New to SDR, checking in

jmayson

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Dec 18, 2002
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36
Location
Austin, TX
My RTL-SDR arrived the other day. So far I have accomplished...

1. Conventional scanning on my Chromebook.
2. HF reception on my Chromebook.
3. Conventional scanning via an app on my Samsung S9.
4. DSD+ on Windows 10, monitoring P25 TRSes around me.
5. I wrote a pushbutton GUI for DSD+ to switch systems.

I'm rather impressed as I can pull in an LCRA site in Hays County and I'm in northeast Travis County (at least 30 miles/50 km away).

I ordered a cheap Windows 10 tablet and I'm planning on dedicating it to scanning. It has full blown Windows 10 Home and a USB port, so I have to think it'll work.

Still to do...

1. EDACS scanning (I have no systems around me, but do visit areas that do).
2. Mastering GnuRadio. I'm an old UNIX/Linux guy and I'm completely lost.
 
Last edited:

bobruzzo

W1AV
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Nov 4, 2019
Messages
708
Location
Cranston, Rhode Island
My RTL-SDR arrived the other day. So far I have accomplished...

1. Conventional scanning on my Chromebook.
2. HF reception on my Chromebook.
3. Conventional scanning via an app on my Samsung S9.
4. SDS+ on Windows 10, monitoring P25 TRSes around me.
5. I wrote a pushbutton GUI for SDS+ to switch systems.

I'm rather impressed as I can pull in an LCRA site in Hays County and I'm in northeast Travis County (at least 30 miles/50 km away).

I ordered a cheap Windows 10 tablet and I'm planning on dedicating it to scanning. It has full blown Windows 10 Home and a USB port, so I have to think it'll work.

Still to do...

1. EDACS scanning (I have no systems around me, but do visit areas that do).
2. Mastering GnuRadio. I'm an old UNIX/Linux guy and I'm completely lost.
I have a chromebook. What software did you use to do all this? I always thought the Chromebook was limited as far as attaching hardware and downloading actual programs.
 

jmayson

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Dec 18, 2002
Messages
36
Location
Austin, TX
I have Linux enabled on mine and am running software from that.


I've written up some notes. I did this as I was experimenting, so they could be a little disjointed. I'll clean this page up as I learn more. But most of all, it is possible to enjoy SDR with a Chromebook.

 

boatbod

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Joined
Mar 3, 2007
Messages
2,321
Location
Talbot Co, MD
Still to do...
2. Mastering GnuRadio. I'm an old UNIX/Linux guy and I'm completely lost.
There are gnuradio tutorials out there to teach you the fundamentals of GRC. That said, the real power of gnuradio comes from the building blocks that you use to create your own blocks and apps. GQRX is a full-blown linux gnuradio application similar to SDR#. OP25 and TrunkRecorder are linux gnuradio apps that work with P25 Ph1 and P25 Ph2 trunking systems as well as legacy Motorola Type II (SmartZone).

There's lots to learn; if you really want to get into gnuradio you're going to need to study up on SDR & DSP concepts because the documentation is quite "succinct" (i.e. minimal) and assumes you know what signal processing you want to do.
 

jmayson

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Database Admin
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
36
Location
Austin, TX
There are gnuradio tutorials out there to teach you the fundamentals of GRC. That said, the real power of gnuradio comes from the building blocks that you use to create your own blocks and apps. GQRX is a full-blown linux gnuradio application similar to SDR#. OP25 and TrunkRecorder are linux gnuradio apps that work with P25 Ph1 and P25 Ph2 trunking systems as well as legacy Motorola Type II (SmartZone).

There's lots to learn; if you really want to get into gnuradio you're going to need to study up on SDR & DSP concepts because the documentation is quite "succinct" (i.e. minimal) and assumes you know what signal processing you want to do.
Thanks. I can probably figure it out. I tend to learn by example. I need to find a few examples and go from there. I just haven't put the time into it. Do you know where I could find a simple example such as FM broadcast or VHF/UHF conventional?

I'll check out the other two. I've heard of OP25, but wasn't sure what it was besides "Open P25".
 

NebraskaCoder

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Oct 26, 2016
Messages
215
Location
Omaha, NE
...

There's lots to learn; if you really want to get into gnuradio you're going to need to study up on SDR & DSP concepts because the documentation is quite "succinct" (i.e. minimal) and assumes you know what signal processing you want to do.
Any good places to start learning DSP and signal theory?
 

N6ML

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Sep 26, 2008
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SF Bay / Delta, CA

boatbod

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Mar 3, 2007
Messages
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Location
Talbot Co, MD
I'll check out the other two. I've heard of OP25, but wasn't sure what it was besides "Open P25".
OP25 can be quite challenging to configure, but once you get over that hurdle is can work with the following protocols:-
- P25 Phase 1 and/or P25 Phase 2 trunk tracking with single or multiple SDR tuner devices (RTL, Airspy, HackRF, RSP... i.e. anything supported by the gr-osmosdr driver)
- P25 Conventional
- Motorola Type II (SmartZone) trunk tracking [boatbod version]
- DMR Base Station (repeater) monitoring
- Moto TRBO Connect+ trunk tracking [boatbod version]
- DStar
- YSF
- NXDN [osmocom version]
 

lwvmobile

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
70
Location
Lafayette County, FL
Still to do...

1. EDACS scanning (I have no systems around me, but do visit areas that do).
2. Mastering GnuRadio. I'm an old UNIX/Linux guy and I'm completely lost.
This nifty little project might cover that EDACS scanning need of yours, if you ever wanted to do it on that Chromebook, since you're an old UNIX/Linux guy and all :cool:

 

jmayson

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Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
36
Location
Austin, TX
This nifty little project might cover that EDACS scanning need of yours, if you ever wanted to do it on that Chromebook, since you're an old UNIX/Linux guy and all :cool:

Thanks. I never said when I'd have TIME to do all of this, but I will get to it. ;-)
 

merlin

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Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
84
Location
lasvegas,nv.
I use a tablet with my SDR dongle and an app I can't recall what, but does work to a degree.
The problem is needing a 'Y' type OTG cable so I can put power to one input.
Without, the dongle sucks the life out of the battery in a matter of minutes.
 

lwvmobile

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
70
Location
Lafayette County, FL
I use a tablet with my SDR dongle and an app I can't recall what, but does work to a degree.
The problem is needing a 'Y' type OTG cable so I can put power to one input.
Without, the dongle sucks the life out of the battery in a matter of minutes.
Definitely sounds like a caveat to using a tablet with one or more SDR dongles. You either use a ton of battery in a hurry, or you use some form of powered USB hub and limit the portability of the device to a degree. Then you spiral into a conundrum of whether you are better off with a laptop that you could plug into the wall or a desktop set up.
 

jmayson

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Database Admin
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
36
Location
Austin, TX
I use a tablet with my SDR dongle and an app I can't recall what, but does work to a degree.
The problem is needing a 'Y' type OTG cable so I can put power to one input.
Without, the dongle sucks the life out of the battery in a matter of minutes.
This is what I ordered: Amazon.com : 7" PIPO X8PRO Tablet 1280800 Windows 10 or Android OS Intel Z8350 Quad Core 1.84GHz Mini PC HDMI 2G RAM 32G ROM (Single OS Win 10) : Computers & Accessories

What I'm not clear on is if it'll even work without AC power. It's mostly for home anyway. I'll keep this thread posted on how it works out.
 

lwvmobile

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Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
70
Location
Lafayette County, FL
I don't know, my spider sense is tingling on this one. I kind of got a feeling that this might be a Windows 10 S unit, even though the description doesn't say much about it being S, Home, or Pro. If its Windows 10 S, you aren't going to be able to run any SDR applications on it without converting it to a full blown Windows 10 install, and that will probably eat up a extremely large chunk of that 32GB "ROM", which I'm assuming they mean an eMMC storage block.
 
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