports a number of third party SDRs, including the RTL-SDR, and it is the software we recommend starting with when using an RTL-SDR.
My new v4.2 SDRsharp PDF is out. The guide is now 139 pages long, and covers all the settings, UI customization, included and third party plugins, and use of some external decoders and software, now with Spyserver integration with Raspberry Pi 3/4, etc etc...
SDR++ is an open source program compatible with most software defined radios including the RTL-SDR that has been going through rapid development making it now one of the top software choices.
Yesterday a public 'pre-release' Android version of SDR++ was made available for download. The release is announced as a 'pre-release' due to various bugs still existing. However, we note that we have been testing a private release for the past few weeks, and we can say that it is working great most of the time. The Android App replicates most of the desktop experience perfectly, and it operates very smoothly on most modern devices.
The author Alexandre Rouma writes:
I'm happy to release the first public pre-release of SDR++ for android. It's still quite early and has a few bugs and quirks that you might run into:
SDR MUST be plugged in before starting SDR++ and you MUST press refresh in the SDR source you're using before pressing play if you first plugged in the SDR or unplugged/replugged, otherwise expect a crash. The USB handling still needs some work.
There are still a few UI glitches
There is no easy way to select a path for recording or file for playback
The audio sink on Android may have higher latency
All menus sometimes close when app goes in the background.
Resizing the menu and/or waterfall is kinda fiddly, be precise when trying to grab the resize bar!!!
At some size menu sizes, the app crashes. If this happens, start in landscape
On Samsung devices, the keyboard doesn't always work for some obscure reason...
Since phones usually have a high screen resolution, set the DPI scaling in the Display menu or you'll have a hard time using the app.
Current Device/Protocol Support:
PlutoSDR (network only)
In any case, I'd love to get some feedback on it, so feel free to try it out and let me know!
On this weeks SignalsEverywhere episode, Sarah demonstrates and shows us how to use the SDR++ Server, which was released as a beta earlier this year. SDR++ Server is similar to software like rtl_tcp, and Spyserver as it allows us to connect to a remote networked SDR like an RTL-SDR. Compared to rtl_tcp and Spyserver however, SDR++ Server has a huge advantage in that it is compatible with almost any SDR, and enables the full range of control options for RTL-SDRs.
In the video Sarah shows us how to activate the SDR++ server module and how to connect to a remote RTL-SDR running the SDR++ server on a Raspberry Pi. She goes on to show how to connect to other SDRs running on the Raspberry Pi as well, such as the SDRplay RSP Duo, LimeSDR, Airspy R2 and Airspy HF+ Discovery. Finally she goes on to show how to set up the server on Windows and a Raspberry Pi.
SDR++ Server | Remote RTL-SDR SDRPlay LimeSDR AirSpy and More! | Raspberry Pi and Windows Setup Tut
Thank you to Nobu who has submitted news about the release of his new product, a machined aluminum enclosure for the Airspy HF+ Discovery. The Airspy HF+ Discovery comes by default in a plastic enclosure. Although the HF+ Discovery does not need a metal enclosure to perform well in terms of PCB noise rejection, a metal enclosure gives the product a much more premium feel, and aesthetically looks great. Nobu also mentions that the metal enclosure may help with heat dissipation.
The product is only available on Amazon Japan and may show no stock for international customers. If you are outside of Japan, to be able to purchase you may need to use a Japanese market buying agency, many of which can be found online.
@lambdaprog, creator of Airspy products mentions that this enclosure may help with Airspy HF+ Discovery devices running 24/7.
The RF shielding is already achieved using a small anechoic chamber made from the PCB itself, the metal can, and some EMI absorbing material. So, I won't expect much changes in that aspect. However, this alu case can help with the heat dissipation in systems running 24/7/365.
The KK5JY Loop on Ground (LoG) antenna is a 15 feet per side square loop designed for reception of HF and lower. It simply consists of an isolation transformer and wire that as the name implies is placed somewhere on the ground in a square loop like shape. It is cheap and easy to build and compact in that it does not take up any usable space.
In his latest video Rob from the Frugal Radio YouTube channel tests out this antenna with his Airspy HF+ Discovery SDR. He uses a bit of wire lying around, and a low cost 9:1 Balun from NooElec as the isolation transformer. With this antenna he was able to pick up signals in the USA and all the way over to Australia from his home in Canada. NDB signals were also receivable.
2022 LoG (Loop on Ground antenna) for SDR radio tested on Airspy HF+ Discovery SDR KK5JY HAM radio