Tagged: sdr#

SDR# Version 1920 Released

A few days ago SDRSharp version 1920 was released. SDRSharp (SDR#) is a popular Windows program that is affiliated with Airspy SDR dongles, but is compatible with RTL-SDR and various other SDRs as well. The latest version gets rid of the relatively resource heavy Telerik UI library and replaces it with a much lighter weight library.

The author of SDR#, @lambdaprog, notes that v.1920 reduces memory usage by 85% and CPU utilization by 50%. The new version also improves scalability for high sample rates and number of spectrum slices and improves plugin compatibility. Several AOR brand SDRs are also now supported in v.1920.

On the note regarding improved plugin compatibility, we've noticed that in the v.1920 update the IF Average plugin has begun working again. The IF Average plugin is used for Hydrogen line radio astronomy experiments. In the past we had to use older versions of SDR# to make it work. We have updated our Hydrogen line tutorial to reflect this.

New Tool to Convert Between SDR# and SDR++ Frequency List Formats

Thank you to 'thewsoftware' over on our forums who has shared with us his SDR# <-> SDR++ frequency list converter (sdrfc) software. SDR# and SDR++ are two popular SDR programs often used with the RTL-SDR, but each uses a different format for storing custom frequency lists.

The new sdrfc tool allows users to easily convert frequency lists between SDR# and SDR++ formats, so you don't need to manually type out a frequency list for both programs.

The sdrfc is a Windows command line tool and instructions for using it can be found on the GitHub Readme. A release zip file is available on the GitHub Releases page.

SDR# <-> SDR++ Frequency Converter Readme

RTL433 Plugin for SDRSharp Updated

Back in 2021 we posted about a SDR# plugin that allowed you to interface with rtl_433 from within SDR#. RTL433 (rtl_433) is a commonly used RTL-SDR command line program that provides decoders for a wide range of 433.92 MHz, 868 MHz, 315 MHz, 345 MHz, and 915 MHz ISM band devices. Examples of such devices include weather stations, alarm sensors, utility monitors, tire pressure monitors and more.

Recently there have been a few updates to the plugin after a years hiatus which probably meant that the older version was not compatible with newer versions of SDR#. But there are also several bugfixes and minor changes made to the plugin too which can be read about on the GitHub Readme.

To download the plugin we recommend clicking on the green <>Code button on the GitHub page and choosing Download Zip. You can then browse to the install/ folder. Copy the three .dll files into the Plugins folder in your SDR# directory. Then open SDR#, go to the main hamburger menu -> plugins -> RTL_433.

RTL433 Plugin for SDR# Updated
RTL433 Plugin for SDR# Updated

SDR++ Android APK now supports the RTL-SDR Blog V4

Thank you to SDR++ developer Ryzerth who has let us know that RTL-SDR Blog V4 support has recently been added to the nightly build of the APK. With this release, Android is now fully supported by the RTL-SDR Blog V4 via Martin Marinov's SDR Driver app (which many SDR applications connect to), SDRAngel and now SDR++.

A reminder: With SDR++ you may find that you will need to close (using the task manager on Android) and reopen the app a couple of times before it will detect an RTL-SDR dongle. 

If you enjoy SDR++ please consider supporting the developer on Patreon.

Blog V4 Receiving Broadcast FM on Android with SDR++
Blog V4 Receiving Broadcast FM on Android with SDR++

Modified RTL-SDR Source for SDR++ with Manual Controls for R820T/2/R828D Tuners and Harmonic Reception

Over on GitHub user Sultan-papagani has just released a modified RTL-SDR source for SDR++ that enables full manual control of the gain stages, filters and other features on R820T/2/R828D tuner based RTL-SDRs. This includes the Blog V3 and Blog V4. In the standard drivers many of these these features are automatically controlled.

Tweaking the individual LNA, Mixer and VGA gain stages manually can help you to maximize SNR, while adjusting the filters can help block out of band interference.

The modified source also enables the 'Hamonic reception' enhancement from the librtlsdr fork of rtl-sdr, which allows you to tune up to 6 GHz via harmonic mixing. Note that tuning above the standard maximum of 1.766 GHz will most likely require strong band pass filtering and an external LNA as the harmonic mode results in a lot of imaging and weak signals. 

A new RTL-SDR Source for SDR++ with Manual Gain/Filter and Harmonic Mixing Controls
A new RTL-SDR Source for SDR++ with Manual Gain/Filter and Harmonic Mixing Controls

SDRSharp Controller Plugin: Control SDRSharp via any USB Hardware Controller

Thank you to Alan De Windt who has submitted news about the release of his latest SDR# Plugin called "SDRSharp Controller". Alan writes that this is a plugin that is "similar to the existing SDRSharp Net Remote plugin by Al Brown but which allows simpler physical controllers to be built". 

With this plugin you can create a key/value text mapping to turn any USB control device into something that can control various settings in SDR#. The controller hardware could perhaps be anything from a USB knob controller to a gamepad.

Alan also provides an example of a hardware USB knob controller that he's created which works together with the plugin. On the linked page he shows the components required to build the controller, how to wire up the circuit and provides the Arduino code.

A custom SDR# controller knob

TechMinds: Testing New RadioBerry Productions – an HF SDR Transceiver Raspberry Pi Hat

Back in July 2021 we posted about the RadioBerry HF SDR Transceiver Raspberry Pi Hat which is an open source project by PA3GSB. It is based on the AD9866 chip which gives it a 12-bit ADC with one RX and one TX channel, a maximum bandwidth of up to 384 kHz, and an operating frequency range of 0 to 30 MHz.

Because of FPGA component shortages, the device has been out of stock and stagnant for a long time. However, recently a new version has been released by well known SDR hardware cloner Justin Peng and is now available for sale on Aliexpress for US$155. As the design for this project is open source, Justin's new version is legal and he has released the redesigned open source files on his GitHub.

In his latest video, Matt from the TechMinds YouTube channel tests out this new board. He starts by explaining the history of the RadioBerry, and shows how to set it up and install the software. He goes on to demonstrate it receiving some HF signals, transmitting on 3 kHz and 5 kHz, and how to run it standalone on a Raspberry Pi 4 with screen.


SDRSharp 1915 Released: RTL-SDR Crashes Fixed

Thank you to SDR# author Youssef for updating SDR# (SDRSharp) and fixing a recent bug that was causing RTL-SDR units to crash whenever the frequency was changed. We are putting this post out to inform everyone who was having this issue to please update their SDRSharp version to 1915 which can be downloaded from airspy.com/download. Our guide at www.rtl-sdr.com/QSG can be used to walk you through the installation procedure for RTL-SDR dongles in SDR#.

The new update brings the RTL-SDR control menu down to the sidebar making it much easier to control the gain and sample rate settings. Other recent changes have also brought improvements to the RDS decoder which will be useful for DXers.

Please remember to show your appreciation to Airspy for allowing RTL-SDR users on their platform by checking out their range of higher end softwire defined radio products at airspy.com.

SDR# 1915
SDR# 1915