Over on YouTube, Stephen Ong has posted a video of his standalone Terratec RTL-SDR and BeagleBone Black based spectrum analyzer. What makes this unique is the lack of computer needed and dedicated 7 inch touch LCD screen (CircuitCo LCD7 cape). Powered by 6 AA batteries, the unit is nice and portable. BeagleBoards are low-cost, fan-less single-board computers based on low-power Texas Instruments processors featuring the ARM Cortex-A8 core. The BeagleBone Black DevKit used in the video costs around USD$50. He demonstrates the unit showing the RF spectrum of commercial FM stations, car remote transmitters, analog TV (PAL B) broadcast, DVB-T broadcast, cellular GSM900 and a DECT cordless phone.
lui_gough from Gough’s Tech Zone has a new post featuring his interest and progress in improving the reach of his ADS-B reception and plotting ability. His recent project involves using his ADSBpi (Raspberry Pi, RTL-SDR & dump1090), his home PC and another remote PC controlled over the internet. A diagram of this setup can be seen below.
In order to get the most coverage as I can sensibly get, I leveraged my ADSBpi, my main desktop and another machine I have access to which is geographically much closer to the airport via VPN. — lui_gough
This allows him to receive signals from a much larger area than would be possible with a single antenna, single location setup. He does mention a few caveats however, like the increased chance of occasional false decode which can mess with the plotting by visualizing a plane that is unrealistically far away. A big boost to the usability of his project was using Cygwin to compile dump1090 under windows. This allows him to use the dump1090 ADS-B hub features (decoding appears broken under Cygwin compilation) without having to dedicate a machine to linux or use a virtual machine.
Click here to read the full story on his blog. Be sure to check out all of Gough’s Tech Zone as he has few other interesting posts involving the use of RTL-SDRs to receive ADS-B
Janos over at embrtlsdr has a new post regarding his work making a Linux powered SDR using RTL based dongles and Ethernet.
“The basic idea was to run the small rtl-sdr util on a small embedded box connected with the dbv-t dongle at near the antenna, and transmit the data on ethernet connection. The more processing and vizualization can be continue on the desktop/laptop machines. To this setup I choosed my old small linux box, the NSLU2. It has 2 USB conncetors, network connection, and, more than 2 years ago I installed on it a Debian lenny version, on a 4 Gbyte pendrive.”
Just thought I would give some links to a source based on personal experience. I’ve ordered multiple dongles from AliExpress with GREAT results. I paid extra for DHL shipping and my dongles arrived from China to the West Coast of Canada in just 3 days!
Here are links for: 1 Dongle, 2 Dongles, 6 Dongles from Newsky being sold as model TV28T (Note: slight circuit difference from original TV28T received, but works)
Note to NEW AliExpress members, I believe you should get an additional $5 at checkout. I noticed when placing my first purchase there was a coupon available just before payment. Not sure if there was a minimum order (I spent $65 the first time for 2 dongles + DHL shipping).
Over on Michele’s GNSS blog He has supplied some interesting information on her testing with A Newsky TV28T and GPS signals. It yet again reinforces the idea of E4000 being the current “best” tuner controlled by a RTL2832U.
(image source: http://michelebavaro.blogspot.it)
“For once, the group of innovators is European. “These guys of osmocom are smart and -what’s even better- their work with the open source team. RTL-SDR is, I believe, one of the freshest finds in the Software Defined Radio domain. The Fun Cube Dongle, developed in UK, is already a very clever tool. But finding the super-tuner Elonics E4000 (note, again a UK Company) in 25$ USB DVB-T dongles and being able to grab data in a 3MHz bandwidth between 64MHz and 1.7GHz… that is really cool.” — michelebavaro
“If you don’t want to spend $1,200+ for a USRP SDR to use GNU Radio the crew at OsmoSDR want to help. In addition to their other amazing work, Osmocom team members (notably Steve Markgraf) have been hacking away on an alternative least-cost solution they call rtl-sdr.”