SDR# (SDRSharp) is one of the most popular free software defined radio programs available with RTL-SDR support. Recently it has been updated to version 1811 and the new version brings improved performance and also improves RTL-SDR compatibility with some systems. The changelog reads:
Date: Mon Mar 29 15:03:09 2021 +0200
More DSP optimizations;
Many fixes for RTL dongles (mainly workraounds for old libs);
Revert to libusb 184.108.40.20604 for backward compatibility;
Revert to portaudio 2016 for backward compatibility;
Check the latest and greatest SDR# release with more performance optimizations and better processing quality for #airspy devices. The #rtlsdr crowd will also be happy with the improved compatibility.
@lambdaprog (the SDR# programmer) has also tweeted showing how well SDR# can run on a 10 year old i7 4700 laptop with the new performance improvements. With a huge 160 MSPS baseband IQ file, the software is seen to be using very minimal CPU.
Thank you to Paolo Romani IZ1MLL for letting us know that he has updated his popular SDRSharp users guide that we posted about previously last December. The guide is available on the Airspy downloads page. SDR# (aka SDRSharp) from Airpsy.com is designed for Airspy SDRs, however it is one of the most popular SDR receiver programs that is used with RTL-SDRs as well. Paolo's guide covers all of the settings and features in SDR# as well as some third party plugins. Paolo writes:
In the last month I have completely rewritten the guide for other devices and for the latest radical changes to the software. From today, version 2.1 is available in Italian and English for all interested guys.
We note that the guide has also been translated in Spanish and Russian, although at the time of writing those translations are still only for the older guide.
The popular SDR# (SDRSharp) software has recently been updated to version 1788, and now runs on the .NET5 SDK. Most of the upgrades are behind the scenes, but generally the new version appears to be more memory efficient and loads faster. The new version also brings more theme and layout customizations and as explained further below an improved plugin SDK for developers.
In order to install the latest version you will need to download .NET5 runtime from Microsoft which may not already be on your system. For RTL-SDR users you can then run install-rtlsdr.bat then start the software as usual.
One of the most exciting new developments is the new .NET 5 plugin SDK that is now available. This allows third party developers to easily code up plugins for SDR#. While a plugin SDK already existed before, the new version appears to make development much simpler, and also comes with a few examples to help get developers started quickly. The result is that we should start to see more plugins appearing in the future with more features.
One plugin called Scytale-C for Inmarsat STD-C channel decoding has already been updated to the new SDK. The developer notes that the plugin now works great with the SDR# "slicer" feature, which allows users to decode multiple STD-C signals within the received bandwidth at the same time.
We've also recently seen reports of Twitter users having success with running this new SDR# version on WINE under Linux. Unfortunately direct USB still doesn't work under WINE, but it would still function via SpyServer or rtl_tcp.
Paolo Romani IZ1MLL has recently created a SDR# users guide document which comprehensively explains all the features and settings available in the program. SDR# (aka SDRSharp) from Airpsy.com is designed for Airspy SDRs, however it is one of the most popular SDR receiver programs used with RTL-SDRs as well.
Paolo's guide appears to build on our own guide at www.rtl-sdr.com/sdrsharp, providing new information and updates since many changes and new features have been released in SDR# since we wrote that guide a few years ago.
The guide can be found on the airspy.com/download page and is available in English, Italian and Spanish.
Over on YouTube a few more videos showing the new AM and FM co-channel cancelling algorithms available in recent versions of SDR# have been uploaded. In the first video YouTuber channel "Peter .DXChannel" shows an example of broadcast FM Sporadic E signals (temporary long range reception due to Tropospheric ducting) being recovered with the FM co-channel canceller.
A demonstration of the SDRsharp FM Co Channel Canceller with Es signals
In the second video "icholakov" shows the AM co-channel canceller recovering a weaker signal being broadcast directly on top of a stronger one (zero carrier offset).
SDR Sharp Co-channel interference AM canceller. Several tests using Airspy HF+ Discovery
SDR# is a very popular Windows SDR program often used with the RTL-SDR and Airspy SDR. One drawback is that it lacks native Linux compatibility. In the past it has been possible to run SDR# via WINE, however some newer updates were thought to have broken that ability. WINE is a Windows emulator that allows some Windows programs to run under Linux.
However, recently on Twitter we've seen a Tweet by @albinstigo indicating that SDR# can indeed run on Ubuntu 20.04 via WINE 5.0. In a Tweet he explains the steps which are quite simple:
One limitation is that the emulated SDR# cannot connect to the SDR natively via the USB. So you will need to use TCP server software such as rtl_tcp or SpyServer to get it to work. Basically, run the server on the native Linux environment, then connect to it in SDR# running on the emulated Windows environment.
1. Install wine via apt.
2. Install dotNET 4.8 via winetricks.
3. Install the Verdana font via winertricks.
4. Enjoy SDR.
A few days ago the developer of SDR# added a very useful AM Co-Channel canceller plugin, and just today he has also added a new FM Co-Channel canceller. A Co-Channel canceller allow a user to remove an interfering station, allowing a buried station to be received cleanly. This is especially useful for DXer's where strong local and weak distant overlapping stations are likely to be received at the same time. The plugin works with all SDR# compatible SDRs including the RTL-SDR.
On a related note, we wanted to point out that recently the Airspy website and downloads have been getting flagged by some antivirus software, however we believe these detections to be false positives caused by the very frequent update schedule of SDR#.
Over on Twitter we've seen a couple of videos from @K7al_L3afta demonstrating how well the new FM Co-Channel canceller works.