Tagged: sdr#

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

Possible fixes for new versions of SDR# crashing with RTL-SDRs

SDR# (SDRSharp) is our recommend software for RTL-SDRs due to it's high popularity in the community, relatively simple to learn and use interface, and host of features and third party plugins available.

Recently we're starting to see a lot of Facebook and forum posts about a new bug introduced in SDR# 1911 - 1913 so we thought we'd make a global post. This new bug has introduced a problem which causes a crash when attempting to change frequencies with RTL-SDR dongles (of any make or brand). It appears to be an issue stemming from libusb, but the exact issue is still unknown. The SDR# author is aware of the issue, but as RTL-SDR dongles are supported in SDR# for free with no guarantee, it may be several weeks until he has the time to investigate the issue fully. In the meantime we want to note some some partial fixes that we have found.

The first fix is to use our "rtl-sdr-blog" drivers instead of the default osmocom drivers. Our Quickstart guide now shows how to download these drivers and install them into SDR#, so if you want to try this solution, please see the guide. We're not exactly sure why this driver helps, but it may be due to our version being compiled against a newer version of libusb. However, this fix is only partial. While it no longer crashes on every frequency change, it will still crash approximately 5% of the time on a frequency change, which can add up when surfing through the spectrum rapidly, or when using frequency scanners.

We have also found a second fix that almost completely eliminates the crash, but it appears that it only works on some PCs. This fix is to use our rtl-sdr-blog drivers, and at the same time use Zadig to install the "libusb-win32" version of libusb, instead of the WinUSB version. However, the libusb-win32 is old, and it only appears to work on some PCs. On others it causes SDR# to crash as soon as the RTL-SDR is loaded.

Alternatively you can simply use a legacy version of SDR# by clicking the "Latest dotnet x.x build" links on the SDR# downloads page.

The final alternative would be to use another program like SDR++, which is very similar to SDR#, but without a large amount of plugins available yet. We have also added a SDR++ installation guide to our quickstart guide.

The SDRSharp ListenInfo Plugin

SDR# is a popular software defined radio program that is compatible with RTL-SDR, Airspy and several other SDR devices. One feature is the ability for third parties to develop plugins for the software.

One recently released plugin that is gaining popularity is the "ListenInfo" plugin. The ListenInfo plugin uses a publicly available database of shortwave stations to display frequency station info for the LW, MW, SW bands within the SDR# spectrum display.

If you've ever been browsing the shortwave bands and wondered where a station is broadcasting from, and what it's transit power, beam direction and transmit schedule are like, then this will be a very useful plugin for you.

SDR# ListenInfo Plugin
SDR# ListenInfo Plugin