New REDHAWK SDR Software for Linux

DangerousPrototypes has just posted a link to a newer SDR application named REDHAWK. The REDHAWK GitHub page describes the project as,

“REDHAWK is a software-defined radio (SDR) framework designed to support the development, deployment, and management of real-time software radio applications. To support the design and development of software applications, REDHAWK provides tools that allow development and testing of software modules called “Components” and composition of Components into “Waveform Applications” that can be seamlessly deployed on a single computer or multiple network-enabled computers.

The REDHAWK integrated development environment (IDE) provides tools to support development of REDHAWK software. The development and deployment of REDHAWK Applications are aided by graphical editors and drag-and-drop Waveform construction. The IDE allows users to interact with and control multiple running REDHAWK instances and applications.” -GitHub

Check out Redhawk SDR if you’re looking for a different application to try on Linux for use with your RTL-SDR. Also take a look at the Redhawk documentation for more information.


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


ADSB# – Windows ADSB Decoder for use with a RTL-SDR

If you’re looking for an application to receive ADS-B signals in AVR format using your RTL-SDR while running Windows, be sure to head over to and check out ADSB#. It can be quite a bit of fun to track the Aircraft that may be flying over your home or office at this very moment. Aircraft from all over the world are equipt to emit signals in this mode. ADSB# should be compatible with the majority of plane plotting software (ex. PlanePlotter, Virtual Radar Server, adsbSCOPE, etc…).

ADS-B, an acronym for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast is a technology that allows tracking aircrafts using high speed radio transmissions. I have never had much interest in this technology until recently. While I was fiddling with this mode with Ian, we discovered a very simple way of demodulating this digital mode using the cheap DVB-T/FM (rtlsdr) dongles. This diagram explains how it works:

adsb-detectionThe final application, ADSB# (read ADSB-Sharp) is released under the MIT license and looks a bit like this:


For the download link and more information, head on over to and check out the page on ADSB#. For a great guide on getting started with ADSB, check out the guide at


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.

Alternative ExtIO for Compatible SDR Software

The folks over at SDR# have uploaded an updated plugin for ExtIO compatible software.

You can download your copy from [LINK REMOVED – it appears SDR# has removed the file]

To use it, extract to the same folder as SDR#/HDSDR/WRPlus/etc and select the ExtIO_RTLSDR.dll depending on your software instructions. (HDSDR will prompt you which ExtIO plugin you want to use if you already have another ExtIO DLL installed.)

Pager Traffic with RTL SDR, PDW and HDSDR

In this video Superphish shows a RTL2832 based dongle being used to receive and decode POCSAG/FLEX pager data. Make sure you view the video in 720P to see the text clearly.

Note: This is likely illegal in most parts of the world, especially sharing what was received.

SDR# With RTL-SDR Support

“SDR# (read SDR Sharp) is a simple, intuitive, small and fast PC-based DSP application for Software Defined Radio. It’s written in C# with both object design correctness and performance in mind. The main purpose is to offer a simple proof of concept application to get hands into DSP techniques. It supports SoftRock, FiFiSDR, FUNcube Dongle, SDR-4 [,rtl-sdr] and any sound card based SDR front end.” —


SDR# (SDR-Sharp) versions 244+ (dev) have added support for RTL based SDRs supported by ExtIO. Extract the download link to the same folder you installed ExtIO to. If you haven’t done that yet, try this guide.

Download Link

To use the software with an RTLSDR dongle, Select USRP under the ‘Front End’ drop down box beside the Front End button. Then use the now active ‘Front End’ button to show the ExtIO GUI. Don’t forget to add your device hint!

© 2017 All rights reserved. Site Admin · Entries RSS · Comments RSS