Best application for the SDR-IQ on a MacBook Air?


I’m plotting travels soon and plan to take my RF Space SDR-IQ along for the ride.

I’ve noted a number of excellent open source applications that work with the SDR-IQ, but many of them don’t work on the Mac OS X operating system. Those that do work on Mac OS X seem to lack the ability to make spectrum and audio (AF) recordings.

I had considered installing Windows 7 on my MacBook Air (as a dual boot) and running an app like SDR#, but I simply don’t have the storage space to effectively house two operating systems on the Air’s solid state drive.

I’m curious if anyone has an SDR application recommendation. Please comment if you do!

10 thoughts on “Best application for the SDR-IQ on a MacBook Air?

  1. Matthew Williams

    Gqrx possibly? I don’t know if it’ll tune the device. It’s the most popular SDR app for the RTLSDR on OSX and works relatively well.

    But it’s worth a shot!

    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, Matthew,

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’m trying to find the install files and documentation for GQRX, but having a difficult time locating them. Do you know the procedure to install? Does it require using the command line?


      1. AZ SW DXing

        I’m using the version 2.2.0 binary provided at the Gqrx sourceforge page:

        I can’t verify that this works with your SDR, but the binary inside the .dmg package was “plug and play” on my MacBook Air running OSX 10.9.3 with a RTL2832U/R820T-based USB dongle. However, I can’t guarantee that I didn’t have something else already installed that is required.

    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, John,

      I successfully installed SdrRX, but finding that it hangs up after a couple minutes of use. Hmmmm… Will keep trying different configurations.


  2. Greg Shoom

    Another option, if you want to use Windows software, is to install a virtual machine tool on the Mac and run Windows 7 inside that. It should require less space than dual-booting would. I don’t know any of the Mac software for this, but I did something like that on my Windows 7 computer where I run VirtualBox to host a Linux virtual machine.

  3. Chad Greene

    Recent GPRX can be installed with MacPorts. I use this install and it allows recording spectrum segments.
    The big hurdle is getting macports installed once its installed the rest is very easy.

    then its just a matter of having an active internet connection and a simple command.

    sudo port install gqrx or sudo port install gqrx-devel

    Let it run and when its done you will have a very handy SRD front end with gnuradio backend.


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