Recently the SDR# team have updated the algorithm on the noise reduction plugins used in SDR#. It appears that both the IF and Audio noise reduction plugins were updated with a better smoothing algorithm. We briefly tested the new algorithm and compared it against an older version. The new algorithm has noticeably less hiss and is slightly clearer when compared at the same noise reduction level. We tested with the same threshold levels and using the speech profile.
At the same time we've also seen news that Simon of SDR-Console is working on another noise reduction algorithm based on deep neural networks in the latest private beta version. A video of it in action was posted by Paul J in the SDRplay users group (note that you will need a Facebook account and will probably need to be a member of the SDRplay group to view that video). The algorithm seems to be based on the RNNoise paper that was posted here. The SDR# algorithm was also tweaked based on information gained from that paper although it doesn't use neural networks directly.
The Airspy HF+ on the other hand is based on a polyphase harmonic rejection mixer design with 18-bit DDC and has a frequency range of DC – 31 MHz and 60 – 260 MHz, with a maximum bandwidth of up to 660 kHZ. It is not yet released, but is expected to be about US $149 shipped from China.
Simon’s screenshots show that despite its low cost the HF+ seems to perform just as well as the more expensive NetSDR.
Over on his YouTube channel user Corrosive has uploaded a set of videos that show how to install and get started with an RTL-SDR or HackRF with SDR-Console V3. The video series starts from the very beginning with installing the drivers via zadig, and then goes on to show how to download, install and use SDR-Console V3.
In one of his later videos Corrosive also shows how to optimally configure the settings in SDR-Console V3 and SDR# for optimal reception and viewing.
In a newer video he also shows how he uses the HackRF as a spectrum analyzer to find his cellphone signal. Regarding this video, Corrosive wrote in to us and said the following:
For a while now I’ve been trying to find the frequency of my cell phone, looking frequencies up online and trying to find an app that would tell me my current frequency. None of these things seem to work and scanning the band manually I always came up dry because I wasn’t 100% sure where I needed to look.
Further videos on his channel also show how to receive ADSB data with an RTL-SDR and Android phone, and how he repurposed a rabbit ears antenna into a V-dipole antenna for receiving Satcom pirates.
Corrosive has done a good job putting out SDR and radio related videos over the past couple of weeks so it may be a channel to subscribe to if you are interested in this type of content.
SDR-Console is a popular RTL-SDR compatible multi purpose SDR software package which is similar to programs like SDR#, HDSDR and SDRuno. Currently SDR-Console V2 is the stable version and SDR-Console V3 is in a beta state. A few days ago SDR-Console V3 Preview 6 was released. It comes with some very interesting new features including a built in Airspy server, a recording scheduler, a new feature called signal history and a new receivers pane.
Many thanks to Simon Brown for updating SDR-Console V3 Preview to fully support both the RSP1 and the RSP2- you can download the software from http://sdr-radio.com/v3_preview_downloads (be sure to click on the software link under where it says ‘Downloads’ unless you want to download the software from the advertisers who support Simon’s work!)
As new YouTube demo videos of SDR-Console V3 in action become available, we will add them to the playlists on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP
The RSP2 now supports its native SDRUno software, HDSDR through an extIO module, CubicSDR and now SDR-Console V3.
YouTube user k2nccvids has posted a video showing him decoding and plotting both AIS channels simultaneously on a Windows PC with free software. To do this he uses SDR Console and two AISMon instances. SDR Console is a general purpose SDR GUI that supports the RTL-SDR. One of it’s major advantages over other SDR software is that it can tune to multiple signals in the same swath of tuned bandwidth simultaneously and output their audio to different virtual audio cables.
k2nccvids used two AISMon instances, each one connected to a separate virtual audio cable outputting AIS audio from SDR Console. He set AISMon to output decoded UDP packets on two different ports. Then he created two UDP listeners in OpenCPN for plotting, one for each port.