Posts Tagged sdr

SWLs: WLO RTTY news feed on 8473 KHz

So there I am, minding my own business at 2am or so my time, tuning across 8 MHz with SdrDx using my 20 meter inverted vee, and I see a RTTY signal. Ever the optimist, I fire up the Jack server (this connects the audio output of one application on the Mac to the input of another application), then an old version of fldigi I have lying around, “jack” them together, and lo and behold, the signal is unencrypted, 45 baud 170 Hz shift RTTY. That was startling enough, but the signal turns out to be a news feed, something I haven’t seen on the shortwave bands in at least ten, perhaps as much as twenty, years.
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SdrDx –OS X and Windows SDR Software

I’ve been working on developing OSX/Mac and Windows versions of SdrDx. At this time, SdrDx for OS X and Windows supports Ethernet-connected version of AFEDRI SDRs, the USB-connected Airspy (AirSpy HF+ under OS X only, via this OS X server), Ethernet-based Andrus MK1.5, USB FunCube Pro, USB FunCube Pro Plus, Peaberry, Ethernet based RFSPACE SDrs, USB RTL sticks (RTL supported under OS X only, via this OS X server) and Softrock SDR receivers. Both the Peaberry and Softrock SDRs require a lot of expertise to get working. The others are pretty much plug-and-play.

power-block-builds

SdrDx 2.17a

SdrDx 2.19n

In addition, SdrDx can be made to support any SDR with a sound card interface, including I/Q input via your native or auxiliary sound card, with a little scripting work; the Peaberry and Softrock support use this mechanism via Python.

SdrDx (running on the Mac) is shown to the right. SdrDx is a closed-source, free application.

SdrDx, in combination with your SDR, is an extremely powerful receiver. Reception, recording, playback, analysis, processing — it’s all there, and it’s all been made as easy to use as possible. Extensive documentation covers every aspect of operating the software, as well as providing numerous examples and images to help you along. If you’re an expert radio user, you’re sure to settle right in. If you’re still learning, you can look forward to software that lets your capabilities grow with your knowledge.
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RFSPACE SDR-IQ and Mac OSX 10.5.8 Leopard

No Mac support as yet, but… install VMWARE and XP, and it works great. I’m listening to Radio Havana on 6050 KHz right now on a three foot piece of wire. Tomorrow, when I can buy a length of coax, I’ll hook it up to my shortwave antenna, which is out of reach of my computer desktop right now. I expect to have a lot of fun.

I tried it with Parallels 2, but Parallels screws up the USB connection and it just won’t fly. It was less expensive to “cross-grade” to VMWARE than it was to buy a Parallels “support incident”, so Parallels just lost a paying customer. Funny how that works. VMWARE imported my Parallels XP VM without comment, and the only catch was that XP bitched at me about having to be re-registered because “my hardware had changed significantly.” Oops. Turns out that wasn’t a problem… re-registration went smoothly, just a couple clicks and it was done. One of the benefits of having a legal copy, I presume.

Anyway, just thought it’d be worth noting for Mac users that you too can have an SDR instrument on your desktop. You do have to run it inside a Windows VM, but that doesn’t seem to be much of an inconvenience.

On the left, you see WinRadio; it has a lot fewer features than SpectraVue, but on the other hand, it acts a good deal more like a radio than a spectrum analysis tool. It doesn’t seem to have any system for managing memories, but that may just be new-user unfamiliarity. I confess to not (yet) having RTFM. I will update this post if I learn otherwise.

Some benefits WinRadio brings to the desktop are ECSS reception for standard SW and AM signals, and DRM (Digital Radio Mondial), a digital reception mode. ECSS works very well indeed; DRM is… well, it’s interesting. Haven’t got that figured out yet. I downloaded the DReaM decoder, and tuned in to some DRM broadcasts, but haven’t got anything to report other than no success.
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