RTL-SDR on vacation, on-the-road or camping. (Have you done it?)

Omega-TI

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How many of you are "so into radio" that you "just had to" take your laptop and dongle along with you for the trip? If so, what combination of antennas or what type of antenna did you take? Something to hang up between the trees like a dipole, or did you simply erect a vertical whip or discone? What kind of listening do you prefer out in the toolies with minimum QRM? HF, AM-BCB or something else?

Did you take pictures?
 

iMONITOR

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dlwtrunked

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How many of you are "so into radio" that you "just had to" take your laptop and dongle along with you for the trip? If so, what combination of antennas or what type of antenna did you take? Something to hang up between the trees like a dipole, or did you simply erect a vertical whip or discone? What kind of listening do you prefer out in the toolies with minimum QRM? HF, AM-BCB or something else?

Did you take pictures?
I always keep a laptop in the car and have both an RTL-SDR dongle and an AirSpy with it. All sorts of antennas in the trunk for VLF through GHz range (some color coded with paint using the resistor color code to indicate the band). And yes, a wire with a weight on the end sometimes used for HF. (Watch out pulling such out of a tree to not break your car window.) I also use a whip for HF that is has a impedancematching circuit in the base cobbled from elsewhere (use a similar transformer for the wire HF). Used a discone for VHF/UHF for a while but that got too much attention. Getting away from QRM on VLF/LF/AM-BCB by going mobile is great--I used to do that on Long Island Sound coast in the winter. Going mobile to track down signals or look at signals not seen at home has put many miles on my car (a 2006 Toyota with over 400,00 mile).
 

PDXh0b0

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I always keep a laptop in the car and have both an RTL-SDR dongle and an AirSpy with it. All sorts of antennas in the trunk for VLF through GHz range (some color coded with paint using the resistor color code to indicate the band). And yes, a wire with a weight on the end sometimes used for HF. (Watch out pulling such out of a tree to not break your car window.) I also use a whip for HF that is has a impedancematching circuit in the base cobbled from elsewhere (use a similar transformer for the wire HF). Used a discone for VHF/UHF for a while but that got too much attention. Getting away from QRM on VLF/LF/AM-BCB by going mobile is great--I used to do that on Long Island Sound coast in the winter. Going mobile to track down signals or look at signals not seen at home has put many miles on my car (a 2006 Toyota with over 400,00 mile).
first I pulled a discone up a tree it got stuck coming down, had to shoot a few branches to get it back
 

jake_Braker

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I usually throw my stuff (dongle, cable and antenna) in my checked bag going through an airport so I'm not getting harassed by TSA and have a scanner in my carry-on with no issues other than a couple of questions of why I have it and what it does.
If we drive somewhere like when we went to Pittsburgh, I just left my second laptop running DSD+ next to the window in the hotel (another benefit was the AC kept the entire thing cold so no issues running it for just shy of 72 hours non-stop) and attempted to use DSD on the way back down (obv not driving) but not much luck since a Nissan Rogue isn't really made for that lol
 

BM82557

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Berkeley Co WV
I usually throw my stuff (dongle, cable and antenna) in my checked bag going through an airport so I'm not getting harassed by TSA and have a scanner in my carry-on with no issues other than a couple of questions of why I have it and what it does.
If we drive somewhere like when we went to Pittsburgh, I just left my second laptop running DSD+ next to the window in the hotel (another benefit was the AC kept the entire thing cold so no issues running it for just shy of 72 hours non-stop) and attempted to use DSD on the way back down (obv not driving) but not much luck since a Nissan Rogue isn't really made for that lol
I use a mag mount for road trips.
 

rabrol

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Edmonton, Alberta
I usually travel with my laptop and a couple of SDRs. These have replaced scanners to a large degree on my trips.
A - I would be bringing a laptop with me anyway
B - Adding an RTL-SDR v3 with dipole kit doesn't really add a lot of extra weight / space.

When I'm in more conspicuous locations, such as airports, the dipole kit is set up in my backpack, and the SDR connected to the laptop via a USB extension cable. Headphones connected to the laptop. It works well. Occasionally I'll bring the HF+ Discovery with me as well if I think I'll be able to enjoy some HF reception wherever I'm going.
 

AM909

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My standard-size laptop bag contains, in addition to the laptop and its accessories, an RSP1a, two RTL dongles, a powered splitter (and power supply), two antennas (I need to add a wire antenna now that I have the RSP1a for HF), cables/adapters, USB extension, USB hub. Better in many ways and smaller than the equivalent in real radios/scanners. There's even room for a Raz Pi if I ever get around to that. Having grown up at the end of the tube/crystal-controlled era, I'm still amazed by this stuff. :)
 
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