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Software Defined Radio - A forum for general discussion of software defined radio (SDR) receiver equipment.

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Old 08-09-2017, 10:15 AM
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Smile All This for $25!

I'm new here, and new to SDR, and I'm having the time of my life. Way back in the late 1960s, the USAF had me sitting at a console, staring at VHF and UHF frequencies on a spectrum display, for reasons I can't really discuss still. My guess is that console cost half a million dollars or so.

Skip forward 50 years, and I'm sitting at my desk, once again looking at the VHF/UHF spectrum on a screen and checking out signals once again. It's like old home week, but the whole thing cost just $25 in 2017. All the capabilities and none of the costs.

Right now, I'm listening to a courier service in the Minneapolis St. Paul area at 452.238 MHz. Entertaining.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I'm blown away by this hardware and software. From half a million dollars down to $25. We are incredibly fortunate, I think!
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Old 08-09-2017, 1:51 PM
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There's more, besides. The spectrum display back then was small, and lacked anything like a waterfall display that let you take a peek at the content being delivered. Further, there was no mouse you could click to jump to an active signal. Knobs and dials. You couldn't change bands or frequencies quickly, either.

In many ways, the capabilities of today's SDR dongles are pretty amazing. Add to that all the folks working on decoding add-ons for software like SDR#, and the access to signals is superior to that older technology, regardless of the cost.
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Old 08-09-2017, 6:34 PM
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If you buy two trunking is fun.What I like about SDR is the versatility of it. You can use it as a cheap scanner, listen to amateur radio, use it to pick up ADS-B to track aircraft, download live satellite pictures from NOAA weather satellites, and various other uses that if it has a radio wave.
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Old 08-10-2017, 9:13 AM
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I'm going to investigate all of that stuff, for sure, as I have time.
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Old 08-11-2017, 6:51 PM
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Yes, it's amazing what you can do now for not a lot of coin. And a big thanks to the software authors out there. I spent $25 bucks on Fast Lane DSD+ and it's lights out the best money spent in this hobby.
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Old 10-24-2017, 1:22 PM
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Welcome to the group! You'll likely have more than one once you get the hang of things so to speak The affordability of these receivers is definitely what makes them worth experimenting with. I have seven of them running on my desk right now in sort of an organized way but eventually they will be mounted in a rack mount box to clean things up.

It's still in the planning stages though with wiring, antenna coax routing etc..
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Old 10-24-2017, 1:31 PM
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Well, mine's still hanging off the front of my PC tower, taking up one of the front USB3 ports.

I doubt I'll add a second one, though. Still, this technology is pretty amazing really, and the software really makes it into a great receiver.
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Old 10-24-2017, 4:03 PM
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If you ever venture into uhf satellite monitoring with an appropriate antenna you can usually find several channels in the 240-270 mhz range that can provide some interesting traffic.

Some are encrypted but it's not uncommon to find several in the clear.
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Old 10-24-2017, 4:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MineralMan View Post
I'm new here, and new to SDR, and I'm having the time of my life. Way back in the late 1960s, the USAF had me sitting at a console, staring at VHF and UHF frequencies on a spectrum display, for reasons I can't really discuss still. My guess is that console cost half a million dollars or so.

Skip forward 50 years, and I'm sitting at my desk, once again looking at the VHF/UHF spectrum on a screen and checking out signals once again. It's like old home week, but the whole thing cost just $25 in 2017. All the capabilities and none of the costs.

Right now, I'm listening to a courier service in the Minneapolis St. Paul area at 452.238 MHz. Entertaining.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I'm blown away by this hardware and software. From half a million dollars down to $25. We are incredibly fortunate, I think!
Good for you,thats what its all about having fun with the hobby and sharing.....
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