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Amateur Radio Projects and Software Defined Radio

SDR-Radio.com V2.0 Now Supports RTL2832U SDR

Simon, creator of the very popular SDR-Radio.com has recently released a newly designed version 2.0 of SDR-Radio.com. The software has pretty much redesigned from the ground up. The big news for RTL2832U SDR users, is that Simon has added support for these devices via TCP. So, if you would like to try a different SDR software package with your RLT2832U dongle, take a look at the 2.0 version of SDR-Radio.com. The software offers some very nice features like a frequency manager, sharing your SDR over a network, and a nice user interface. Right now the software can be downloaded as a technology preview from the SDR-Radio.com preview at SDR-radio.com 2.0. Simon is gradually adding new features and fixing bugs right now with SDR-Radio.com since it is mostly beta at this time. With that being said, the software seemed to work pretty well using the RTL2832U DBT stick as a software defined radio. Right now, the setup is a little different than you might be used to since SDR-Radio.com uses TCP to communicate with the RTL2832U stick. Here is a brief overview of what you need to do to get SDR-Radio.com working with a RTL2832U stick.…

About Ham Radio Science Product Reviews

Occasionally on Ham Radio Science we write articles or reviews on commercial products. These reviews or articles are based solely on our opinion. We are not too interested in generating a bunch of numbers about the hardware we review. There are other sites out there that do that job very well. We also believe that “numbers” do not always tell the whole story. For example the $20 RTL2832U dongles have pretty poor numbers but offers a huge fun factor for the money. What we  do look for is does the product do what it is supposed to do, how well does it basically work, and how much value does it offer for the price. So we prefer to use a more “down to earth” approach to our product articles or reviews from a “users” perspective.…

PlanePlotter Now Supports RTL2832U Sticks as ADS-B Receivers

We always said that using a RTL2832U DVB-T stick actually works well for ADS-B reception. Especially as an entry level device for the beginning ADS-B hobbyist or some one who is curious about if they could receive ADS-B aircraft traffic in their area. The RTL2832U stick at about $20 is a great way to get some experience with ADS-B before investing in more expensive gear. Our testing has shown while not quite as effective as the commercial ADS-B receivers, the RTL2832U ADS-B setup can come pretty close. With that in mind, Bev from COAA, the maker of PlanePlotter has just recently announced that support for RTL2832U receivers has been added to the PlanePlotter. This also includes support for Multilateration the PlanePlotter uses to estimate the position of an aircraft that is transmitting Mode S reports, but not positional data. To get these features in PlanePlotter, it is recommended that you use the RTL1090 ADS-B windows decoder from Jetvision.de. Here are the details of the announcement from Bev regarding PlanePlotter and RTL2832U sticks from the PlanePlotter Yahoo Group:…

ADS-B Sharp ADS-B Decoder for Windows

If you have been using RTL-2832U sticks for SDR applications, you probably are very familiar with SDR Sharp. Youssef has published a new simplified ADS-B decoder which is now part of the SDR-Sharp software download. The ADS-B Sharp project has been around since early December, but is now become a bit more mature. We have discussed the Windows based RTL0190 decoder a bit on Ham Radio Science, so it would be natural to compare the two decoders. However, both decoders are still under development, so anything we say here is most likely subject to change. With that being said, ADS-B seems to have a slight advantage in frame rates. With about 8 aircraft in review ADS-B Sharp reported a frame rate of around 25, while RTL1090 showed about 9. This allowed ADS-B Sharp to “see” a couple of more aircraft than RTL1090 was able to in the same time frame. Like RTL1090, SDR-ADS-B outputs it’s data in AVR format which makes it  compatible with Plane Plotter and Virtual Radar Server. …

Adding ADS-B, ACARS, and ATC Audio to PlanePlotter Using Multiple RTL2832U Sticks

 Introduction
If you are an aircraft monitoring enthusiast, you might have eyed some of the ADS-B radar boxes that allow you not only to receive ADS-B tracking information, as well as ACARS information, and live Air Traffic Control frequencies. These boxes typically go in the $800 range. If you are wanting to experiment with adding these features to your cheap ADS-B station, we can do it for about $40, using two additional RTL2832U sticks. This is of course assuming that you already using a RTL2832U stick for ADS-B  reception with PlanePlotter. If you are using another ADS-B receiver, you can still add the additional two sticks to add ACARS and live ATC reception. I highly recommend that you consider using a RTL2832U stick with the R820T chip set for ADS-B, since it has the best sensitivity in the 1090MHz range. Even used with the included whip, you can typically receive ADS-B signals out to 75 miles indoors or more depending on your location. As we have seen, adding an external antenna can increase the RTL2832U ADS-B reception significantly. This “poor mans” ADS-B, ACARS, and ATC receiver system in no way competes with the $800 boxes, but can work very …

Using Multiple RTL2832U Sticks for SDR

Introduction
Since RTL2832U sticks are so cheap, why stop at one? I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere before, but you can indeed use several RTL2832U sticks simultaneously. Apparently, the ExtIO.dll files used with SDR Sharp and the 3rd party ExtIO.dll for HDSDR will allow you select from several RTL2832U sticks plugged into your PC which can be used by the SDR software. So in other words, you can start multiple instances of SDR Sharp or HDSDR and select which individual RTL2832U each running program will use. For example, you can run three copies of SDR Sharp or HDSDR with each one using an individual stick receiving a different band. How many RTL2832U receivers can you run simultaneously? I don’t know for sure. It probably would come down to how many USB ports you have available and the processing power of your computer. I had no problem running three sticks and three simultaneous instances of SDR Sharp or HDSDR on a 2.4GHz dual core machine. I was able to run several more non SDR applications at the same time, so there was plenty of overhead left even when using this very modest machine.…

RTL1090 Windows ADS-B Decoder Now Available for Download at Jetvision.de Website

I got several notes from our readers saying that they were having difficulty in downloading RTL1090 from the Yahoo Groups. Good News! The software is now available for download at the Jetvision.de from the RTL1090 page. So far, I have been impressed with how well this software has worked in combination with a RTL2832U / R820T DVB-T stick. So if you want a cheap ADS-B receiving system purchase an RTL2832U stick and grab a copy of RTL1090. Just a heads up, stay tuned over the next few days for some nifty things you can do with Plane Plotter and RTL2832U sticks.…