Help for just starting out with an SDR

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JoshuaHufford

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I recently bought this SDR from another forum member for a good price,


Been thinking about trying out one of these for a while.

First of all, what software should I get? I'm not looking for anything too complicated, I do plan to try out stuff from about 144-162MHz, 440-470MHz, and 896-953MHz.

Is it possible to get non processed audio, like what you would get with a discriminator tap, from this? Some of what I would like to try involves decoding data.

And is there an antenna adapter for this so I can use different antennas with it? I'm not sure what the connection is on this SDR, it isn't SMA.

Thanks!
 

a417

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website here

antenna is MCX connector.

You cannot discriminator tap this, as it is not a scanner. This will give your computer I+Q data to decode with programs like gnuRadio, SDR# or what have you. Look around the forums, this is a well traveled road.
 

SteveSimpkin

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Here is a step-by-step quick start guide to using SDRSharp (aka SDR#) software with any RTL-SDR USB receiver like the one you bought. It is a relatively easy way to start.
 

JoshuaHufford

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help. Was able to pick up a few radio stations and NOAA with the stock antenna that came with it, ordered a MCX to BNC adapter to be able to use better antennas.

SDRSharp looks like a nicer program than what comes with the unit, going to try it out as well, thanks for the setup guide.
 

DRL-XM43

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help. Was able to pick up a few radio stations and NOAA with the stock antenna that came with it, ordered a MCX to BNC adapter to be able to use better antennas.

SDRSharp looks like a nicer program than what comes with the unit, going to try it out as well, thanks for the setup guide.
Curious - what program came with the unit?
 

DRL-XM43

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Not as a replacement for either but you may want to check out HDSDR to add to your collection

 

JoshuaHufford

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Not as a replacement for either but you may want to check out HDSDR to add to your collection

Thanks!
 

ScubaJungle

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When I got into SDR I used many of the tutorials from here:

Edit: If you can still, return that one you got! This one is WAY better and costs less: Amazon.com: RTL-SDR Blog V3 R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO HF Bias Tee SMA Software Defined Radio with Dipole Antenna Kit: Electronics


For software (all free):
General: SDRSharp
Trunked radio systems(up to P25 phase I): Unitrunker V2
P25 Phase II: SDRTrunk
Other digital non-trunked: DSDPlus
NOAA weather satellite images: WXtoIMG
ADS-B (plane tracking): dump1090, virtual plane radar
POCSAG/Flex : PDW
Theres a few others I cant remember, if you need more let me know.
 

ScubaJungle

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Ah okay, I just saw the $30. In that case, see how you like it and if you do, you will eventually need two of them for certain things, like better trunk voice following, so you can upgrade later.
There are tons of programs, and most of them are free. There's also MultiPSK for stuff like CW, PSK, and other communications that arent so common. There's meteor shower mapping, etc.
 

DRL-XM43

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This lists about all the SDR software there is.


I have tried about 99% of them Linux and Windows - that part is a hobby by itself - making stuff work LOL
 

flborror

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where can a person start to get information on the SdR hobby and rrecomendations on items
 

Rotella

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I find, as a person not familiar with programming and other computer architecture, that site and lot of other written tutorials I have endlessly sought, are not adequate. Maybe it's like they say, visual learners etc., but I was never able to get mine going beyond basic one channel listening.
They try to combine too many programs at once for me.
Youtube was the greatest help for me.
They fill in the gaps by showing you the actual steps and what should happen when you do something.
First series was by Tahoe Steve.
But this time got DSDPlus going and scanning P25 Phase 1 and 2 in about 20 minutes with the "Signals Everywhere" channel.
Believe me, that's saying something.
From reading you guys posts, people with your knowledge would probly smack me in a few minutes of trying to teach me..I have some kind of disability.
Running DSDPlus alone is working great for Public Safety calls etc. for now. I am still trying to learn the basic functions.
Actually, that's a good example. Please point me to the written tutorial for DSDPlus. Please don't say the notes files.
 
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