Transmitting DVBT HDTV from a Raspberry Pi to an RTL2832U

Over on his website, Oz9aec has shared a post demonstrating how he could make a live HDTV transmitter out of a Raspberry Pi, a Raspi Cam module and an UTC DVB-T Modulator connector. As he would like to meddle with business DVB-T telecasts, he sets the module to transmit at 1.28 Ghz, otherwise known as the 23 cm authorized ham radio band.

On the Rtl2832u dongle side, he altered the Rtl2832u Linux DVB-T drivers (not the SDR drivers) to deal with the 1.3 Ghz band. The proposition of this camera is for it to fly on a rocket mission. In the Youtube feature underneath he has transferred some example footage with the Rtl2832u dongle accepting the stream from 300 meters away.



Spectrum Analyzer using Beaglebone Black and RTL-SDR

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.


Receiving, Decoding and Plotting AIS using a RTL-SDR

DrVarnik on YouTube has posted a tutorial video on how to receive, decode and plot AIS information. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a system used for automatic tracking of large ships and passenger boats. It is a similar idea to tracking aircraft with ADS-B. His method uses a RTL-SDR for receiving the AIS signals with SDRSharp, decoding received signals with AISMon and plotting the decoded information with OpenCPN. He uses VB-Cable for looping the audio from SDRSharp to AISMon, but if you have a ‘Stereo Mix’ or equivalent feature with your soundcard, that will be unneeded. Best results will be achieved using a narrow-band vertically polarized antenna tuned for 161.975 MHz and 162.025 MHz (marine VHF). A directional antenna would also likely be a benefit. You can find some designs to try lower down the page. For safety, please only use this guide on land! Wouldn’t want you getting lost at sea.

Here are the homepages of the software used:

  • SDRSharp
  • AISMon – You may need to first join the group with a Yahoo account to gain access to the file section.
  • OpenCPN
  • VB-Cable (for looping audio from SDRSharp to AISMON)

Below is a screenshot of OpenCPN in action:


Here are some antennas designed for AIS reception:


For a tutorial with other software, check out the Cheap AIS Ship Tracking page at


How to Receive NOAA Satellite Images

For more than 50 years the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather satellites have been helping monitor the earth’s weather patterns. Now over on YouTube max30max31 (IZ5RZR) has posted a tutorial on how you can receive images from the NOAA weather satellites (NOAA-9, NOAA-15, NOAA-18, NOAA-19) at home using an RTL-SDR. He gives a full walk through of using Orbitron to track the satellites, WXtoImg to decode received images and using SDRSharp to tune your RTL-SDR. He also suggests building and using a QFH Antenna or Turnstile Antenna with your RTL-SDR to receive the satellites.

Here is a list of programs used and homepage links:

If you’re looking for some antenna designs, check out:

Here is an example of and image you could receive:

NOAA 18 at 16 Oct 2011 21:17:42 GMT


UPDATE: Jordan Jean-Philippe Blanchard has shared a link on the RTL-SDR Facebook Group to his setup for receiving the weather satellite images using an RTL-SDR, check out his setup & check out what he has received.

Get Some Of The AM Band Without a Direct Sampling Modification

User Superphish over on YouTube has posted a video of a discovery made over on Reddit by Anonofish involving tuning your RTL-SDR to a high frequency below the range normally accessible by the dongles tuner. It does appear this is for dongles with the E4000 tuner.

By using a E4000 RTL-SDR and tuning to 3686.6 MHz and above, you can receive a small part of the AM band without the need for an upconverter or direct sampling mod.” – Superphish



SDRSharp Scanner Plugin Tutorial and Demo

Over on YouTube, user radiosification has posted a video showing how to go about setting up the SDR# Scanner plugin. This is a great way to get your RTL-SDR to function as a radio scanner so you don’t have to manually tune the bands. It assumes you already have your RTL-SDR installed and configured to work with SDR# but walks you through the rest of the process of installing and using the plugin. The download page for the plugin is in Russian but the video shows how to translate the page and find the download link. If you’ve used this plugin before, leave a comment and let us know any tips or troubles you may of had.

Radiosification has also posted another video showing the SDRSharp scanner plugin being used to scan the airband which is located between 108mhz to 137mhz.

Decoding Flex 1600 Pager Traffic with SDR# & PDW

NeedSec just posted on YouTube a video illustrating how to use a RTL-SDR to decode Flex 1600 pager traffic using PDWVB-Cable and SDR#. It is always surprising there is still pager traffic as when is the last time you can remember seeing someone with a pager in public. We’ve shared videos showing this sort of thing before, but NeedSec gives a great overview of what you need to do to accomplish successful decoding of Flex-1600.


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