Tagged: orbitron

SDR# and other Hobbyist Ham Radio Software Spotted in Netflix TV Show Yakamoz S-245

Thanks to all who submitted, we recently received some interesting tip offs about the Netflix TV Show Yakamoz S-245 featuring a scene with various hobbyist SDR and ham radio programs clearly visible. Yakamoz S-245 is a show about a submarine research mission, and the scene appears to depict military intelligence specialists using the programs.

In the scene we've spotted SDR#, MMSSTV, FUNcube dashboard, SATPC-32, and Orbitron. For those interested, the scene is in episode one time 11:20 - 12:00. 

Decoding the Russian Parus (Cosmos) Navigation Satellites with the RTL-SDR

Once again Happysat, who previously wrote in to RTL-SDR.com to let us know how to receive dead satellites with the RTL-SDR has again written in to let us know about his latest achievements.

Happysat has recently been using a RTL-SDR to decode the discontinued Russian Parus (Cosmos) Navigation Satellites. These are low earth orbit satellites operated by the Russian Space Forces that are used for military communication and navigation. Since 1974 there have been 99 Parus satellites launched, but there are only three currently active.

With an RTL-SDR, SDR# and decoder software, Happysat was able to decode data from the satellite which includes the current Moscow time and various location and telemetry data.

Russian Parus (Cosmos) Satellite Decoded Data
Russian Parus (Cosmos) Satellite Decoded Data

Happysat writes:

The Russian Military Parus satellites are/where used for low-earth orbiting navigation information and store-dump radio communications relay service for Red Navy surface vessels and submarines.

Each satellite is in a near-circular orbit of about 1000 km (620 miles).The orbits are polar (pass over the poles of the earth) and stay stationary in space so that as the earth rotates, the satellite covers different parts of the planet.

There are three currently operational, Cosmos 2407, 2414, and the last one launched in this series (April 2012) Cosmos 2463 with a lifespan of 4 years.

They are discontinued now as the GLONASS Navigation systems did take over the service which are providing a better accurate GPS position.

Why the Parus-Satellites are currently still broadcasting data is unknown. Most probably due the older vessels and submarines are still using Shkhuna Radio systems.

The satellites transmit two radio carriers, one on VHF which is FM modulated with the navigational data around 10 watts, and one on UHF which is unmodulated (tracking Beacon).

Already in 1980 the British Kettering Group was able to decode the encryption. The first 18 Bit of data contain the Moscow time, the other Bits contain the positions and orbits from the other active Parus-Satellites. Very similar data like our GPS output and the Orbcomm satellites (on 137 Mhz) with OrbcommPlotter (explained also on rtl-sdr).

With RTL-SDR and SDRSharp its possible also to decode the Russian Military Parus satellites.

Alan Cordwell did write a Java decoder that will decode the navigation data from the VHF transmission in non-real time. cosmos_export.rar [Mirror] It is experimental software and very basic.

Unfortunately his website is offline but still on web-archive (link to web archive)

You will need to record the audio from the satellite and save it as a 44100, 8-bit, mono .wav file. Which means SDRSharp included wave recording is not suitable to do this you need a external program like Audacity or any favourite which can handle the requirements above.

Then you will need to apply narrow bandpass filtering to it at 3, 5 and 7 kHz. Without this filtering step only a small portion of the data will be available, i’m still struggling with this step ūüėČ

He did use Cool Edit Pro to do this, there are no doubt other apps available like Audacity.¬†Included is a sample filtered audio file for you to try it with, it’s in the rar archive as well.

Unpack the archive to a convenient location a folder called cosmos-export will result. Execute the file cosdec.jar to run the application. Open a file with file/open and in the file chooser dialog select the wav file. To decode it go to Actions/Process File.

To write all output to a log file: check the Dump to log option in File menu (log file will be created with same name as audio file but with .log extension appended).¬†Datascope does as it suggests; it launches a little frame that shows (using graphics) the waveform of the data recovered from the audio.¬†The frequency axis is upside down! you’ll see the 3, 5 and 7kHz bits with 7 at the bottom.

There is another program (Sorcerer) which can decode in real-time only, the current actual atom Moscow time from the satellites.

[sorcer download]

Start sorcerer and go to the menu add decoder on the left FSK and choose COSMOS NAVDATA. Move the first bar slider in the spectrum to 3 kHz so the second and third are on 5 and 7 KHz as seen in the screenshot.

Its possible to run this application and record audio at the same time which is later on needed for the cosmos_export Java program.

The frequencies are as follows:

Cosmos 2407 and 2414
VHF Frequency NavData 149.970 MHz, Tracking Beacon 399.920MHz

Cosmos 2463
VHF Frequency NavData 149.940 MHz Tracking Beacon 399.840MHz

Orbital parameters and predictions:

You need to run Orbitron in SDRSharp to take care of the Doppler!

TLE’s for the current satellites, (these are current as of 10th November 2014)

1 28380U 04028A   14313.17698750  .00000073  00000-0  59418-4 0  2927
2 28380  82.9601 332.2565 0038129 220.5020 139.3308 13.75978622517201

1 28521U 05002A   14314.08629907  .00000094  00000-0  65641-4 0  6502
2 28521  82.9510   6.9860 0040501 164.6577 195.5838 13.87513505496523

1 36519U 10017A   14313.57202739 -.00000009  00000-0 -27079-4 0  4041
2 36519  82.9553 122.2841 0036820   7.8477 352.3245 13.71357663227175

New ones can be downloaded at celestrak: musson.txt

Good luck and if anyone has good knowledge on how to apply narrow bandpass filtering at 3, 5 and 7 kHz, please write in the comments!

Note that Orbitron can be downloaded from http://www.stoff.pl/, and the SDR# plugin to interface with it can be downloaded from SatelliteTracker2.zip or here. A tutorial on using Orbitron with SDR# for Doppler correction can be found on our NOAA Weather satellite reception tutorial.

SDR# with Orbitron for Doppler Correction and Sorcerer for Decoding Cosmos
SDR# with Orbitron for Doppler Correction and Sorcerer for Decoding Cosmos
Image of the Russian Parus  Satellite
Image of the Russian Parus Satellite
Image of the Russian Parus  Satellite
Image of the Russian Parus Satellite
Which option to choose in Sorcerer
Which option to choose in Sorcerer

Video Tutorial: Setting Up Satellite Tracking with SDRSharp and Orbitron

YouTube user HamradioSat has put up a video tutorial showing how to connect SDR# and Orbitron together. By interfacing the two, Orbitron can then be used to automatically tune to the doppler corrected frequency of a satellite passing overhead in SDR#. Orbitron is a free satellite tracking software program.

This can be useful for simplifying the tracking of NOAA weather satellites and downloading their live images.


List of SDRSharp Plugins

There are a number of SDRSharp plugins that extend its functionality. Here is a collection of all the plugins and download links that I could find.

With modern SDR# installing a plugin is usually a simple matter of copying the plugin files to a subfolder within the SDR# Plugins folder. SDR# should automatically recognize the plugins.

Some plugins might require editing the Plugins.xml file with a text editor such as notepad. These plugins will contain a readme.txt or magicline.txt file that shows what line to add to the Plugins.xml file. Just copy and paste the plugin .dll into the SDR# folder and add the magicline line to the plugins.xml file to install the driver.

We note that SDRSharp can now be downloaded with a community plugin package, which includes many of the plugins listed below. However, sometimes some plugins get broken with newer SDR# versions, so if you have issues with the SDR# community edition, it may be wise to download the vanilla edition and install plugins manually.

Frequency Manager + Scanner and Scanner Metrics and Frequency Entry Package

This is a plugin package which comes with three plugins. It comes with a more advanced frequency manager than the one shipped with SDRSharp.

It also has a scanner option which can quickly scan through a group of your saved frequencies, looking for an active signal.

It also has a scanner metrics plugin, which records frequency activity to a database. Later this database can be analyzed to find out which frequencies are the most active, saving you time searching manually for active frequencies.

Finally, this package also has a frequency entry plugin, which works like the old SDRSharp frequency entry used to work. Basically, it just allows you to choose a center frequency and IF frequency easily by typing it in instead of adjusting it with the mouse.

Download the installation packager here

Frequency Manager + Scanner Plugin

Fast Scanner

Similar to the Frequency Manager and scanner plugin in that it automatically tunes to active signals above a certain power.

Download Link (Original website now dead)

Download Link (via archive.org)

Download Link (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)

Fast Scanner SDR# PluginFast Scanner SDR# Plugin

DDE Plugin

Allows programs like WXTrack to work with SDRSharp through a DDE interface.

Instructions and Download Link Here

QPSK Demodulator

Used to demodulate QPSK signals from the Meteor M2 weather satellites. Used in conjunction with LRPT decoder. See tutorial here.

Download Here (Original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)

DDE Tracking and Scheduler Plugin

Another plugin that allows satellite tracking software like WxTrack and Orbitron to interface with SDR#. This one is meant to be used with the QPSK decoder plugin for automatic scheduled decoding of satellite passes. See tutorial here.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)

DDE Orbitron Interface SDR# Plugin.

Gpredict Connector

Allows the GPredict satellite tracking software to interface with SDR# and automatically control the frequency.

Download Here

SDRSharp Net Remote

Allows you to remotely control SDR# through a network connection.

Download Here

CTCSS Detector and Squelch

Adds a Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) decoder.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


DCS Detector and Squelch Plugin

Adds a Digital Coded Squelch (DCS) decoder. Similar to the CTCSS detector.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


TimeShift SDR

Allows signal reception to be timeshifted to allow for time to click on a signal.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Digital Audio Processor

Adds digital audio processing features such as an improved squelcher, an audio inverter and a bandpass and deemphasis filter.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Audio Processor

Similar to the digital audio processor shown above, but adds the ability to graphically adjust the bandpass filter in the audio spectrum of SDR#.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)



IF Notch Plugin

Adds the ability to create an asymmetric and notched IF filter.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Simple APCO 25

Enables decoding of a single APCO 25 channel through SDR.

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)

RDS Logger

Logs Radio Data System (RDS) data to a CSV file.

Download Here

RDS Data Logger SDR# Plugin

DSD+ GUI Interface

Adds a GUI interface for the popular DSD+ digital speech decoder program.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)

DSD+ SDR# Plugin GUI

TETRA Decoder

Adds a TETRA decoder.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Enables multiple VFO's in SDR#. (In other words, you can tune to several stations simultaneously within the same swatch of live bandwidth)

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Audio Waterfall Plugin

Adds an audio spectrum waterfall to SDR#.

Download Here (Original plugin seems to be dead but the link is left up just in case it comes back)

Download Alternative Plugin Here



Allows you to watch analogue PAL TV channels in black and white through SDR#.

Download Here (original webiste now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)



Modified Baseband Recording Plugin

An enhanced version of the recording plugin that comes standard with all SDR# installations. Adds a scheduler, a feature to record only when there is a signal, select samplerate, and choose file output location.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Modified Audio Recording Plugin

A modified version of the default audio recording plugin. Adds a scheduler.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


IF Recorder Plugin

Allows you to record an IQ file of just the current IF bandwidth. An IQ recording of just the IF bandwidth will be much smaller than one of the entire bandwidth.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)

IF (Intermediate Frequency) Recorder SDR# Plugin

Level Meter Plugin

Adds a power meter for the currently tuned frequency and bandwidth.

Download Here

Level Meter SDR# Plugin

CSVUserlistBrowser SDR# Plugin

Allows users to interface with the CSVUserlistBrowser plugin intended for use with Winradio products. The CSVUserlistBrowser is a program that provides a database of radio stations.

Download Here


MPX Output Plugin

Allows programs like RDS Spy to work with the audio output from SDR#.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Radio Sky Spectrograph Plugin

This allows SDR# to interface with Radio-Spy Spectrograph which is radio astronomy software that allows fine control over a waterfall display.

Download Here

The Radio-Sky Spectrograph SDR# Plugin

Aviation band 8.33 Calculator Plugin

Automatically converts the current frequency input to an aviation one according to the standard 8.33 kHz channel spacing.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Frequency Lock Plugin

Simply locks the frequency settings in SDR# to prevent accidental changes.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


Unitrunker Serial Based Trunking Plugin

Allows Unitrunker to interface with SDR#. For example it can be used to allow unitrunker to control the frequency setting in SDR# to following trunked conversations over various frequencies. NOTE: This plugin is no longer required as Unitrunker no longer needs to interface with SDR# for anything. But we leave it here in case there are legacy use cases.

Download Here


Passive Radar Plugin

Allows you to use the RTL-SDR as a passive radar detector.

Download Here
(Website appears to be down, but here is a DIRECT LINK) (Note: Requires XNA4.0)

The Passive Radar plugin by Dr. Kaminski in SDR#.

IF Average

Averages the current bandwidth. Is useful for applications such as radio astronomy.

Download Here
(Website appears to be down, but here is a DIRECT LINK) (Note: Requires XNA4.0)

The IF Average plugin by Dr. Kaminski.

Contour Shuttle Support

Adds support for mapping buttons on Contour shuttle USB controllers to SDR# functions.

Contour Shuttle Plugin for SDR#

Download Here

Visual Tuner Knob

Adds a simple visual tuner knob that is especially useful for those running SDR# on touchscreens.

Download Here

Audio Streaming TCP Server

Allows you to stream demodulated audio over a TCP server.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)

The plugin streaming via TCP to VLC

CalicoCAT Serial CAT Control Plugin

Allows you to control SDR# from WSJT, HDSDR and other software. Requires a virtual serial port like com0com.

Download Here

Heatmap Generator Plugin

Allows you to generate a heatmap image from an rtl_power scan in SDR#. You can then click on the heatmap to instantly tune to found 'hot' areas.

Download Here

SDRSharp RTL-SDR Heatmap Plugin

Magic-Eye Plugin

Adds a "magic-eye" or cats eye graph to SDR#, which allows you to view the eye pattern of the tuned signal.

Download Here

Multimon-ng Launcher Plugin

A launcher for the multimon-ng decoder.

Download Here

RDS Groups to RSDSpy .spy Format File Plugin

Interface SDR# RDS detection with RDSSpy

Download Here

Tetra demodulator utils plug-in

Works with the TETRA decoder plugin above. Saves Tetra demodulator plug-in network info window textbox contents (calls info, ms registrations) to file. 

Download Here

Signal diagnostics logger plugin

Logs data from the built in Signal Diagnostics plugin to file.

Download Here

SDRSharp FFT peek hold plug-in

Simple peak hold plugin.

Download Here

TETRA demod plug-in network info grid data logger

Works with the TETRA decoder plugin above. TETRA demod plug-in network info grid data logger.

Download Here

TETRA plug-in UDP raw data logger with Python

Works with the TETRA decoder plugin above. Can log raw binary data to user-defined UDP port

Download Here

Front End Plugins

Modified R820T FrontEnd with Manual Control and Decimation

Not really a plugin, but a modified front end interface and driver for the RTL-SDR that allows manual control over the LNA, Mixer and VGA gain stages. Also enables decimation which allows for better narrowband warefall views, and a easy control for activating a SpyVerter upconverter.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


File Player

This plugin give a playback interface when playing back recorded IQ files. Allows you to view the entire waterfall of the recorded file and quickly skip to any time.

Download Here (original website now dead)

Download Here (archive.org Mirror)

Download Here (RTL-SDR Blog Mirror)


E4000 Gain Mod Enabler

A plugin which allows the E4000 Linrad gain profiles to be used in SDRSharp, via use of a modified rtl_tcp server.

Download Here

Plugins that no longer work

These plugins no longer work, but may still work with older versions of SDR#. Usually they stop working because of an SDR# upgrade that requires some minor modification to the plugin, but the plugin is no longer maintained. Some provide code so there may be hope in getting these running again if someone is willing to make the changes and recompile the code.

Orbitron Plugin (Not working with 1400+)

Superseeded by the DDE Tracking and Scheduler Plugin (shown in the above list)

Allows the Orbitron satellite tracking software to control the frequency in SDRSharp. This is useful as Orbitron can automatically correct for the Doppler shift when listening to satellites.

Download Here

Mirror At the bottom of this page

Satellite Tracker Plugin

Easy Scanner Plugin (Not working with 1400+)

Another scanner plugin similar to the scanners already shown above. Add frequencies to the database, then use the scanner to automatically find an active signal.

Download link and users guide here.

Easy Scanner SDR# Plugin

Audio FFT Plugin (Not Working with 1400+)

Adds a audio FFT display in the plugin window.

Download Here

Audio FFT SDR# Plugin

ScopeView Plugin (Not working with 1400+)

Adds a simple audio scope to the plugin window.

Download Here

Scope Viewer SDR# Plugin

Simple Audio EQ Balance Plugin (Not working with 1400+)

Adds a simple audio EQ balance setting option box in the plugin window.

Download Here

Audio EQ Balance SDR# Plugin

Signal Strength Logger (Not working with 1400+)

Logs signal strengths over time of specified stations.

Download Here


SDR# short-wave.info Plugin (Not working with 1400+)

Enables SW station names to be displayed within SDR#.

Download Here

short-wave.info SDR# Plugin

GlobalTuners SDR# Plugin (Not working with 1400+)

Allows SDR# to associate with a GlobalTuners.com account.

Download Here

Unitrunker Trunking Plugin (Not working with 1400+)

Allows the trunking control software Unitrunker to control the frequencies in SDRSharp. This allows digital and analogue trunking systems to be followed. Note that Unitrunker can now directly interface with the RTL-SDR, so using SDR# together with Unitrunker is no longer recommended.

Download Here

SDRSharp Trunker Plugin

AutoTuner Plugin (Out of date)

Automatically tunes to signals that appear in the spectrum which are above a certain adjustable signal strength. Can also create null areas to prevent automatically tuning to unwanted signals. There seems to be only an outdated version, which is built in to an old version of SDRSharp available.

Download Here

Auto Tuner SDR# Plugin

ADSB# Plugin (Missing)

Runs the ADSB# ADS-B decoding program as a plugin in SDRSharp. The main advantage to using this plugin is that you get to visually see the waterfall whilst decoding. It also adds a 1-bit CRC error check.

Download from the files section of this Yahoo group. (You will need to register first) (Note: File is gone now, still looking for updates to this plugin)

ADSB# SDR# Plugin

Modified ScopeView Plugin (Missing)

A modified version of the scope view plugin with Decimation, HoldOff and Hold options resides in the SDRSharp Yahoo group files section under the name TXmonitorScopeView.zip (you will need to join the group first to download).

Download Here


SDR# Dark Mode Plugin

Adds simple UI options to SDR#, including the ability to make the interface black in color, remove excess padding to save screen space and to move the top frequency toolbar to the bottom of the screen.

Download Here

FFT Grabber Plugin

Allows you to take easy screenshots of the FFT and waterfall spectrums.

Download here

Accessibility Plugin

Adds accessibility options such as keyboard shortcuts and larger OSD fonts.

Download Here

ExtendedFFT Plugin

Highly featured IF FFT extension. Includes bandpass filter, markers, analyzer and more.

Download Here

Toolbar Plugin

Puts some useful SDR# controls right on the SDR# toolbar, making them easier to access.

Download Here

Other Plugin Lists






RTL-SDR Tutorial: Receiving NOAA Weather Satellite Images

Everyday multiple NOAA weather satellites pass above you. Each NOAA weather satellite broadcasts an Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) signal, which contains a live weather image of your area. The RTL-SDR dongle combined with a good antenna, SDRSharp and a decoding program can be used to download and display these live images several times a day.

This tutorial will show you how to set up a NOAA weather satellite receiving station, which will allow you to gather several live weather satellite images each day. Most parts of this tutorial are also applicable to other software radios, such as the Funcube dongle and HackRF and Airspy, but the RTL-SDR is the cheapest option. Hardware radio scanners can also work, provided the radio has a large IF bandwidth (30 kHz +) and a discriminator tap.

Note that if you have success with this tutorial, you may also be interested in decoding Meteor M N2 weather satellites which provide much higher resolution images. Also, an alternative tutorial for decoding NOAA satellites that uses rtl_fm can be found here.

NOAA Weather Satellite Image


YouTube user GaitUutLiern shows an example of receiving NOAA satellite weather images with a RTL-SDR, SDRSharp, a decoding program called WXtoImg and a QFH antenna.

Receiving NOAA weather satellite using SDR# and WXtoImg

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