Comment on GammaRF: Distributed Radio Signal Collection and Analysis with RTL-SDR and HackRF by zipfly30

If these devices had GPS input and a known training signal (local FM station or GSM channel for calibration) on that same computer, you could really sync-up those inquiries giving you excellent resolution on analyzing/geo-locating signals, even using just an RTL-SDR. Imagine also throwing in a line of bearing (LOB) by using a KerberosSDR here or there. Now that would be some fidelity.

Comment on Listening to the Sound of Molecules via Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and an RTL-SDR by Joe Q.

Neat demo — more showing what the SDR can do (i.e., duplicate some of the circuitry inside the NMR console) rather than the NMR effect per-se. As a chemist, though, it floats my boat 🙂

Comment on NooElec SAWBird: An LNA + Filter for GOES Weather Satellite Reception Now Available by Rob Dale

I don’t see one online but they are quite responsive if you go to their website.

Comment on Detecting The Sound of Bats with a Piezo Speaker and SDRplay RSP1A by Jan de Jong

I did have some thoughts about damaging but curiosity took over. I had to know if it would work. Also since I basically short and there is no amplifier, plus a long cable with at least some resistance, I went ahead.
I did tap the piezo to check if it works at all and that does not seem to damage the SDR. I had to use the RSP1A because the normal RTL usb dongle does not go to the 40-60 KHz range.
I can pickup also cicadas and grashoppers at about 8-10Khz. My inspiration for this goes back to the time where i saw in a biology lab a special tape-recorder that was used for this purpose. It would record with high reel speed the Bat-sound and then be played back on lower speed. With the SDR software i finally had a simple way to do more or less the same, at least visualize this.
I did not have too much time over the summer but have made some more recordings. I will post in the next weeks in my youtube again. (without music as some have requested)

Comment on Submit a Story/Contact by Fernando fernández de Villegas (EB3EMD)

In the SDRSharp installation procedure, in the page “Manual Installation of SDR# – Manual Installation of the RTL-SDR drivers with SDR# for the RTL-SDR” (https://www.rtl-sdr.com/manual-installation-of-sdr/) (i.e. for PC without Internet connection) it is indicated that the version of the ‘rtlsdr.dll’ driver that has been copied to the SDRSharp program folder must be 32 or 64 bits, depending on the operating system installed on the computer. It say: “Download the RTL-SDR Drivers, and extract the rtlsdr.dll file from the x32 folder (or x64 folder if you have a 64-bit OS) into the SDR# folder.”

I think it is not correct, the rtlsdr.dll version is 32 bits (SDRSharp is a 32 bit software). My system uses 64-bit Windos 7 SP1, and SDRSharp could only recognize the RTL-SDR dongle when I replaced the 64-bit rtlsdr.dll driver with its 32-bit version.

Please check this and correct that error in this document for the good of all.

Comment on Quick Start Guide by Fernando fernández de Villegas (EB3EMD)

In the SDRSharp installation procedure, in the page “Manual Installation of SDR# – Manual Installation of the RTL-SDR drivers with SDR# for the RTL-SDR” (https://www.rtl-sdr.com/manual-installation-of-sdr/) (i.e. for PC without Internet connection) it is indicated that the version of the ‘rtlsdr.dll’ driver that has been copied to the SDRSharp program folder must be 32 or 64 bits, depending on the operating system installed on the computer. It say: “Download the RTL-SDR Drivers, and extract the rtlsdr.dll file from the x32 folder (or x64 folder if you have a 64-bit OS) into the SDR# folder.”

I think it is not correct, the rtlsdr.dll version is 32 bits (SDRSharp is a 32 bit software). My system uses 64-bit Windos 7 SP1, and SDRSharp could only recognize the RTL-SDR dongle when I replaced the 64-bit rtlsdr.dll driver with its 32-bit version.

Please check this and correct that error in this document for the good of all.

Troubleshooting Help • Re: Ceiling Fan AGC?

I managed to get some more testing done yesterday.

Tried CubicSDR on the client with SoapySDR on the server and had the same issue.

Removed the machine with the dongle from the UPS and plugged it directly into the wall, had the same issue.

Tried running CubicSDR on the same machine with the dongle and had the same issue.

Later today I am going to try my one remaining Windows 10 laptop again, the performance was never good there, but I believe it had the same issue. This will let me run on batteries and take the AC supply completely out of the picture.

The only other things I can think of is to eliminate a short USB extension cable, will do that when I move to the laptop. I am also going to try and cause it without an antenna attached, or with my VHF antenna.

Statistics: Posted by noj — Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:44 pm


Comment on Quick Start Guide by admin

If it doesn’t see the dongle at all it’s most likely dead. Contact the seller or manufacturer of the dongle you bought for a replacement.

GammaRF: Distributed Radio Signal Collection and Analysis with RTL-SDR and HackRF

Thank you to Josh for submitting news about his project called GammaRF. GammaRF is an client-server program that is used to aggregate signal information via the internet from distributed SDRs. Currently the RTL-SDR and HackRF SDRs are supported.

ΓRF (“GammaRF”, or “GRF”) is a radio signal collection, storage, and analysis system based on inexpensive distributed nodes and a central server. Put another way, it is a distributed system for aggregating information about signals, and a back-end infrastructure for processing this collected information into coherent “products”.

Nodes utilize inexpensive hardware such as RTL-SDR and HackRF radios, and computers as small and inexpensive as Intel NUCs. Each node runs modules which provide various radio monitoring functionality, such as monitoring frequencies for “hits”, watching power levels, keeping track of aircraft (through ADS-B), and more. Nodes are distributed geographically and their data is combined on the server for hybrid analysis.

A web-based system allows users to view information from and about each station in its area. Below shows the server landing page. Markers are placed at each station’s last known location (stations can be mobile or stationary.)

GammaRF Server Landing Page
GammaRF Server Landing Page

From the currently implemented modules it appears that you can monitor ADS-B, scan and monitor the power of a set of frequencies, forward the output from trunk-recorder (a P25 call recorder), scan the spectrum and monitor power levels, monitor a single frequency for activity, take a picture of a swath of RF spectrum, and collect 433 MHz ISM data. Some example applications might include:

  • Monitoring ham radio activity on repeaters in a city
  • Creating timelines of emergency services activity in an area
  • Distributed tracking of satellites and other mobile emitters
  • Monitoring power at a frequency, for example as a mobile node traverses an area (e.g. signal source location)
  • Building direction finding networks (e.g. for fox hunts)
  • Spectrum enumeration (finding channels and guessing modulation) [under development]
Monitoring Activity of an Amateur Radio Repeater
Monitoring Activity of an Amateur Radio Repeater via the 'scanner' Module

Listening to the Sound of Molecules via Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and an RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube user aonomus has uploaded a video showing how he's used an RTL-SDR to observe and listen to the radio signal generated via a chemistry lab's nuclear magnetic resonance machine. To do this he simply taps the RF output of the NMR machine which allows the RTL-SDR to listen to the signal and play it as audio. In the video he shows the sound of a sample of chloroform in acetone-d6. The demo has no real scientific purpose other than to hear the sound of the molecule. Normally the RF output goes straight into a spectrum analyzer for visual analysis.

Nuclear magnetic resonance is a technique used in chemistry for the analysis of chemicals, as well as in MRI medical imaging machines. Very basically, it works by applying a chemical sample to a strong magnetic field, exciting it with a strong pulse of RF, and listening to the echo. An echo will only occur when the radio waves are transmitted at the chemicals resonant frequency. The frequencies used are typically between 60 to 800 MHz.

A few years ago I came up with a demonstration for some high school students interested in chemistry. This demo is a modern take on a classic NMR experiment, using a low cost software defined radio to observe the FID signal as audio. In short, this demo allows you to hear the proton FID echo from the liquid sample inside the NMR magnet.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Demonstration Using Software Defined Radio

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