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SdrDx --OS X and Windows SDR Software
Categories: Shortwave, Ham Radio
by Admin on Monday, May 9th, 2011 at 23:23:59

I've been working on developing OSX / Mac and Windows versions of SdrDx. At this time, SdrDx for OSX and Windows supports Ethernet-connected version of AFEDRI SDRs, the USB connected Airspy (AirSpy HF+ under OSX only, via this OSX server), Ethernet-based Andrus MK1.5, USB FunCube Pro, USB FunCube Pro Plus, Peaberry, Ethernet based RFSPACE SDrs, USB RTL sticks (RTL supported under OSX only, via this OSX 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.

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 is a closed-source, free application.

SdrDx, in combination with your SDR, is a powerful radio 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.

AirSpy HF+, RTL, SDR IQ and SDR 14 users: You can download the executable application(s) appropriate to your OS (OSX or Windows) and the networking server for your OS (if you have an AirSpy HF+, SDR IQ or SDR 14 and don't already have a server) below. Remember, you must have a network server application installed to support these USB based SDRs. Server applications for both OSX and Windows platforms for the SDR IQ and SDR 14 are available in the list of downloads below; so far, the only available servers for the AirSpy HF+ and RTL sticks run under OSX. Other supported SDR types do not require a server application.

Please consider the following makers of SDRs ahead of any others. These manufacturers have gone the extra mile to see that SDR software developers such as myself are provided with working SDR samples, technical support and interfacing data:

  • AFEDRI (822, 822x)
  • AirSpy (HF+)
  • Andrus (MK 1.5)
  • Funcube (pro, pro plus)

The main application zip file will un-compress to a folder, inside which you will find the SdrDx application, and some other files. Please read the documentation carefully. Take advantage of the extensive index. If you can't find something in the index, please let me know. I try to keep the documentation up to date. It's no trouble at all to add index entries, and generally speaking, I'm willing to expand the main manual itself if you find something I have not covered yet. Recent changes to the documentation may only be found in the beta documentation until a version update of the entire package is made; this is where to look if you ask me to add something, it'll appear there first.

Note to Windows OS users: Only run SdrDx and SwDb out of the folders I supply them in. Do not stick the executables somewhere else. That way lies madness. MaDnEsS!

Current Version and related downloads
  • Related Videos:
    • SdrDx video demos
    • For Developers (and those who would encourage developers):
      • In order that SdrDx is able to support additional USB based SDRs, a protocol-compatible server must be written by the SDR vendor or a third party. You can use this fully functional RTL USB to network server as a starting point — it does everything you need to do to talk to SdrDx. SdrDx will work with any SDR or SDR network server that acts like the sample server software; if you need to extend the network methods, for instance to control features unique to your SDR, let me know and I will do my best to support those extensions. However, be aware that I require that the actual SDR be provided to me for development and testing of those extensions. [nl][nl] Likewise, if you're considering a new SDR design where you plan to have an Ethernet connection as one of, or the only, method of communication to the host computer, ideally it will be compliant with those protocols. If it is, it will "just work." If it isn't — it won't, and software support for your design will be considerably more limited. Examples of such well-designed SDRs include the Andrus MK 1.5 and the AFEDRI, as well as the SDR-IQ via its network server applications. And of course all the RFSPACE networked SDRs.

        If you're looking for something to do, many USB based receivers are desperately in need of precisely such a server. No, I don't write these servers. I spend what time I have adding radio features to SdrDx. However,here is GPL'd source code for an SdrDx-compatible USB-to-Network server for the RTL "stick" SDRs that can be refactored to support other USB devices. All you need to do with regard to SdrDx is tell me what device name you will use with the server (it currently reports in as "RTLSVR", you need to pick a name for the device you're supporting, and tell me what it is.)
    • For Everyone:
      • Is my SDR already supported? The answer is here: Check this list.
      • Online Documentation
      • Wideband RF Recordings — these are useful if you'd like to try out SdrDx but you don't have an SDR yet. You can start SdrDx, press play (click that link, then look for the green button) and then enjoy receiving the described band, event, etc. You can tune within the bandwidth of the recording. So for instance, if you play the 6100 kHz recording, which is 200 kHz wide, you can tune from  6000  kHz to  6200  kHz — most of the 49 meter band! Just download and install SdrDx, then the file of interest, start SdrDx, press  >  and select the file (if it's zipped, you have to unzip it first.)
  • OS X Beta
    • 64-bit OSX Beta 2.20q ZIP archive
      Please Note: The OSX Beta changes at odd intervals, sometimes quite often. You can see when the beta build you have has been superseded by a new one by examining the SdrDx title bar at startup. Your SdrDx build time, and the latest SdrDx build time, are both displayed there. When there is a difference, there is a more recent Beta, and you can come right here and download it. Significant changes are indicated on the page below:
    • OS X Beta Documentation
  • Windows
  • Help for AFEDRI (preliminary)
    • People have been having problems getting the AFEDRI to work with SdrDx; I'm not sure why, but here is some information on what I did to get mine going.

      Before you start, make sure you've set the audio output within SdrDx using SND to the correct device. If this is not set correctly, SdrDx cannot run.

      Now as to the AFEDRI itself: First of all, I could not make the AFEDRI's DHCP settings work at all. I contacted Alex, the designer, and after quite a few emails back and forth, he suggested a static IP configuration. I set that up, got it working on my normal network, and then connected it to my 2nd Ethernet port on the Mac (this is under OSX 10.6.8) under a second network of; this involved some fairly annoying screwing around with the OSX configuration files. I never did get the DHCP to work, though some SdrDx users have. So I strongly suggest you set the AFEDRI up using a static IP; I think there may be some fairly severe bugs in the AFEDRI's DHCP handling, or at least, ways it can be set up that simply don't work. Other SDRs, such as the Andrus MK 1.5, configure using DHCP no problem, so it's definitely something unique to the AFEDRI.

      Having said that, it could very well be something I did in the configuration utility of the AFEDRI; the version I had only provided a Windows-only program, and I only fired up the laptop to work with it until I got it to work in general, and never looked back. Running windows give me hives. 🙂 Still, I know for sure you can get the AFEDRI working with OSX — the AFEDRI is the SDR I've been using for quite a few months now; it's a great SDR. I would expect results to be similar for Windows, that is, static IP will definitely work, and DHCP might not.
  • Support for Andrus MK1.5 SDR
    1. Connect Andrus MK1.5 to your LAN Ethernet
    2. Start SdrDx 2.12p (or later)
    3. Open NET dialog and use auto-find to locate Andrus
    4. Close NET dialog
    5. Open SDR dialog and set bandwidth as desired
    6. Close SDR dialog
    7. Press RUN
  • Support for Peaberry and (possibly) Softrock
    1. Download this .zip of Python script
    2. Unzip and copy .py file from within the .zip to your home directory
    3. Download and install PyUSB library
    4. Start SdrDx 2.12p (or later)
    5. Open a shell at your home directory and type ./tcp-to-peaberry.py
    6. In SdrDx, left-click SND button, select "Peaberry Radio" as input sound card, then OK
    7. In SdrDx, right-click FCD button, check ON and AUDIO IQ, set OSX rate to 50000, or Windows rate to 48000, then OK
    8. In SdrDx, left-click SDR button, set sample rate to 50000, then OK
    9. In SdrDx, left-click FCD button — Peaberry should be running now
  • Acknowledgements and Notices


Please refer to this page for the release version documentation.

Please refer to this page for the beta version documentation.

System Requirements

SdrDx and SwDb for the Mac require an Intel CPU, running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later.

So far, I have numerous third-party reports of SdrDx working under 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11 10.12, and 10.13.

Users of 10.11 through 10.13 report mixed results, under these OSX versions, USB server based SDR users are facing driver installation and activation problems, and tooltips and drop-down menus are blank; Apple's gone and broken perfectly stable APIs again. Steps required to compensate for Apple's idiot USB shenanigans are in the docs under new installs. No fix in known for the tooltips issue at this time.

There are two tricks required as of 10.9 and later:

First, you need to turn the "App Nap" feature off or when SdrDx is not the front window, OSX will put it to sleep, which will break it. Right click on the SdrDx app icon, select "info", turn off App Nap, and close the info window. If you've got an SDR IQ where the server runs under 10.9, you'll need to do the same thing to the server application. Note: I suggest the very first thing you do with any application you install is turn off App Nap — it's one of Apple's worst ideas ever. That's all there is to that.

Second, under 10.9 and later, for users of the SDR-IQ, Apple thoroughly broke the USB driver that is required for the SDR IQ and SDR 14 (and possibly the CloudIQ — anyone have a CloudIQ running?) So in order to use the USB driver in the SDR IQ / SDR 14 server application instead (so the USB to Net server will work), you need to enter the following in a shell right after you boot your machine...

 sudo kextunload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBFTDI 

...it's not sticky, so you'll have to do this every time you reboot your Mac.

And of course SdrDx requires an SDR as well if you want to receive live, although it can play back ore-recorded files without an SDR; in the specific cases of the AirSpy HF+, RTL SDR, SDR-IQ and SDR-14, you'll need to use one of the server applications that puts these SDRs on the network. SdrDx's support of RFSPACE SDRs and compatibles, and near-compatibles, is only via network connections, SdrDx does not directly interface with the USB connection of the SDR-IQ.

For the Mac, I am presently designing and testing and compiling under an OSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) virtual machine (VMWARE) running under OSX / MacOS 10.12.6.

SdrDx and SwDb for the PC require an Intel CPU, running Windows XP or (possibly) a later version of the OS. SdrDx requires an RFSPACE, AFEDRI, Andrus MK1.5, FUNcube Dongle SDR, or a Soundcard-based SDR, or pre-recorded RF files (see above for some of these) in order to do anything useful; in the specific cases of the SDR-IQ and SDR-14, you'll also need a server application that puts the SDR-IQ on the network. SdrDx handles the RFSPACE SDRs and compatibles (and near-compatibles) via the network, it does not directly interface with them via USB. You must run these applications out of the folders they are supplied in, as they depend on files in those folders.

For Windows, I am presently cross-compiling under Windows XP (in a VMWARE VM under OSX / MacOS 10.12.6.)

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