Tagged: plugins

CalicoCAT: New Serial CAT Control Plugin for SDR#

CalicoCAT: CAT Control Plugin for SDR#
CalicoCAT: CAT Control Plugin for SDR#

Thanks to Stephen 'Tag' Loomis (N0TTL) for submitting news about his new plugin called 'CalicoCAT' which is a serial CAT control plugin for SDR#. The plugin emulates the Kenwood TS-2000 CAT control command set, and is used to allow SDR# to communicate with other software running on the PC via a virtual serial port. To create a virtual serial port you can use free software like com0com.

Stephen notes that the plugin could be used to allow software like WSJT-X to control SDR#. For example you could use it to automatically change bands at certain times.

SDR# TETRA Plugin Updated: No longer requires MSYS2

Last week we posted about the release of a new TETRA decoder plugin for SDR#. The plugin made setting up a TETRA decoder significantly easier compared to previous methods, but it still required the installation and use of the MSYS2 environment on Windows. 

Thanks to reader Zlati for letting us know that the TETRA plugin has recently been updated once again and now no longer requires MSYS2 to be installed first. Now it is as easy to install as any other plugin, just drop the .dlls into the SDR# folder and add the magicline to the plugins.xml file. We tested it out and decoding worked fine. At the moment the "Net info" button is not working however.

x64 plugin: https://yadi.sk/d/StPod0Op3SkpKh
x86 plugin: https://yadi.sk/d/f0SS97Rb3SoyNr

In the future news and download lines for newer versions will probably be available on the programmers radioscanner.ru forum thread which is available here (use Google Translate to read): http://www.radioscanner.ru/forum/topic50051-9.html

Updated TETRA Decoder Plugin
Updated TETRA Decoder Plugin

SDR# Tuner Knob, Night Mode and FFT Grabber Plugins have a new home

Recently we've posted about Eddie MacDonald's several releases of new plugins for the popular SDR# software. Recently he's released a tuner knob plugin which provides a visual frequency tuning knob that is useful for those running on touchscreen hardware, a 'dark mode' plugin which reduces the brightness of SDR# and compresses the UI a little, and an FFT grabber plugin which allows for easy screenshots of the FFT and waterfall spectrum's to be taken.

Eddie notes that all his plugins now have an actual home website at https://sdrplugins.com. This is where he will release updates and new plugins from now on.

If you are interested in discovering more SDR# plugins, we have a large list available here.

Tuner Knob Plugin for SDR#
Tuner Knob Plugin for SDR#

SDR# Plugin: FFT Window Screen Grabber

Recently Eddie MacDonald has been pumping out simple but useful plugins for SDR# including the SDR# Dark Mode and Visual Tuner Knob plugins. Recently he released a new plugin called "FFT Window Screen Grabber". This plugin simply helps you to easily take a screenshot of the FFT and waterfall displays in SDR#. It could be a useful plugin if you are constantly finding interesting signals that you want to document, or upload to sigidwiki.com.

The plugin can be downloaded from his thread in our forums. Note: Updated plugins now available at https://sdrplugins.com.

FFT Window Screen Grabber example screenshot
FFT Window Screen Grabber example screenshot

Visual Tuner Knob Plugin for SDR#

Thank you to Eddie MacDonald for submitting his new SDR# plugin to us via our forums. Eddie's plugin is called the 'Tuner Knob Plugin', and simply enables a visual tuner knob on the screen for adjusting the frequency. This plugin could be useful especially for those running SDR# on touchscreen tablets or laptops. To install the plugin copy the .dll file to the SDR# directory and copy and paste the magicline.txt into the plugins.xml file. We tested the plugin on our PC and found it to run well.

We have uploaded the plugin here for all to download. Note: Updated plugins now available at https://sdrplugins.com.

Eddie writes about the plugin:

Programming the plugins is not so easy considering their is very little documentation and few examples on the net. There may be a few bugs I have not caught (but i hope i have caught them all.)

This DLL was compiled and tested on a Windows 7 x64 machine and the DLL is compiled for both x86 and x64 platforms. I have tested it on SDR# Version v1.0.0.1635

I am not certain which previous versions it may or may not run on. However, being built on the 4.6 .Net framework it should work with Win7 on.

I built this plugin because i got tired of holding down buttons and waiting for the frequency changes. I figured this was a simpler method (even though some people hate rotary style controls on windows) It works exceptionally well with a touch screen.

As previously mentioned in the forum post I created the 'remote' to test my programming for future plugins for DSP

While some may not find a use for the remote I made it this way for my wife who like to cruise the dial and just see what she can pick up.

Tuner Knob Plugin for SDR#
Tuner Knob Plugin for SDR#

TETRA Decoder Plugin for SDR# Now Available

Back in 2016 cURLy bOi released a Windows port of the Linux based "Telive" TETRA decoder. Now the latest development in TETRA decoders is that a TETRA decoder plugin for the SDR# software has been released. This makes setting up a TETRA decoder significantly simpler than before.

The plugin doesn't seem to be officially released anywhere, but we did find it thanks to @aborgnino's tweets on Twitter, and he found it on a Russian language radio scanner forum. The plugin is available as a direct download zip from here, but we suggest browsing to the last few posts in the forum thread to find the latest version.

Installing the plugin is a little more difficult that usual, as you first need to install MSYS2 which is a compatibility layer for Linux programs. The full installation instructions are included in the README.TXT in the zip file. One clarification from us: you need to copy the files in the msys_root/usr/bin folder from the zip file into the /usr/bin folder that is in your MSYS2 installation directory. 

We tested the plugin and found it to work well without any problems. With the plugin turned on you just need to simply tune to a TETRA signal in WFM mode, and you will instantly be decoding the audio.

TETRA is a type of digital voice and trunked radio communications system that stands for “Terrestrial Trunked Radio”. It is used heavily in many parts of the world, except for the USA. If you have unencrypted TETRA signals available in your area then you  can listen in on them with an appropriate SDR like an RTL-SDR and decoder software like the aforementioned plugin.

SDR# TETRA Plugin Running
SDR# TETRA Plugin Running

New SDR# Audio Waterfall Plugin

The old audio waterfall plugin for SDR# seems to be no longer available for download anywhere (it may have gone out of date and is no longer compatible with the latest versions of SDR#). Alan Duffy decided to write his own version of the audio waterfall plugin and make it available for download. An audio waterfall shows the demodulated audio in waterfall form, essentially creating an audio spectrum analyzer. This can be useful for understanding the demodulated frequency structure of a signal.

To install the plugin simply download the dll from his website and place it in the SDR# folder. Note that for us Chrome detected this file as malicious, but this is a false alarm as Chrome does this often with unknown .dll files. To recover the file we had to go to the Chrome menu -> Downloads, then select “Recover File” to download the file. (If you still have problems with the download then check out the comments as some users have kindly mirrored it). Then open plugins.xml file with a text editor, and add the magicline specified on his page.

Audio waterfall with the built in audio spectrum analyzer.
Alan’s Audio waterfall shown together with the built in audio spectrum analyzer in SDR#.

Demonstrating the IF Processor and Notch Filter Plugin in SDR#

Over on YouTube user  FMDX HUN (Luc1f3rk0) has uploaded a video showing how useful the SDR# IF Processor and Notch Filter Plugin can be when attempting to DX FM broadcast stations. He shows that it can be used to listen to stations that are almost overlapping by cutting out the unwanted signal.

The plugin itself can be downloaded from http://rtl-sdr.ru/page/para-novyh-plaginov.

SDRSharp+IF Processor & Tracking Notch Filter Plugin demostration