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Software Defined Radio (SDR)


markskjerve

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If you haven't played around with it yet, I've been kinda addicted to the websdr.org website. Listen to all sorts of HF, VHF and UHF in real time from receivers all around the world over the web. It's a bit of a learning curve but it's fun.

So I picked up a USB SDR dongle for around $50 a few days ago and hooked it up to my spare GMRS antenna. The antenna doesn't do HF at all but does seem to work ok on the VHF and UHF bands for the most part. It has also been a bit of a learning curve but getting I'm getting there, it's only been a few days. It takes a bit to figure out what kind of signals you are looking at on the waterfall. At the moment I'm just looking for normal FM repeaters but with software plugins you can decode DMR, Packet and all sorts of other signal types. I can also have it set to record audio only when the squelch is broke. Cool for recording your local GMRS repeater 24hrs a day if you want.

Anybody else play with SDR?

 

SDR-SlimJim.png

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50 minutes ago, markskjerve said:

If you haven't played around with it yet, I've been kinda addicted to the websdr.org website. Listen to all sorts of HF, VHF and UHF in real time from receivers all around the world over the web. It's a bit of a learning curve but it's fun.

So I picked up a USB SDR dongle for around $50 a few days ago and hooked it up to my spare GMRS antenna. The antenna doesn't do HF at all but does seem to work ok on the VHF and UHF bands for the most part. It has also been a bit of a learning curve but getting I'm getting there, it's only been a few days. It takes a bit to figure out what kind of signals you are looking at on the waterfall. At the moment I'm just looking for normal FM repeaters but with software plugins you can decode DMR, Packet and all sorts of other signal types. I can also have it set to record audio only when the squelch is broke. Cool for recording your local GMRS repeater 24hrs a day if you want.

Anybody else play with SDR?

 

SDR-SlimJim.png

I’ve scratched the surface, but that’s all. I bought one of the dongles also. I’m sure it isn’t the quality of my Yaesu transceiver, but for something the size of my index finger it’s amazing!

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Have a dozen of them. Monitor multiple P25 trunked systems with mine as well as ADSB Recevier and APRS IGate. I prefer Airspy but the cheap ones on amazon seem to work well for APRS and ADS. I use quality antenna systems on all of them and not the packages stuff that comes. On my APRS I actually run a pass filter to keep the other VHF stuff at home out of the receiver. 

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On 11/30/2022 at 7:34 AM, gortex2 said:

Have a dozen of them. Monitor multiple P25 trunked systems with mine as well as ADSB Recevier and APRS IGate. I prefer Airspy but the cheap ones on amazon seem to work well for APRS and ADS. I use quality antenna systems on all of them and not the packages stuff that comes. On my APRS I actually run a pass filter to keep the other VHF stuff at home out of the receiver. 

Do you have any experience with the Airspy HF+? I know the Realtek based dongle I have currently is ok for VHF and UHF but sucks at HF. Right now if I try and listen to HF off my dongle (DX-Patrol) off a 35ft long wire for the most part all I get are harmonics from a AM broadcast station playing Glen Beck shows on all bands.  I'm getting ready to put up a 35ft mast for my GMRS antenna and something like a EndFedz SWL end fed half wave while I'm at it and want a decent HF SDR receiver to go along with it. Use would be 50/50 between shortwave listening and ham band listening.

If you have any advice on another dilemma... My new mast is 35ft and want to run the HF end fed dipole from my mast to my shed, a distance available of 85ft. The EndFedz antenna is 45ft so it would be no problem. Also thinking of a EndFedz 40 meter that is 74ft would work as well. If I run it this way I'll be paralleling power lines that are 30ft away (see picture). I'm in central Florida and the house and antenna would be positioned from north to south. My biggest concern is if I'll be picking up a ton of noise because of the proximity to the power lines. I can run the antenna east/west but that would probably rule out a 74ft antenna. Any thoughts?

 

house1.jpg

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Actually, with my crappy antennas the sdr hears better then my ft991a. Plus displays more on the waterfall. Since atleast with the sdr (using adr console). I can zoom in faster and more then the radio.

You can hear on the sdr and transmit on the radio. Doesn't mean they will ever hear me, again crappy antennas.

Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk

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  • 4 months later...
Use DSD plus fastlane with your dongle for the best public service you can get, 35 Bucks for lifetime and it handles simulcast better than any of my scanners. 10 Bucks for a year if you want to try it.
Awesome. Will look into it.

Using an unification g5 pager, lent from a friend on long term renta.

Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk

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On 4/8/2023 at 5:24 PM, WRWR489 said:

Use DSD plus fastlane with your dongle for the best public service you can get, 35 Bucks for lifetime and it handles simulcast better than any of my scanners. 10 Bucks for a year if you want to try it.

Since I've started this thread I've switched over to SDR# with Simple APCO (P25) and Simple DMR free plugins. Doesn't do simulcast but works great for monitoring un-encrypted business and ham DMR and P25 with a simple point and click on the signal. Keep meaning to try out Fastlane, just haven't had a chance.

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  • 9 months later...

I've played around with SDR using a RTL2832U dongle that I got from the Hak5 shop years ago and Gqrx on my Linux Box. I think my main drawback is not having a very good antenna. Other than that they are a lot of fun to play around with.  In fact, pulling out the SDR and trying to listen to stuff got me thinking about Amateur Radio which lead to GMRS a couple weeks ago and here I am now, LOL.

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