VK4PK - Software Defined Radio

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SDR References

Homo Ludens homepage
QtRadio Installation
A RUGGEDIZED GENERAL PURPOSE 100KHz-2GHz LOW NOISE RF PREAMPLIFIER
http://www.pa3fwm.nl/technotes/tn05.html#lpf

Blog RTL-SDR

RTL-SDR Blog brand R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO HF Bias Tee SMA Dongle (V3)

Applications

Great for many applications including general radio scanning, air traffic control, public safety 
, ACARS, VDL2, trunked radio, P25/DMR digital voice, TETRA, POCSAG, weather balloons, APRS, NOAA 
APT or METEOR M2 weather satellites, Outernet, Inmarsat, Iridium, GSM, Milsatcom, radio astronomy, 
meteor scatter monitoring, DAB, or for use as a low cost panadapter with a traditional ham radio.

Improvements

This unit has several improvements over generic and other brands including:
VK4YABob Wisdom7h
A bit late posting about new SDR’s (by a few months). The Lime board has a lower cost variant the LIMESDR Mini that looks quite interesting. I think its just got less antenna paths?

Also I should mention the Analog Devices Pluto board. I’ve got two on order from different suppliers (probably will cancel one of them). There are supply problems so I’m backing two horses - I reckon they were swamped with the demand from amateurs!

Apparently it is possible to trick the software1 into thinking its the much more extensive (and expensive) version of the chipset; then it has wider freq range possibly approaching 70MHz to 6GHz of the bigger brother device.

Then finally there is the Hermes2 board coming from the HPSDR group. Its still in schematic design stage but should be a worthwhile board when finished. Apparently it will do direct conversion from DC to 2 metres and has two Rx and two Tx. It will probably be relatively expensive (maybe $1000 or so I’m guessing), but its essentially then next generation of the direct conversion SDR design paradagm that is still going strong after ten years (eg Icom7610); so it should be good. No documentation available yet…


R820T2 tuner
Improved passive component tolerances
A 1 PPM temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO)
HF mode via direct sampling built in (can tune down to 500 kHz unlike basic RTL-SDR's which can 
only go to 24 MHz)
SMA F connector
Aluminium shielded case with thermal pad for passive cooling to improve L-Band performance
Software activatable 4.5v bias tee circuit
Improved PCB design for lower noise and less spurs
A USB noise choke, more bypass capacitors, and built in ferrites for less PC noise
Improved ESD protection (additional ESD diode and extra ESD discharge paths)
An improved front end circuit designed for wideband use (other models still use a circuit designed 
for DVB-T only)
Several breakout pads on the PCB for advanced users
This is an RTL-SDR software defined radio receiver with RTL2832U ADC chip, R820T2 tuner, 1PPM TCXO,
SMA F connector and aluminium case with passive cooling. Tunes from 500 kHz to 1.7 GHz with up to 
3.2 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth (2.4 MHz max stable, 3.2 MHz max if your application is tolerant 
to USB drops). (HF works in direct sampling mode - V.3 models and above only). Perfect for use as a 
computer based radio scanner with free software like SDR#, HDSDR, SDR-Radio, Linrad, GQRX or SDR 
Touch on Android. Works on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and even embedded Linux computers like the 
Raspberry Pi. 

This model has several key improvements provateover other models. It uses the improved R820T2 tuner, has a 
1PPM TCXO (2 PPM initial offset, 1 PPM temperature drift), has improved component tolerances and an 
SMA F connector. It also comes with a software activatable bias-tee circuit for powering external 
devices such as LNA's and active antennas. It also has HF reception capabilities. Most standard 
RTL-SDR dongles can tune down to 24 MHz at the lowest. This model has hardware that unlocks the 
"direct sampling mode", and allows for tuning down to 500 kHz. There is a built in 25 MHz low pass 
filter for optimizing this mode.

Various other improvements over other models have also been applied. For example a choke has been 
added on the USB line and additional bypass capacitors and power line ferrites have been added for 
reduced internal & PC noise, the PCB has been redesigned for significantly lower noise performance, 
ESD protection has been improved, the front end circuit has been optimized for wideband use (other 
models are still optimized for DVB-T frequencies), the LDO has been upgraded, and several break out 
pads have been added for advanced users.

The device requires USB 2.0 (works on most USB 3.0 ports, but we cannot guarantee it to work on all 
so please ensure your PC has a native USB 2.0 port just in case). Installation on Windows is simple, 
please Google for the RTL-SDR Blog Quickstart guide (links are not allowed on eBay sorry).
VK4YABob Wisdom 6/2/2018

The Lime board has a lower cost variant the LIMESDR Mini that looks quite interesting. 
I think its just got less antenna pathprovates?
Also, I should mention the Analog Devices Pluto board. I’ve got two on order from 
different suppliers (probably will cancel one of them). There are supply problems 
so I’m backing two horses - I reckon they were swamped with the demand from amateurs!

Apparently it is possible to trick the software1 into thinking its the much more 
extensive (and expensive) version of the chipset; then it has wider freq range 
possibly approaching 70MHz to 6GHz of the bigger brother device.

Then finally there is the Hermes2 board coming from the HPSDR group. Its still in 
schematic design stage but should be a worthwhile board when finished. Apparently 
it will do direct conversion from DC to 2 metres and has two Rx and two Tx. It will 
probably be relatively expensive (maybe $1000 or so I’m guessing), but its essentially 
then next generation of the direct conversion SDR design paradagm that is still 
going strong after ten years (eg Icom7610); so it should be good. 
No documentation available yet…

SDR Hardware

RTL-SDR

https://www.rtl-sdr.com/big-list-rtl-sdr-supported-software/

LimeSDR

https://www.crowdsupply.com/lime-micro/limesdr-mini

Lime Mini

https://www.crowdsupply.com/lime-micro/limesdr-mini

Adalm-Pluto

http://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-and-software/evaluation-boards-kits/ADALM-PLUTO.html#eb-overview
https://www.rtl-sdr.com/adalm-pluto-sdr-hack-tune-70-mhz-to-6-ghz-and-gqrx-install/
https://www.rtl-sdr.com/adalm-pluto-sdr-unboxing-and-initial-testing/

KiwiSDR

Built on the BeagleBone SOC. At $445 for the SDR and BeagleBone it is expensive.
http://kiwisdr.com/ - Home Page
https://www.pakronics.com.au/pages/search-results-page?q=kiwisdr - AU Distributor
http://kiwisdr.com/ks/compare.1.1.pdf
http://sdr.hu/?top=kiwi - Live Web Sites

LNA's for SDR Radios

https://fabiobaltieri.com/2014/06/22/lna - LNA for RTL Based SDR Receivers

SDR Software

RPiTx

Rpi Transmit (RPiTx)

github Source Download

SDR#

HDSDR

SDR-Radio

Linrad

Gqrx

Gqrx is a popular program, built on GNU-radio
http://gqrx.dk/download/install-ubuntu

Pothos - data-flow software solutions

The Pothos project is a complete data-flow framework for creating topologies of interconnected processing blocks. Topologies can be designed and tested graphically, and deployed over a network. The Pothos framework API is sleek and smart, enabling users to quickly create custom processing blocks with minimal boiler-plate. Processing blocks can support computational offload and integration with SoC and DMA devices. The project also has a diverse set of processing and hardware support toolkits.

https://github.com/pothosware/PothosCore/wiki - the Pothos project
https://github.com/pothosware/PothosCore/wiki/Ubuntu - Ubuntu package support
Pathos Build Instructions for RLT-SDR
SoapyRTLSDR Build and Install

https://github.com/pothosware/PothosCore/wiki/Downloads

Dependencies:
Install librtl-sdr - http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr
Install SoapySDR: https://github.com/pothosware/SoapySDR/wiki
Or install rtl-sdr packages on Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install rtl-sdr librtlsdr-dev

Building Soapy RTL-SDR

cd ~/packages
git clone https://github.com/pothosware/SoapyRTLSDR.git
cd SoapyRTLSDR
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make
sudo make install

The commant to check installion was successful:
SoapySDRUtil --probe="driver=rtlsdr"

SoapySDR

https://github.com/pothosware/SoapyRTLSDR/wiki#id1 - linked Library for RTL SDR's

SDR Play

https://www.sdrplay.com/downloads/
SDRPlay Driver download site
Install Instructions

SDRAngel

Image
SDRAngel is an Open Source Qt5 / OpenGL 3.0+ SDR and signal analyzer frontend to various hardware.

https://github.com/f4exb/sdrangel

CubicSDR - requires SDR Play

https://media.readthedocs.org/pdf/cubicsdr/latest/cubicsdr.pdf - Documtation
https://cubicsdr.com/ - CubicSDR
http://kb9rlw.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/step-by-step-install-of-sdrplay-rsp2.html - Install Instructions https://www.sdrplay.com/linuxdl.php - SDRPlay Driver download site
CubicSDR build instructions for Ubuntu 17.10 Artfull

Files Required:
/home/glenn/Dropbox/BDARS/CubicSDR/Install_script-pt1.sh
/home/glenn/Dropbox/BDARS/CubicSDR/Install_script-pt2.sh
SDRplay_RSP_API-Linux-2.11.1.run

Source Site: (For Reference only)
"http://kb9rlw.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/step-by-step-install-of-sdrplay-rsp2.html" Install Instructions
"https://www.sdrplay.com/linuxdl.php#" SDRPlay Driver download site

Note all three scripts must be executable. They should download as executable, but in case
they are executable use the command "ls -l" and make sure the fourth position has an "x".
For example: 
   "-rwxrwxrwx  1 glenn glenn     1683 Feb  1 21:48 Install_script-pt1.sh"
The command to add execution rights is ...
   chmod +x ./{scriptname}  (where {scriptname} is the name of the downloaded file)
You can also use "properties" in filemanager by right clicking the file.

SDR Touch on Android

Requires a licence fee to be usefull

SDR-Scanner

https://eartoearoak.com/software/rtlsdr-scanner">https://eartfROllloearoak.com/software/rtlsdr-scanner - python code

RTL_FM

rtl_fm -M wbfm -f 90.1m | play -r 32k -t raw -e s -b 16 -c 1 -v1 -
First install "play" with the command
sudo apt install sox

http://www.instructables.com/id/rtl-sdr-on-Ubuntu/

qtradio

sdr-fm


Linux Distro Builds Pre-Configurted for SDR

Skywave Linux
https://www.rtl-sdr.com/skywave-linux-new-linux-ubuntu-distribution-made-for-software-defined-radio/comment-page-1
KB1OIQ - Andy's Ham Radio Linux
https://sourceforge.net/projects/kb1oiq-andysham/

Panadapters

http://huprf.com/huprf/pat-board/

Map Decoders



gQRX

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Glenn Lyons VK4PK
glenn@LyonsComputer.com.au
Ver:gnl28022018 - pre published v0.9