Posts Tagged ‘software defined radio’
Sure! You don’t need to have a software-defined radio (SDR) before you start learning how to use the technology; there are a few different paths you can take, exploring and learning about SDR.
One way to gain some experience with SDR without spending a dime is to install a free software package for the very popular, non-Linux, operating system (that starts with ‘W’), and give SDR a test drive. If you like it, you might consider getting your own hardware (like the SDRplay RSPdx, for instance), and connecting it up to your computer and running this software, too.
Why I Dived Into SDR
I have always loved radio, ever since the early 1970s, when I discovered shortwave radio. In the last couple of years, I’ve had an increasing interest in the world of SDR. When I am working, but away from home (remember those days, before Covid?), I want to sample news and programming from around the world, but through shortwave. The way to do that, I found, is by using the various SDR options which allow a person to tune a remote receiver, and listen.
I also find working with the waterfall of a typical SDR-software user interface rewarding because, instead of blindly searching for signals in a subband, I can see all of the received signals on the scrolling time representation of a slice of frequency. Simply select that signal on the waterfall, and the radio tunes right to it.
I often connect to different SDR radios around the world, to catch all manner of shortwave signals, from maritime, military air, trans-oceanic air, or coast guard radio traffic, or other interesting HF communications including amateur radio CW and SSB signals. Occasionally, I also check out VHF and UHF signals from around the world. All of that, while instead an office building that is not suited for shortwave radio reception.
I’ve now decided to give back to the community; I’ve added my SDR receiver to the collection of receivers located around the world on the SDRSpace network of SDR radios.
My new SDRplay RSPdx software-defined radio receiver is live, via http://www.sdrspace.com/Version-3, using the SDR Console software (Version 3).
The receivers are online whenever I am not transmitting and when there are no local thunderstorms.
Antenna Port A is connected to a wire antenna (a horizontal 100-foot wire that runs out from my house’s chimney to a tall tree; about 10 feet of that wire is oriented vertically, where the wire passes through a pulley and then is weighted down so it can move with wind-driven tree movement), while Antenna Port B is connected up to a VHF/UHF discone.
Both antenna systems have an AM Broadcast band notch (reject) filter reducing local AM Broadcast-Band radio station signals by about 30 to 40 dB. I need to use these because the very close KLIN transmitting tower is just miles away and those signals overwhelm the receiver. When I use the signal filters, the local AM Broadcasting signals no longer overwhelm the receiver.
In the following video, I first explain my SDR setup, and in the second half of the video, I tune around the radio spectrum, using the software to control my SDR receiver.
A Couple of Questions
After watching this video, WO9B wrote an email to me. Michael asked of me two questions, summed up as:
1. Your SDR window has the IF screen on top. How is that accomplished?
2. Your AM Broadcast filters; more info, please. I live in the area of mucho broadcast stations and that looks like something I could use.
In the following video, I demonstrate how I changed my layout of the SDR Console software. And, I mention the AM Broadcast Filter for SDR Receivers (the hardware filter is found here: https://g.nw7us.us/3kU5SJN).
To Use My Receiver
Download the latest version of SDR-Console from https://www.sdr-radio.com/download – there is a 32-bit and a 64-bit Windows installation package.
The 64-bit installation package may be downloaded from one of these three sources:
1. Google: https://g.nw7us.us/3auBq44
2. DropBox: https://g.nw7us.us/310ooIG
3. Microsoft: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AovWaZDu7Hrd3U-yqK1bs3wuaFw2?e=o4nKeh
The 32-bit installation package can be downloaded from one of these three sources:
1. Google: https://g.nw7us.us/3iLasrZ
2. DropBox: https://g.nw7us.us/3g4VcVc
3. Microsoft: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AovWaZDu7Hrd3U4mJiiRtI9lm70s?e=HDG4ZX
Install the SDR Console package according to the directions given. Once you have the software installed, you will want to add my server. It takes some work to get familiar with the software, but there are online FAQs on how to begin.
One guide on how to add a server to the list from which you can pick may be found, here:
I worked on getting all of the bugs worked out of my installation before making the video. It did take some work, and reading up on things. But, the software is solid and a good contender against SDRuno, and HDSDR, and, this way I can share it online with you.
My server is known as, ‘0 NW7US‘ — it will be online when I am not using my antenna systems for transmitting. It will be offline during thunderstorms, or during times when I must use the systems for transmitting.
Software-defined radio is a great way to hear all sorts of communications, from local AM broadcast stations, FM stations, VHF Air Traffic, to shortwave radio stations including amateur radio HF communications.
Thank you for watching, commenting, and most of all, for subscribing; please subscribe to my YouTube Channel: https://YouTube.com/NW7US Also, please click on the bell, to enable alerts so that when I post a new video, you will be notified. By subscribing, you will be kept in the loop for new videos and more.
73 de NW7US
.. (yes, this is an expansion of an earlier post… forgive the redundancy… thank you) ..
The receivers are online whenever I am not transmitting and when there are no local thunderstorms.
Antenna Port A is a wire antenna (100′), while Antenna Port B is a VHF/UHF discone. Both have an AM Broadcast band reject filter, reducing local AM Broadcast signals by about 30 to 40 dB. I need to use these because the very close KLIN transmitting tower is just miles away and those signals overwhelm the receiver. When I use the signal filters, the local AM Broadcasting signals no longer overwhelm the receiver.
Let me know what you think. Enjoy!
To use my receiver:
Install the latest version of SDR-Console which can be downloaded from https://www.sdr-radio.com/download
Install SDR Console according to the directions given. Once you have the software installed, you will want to add my server.
It takes a little to get familiar with the software, but there are online FAQs on how to begin.
Hello, LHS listeners! We are back again with another exciting installment of our show. In this episode we discuss logging, general purpose and contesting, a new single-board computer project, retro gaming, a pop-up terminal for Linux, digital voice, software defined radio and much more. Thanks for listening, and remember: Get on the air!
73 de The LHS Guys
- No music this time; just one hour jam-packed with LHS goodness!
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- YFKtest: Yes, there really does seem to be a problem. It’s been confirmed by John, EI7IG, that the program does not log contacts for the ARRL Field Day contest. Other contests work fine. Russ plans on emailing the developer, DJ1YFK, with these observations.
- From the “Yes, It’s an Antenna” File: Multi-band HF dipole made from horse fencing.
- Pulling a Lunduke: Holding Source Code Hostage. Our hosts discuss this blog post by Tom Nardi about Bryan Lunduke’s recent move to open source his software. Bryan is one of the hosts of The Linux Action Show.
- Software Defined Radio (SDR)
- A common topic Russ encountered at Dayton was about the available Linux options for software defined radios.
- GNU Radio Project
- Version 3.6.0 released in early May, 2012.
- Version 3.2.2 is in the Debian Sid repository.
- The latest version can be retrieved with git. (Install git with the command “apt-get install git”.) To download the software, issue the command “git clone git://gnuradio.org/gnuradio”.
- Build instructions are available for most of the major Linux distributions.
- SDR Hardware
- Ettus USRP series works with the GNU Radio Project software. There are various models ranging in price from $700 to $2000, depending on the frequency range and options. Various modules allow receive and/or transmit on bands from 30kHz to 5.9GHz. Unfortunately, power output appears to be just 50-200mW, depending on the bands provided by the transmitter daughter board chosen.
- Funcube Dongle costs £128 (~$200) and is a receiver only. The Funcube Dongle is a “radio receiver designed to allow anyone to try their hand at reception of satellites like FUNcube”. It covers 51.5MHz – 1.7GHz, less the region from 1.1GHz to 1.2GHz.
- Perseus SDR costs $1000 and is also receive-only. It receives 10kHz to 40MHz.
- SoftRock SDR is a kit available in various models from $20 to $90. Most are receive-only, but the Ensemble is a 1W HF transceiver. Some models are unavailable at the moment. The SoftRock RXTX Ensemble Transceiver Kit will allow you to build a 1W transceiver for one of the following bands or band groups: 160m, 80m/40m, 30m/20m/17m, or 15m/12m/10m.
- RTL-SDR Devices range in price from $20 to $200 and are receive-only. More on the RTL-SDR project in an upcoming episode.
- Stewart, VA3PID, wrote to say that Russ was the first person, possibly ever, to correctly place his Scottish accent at Hamvention. He also remarked (in reference to a discussion in episode 71) that Chirp has come a long way; it can now program his Yaesu FT-857D!
- Jonas recently re-discovered LHS and expressed his appreciation for the show. Thanks, Jonas!
- Stefano, IZ3NVR/KD2BGM, asks for more help getting so2sdr built on his Linux machine. Russ suggests installing the compiler with “apt-get install g++ build-essential”, installing Qt and several other packages as described in Episode 83, then try building the so2sdr program again.
- Lastly, David Dominicki left a mostly unintelligible comment in response to Episode 78. Um, thanks… we think.
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