WHAT IS SOFTWARE DEFINED RADIO (SDR)?
In traditional hardware radios, the mathematical operations required to decode and process radio signals are performed using analogue circuitry. Recently, computers have become powerful enough to perform the required mathematical calculations in software, hence the term software defined radio. This has led to advanced radios that previously required complicated analogue hardware now being able to be implemented easily in software. This has reduced the cost of advanced radio capabilities such as wideband tuning and waterfall displays.
WHAT IS THE RTL-SDR?
The RTL-SDR is an extremely cheap software defined radio which is based on DVB-T TV (Digital HD TV) USB receiver dongles that have the RTL2832U chip in them. It was discovered by hardware hacker Eric Fry, Linux driver developer Antti Palosaari and the Osmocom team who were developing their own SDR that the RTL2832U chip had a mode which enabled SDR. Today, by using custom software drivers, a commonly used cheap RTL2832U can then be turned into a sophisticated SDR with features that would have until recently cost in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. Of course, the performance of these dongles will not match a dedicated SDR, but they perform extremely well for the price, and almost all hobbyist projects that can be done with expensive radios or SDRs can also be done with the rtl-sdr. A wideband SDR opens up many interesting possible projects and avenues to explore. Some applications of the RTL-SDR include the following, some of which will be discussed in more depth in the project tutorials chapter.
The testing antenna:
– Can be used to test signals receiving from VHF/UHF band.
– The receiving signal strength which received from VHF/UHF is not the best. It can be used to receive the nearby signals
(eg. FM broadcasting radio or other Hand-held radios). To achieve the best effect, you need to connect associated antennas.
– Can not be used to receive HF signal band.
– To achieve the best effect, you need to connect associated HF antennas such as Long Wire, Random Wire, Dipole etc.
Uses R820T2 chip set.
100KHz to 1766MHz, operating frequency.
Covers all HF amateur bands.
Covers VHF & UHF bands from 24-1766MHz.
Up to 3.2 M Sample rate. (~2.8 MHz stable).
Receiver modes NFM,FM,DSB,USB,LSB & CW.
Note: depends upon the SDR software used with the receiver.
8-bit ADC giving ~50 dB dynamic range.
50 Ohm input impedance.
Double SMA golden antenna connectors.
Diode protection on RF input.
LED power and band indication.
40MHz local oscillator for HF conversion.
DBM balance ring mixer.
Small size board.
Independent antenna inputs for Shortwave and VHF.
USB computer connection ( mini usb) Powered by common USB.
Very High dynamic range receiver.
Accurate and efficient band filters.
Very clean audio reception.
All specifications subject to change without notice.
1 x Testing Telescopic Antenna
1 x USB Cable
Installation Step :
This page is a guide aimed at helping anyone set up a cheap radio scanner based on the RTL-SDR software defined radio as fast as possible on a Windows system.
The Big List of RTL-SDR Supported Software
Antenna Long Wire con Balun 9:1
Alternative Installation Procedure for RTL.SDR and HDSDR