Архив за Июль, 2013

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.

The post Spectrum Analyzer using Beaglebone Black and RTL-SDR appeared first on RTLSDR.com.

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:

opencpn

Here are some antennas designed for AIS reception:

 

For a tutorial with other software, check out the Cheap AIS Ship Tracking page at rtl-sdr.com

The post Receiving, Decoding and Plotting AIS using a RTL-SDR appeared first on RTLSDR.com.

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.

The post How to Receive NOAA Satellite Images appeared first on RTLSDR.com.

Tracking of Low Orbit Satellites with a Dish & RTL-SDR

Travis Goodspeed has shared a project on his blog about his adventure in tracking low orbit satellites using a fairly complex setup. He is using a dish intended for connecting to one of the Inmarsat satellites while at sea on a maritime vessel, a EiBotBoard connected to a BeagleBone for motor control and a RTL-SDR for receiving radio signals from the dish. His goal has been to track the whole sky, including moving targets and it looks like he has been pretty successful.

hillbillysatellitetracking2

At Black Hat DC in 2008, I watched Adam Laurie present a tool for mapping Ku-band satellite downlinks, which he has since rewritten as Satmap. His technique involves using an DVB-S card in a Linux computer as a receiver through a 90cm Ku-band dish with fixed elevation and a DiSEqC motor for azimuth motion. It was among the most inspirational talks I’d ever seen, and I had a blast recreating his setup and scanning the friendly skies. However, such a rig is limited to geostationary satellites in a small region of the sky; I wanted to see the whole sky, especially the moving targets.

In this article, I’ll demonstrate a method for modifying a naval telecommunications dish to track moving targets in the sky, such as those in Low Earth Orbit. My dish happily sits in Tennessee, while I direct it using my laptop or cellphone here in Europe. It can also run unattended, tracking moving targets and looking for downlink channels.” — Travis Goodspeed

 

via RTL-SDR.com

The post Tracking of Low Orbit Satellites with a Dish & RTL-SDR appeared first on RTLSDR.com.

Re: Getting Started with a RTL based SDR Dongle

Try a lower sample rate, that may help with the distortion. If you try the max capable, I find it distorts.

Re: Getting Started with a RTL based SDR Dongle

Hi, and thanks for the easy getting started tips. It works like a dream on Win7 but on XP (which I tried first) there is a mismatch between the modern zadig installer and XP libraries that results in a failed/partial installation that doesn't behave at all. Sadly it doesn't give any error message but gives up quietly without doing anything useful.

You have to get the zadig_XP release to make it install the USB drivers properly. This also seems to give an error but the driver and ExtIO DLL do behave afterwards.

Minor niggle that others might find useful is that the front end gain was set to minimum by default and some people have reported no signal. It may be that they have improved its device hints too as my DVT-T+DAB+FM device worked OK with default hint "RTL".
(with the failed XP install I never got to see that window with Device Hint in)

BTW VHF broadcast FM seems distorted but I am running it on an underpowered sacrificial netbook at the moment to figure out how to install it properly first.

Re: FunCube PRO+ vs RTL-SDR

I love the FunCube dongle, but rtl-sdrs are a great cheap alternative.

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