SDR Devices

This is the place to discuss Riverside County scanning related topics. Whether it be something about a particular agency, radios, antennas, or other general scanner related questions, you can talk about it here.
ehgriffith
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:12 pm

SDR Devices

Postby ehgriffith » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:03 pm

I recently picked up a Nooelec Smart SDR receiver kit (for about $28). There are also several competing brands that are similar (RTL-SDR, etc.), mostly available on Amazon. It is an interesting device that will basically connect to your computer via USB and act as a spectrum analyzer and receiver from 25Mhs to 1.5Ghz. I am still digesting and trying to figure it all out, but it does point to some interesting things lurking on the airwaves that I wasn't aware of. As I am still a noob with this, I was just wondering if anyone else has played with one of these or has found anything interesting. It is very much a bare bones type of device. There is not too much to do in Riverside with the scanner these days...

sp1989
Posts: 996
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: SDR Devices

Postby sp1989 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:38 pm

Howdy. I have a few dongles, i use one 24/7 for ads-b plane tracking. I also have a Nooelec dongle with the Ham-it-up converter for HF reception. I haven't used that set up in a while, I got frustrated with the constant tinkering to try and get it to work properly. Just when I think I have it set correctly, I am plagued once again with images popping up, like WWV on freqs where it doesn't belong. Never tried using one as a scanner for the same reason, I want it to work with no tinkering involved.

ehgriffith
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:12 pm

Re: SDR Devices

Postby ehgriffith » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:15 pm

It sounded a little too good to be true, and it seems it is somewhat. I just can't get it to work in a way that makes too much sense to me. I thought it would be good for searching for frequencies throughout the spectrum, but sometimes I find stuff that my scanner can't hear, and vice versa. I can't find WWV anywhere, but it is good on my Grundig radio. I am wondering if the better quality devices like the SDR Play 2 are any better. Have you ever been able to decode any of the data carriers?

sp1989
Posts: 996
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: SDR Devices

Postby sp1989 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:39 pm

Never got that far into it. I thought at first it was much more sensitive, but I suspect the stations I was hearing that were not on my regular HF radios were images. I only use a dongle for ads-b mode S, it works quite well for that. I was using a Nooelec dongle, but upgraded to a Flightaware Prostick which has a built in LNA, $16 off Amazon. I got the 1090 mhz filter for it, I understand there is a newer version which has both the LNA & filter built in. I've pretty much given up (for now) on using a dongle for SWLing. A friend successfully uses a dongle and a program called JAERO to decode satcom transmission. He built a home brew satcom antenna out of PVC pipe & a metal Slinky.

ehgriffith
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:12 pm

Re: SDR Devices

Postby ehgriffith » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:02 pm

So how do you receive/decode ADS-B? What kind of antenna is used? Sounds like it might be kind of fun to receive, but I am in Murrieta. I can pick up LAX approach control for a short time, but I am not sure if this would work or not for me here.

sp1989
Posts: 996
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: SDR Devices

Postby sp1989 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:57 pm

I use the flightaware Prostick & filter connected to a laptop computer near my radios. The antenna I'm using came with one of my dongles, I have it up on the roof sitting on a pizza pan for a ground plane. I can receive aircraft out a couple hundred miles. I'm out here in BFE (East Hemet) get plenty of hits, you should be fine at your location. I use it mainly for military aircraft, which most sites filter out. The computer programs I'm using are rtl1090 and Virtual Radar Server. Here is a good place to start, has some ideas for home brew 1090 mhz antennas, too.

http://www.rtl-sdr.com/adsb-aircraft-ra ... h-rtl-sdr/

I feed data to adsbexchange.com and live-military-mode-s.eu

ehgriffith
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:12 pm

Re: SDR Devices

Postby ehgriffith » Sat May 13, 2017 10:16 pm

sp1989 thanks for all of your info. Got everything working and it is kind of fun. I am using the NESDR Smart with RTL1090 and Plane Plotter. Even with the antenna inside, I am picking up aircraft for at least 20 miles from my location. I am trying to get ACARS messages as well, but haven't quite figured that out yet. Even with planes directly overhead, I am not hearing any activity on 131.300. There is not much else left for me to monitor/scan since the launch of PSEC.

sp1989
Posts: 996
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: SDR Devices

Postby sp1989 » Sun May 21, 2017 7:14 pm

Try this for ACARS, this is the only one of the many decoders out there I could ever get to work. There are quite few VHF freqs, try them all. Remember, you can't scan them, figure out which one is busiest in your area, then stop scanning & open the squelch all the way. All you need is a radio, a 3.5mm cable like for an mp3 player and a computer to run the program on.

http://sky.geocities.jp/kgacars/indexworld.html


Return to “Scanning Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest