Remote SDR V2 is software that allows you to easily remotely access either a PlutoSDR, HackRF or RTL-SDR software defined radio. It was originally designed to be used with the amateur radio QO-100 satellite, but version 2.0 includes multiple demodulation modes, NBFM/SSB transmission capability, CTCSS and DTMF encoders, modulation compression and a programmable frequency shift for relays.
In his latest YouTube video Tech Minds explains and demonstrates Remote SDR V2, which is software that allows you to easily remotely access either a PlutoSDR, HackRF or RTL-SDR software defined radio. It is designed to be used with the amateur radio QO-100 satellite, but version 2.0 now include multiple demodulation modes, NBFM/SSB transmission capability, CTCSS and DTMF encoders, modulation compression and a programmable frequency shift for relays.
In his video Tech Minds shows how to install Remote SDR V2 onto an Orange Pi via the SD card image, how to access the web interface, and how to access and use the connected SDR.
Remote SDR V2 with Orange Pi and Transmit Capable
We note that the code is designed to be run on Orange Pi boards, which are low cost single board computers similar to Raspberry Pi's. However over on Twitter @devnulling has indicated that his own fork of the code should run on x86 systems. Aaron @cemaxecuter is also working on including it into a DragonOS release.
The image below demonstrates a typical Remote SDR V2 transceiver setup with two HackRFs.
Cloud-SDR is a company that aims to make using SDR over the cloud/network/internet easier. It allows you to set up a remote SDR server that you can access from anywhere. Previously Cloud-SDR was still in development, but now we recently received mail from Cloud-SDR programmer Sylvain that the client and server software has just been released for the RTL-SDR. It appears that it also currently supports the Airspy, BladeRF, SDRplay and PerseusSDR.
The email reads:
I am pleased to inform you that we have just released two softwares compatible with your devices :
The Cloud-SDR free client, a windows + Linux (to be released soon) client able to run locally RTL-SDR devices (check the news/turorials, we have featured several times dongles from your blog)
The Cloud-SDR streaming server (codenamed SDRNode) , a windows + Linux (to be released soon) multi-user configurable streaming server.
SDRNode is a commercial software but an evaluation version is already available. Both softwares can be downloaded from our store after registration.
To download the software you must register an account with them at https://store.cloud-sdr.com/my-account. The client is free but the server costs 110 euros for personal and hobby usage, although a 30 day trial version is available. Currently only the Windows Client and Server are available, but they write that Linux should be available soon.
We tested the software out with an RTL-SDR V3. The client installation process was a simple wizard and after installation we launched the Cloud-SDR client by opening the shortcut “cSDRc” in the Start Menu. We found that the hardware needed to be plugged in first for the client to recognize it. The client is basic, but can already demodulate USB/LSB/CW/AM/FMN without trouble. It also has some interesting features:
Dual channel receiver: RXA and RXB are two totally independent receivers;
Geographic integration: Display on map beacons, ADS-B reported airliners, known HF broadcast stations or any geo-localized information coming from the SDRNode server;
GPS compatibility: plug a GPS receiver to your computer and track your location on the map, record signals with your position for later processing (coverage mapping etc.); display the UTC time;
Digital Terrain Elevation: See the terrain elevation around your position, or in the direction of the antenna directly on the map (requires to download the free SRTM3 files from NASA, with 90m resolution);
MP3 audio recording: record to mp3 the demodulated streams to reduce disk requirements;
Chat with other users connected to the SDRNode Group: when used as a remote client for the SDRNode streaming server, you can interact with other users with messages or station spotting;
Time-domain analysis: the MSR mode enables analysis of any sub-band and displays in real time the time domain signals of the selected spectrum portion. This sub-band can also be recorded (with geographic position if GPS is connected) and processed with provided MATLAB®.
Next we tested the evaluation version of the SDR-Node server software on a remote laptop with an RTL-SDR connected. Again installation was easy, just follow the wizard after ordering the evaluation version. SDR-Node installs itself as a Windows service which starts up automatically on boot. To set up the Node we followed the guide shown in the video below. To connect with the client you need to know the IP address of the remote computer, the port is 8080, and the certificate is displayed on the server PC SDR-Node dashboard. We note that we also had to disable the Windows firewall to get it to connect, but it should be possible to also add SDR-Node to the firewall whitelist.
Using the SDRNode wizard
When streaming it appears that only 1/4 of the SDR sample rate can only be sent over the network. There are also compression options which can be used on slower networks or the internet to reduce bandwidth. Using the interface while in network mode was slightly laggy, but the waterfall and audio was smooth.
Overall everything worked as expected and it looks to be a very useful tool. More information is available at cloud-sdr.com. Some already existing alternative remote SDR streaming software that supports the RTL-SDR includes rtl_tcp, the SDR Console V2 server, OpenWebRX and ShinySDR.
He writes how he uses a VPN to remotely connect to his home computer and makes use of the SmartSDR app for Flex SDR radios which is available for iOS and Windows. Many of the apps he uses such as his antenna rotator software are also controlled over VPN via remote COM port software. He also notes requirements for having an internet controllable AC power supply in case TX needs to be shut down and a UPS for continuous power. For the actual radio side he uses a FlexRadio SDR, Elecraft Amplifier and Tuner, and antenna rotator and a Spiderbeam Yagi antenna.
The article explains in detail much of the equipment and software that he uses and is an excellent read for those wanting to get started in designing a remotely accessible SDR station.