Tagged: DAB

Testing DAB Decoders: SDRAngel versus Welle.io

Thank you to the team from DXing.org for submitting their video where they compare the DAB decoding performance of SDRAngel and Welle.io using an RTL-SDR Blog V3 dongle.

Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) is a digital replacement for analog broadcast FM. It provides high quality digital audio at the expense of higher cost receivers, and possibly greater difficulty with reception in weak or challenging RF environments. DAB is mostly only used in Europe and Asia Pacific regions, and is not found in the USA. SDRAngel and Welle.io are both RTL-SDR compatible programs with DAB decoding capabilities. Both can run on Android, PC, MacOS and Linux devices.

In their tests they find that the Welle.io DAB decoder works perfectly without issues, however the SDRAngel DAB decoder struggles and has difficulty with decoding. Given that Welle.io is a dedicated DAB decoder, and SDRAngel is a multipurpose tool this could be expected. But we are unsure what is wrong with the DAB implementation in SDRAngel.

The team note that the test was carried out in Sofia, Bulgaria, Europe, using a Serbian DAB+ signal from Yastrebac, with a distance of 175km.

Test android apps with DAB+ signal Welle.io vs. SDRangel, receiver rtl-sdr v.3

Guglielmo FM and DAB Receiver Software Updated to Version 0.5

Thank you to Marco, the programmer of Guglielmo for letting us know that his software has recently been updated to Version 0.5.

Guglielmo is a Linux, Windows (and in this recent update x86 MacOS) based RTL-SDR FM and DAB tuner software that supports SDRs including the RTL-SDR, Airspy, SDRplay, HackRF and LimeSDR. It is designed to be an easy to use program designed for media users, rather than hobbyist technical users.

Regarding the release of Version 0.5, Marco writes:

This release sports full mac (x86 only, sorry) and windows installers, DAB and FM scans and a preset editor.

Guglielmo: Screenshot of the DAB Interface

SDRangel Now Available on Android: Mobile ADS-B, AIS, APT, Digital Voice, POCSAG, APRS, RS41 Radiosonde Decoders

SDRangel is a free open source software defined radio program that is compatible with many SDRs, including RTL-SDRs. SDRAngel is set apart from other programs because of it's huge swath of built in demodulators and decoders.

Thank you to reader Jon for writing in and noting that SDRangel has recently been released for Android as a free Google Play download. This is an amazing development that could open up many doors into portable decoding setups as the Android version supports almost every decoder implemented on the desktop version. Jon writes:

It includes most of the functionality of the desktop version of SDRangel, including:

  • AM, FM, SSB, Broadcast FM and DAB, AIS, ADS-B, Digital Voice (DMR, dPMR, D-Star, FreeDV), Video (DVB-S, DVB-S2, NTSC, PAL), VOR, LoRa, M17, Packet (AX.25), Pager (POCSAG), Radiosonde (RS41), Time signal (MSF, DCF77, TDF and WWVB) modems.
  • RTL SDR, Airspy, Airspy HF, LimeSDR, HackRF and SDRplay support via USB OTG as well as networked SDRs
  • 2D and 3D signal analysis in both time and frequency domain with statistical measurements of SNR, THD, THD+N, SINAD, SFDR and channel power
  • Satellite tracker, star tracker, maps and rotator controller

It should work on Android 6 and up. It’s a straight port of the desktop application, so although it will run on a phone, probably best used on a large tablet with a stylus or mouse.

SDRangel on Android
SDRangel on Android

Guglielmo FM and DAB Receiver Software Updated to V0.4

Thank you to Marco Greco for writing in and noting that V0.4 of his Guglielmo software has recently been released.

Guglielmo is a Linux (and now Windows) based RTL-SDR FM and DAB tuner software that supports SDRs including the RTL-SDR, Airspy, SDRplay, HackRF and LimeSDR. It is designed to be an easy to use program designed for media users, rather than hobbyist technical users.

The latest additions in V0.4 include support for MPRIS controllers, support for the SDRplay V3 API and support for Windows building (although at this time there appears to be no binary file available).

The AppImage can be found here https://github.com/marcogrecopriolo/guglielmo/releases

Guglielmo: Screenshot of the DAB Interface

DAB+ Decoder Welle.io Version 2.4 Released and YouTube Demonstration Video

Version 2.4 of the RTL-SDR compatible DAB/DAB+ decoder called welle.io has recently been released for download on GitHub. The main changes include various bug fixes, the addition of Windows 11 support, and the return of the Android APK (but only with rtl_tcp support).

The author has also released a new YouTube video tour, demonstrating the software in action, and explaining all the features.

Showing welle.io a SDR to listen DAB/DAB+.

Guglielmo FM and DAB Receiver Software Updated to V0.3

Thank you to Marco Greco, author of Guglielmo for writing in and noting that v0.3 has now been released. Guglielmo is a Linux based RTL-SDR FM and DAB tuner software that supports SDRs including the RTL-SDR, Airspy, SDRplay, HackRF and LimeSDR. It is designed to be an easy to use program designed for media users, rather than hobbyist technical users. He notes:

In the last two releases I have substantially improved FM and RDS decoding and added support for MOT slides.

MOT slides allow DAB broadcasters to send JPEG or PNG images files over the DAB broadcast, and compatible receivers will display it.

A ready to use Appimage for Linux systems is availalble on the Github Releases page.

Guglielmo: Screenshot of the DAB Interface

SDRAngel Features Overview: ADS-B, APT, DVB-S, DAB+, AIS, VOR, APRS, and many more built-in apps

SDRAngel is a general purpose software defined radio program that is compatible with most SDRs including the RTL-SDR. We've posted about it several times before on the blog, however we did not realize how much progress has occurred with developing various built in plugins and decoders for it.

Thanks to Jon for writing in and sharing with us a demonstration video that the SDRAngel team have released on their YouTube channel. From the video we can see that SDRAngel now comes stock with a whole host of built in decoders and apps for various radio applications making it close to an all-in-one SDR platform. The built in applications include:

  • ADS-B Decoder: Decodes aircraft ADS-B data and plots aircraft positions on a map
  • NOAA APT Decoder: Decodes NOAA weather satellite images (in black and white only)
  • DVB-S: Decodes and plays Digital TV DVB-S and DVB-S2 video
  • AIS: Decodes marine AIS data and plots vessel positions on a map
  • VOR: Decodes VOR aircraft navigational beacons, and plots bearing lines on a map, allowing you to determine your receivers position.
  • DAB+: Decodes and plays DAB digital audio signals
  • Radio Astronomy Hydrogen Line: With an appropriate radio telescope connected to the SDR, integrates and displays the Hydrogen Line FFT with various settings, and a map of the galaxy showing where your dish is pointing. Can also control a dish rotator.
  • Radio Astronomy Solar Observations: Similar to the Hydrogen line app, allows you to make solar measurements.
  • Broadcast FM: Decoding and playback. Includes RDS decoding.
  • Noise Figure Measurements: Together with a noise source you can measure the noise figure of a SDR.
  • Airband Voice: Receive multiple Airband channels simultaneously
  • Graves Radar Tracker: For Europeans, track a satellite and watch for reflections in the spectrum from the French Graves space radar. 
  • Radio Clocks: Receive and decode accurate time from radio clocks such as MSF, DCF77, TDF and WWVB.
  • APRS: Decode APRS data, and plot APRS locations and moving APRS enabled vehicles on a map with speed plot.
  • Pagers: Decode POCSAG pagers
  • APRS/AX.25 Satellite: Decode APRS messages from the ISS and NO-84 satellites, via the built in decoder and satellite tracker.
  • Channel Analyzer: Analyze signals in the frequency and time domains
  • QSO Digital and Analog Voice: Decode digital and analog voice. Digital voice handled by the built in DSD demodulator, and includes DMR, dPMR and D-Star.
  • Beacons: Monitor propagation via amateur radio beacons, and plot them on a map.

We note that the video doesn't show the following additional features such as an analog TV decoder, the SDRAngel "ChirpChat" text mode, a FreeDV decoder and several other features.

Is the Titus II Portable Android Tablet Shortwave SDR Close to Release?

The PatronX Titus II SDR is something we've been posting about several times since 2016, but in the end it was never released and assumed to be vaporware. However, we found that the website for the Titus II SDR was updated only a few weeks ago, and pricing details have been added advertising $120 and $150 for two versions of the product. But on the new website there is no store, just an email link to contact sales for ordering information. We contacted that email two weeks ago for more information but have not received a reply back yet.

The PantronX Titus II was advertised to be a portable Android tablet based SDR that would feature a 100 kHz - 2 GHz tuning range, and software that focuses on HF digital DRM decoding, as well as DAB on VHF. Computer rendered images show the tablet housed in a portable carry enclosure with two speakers. Their new website writes:

The design of rTablet / rTab defined radio receiver started in 2014. It soon became evident that electronic products available on the market could not be modified to incorporate the advanced features requested by potential buyers. This initiated the process of the innovative design of the Titus SDR (Software Defined Radio) unit. The engineering team started with a general purpose computer unit and embedding it in a broadband radio receiver module.

All types of applications, including RF software, could be installed. For example, DRM capabilities could be added as DRM is an open source. Dream Linux app was converted to run under Android mobile operating system.

The Titus rTablet / rTab being introduced to the market, is a low cost, high performance platform with many RF and PC factory installed applications.

Key feature of rTablet / rTab is the compatibility with analog (SW, AM, FM) and digital standards (DRM, DRM+, DAB, DAB+, HD). Consequently the market of rTablet / rTab is global.

The updated website with pricing and an ordering email makes us think that it might be finally on the way, but the lack of email reply is concerning. If anyone has any further information about the rTab/Titus II please be sure to share with us in the comments!

Titus II SDR updated website
Titus II Specs