ANRB and RTL-SDR

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N9JIG

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I have an AirNav RadarBox I have had for a long time. I recently bought a pair of RTL-SDR's and have them set up for SDR# and UniTrunker.

Today I rearranged the USB hub on my PC and started the ANRB application (v6.01.001) and since the RTL-SDR was plugged in it apparently located it, tuned it to 1090 MHz. and started decoding. The RadarBox was powered but no activity lights were active.

First off, this is kind of cool that I could use a $20 dongle to do what a $700 RadarBox was doing. Since the SDR was connected to a regular scanner antenna it was only seeing a few aircraft instead of the 50-100 flights I typically get mid-day here. I suppose it would get many more flights if I connected it to my ADSB antenna in the attic.

The question however is how can I tell the RadarBox software to ignore the SDR and connect to the RadarBox? Unplugging the SDR first would work (and is what I did) but with the upcoming configuration of my office that I have planned it is not an easy task.

The next question is how did the software find the SDR and work if the SDR has no ESN to match that of the software? Does the software ignore the ESN of the radio as long as it has a valid software key? If the code that came with the RadarBox a software product key instead of an ESN for the receiver?
 

737mech

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Probably because the program sees the format data from the dongle. The radar box also outputs the " beast" format. In receiver setup you can select different formats.
 

N9JIG

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I am pretty sure at this point that the serial number for the AirNav RadarBox is used only as a product key for the software and is not tied into the hardware at all. If it was then the application would not have seen the SDR and loaded it.

While I am sure I would still get better results with the RadarBox as it has specific filters and such to work on 1090 MHz. this brings up some interesting possibilities for me to play with.

All in all, the RadarBox itself is basically an SDR, albeit with some band-specific hardware.
 
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