In one of his videos from a few days ago Matt from the Tech Minds YouTube channel tests out OpenWebRX+, an unofficial fork of OpenWebRX. OpenWebRX is open source software which enables users to put software defined radios like RTL-SDRs on the internet, allowing people from all over the world to access the receiver if desired, or just letting yourself access it remotely if you want to keep it private.
OpenWebRX+ adds several additional decoders and features on top of the official version. In the video Matt demonstrates OpenWebRX+ running on a Raspberry Pi 4, with an SDRPlay RSPdx. He demonstrates the web GUI in action and shows decoding examples of the various decoders that OpenWebRX+ comes with.
In his latest video Matt from the TechMinds YouTube channel shows us how to build a home made turnstile antenna for receiving the MILSAT SATCOM satellites where radio pirates from Brazil and other countries can often be heard.
The build involves 3D printed parts, metal measuring tape for the elements, some aluminum tubes and a coax phasing harness. After testing the VSWR with a meter, Matt tests the antenna with a handheld and finds it to be working well. He also later tests it with his SDRplay RSPdx and finds that the Turnstile outperforms his roof mounted vertical.
SDRplay have today announced a sale on their "RSPdx" product which runs from today until December 31st. The new pricing is £130/€156/$169.95 plus shipping and any applicable taxes. This pricing is available for direct sales from SDRplay, and at any participating resellers. The pricing on SDRplay's direct sales platform before the sale was US$214 plus shipping.
Note that individual resellers may be offering slightly different prices depending on if free shipping is offered. For example Ham Radio Outlet in the USA is offering the RSPdx for $179.95 including free shipping.
The RSPdx is designed for high performance DX reception and SDRplay note that it achieves this with additional filtering, improved intermodulation performance, a DAB notch filter, additional attenuation steps, and high dynamic range enhancements for frequencies under 2 MHz.
At SDRplay, we recognise that times are very tough for a lot of people. In view of the economic pressures that people are facing, we want to lend a helping hand by offering the very popular RSPdx at a special low price for this holiday buying season. After discussions with our dealer network, from Black Friday until the 31st December, we (along with participating dealers) plan to offer the RSPdx at a holiday discounted suggested retail price of £130/€156/$169.95 plus shipping and any applicable taxes. This represents a substantial discount of more than one fifth when compared to the normal retail price.
Starting midnight EST, Thursday November 24th visit https://www.sdrplay.com/purchasehome/ to purchase an RSPdx at the special price or contact your local SDRplay dealer for more details. Please also note that stocks are limited and this offer will certainly end on the 31st December and prices will revert to normal commercial levels thereafter.
This is a great opportunity to get the RSPdx as a gift for a newcomer or a returning radio enthusiast at a price which won’t be repeated, as our suppliers are already increasing their prices for the new year.
Prices shown are prices offered when buying direct from SDRplay. Shipping and taxes are extra. SDRplay ships from the UK to most countries in the world. However some countries will require import duty to be paid on top.
SDRplay dealers who usually include free shipping will adjust the prices accordingly
Check with your local dealer to see if they are participating.
Links to both the SDRplay direct purchasing page and our list of authorised resellers can be found here
Back in April we posted a video from Tech Minds where he showed us how to use special software combined with an SDRplay RSPdx to detect and report VDSL interference on the HF bands. VDSL or Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line is an internet connection technology that runs over old copper phone wires allowing for a fast broadband connection. The frequencies used by VDSL are between 25 kHz to 12 MHz, and for VDSL2 up to 30 MHz. Unfortunately the frequencies used can result in high amounts of radio interference from RFI radiating from the copper phone lines which is a major problem for HF amateurs and short wave listeners.
Recently John Rogers (M0JAV) presented a talk via the UK amateur radio organization RSGB. In the talk he explains how VDSL works, why it causes RFI and how to check for VDSL RFI using an SDR and the Lelantos software. He also shows how he drove around with a magnetic loop antenna looking for VDSL RFI sources in his neighbourhood. He then goes on to call out for more volunteers in the UK to submit RFI reports to Ofcom as they responded that they won't do anything about the interference unless there are more complaints.
The RSGB EMC Committee (EMCC) has been investigating VDSL interference since 2014. As the number of installations has risen to over 30M the interference level at amateur radio stations has also increased. The majority of radio amateurs are now impacted by this problem.
In the May 2020 RadCom we outlined how to detect and estimate the level of interference. This can be done by inspection of an SDR spectrum display or by taking a recording and then using a SW package—developed by Martin Sach of the EMCC—which identifies the VDSL signature in the recording and shows how many different VDSL lines are causing the problem and what their relative strengths are.
This talk demonstrates what to look for and how to use the tools to find out if you have a problem yourselves. We hope this will help you respond to our call for action and complain to Ofcom about the level of RFI you are subjected to.
John Rogers, M0JAV Chair EMCC
RSGB Tonight @ 8 - How to check for VDSL RFI with John Rogers, M0JAV
In a recent YouTube video Tech Minds shows how to decode GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) messages which are broadcast on MW and HF. In the video he explains the DSC (Digital Selective Calling) which allows calls to be made to individual ships, a group or all stations. He goes on to demonstrate the YADD GMDSS DSC decoder running via the HF audio piped in from SDRUno and received with an SDRPlay RSPdx.
How To Decode Maritime Distress Messages GMDSS DSC
Over on YouTube user Tech Minds has uploaded a video showing how you can determine if you are getting HF interference from a VDSL internet connection going to your house or neighbors. VDSL or Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line is an internet connection technology that runs over old copper phone wires allowing for a fast broadband connection. The frequencies used by VDSL are between 25 kHz to 12 MHz, and for VDSL2 up to 30 MHz. Unfortunately the frequencies used can result in high amounts of radio interference from RFI radiating from the copper phone lines which is a major problem for HF amateurs and short wave listeners.
In his video Tech Minds uses an SDRplay RSPdx to record a short IQ file of the VDSL interference that he experiences in his home in the UK. He then opens the IQ file in a piece of software called Lelantos, which was developed by a member of the UK amateur radio organization RSGB. If a VDSL signal is present, this tool will determine various bits of information about the interference, and will give you enough information to make a complaint to OFCOM, the UK's radio communications regulator.
Over on YouTube the TechMinds channel has uploaded a new video about decoding Differential GPS (DGPS) using an SDRplay RSPdx SDR. DGPS is a terrestrially transmitted long wave signal that is used to help correct and improve GPS position data calculations which may have timing errors due to atmospheric propagation delays. It works by broadcasting correction data calculated by the difference in received GPS location and the known location of the DGPS transmission site. DGPS is typically transmitted on longwave between 285 kHz and 315 kHz, but in Argentina there are two stations at 2570 and 2950 kHz.
In the video TechMinds explains how DGPS works, and some location around the world from where it is transmitted from. Later in the video he shows a DGPS signal being received by a SDRplay RSPdx SDR, and then show a demo of how it can be decoded with MultiPSK.
We note that there also various other DGPS decoders available including decoders for Android and iOS. A list of decoders can be found on the DGPS sigidwiki page.
DGPS Differential GPS Decoding With RSPdx And MultiPSK
In the review Thomas notes that while having the advantage of being a wideband receiver, the predecessor to the SDRplay RSPdx (the SDRplay RSP2) was never able to compete with the similarly priced Airspy HF+ and Airspy HF+ Discovery units when it came to HF, MW and LW receiving performance.
But now with it's 0 to 2 MHz enhanced HDR mode activated, Thomas notes that the new RSPdx is majorly improved over the RSP2 in terms of sensitivity and selectivity on the medium wave bands. Thomas' tests also show substantial improvements in the shortwave bands.