Over on his site rtl-sdr.ru, Vasilli has been back at work creating new plugins for SDR#. The latest plugin is a TCP server that takes the demodulated mono audio stream from SDR# and sends it over TCP (note that the site is in Russian but the Google translate button on the right can be used). This can be used to easily stream audio over the internet or a network, or even locally on the same PC to another program. If enough programs support TCP audio streams, then the plugin could potentially replace the need for software like Virtual Audio Cable or VBCable by allowing another method for piping the audio from SDR# into a decoding program.
Installing the plugin is the same as usual. Just extract the SDRSharp.TcpServer.dll file to the SDRSharp folder, open plugins.xml with a text editor and paste in the 'magic line' specified in MagicLine.txt.
To test the server you can connect to it with VLC media player. Some special commands need to be specified to VLC in order for it to understand the audio format. To enter them go to Media->Open Network Stream and make sure 'Show more options' is checked. Enter the network URL as 'TCP://127.0.0.1:20022' (without quotes), and enter the Edit Options field as ':demux=rawaud :rawaud-channels=1 :rawaud-samplerate=48000 :rawaud-fourcc=s16l' (without quotes). Ensure the first colon in the line is copied over properly. Then enable the TCP server in the SDR# plugin, and click Play in VLC. Ensure the SDR# is muted, and the volume in VLC turned up. Audio should now begin streaming through TCP.
Hopefully in the future we can see some audio compression algorithms and more decoding software supporting TCP audio connections.
Vasilli has also updated many of his other plugins too, including creating a DSD_TCP plugin which allows you to transmit the digital audio directly to DSD+ via a TCP connection.
Recently the commonly used Frequency Manager Suite Plugin for SDR# has been updated. The plugin suite works well with the RTL-SDR and includes features such as a frequency scanner and manager, a scanner metrics recorder, a scheduler, an activity logger and a frequency entry plugin. The changelog is shown below:
Frequency Manager + Scanner
New feature: you may now optionally display the descriptions of frequencies in your database on the spectrum window. You control the colors and transparency of the descriptions and their marker lines.
New feature: the Browse window now allows you to type a frequency directly into the grid, and the grid will dynamically filter your database to matching frequencies. You may type a partial frequency and all frequencies that start with the same digits will be displayed. The more digits you type, the more specific the filtering.
New feature: A checkbox in Preferences lets you control whether the Last Update field is changed when performing bulk edits. When unchecked this permits you to retain the original date and time the frequency was recorded in the database.
New feature: You may now change the font size in the Scanner Decisions window and plugin. The new size will be remembered and used the next time you start SDR#.
New article: User David Bunyan has provided a how-to article in the Appendix on how to use the scanner effectively for WFM DXing. See also the WFM DXing Databases download in the Download Here section to get pre-built databases for different regions around the world, also graciously provided by David Bunyan.
Bug fix: fixed error in the queue manager that prevented recording activity when the date-time format on the computer was not United States.
Bug fix: fixed error that prevented SM from putting its database in the same folder as FM, if the FM database location was changed after SM was loaded.
New feature: default values for imports. Will automatically assign values when they are missing from the source import data.
Bug fix: Fixed culture-specific issue with Frequency values when an Eibi database is downloaded.
Bug fix: Fixed bug that caused Data Tools to change the current database in Frequency Manager + Scanner.
Bug fix: Importing an SDR# Frequency Manager data file now results in a prompt to add or replace existing data in the target FMSuite database.
New feature: The Pluginator now knows many of the most popular plugins. So now you may simply select one from a list and it will be installed to Plugins.xml, as opposed to requiring you to type the configuration data for the chosen plugin.
The IF Processor plugin is designed to upgrade the Zoom FFT plugin that comes standard with a fresh install of SDR#. The IF processor plugin comes with a tracking notch filter and an asymmetric filter controls. These features will allow you to easily remove interfering signals that appear on top of your signal of interest.
The Audio Processor plugin allows you to improve the audio output using a controllable graphical audio bandpass filter. This feature can help you to remove any hiss or other undesirable sounds in the output audio.
The developer over at rtl-sdr.ru has released a new plugin for SDR# (note in Russian – use Google translate) which allows the digital voice decoder DSD+ to be controlled via a GUI interface from SDR#. To use this plugin you will need to have a copy of DSD+ already downloaded as you will need to point the plugin to the DSD+ install directory. You will also need to have virtual audio cable software such as VAC or VBCable setup.
Information on downloading and setting up DSD+ can be found here.
CTCSS is an acronym for Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System and is a system that is used in shared two way radio systems. It is common for a single radio channel to be shared over a number of user groups for frequency use efficiency. CTCSS uses a special tone to identify each group of users, and this tone is used to prevent a group hearing radio chatter from another group sharing the channel.
A new digital noise reduction plugin for SDRSharp has been released. It is packaged as part of the SDRSharp binaries. Head to the SDRSharp downloads page, and download and use the automated installer for rtl-sdr under the heading “Important note for RTL-SDR users”.
Then in SDRSharp, simply click “Enabled” in the Digital Noise Reduction plugin window and adjust the slider until you get good results. In testing I found significant improvements in noise reduction.