Tagged: Mac

Getting SDR# and RTL-SDR to run on OSX El Capitan with Mono

A few weeks ago Matthew Miller showed us how it was possible to run DSD+ in OSX using a program called Wineskin. Now he’s uploaded a new video that shows how to get SDR# working in OSX El Capitan with Mono. SDR# is designed to be used in Windows, but since it is written in C# under the .NET framework, it should be possible to run it on OSX with the open source Mono .NET implementation. The overall installation is not as straight forward as simply downloading a zip file like it is on Windows, but the tutorial Matthew provides is clear and easy to follow.

The steps involve downloading SDR#, downloading Mono, installing MacPorts, installing PortAudi, installing the RTL-SDR libraries and then setting up some required symbolic links. Finally he shows that to access the RTL-SDR you must first run RTL-TCP and then connect to that using the RTL-SDR (TCP) option in SDR#.


Installing GQRX on OSX El Capitan

OSX users often don’t have much choice when it comes to general purpose SDR receiver software for the RTL-SDR or other SDR’s. However, one program that works well on Macs is GQRX. Installing GQRX on OSX can sometimes be difficult as the most common installation method involves using Macports, which won’t always work depending on the version of OSX you are using.

Recently, OSX and RTL-SDR user smittix wrote in to use to let us know that there is now a very easy way for El Capitan OSX users to install GQRX. Basically the GQRX team have now released a DMG file which can be downloaded and installed just like most other easy to use applications. Using the DMG file smittix was able to get up and running within 5 minutes.

GQRX running on El Capitan OSX
GQRX running on El Capitan OSX

Installing GQRX on Mac OSX

Mac OSX users can have a hard time with the RTL-SDR as there are not many software packages available for it. One software package that is known to work well on OSX is GQRX, which is a general multi mode receiver GUI that is similar to the Windows software SDR#. Over on smittix’s blog, the author has created a post showing how to install the latest version of GQRX on OSX. The installation involves using Macports, a system that allows some open source programs like GQRX to be automatically compiled and installed on OSX.

GQRX running on a Mac Computer
GQRX running on a OSX Computer

Installing SDR# on OSX

SDR# is the most commonly used Software Defined Radio receiver GUI that is used with the RTL-SDR. Natively, it runs on Windows, but since it is written in C#, it can also run on Mac OSX and Linux with Mono. Installing SDR# on OSX using Mono is a little more complicated compared to simply running it on Windows however.

To help with this, Jan Szumiec has written a simple guide on installing SDR# using Mono on OSX. The guide includes the steps of installing Mono, the Xamarin Studio Mono IDE, the rtl-sdr libraries and then compiling the SDR Sharp sources and symlinking the Mono runtime to the native libraries.

Update: This is no longer possible as the SDR# code is not available anymore.

SDR Sharp on OSX
SDR Sharp on OSX