Tuesday 1 September 2015

An impromptu shack visit and SDR setup.

I had a visit from two Wexford operators, both I have met while visiting the Gorey Radio when I am down there on holidays in Courtown Harbour.

In the middle is Jim EI9GLB and to the right is Michael EI9GGB.

Also this morning I got a package delivered from China, it was my DAB+FM+DVB-T Dongle, a big coincidence as Michael is the one who introduced me to the world of SDR and Dongles....  so he got the job of setting it up for me... Thanks Michael.

DAB+FM+DVB-T Dongle.

Dongle inserted into back of computer.

I do not know much about HDSDR but needless to say I will be reading up on it now and getting to grips with the program, also looking forward to hearing/watching SSB signals on 4m.

Screen shot of SDR monitoring 70.200 SSB.

Michael sent me this bit of info on how or why the dongles work...

The RTL2832 is an IC produced by Realtek Corporation to demodulate DVB-T (digital TV) signals and send them to a host computer over the USB bus. It has an additional mode designed to allow reception of consumer FM radio, and this is achieved by capturing I/Q samples and forwarding them to the host computer for demodulation and playback.

This feature was discovered by a Linux kernel developer while writing a Linux driver for devices using this chip, and the discovery was quickly put to use by implementing drivers for SDR programs such as HDSDR, turning these devices into cheap Software Defined Radio (SDR) receivers. As the devices have a wide tuning range (typically continuous from 64MHz to 1.7GHz) they are very flexible.

As so many devices have been produced based around this chip, it is difficult to reliably tell which devices are suitable for use with SDR. There is a community maintained list on Reddit documenting which devices are known to work.

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