Tagged: downconverter

Building a Simple Downconverter for the RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube Adam Alicajic, seller of the LNA4ALL low noise amplifier has uploaded a video showing how to create a simple downconverter using a 1.3 GHz local oscillator and an LNA4ALL. A downconverter extends the frequency range of the RTL-SDR to frequencies higher than the RTL-SDR’s 1.7 GHz limit.

Adam capacitively connects the 1.3 GHz local oscillator to the input of the LNA4ALL, which causes the input signal to be mixed with the input signal from the antenna. This moves a test 2.8 GHz signal down to 1.5 GHz, which is receivable by the RTL-SDR.

DIY poor guy SDR Downconverter

Sniffing and Decoding NRF24L01+ and Bluetooth LE Packets with the RTL-SDR

Omri Iluz wrote in to us to let us know about his recent project which involves sniffing and decoding wireless packets at 2.4 GHz from NRF24L01+ and Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) transceivers. The NRF24L01+ is a popular wireless transceiver which is used in many common devices such as keyboards, mice, remote controls, toys and appliances.

Since 2.4 GHz is out of any of the RTL-SDR’s receivable range, Omri used a cheap downconverter which he was able to buy from China using Aliexpress. The downconverter converts the 2.4 GHz signal into a lower frequency at around 400 MHz which is in the receivable range of the RTL-SDR.

He was then able to use his NRF24-BTLE-Decoder software that he developed to convert the received data from the NRF24L01+ transceiver into a decoded packet by simply piping the output of RTL_FM into his program.

Since the NRF24L01+ uses hardware similar to the Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) protocol, Omri was able to modify his code to be able to also decode BTLE packets.

2.4GHz NRF24 packet received on the RTL-SDR from a Logitech mouse using a downconverter
2.4GHz packet received on the RTL-SDR + downconverter from a Logitech mouse
Decoded NRF24 Packets

Receiving 24 GHz with the RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube Adam Alicajic has uploaded two videos which show an experiment where he successfully receives a test 24 GHz carrier signal with an RTL-SDR dongle.

In the first video he uses mixer setup to convert the 24 GHz signal down to 432 MHz, which is within the tunable range of the RTL-SDR. In the second video he uses a salvaged downconverter unit from some sort of communications device to do the same.

24GHz downconverter mod