Tagged: rtl-sdr

Harvey Mudd College Learn SDR Course with RTL-SDR, PlutoSDR and GNU Radio on YouTube

Professor Jason from Harvery Mudd College in California has recently uploaded a 23 lesson video series on software defined radio digital signal processing (DSP) concepts that can be learned with an RTL-SDR, PlutoSDR and GNU Radio.

If you're looking for a University level introduction to DSP this looks like a good hand on approach to learning. It covers concepts from a simple FM radio receove in GNU Radio, to doppler radar with PlutoSDR, to digital modulation, pulse shaping, GPS reception and more.

All the GNU Radio flowgraphs are available on their class GitHub as well.

Playlist: Learn SDR with Prof Jason

The NOAA-15 Weather Satellite may be Failing (Again)

The NOAA APT weather satellites are popular because they fly over most places on earth frequently, and they are easy to receive images directly from with modest hardware such as an RTL-SDR and v-dipole antenna.

Three NOAA APT satellites currently operational include NOAA-15, NOAA-18 and NOAA-19. The satellites are however long past their rated mission age, with NOAA-15 being almost 25 years old now.

Unfortunately NOAA-15 appears to be having trouble with it's image scanning motor at the moment, and it is producing corrupted images. This problem has occurred in the past in 2018 and 2019, before fixing itself, so the hope is that it will fix itself again this time.

NOAA does not appear to have released any information about the outage yet on their General Satellite Messages page.

We also wanted to note the recent news that NOAA will be transitioning NOAA-15, 18 and 19 to a private company for on-orbit operations.

niliBOX: Software for Managing RTL-SDRs and other Radios Locally and Remotely

niliBOX is a multiplatform software package in beta release that can be used to manage radio devices such as Icom radio scanners and RTL-SDRs remotely or locally. It is the evolution of the older 'PCR Anywhere' software which was specifically designed for controlling Icom Radio scanners.

Over on YouTube user Danny Shortwave And Radio DX has uploaded a video demonstrating the RTL-SDR module being used in niliBOX with his RTL-SDR Blog V3 SDR. He writes:

niliBOX developed a software for various models of computer controlled radios and also for the RTL-SDR software defined radio. I will demonstrate this by running the software while tuning the mediumwave stations. The antenna I'm using is the MLA-30 active loop antenna. This is their first initial release of this software. I will make a series of videos showing this program working. Stay Tuned. This is Version 1.0.0

They currently have Windows 64 Bit. Tested on Windows 7, 10 and 11. They also have Linux version, tested on Ubuntu and Centos 64 Bit. And also a Apple Mac version, tested with MacOS 10.14, 10.15, 11 and 12. They are also coming soon with Android and IOS versions.

Brief Demonstration of new niliBOX software for the RTL-SDR V.3 SDR USB Dongle

ADS-B Radar Android App Updated with Open Street Maps

Thank you to James Mainwaring for letting us know about the latest update to his "ADS-B Radar (RTL-SDR)" Android App. The update brings an Open Street Map (OSM) display, allowing for aircraft to be directly plotted on the map.

As before the app works with an RTL-SDR directly connected to the Android device, and also has a radar like display.

James also has other apps on the Google Play store for FM Radio, Airband and Ham Radio listening.

ADS-B Radar App for Android

A WebUSB Based RTL-SDR Aircraft ADS-B Decoder

Over on GitHub @devdevcharlie has uploaded open source Javascript code for creating an ADS-B Aircraft Radar system entirely within a web browser. The code makes use of the Web USB API, which enables USB devices like RTL-SDR dongles to connect directly to the code running in the web browser.

In her blog post, Charlie explains her code in greater detail, noting that it draws inspiration from AirplaneJS and rtlsdr.js. She explains how the Web USB API works, how to process the raw ADS-B data, and what her final setup looks like.

A demo site that you can use to directly connect to your RTL-SDR is available here.

In the past we've seen other WebUSB projects, like "aprs-sdr" which creates an APRS repeater system using a HackRF.

A Broad Overview About HF on the RTL-SDR Blog V3

Over on YouTube, Tom the Dilettante has uploaded a video demonstrating how to receive HF signals with an RTL-SDR Blog V3 running in direct sampling mode. This is something already known to most RTL-SDR fans, but on the RTL-SDR V3 we have built in a direct sampling circuit that enables reception below 24 MHz with a simple settings change in software.

In the past and with other dongle brands, enabling direct sampling required hardware mods involving directly soldering a wire antenna to very small pins or pads. Direct sampling is not a high performance mode for HF, but in many situations it can be good enough for casual listening. 

In his video Tom demonstrates HF reception with the RTL-SDR Blog V3 and an MLA-30 active loop antenna. This is a cheap loop antenna available on Aliexpress that works very well for the price.

Listen Around the World - No Internet Required (HF & Shortwave on RTL SDR)

Radio Jove Spectrograph Hardware and Software

NASA's Radio Jove is a project that enables students and amateur scientists from around the world to observe and analyze the HF radio emissions from Jupiter, our Sun and our galaxy using easy to construct HF radio telescopes that receive spectrographs from 16-24 MHz. The project has existed for more than two decades, and these days the telescope builds mostly make use of low cost software defined radios.

In a presentation for the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) Richard Flagg & Jim Sky talk about what sort of hardware is used these days for the Radio Jove project. They note that SDRs like the Softrock, Funcube Dongle Pro+, SDR-IQ, SDR-14, RTL-SDR, and RASDR have been used. They go on to discuss some of the spectrograph logging software that is used with the project as well.

The presentation slides in PDF form can be found here.

Richard Flagg & Jim Sky: Radio Jove Spectrograph Hardware and Software (RJ10/11)

SDRSharp Big Guide Book Updated to V5.3

Paolo Romani (IZ1MLL) has recently released version 5.3 of his SDRSharp PDF Guide. The book is available for download on the Airspy downloads page, just scroll down to the title "SDR# Big Book" and choose your language.

As before the document is a detailed guide about how to use SDRSharp (SDR#), which is the software provided by Airspy. While intended for Airspy devices, SDRSharp also supports a number of third party SDRs, including the RTL-SDR, and it is the software we recommend starting with when using an RTL-SDR.

Paolo writes:

Youssef Touil hasn't rested for a moment and the SDR# releases have been moving forward in leaps and bounds with new Denoisers (NINR), CCC, Audio/Baseband records and the new menu features.

I also had to re-update my Big Book PDF to v5.3 as a result!!

I have also implemented the SpyServer section a lot in multi OS and a chapter "Ideas and Suggestions" with two paragraphs: SDR & MacOS and the other using SDR# with two multiple monitors.