Back in February 2019 we first posted about Radwave, an Android SDR App for RTL-SDR dongles. It has some interesting features not found in other Apps like the ability to easily zoom, pause and rewind the spectrum at any time.
The author has decided to make use of these spectrum browsing enhancements by providing access to full SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) spectrum data sets which can be browsed via the app for a small fee. From a post on our forums the author of Radwave writes:
This data comes from Breakthrough Listen. These datasets are quite large, and Radwave does all the bulk downloading, processing and hosting of the datasets, allowing you to easily navigate your way through the spectrum. If you find something cool, you can tag it and share it.
Currently there are three datasets available in the first bundle ($10 USD): Voyager 1 and two 'Oumuamua collections (surveys of the the first observed interstellar object in our solar system). The data is big, and is hosted in AWS. That gets pricey, so I'll be adding more collections to this first bundle as funding permits. If there are certain datasets you're interested in seeing, definitely let me know.
Over on YouTube Ian Grody has uploaded two videos demonstrating an early alpha project that he is working on which combines Android Tasker with RTL-SDR frequency scanning. Tasker is an Android automation app which allows users to define a task based on a context. For example, you could set it to turn on WiFi and open an app (task) every time you arrive at a certain location (context).
Ian's idea is to create a Tasker application that performs an rtl_power scan with the RTL-SDR whenever a certain context is detected. The current version of his Tasker app can perform an rtl_power scan over a certain frequency range at the tap of a button, detect the strongest frequencies in that range, and plot a marker at the current location on a Google map which displays the strongest frequency detected at that location. He eventually hopes to turn the application into a wardriving application that will scan 27 MHz - 1.7 GHz for active signals while on the move.
Over on Twitter and YouTube Bastian Bloessl (@bastibl) have been posting teaser shots and videos of GNU Radio 3.8 running on an un-rooted Android device. Unfortunately there doesn't yet seem to be any word yet on how he's been able to do this, but we guess that the details will all be released in due time, possibly on his blog.
GNU Radio is an open source digital signal processing (DSP) toolkit which is often used in cutting edge radio applications and research, and to implement decoders, demodulators and various other SDR algorithms.
GNU Radio 3.8 on un-rooted Android. Now with double-mapped circular buffers using Android shared memory. USRP B2XX support. Volk support including a Volk Profile Android app (thanks @albinstigo for the NEON kernels) and OpenCL acceleration w/ gr-clenabled (thanks @Ghostop141). pic.twitter.com/w2tdaRW4Mk
Reddit user [Bobcalamarie] recently [posted] about how he uses his car dash mounted Android tablet along with an RTL-SDR Blog V3 and a magnetic mount antenna while sitting in traffic to track aircraft overhead.
We’ve seen something similar to this once before when [Signals Everywhere] uploaded a video showing off ADS-B reception (among other things) to a dash-mounted Windows tablet and an Android head unit.
The software used by Bobcalamarie is the Android [Avare ADS-B] software which can be found in the Google Play Store. However, other applications exist for Windows, Linux, and other operating systems as well. Some software such as [Virtual Radar Server] even allows you to set-up alerts for specific types of aircraft. Which while we wouldn’t condone it, it might come in handy for someone in traffic.
What would you do if you had an SDR installed in your vehicle? We would love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.
Radwave is a recently released Android App for RTL-SDR dongles. It provides a real time waterfall of the RF spectrum, and it's defining feature is that you can easily zoom, pause and rewind the spectrum at any time. The software is currently in beta, and doesn't demodulate any signals, but the work and ideas behind the spectrum display features is really interesting.
Radwave utilizes RTL-SDR dongles and the RTL2832U driver app to allow people to interactively explore the RF spectrum. You can dynamically zoom in and out in time and frequency, pause, and go back in time - all without losing any samples. If you find something cool, tag it and share with friends.
Radwave core technology is its interactive real-time spectrogram. It shows all the spectrum - utilizing every sample1 - for the entire collection2. Frequencies are aligned over time as you change the RF center frequency3, helping you make sense of what you see.
Giuseppe notes that using an Android TV box for SDR is as simple as installing the Martin Marinov Android RTL-SDR drivers from the Google Play store, and then downloading the SDR apps that interest you. No extra USB OTG cable is required, just plug the dongle into the back of the device. In his post he shows screenshots from apps like SDRTouch, welle.io DAB+, RTL-SDR AIS and SDRoid all running smoothly on his Android TV box.
With a system like this is it probably also a good idea to connect a wireless keyboard/mouse combination into a USB port as well.
Over on YouTube, channel Null Byte has uploaded a video showing us how to use an RTL-SDR V3 on an Android smartphone. In the video he discusses the hardware and software required to get started on Android and demonstrates the free SDRoid Android app (based on RFAnalyzer) by tuning to several signals including a voice signal. Later in the video he also shows an ADS-B app for receiving aircraft positions. The video is intended for people new to RTL-SDR so it is a little basic, but it's a great introduction.
He notes that the next video (which will probably be released in a week) will show RPiTX being used with the RTL-SDR.
Use an RTL-SDR Software-Defined Radio Receiver with an Android Smartphone [Tutorial]