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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-20, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hawkesbury Ontario
Posts: 191
Cool SDR Fun

So 1 year ago I bought a SDR Radio in USB and played with it for a few hours,
and I thought my Friend Joe would love this and gave it to him had a X-mas gift.

But soon after I wanted one back so broke the piggy bank and ordered a new one.

Now I been playing with this for a few days now.

I tested it on a few different antennas and to be honest I was getting more channels last time.

Tested on a 10 meter antenna, a 11 meter antenna, a UHF Tv antenna, a VHF antenna,
and a few poles and wires just to test and have fun.

I have tested this from 4 feet off the ground to 72 feet off the ground.
and after all this testing I see that I think I need to add some type of extra decoder to AIRSPY
or get a different program.

I see lots of reception on many bandwidth but no way to tune it correctly I know some is static
but I was in the TV channels bandwidth and I could not decode the voice I know image is a no go but i'm sure there is someway to
do this.

and guys tell me what else can I do with SDR I know some guys are receiving the telemetry from satellites and converting to image.
what are best band's to play in. at this time I'm on FM Radio and CB band and 11 meters.

so where do I go from here?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-21, 11:38 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Posts: 6,434
Now I might be aging myself but, is there still SSTV available out there? I remember building a Slo-Scan TV decoder for my multi band radio. The stuff people sent back then were their Call Sign cards and the occasional Playboy centerfold. That was amazing as it was before Internet was mainstream. I think i had a 110-300 baud modem which permitted me to go on BBS's. SSTV was faster to view pictures then!!! LOL

Home Theatre: Yamaha HTR-6190, Klipsch Speakers, SANYO PLV-Z4, TOSHIBA HDDVD, LG BD555C, Cerwin Vega HTS12 Sub, VIP2300, XBox 360, HTPC.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-24, 12:25 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kanata
Posts: 555
Frank,

You could do worse than reading this book which will give you a good background, and this one which in many ways supplements the first.

This web site is probably the best one that talks about all things of interest to the SDR hobbyist. Also, view the video our friend Argilo (aka Clayton, whom you met at our last meet) has put up on YouTube - it is an excellent introduction to SDR, particularly if you live in this neck of the woods.

We often cover an aspect of the topic at our quarterly members' meets, so make sure you come to the next one!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-24, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hawkesbury Ontario
Posts: 191
I have been present to the last 3 meets so not a problem for me.

now that I work for my self I'm the boss and can take a early day.

wow lot's of info too much info for one night I will have lots of things to take in thanks man.
I will get the only stuff them will see about ordering some books.

Last edited by FrankTurbo; 2019-01-24 at 08:20 PM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-24, 09:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,514
Frank, What device are you using?
A pretty good tool to get into decoding various signals is gnuradio companion,

aka GRC. It is a pretty cool way to learn without being joe software developer...

If you can follow a block diagram, and understand radio basics,you'll like it...


https://wiki.gnuradio.org/index.php/Main_Page

DB4E/VHF Yagi rotor FM Bandstop ap-8700 preamp 8way split LG lcd.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-24, 10:26 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Calgary AB
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As a radio hobbyist, I Still have to get myself one of these. Wonder if there's a similar meetup here in Calgary.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-25, 05:59 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kanata
Posts: 555
I'm not aware of any meet ups apart from the Ottawa one (which I convene). We've been going for over seven years now. Do as someone did here - put a notice out on the forum to start one in Calgary. You'll likely get more interest that you expect. We peaked at 22 members at one meeting, but down now to about a dozen at each meet.

As far as buying a low-cost SDR stick is concerned, I strongly recommend getting the one sold by the rtl-sdr web site I linked in the earlier post. It has a modification that increases the bandwith down to 500 kHz, (others stop at about 25 MHz). It also has a much more stable oscillator (temperature-controlled), so the frequency doesn't drift as it warms up). All for about US$ 22.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-25, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-25, 11:28 PM
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I just placed an order for that kit.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-26, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hawkesbury Ontario
Posts: 191
Well since I'm testing many antennas i would need a antenba switch box got one to recommend I'm using 4 plus antennas and plan to install many more. And i have local Fm broadcast channels giving me cross channels on 11 meter 27mhz would a filter be a good investement. I read on the links that it would be. But witch ones are best price quality.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-01-26, 01:58 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kanata
Posts: 555
Frank,

Good choice of SDR stick!

FM traps are not very easy to find locally, but the rtl-sdr site sells a good FM trap for about $16.

You need to be very careful about not turning the gain of the receiver up too high - it's very easy to overload it, and then you'll get the symptoms you describe. If you're using SDR Sharp, set the gain at the lowest point, note where the noise level is on the spectrum scale (usually at about -60 dB), then increase the gain until the noise level goes up about 5 dB. This will give you best signal-to-noise ratio for most signals. There are many settings in SDR# that will impact your success in receiving signals. I suugest you Google for the many beginners' guides to using SDR# that there are available.

As far as antenna switches go, I don't think you'll find any out there for SMA connectors (which is what that stick uses).

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-02-01, 12:05 AM
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Well my RTL-SDR dongle arrived today (same kit as Frank has). Still have to set it up on the computer, but was looking into some of the things I can do with it.

One thing I was wondering though is what I can do to listen to broadcast AM radio and shortwave. Obviously I'd have to use Direct Sampling, but antenna wise I'm not fully sure. Sounds like the included antennas are more for VHF & above.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-02-01, 09:33 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kanata
Posts: 555
As the title of this thread implies, there are few absolute rules with these things. Ideally, you would want either a magnetic loop antenna, else a long wire connected through a 9:1 unun for impedance matching (you will see one of thise devices listed in the rtl-sdr blog store, others available on ebay, but they are easy to make yourself).

As a starter, I would just try as long a wire as you can manage stuffed into the centre of the SMA connector. If you can get it high and outdoors, so much the better. I have been amazed at what you can receive in the AM broadcast band on a simple outdoor wire (especially after dark).
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-02-05, 03:51 PM
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I'm surprised the extension cable that came with this kit (same one Frank showed) didn't have an SMA connector on one side. I figured it would plug directly into the SDR dongle to let you put an antenna higher up away from the device

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 2019-02-05, 04:51 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kanata
Posts: 555
So what connectors are on the ends of it? The image in their store seems to show one with SMAs.
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