Category Archives: Software Defined Radio

Cloud-SDR: a remote access system for a number of popular SDRs

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Sylvain (F4GKR), who writes:

I am Sylvain, from Cloud-SDR, a new company selling software to get remote access to your existing SDR receivers through the Internet.

Coud-SDR

  • currently supports : SDRPlay, Perseus, BladeRF and AirSpy. LimeSDR to come when received and tested.
  • client software is free (can be used as standard SDR receiving software with locally connected devices),
  • server software starts at 110 Euros, VAT may be added depending on customer location,
    easy to use

From the Cloud-SDR website:

The Cloud-SDR Concept

You need a way to remotely access your existing SDR receiver? To stream your IQ samples to another remote computer over the network?

Cloud-SDR is a commercial software solution to enable real time RF data sharing or processing through the cloud.

Cloud-SDR can collect real-time IQ complex samples from an SDR hardware device connected on one machine, stream the samples to a second machine for demodulation or analysis, then send the resulting stream to third machine for storage.

In standalone mode, Cloud-SDR can execute signal processing tasks described with embedded JavaScript DSP engine.

Because network bandwidth is limited compared to SDR receiving bandwidth, the core concept of Cloud-SDR is to move the processing along the cloud to where it is required or possible : the DSP chain is divided in sub-tasks that are spread between computers interconnected through Internet.

Very cool, Sylvain!

I like the fact your system supports popular affordable SDRs like the SDRplay RSP & AirSpy and that you can stream your IQ samples.

Click here to read more on the Cloud-SDR website.

Build a Raspberry Pi-powered SDR

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jeremy Clark (VE3PKC), who writes:

I have developed an SDR receiver that may be of interest to your readers. It can be used directly with the Raspberry Pi2B/3B. It comes in several versions DIP/SMD.

Check out this MP4 movie:

I have two eBooks which are basically design manuals for the DIP and SMD version of my SDR receiver. Each eBook has an Internet linked parts list, so that the reader can get their own parts to keep costs down. The DIP eBook is $7.90 CAD and the SMD book is $14.90 CAD.

Click here to view Jeremy’s website.

Thank you, Jeremy–this looks like a fascinating construction project!

Readers: just to be clear, Jeremy is selling eBooks detailing construction–not kits. He did mention if you’re interested in obtaining the PCB, he can sell this as well.

For Sale: HackRF One & PortaPack H1 combo

Spectrum display on the 18 meter band.

–UPDATE: This item has sold.  Thank you!–

It’s time to thin the herd! Over the coming weeks, I’m planning to liquidate some gear here at the SWLing Post HQ.

I’m selling radios and accessories I no longer use or need for comparison reviews. I’ll plan to post these on the SWLing Post before placing them on something like eBay.

Know that funds from your purchase will help SWLing Post running costs and will be used to purchase future review units.

HackRF One and PortPack H1 combo

First up is my HackRF One and Portapack H1 field-portable receiver and spectrum sampling package.

I purchased these new at the 2016 Dayton Hamvention–the HackRF One was purchased at the TAPR booth and the PortaPack H1 at the Sharebrained Technology booth. The Portapack H1 was installed on the HackRF One by its designer Jarod (see below).

While I’m sure a number of readers are familiar with the HackRF One SDR, I doubt many will be familiar with the PortaPack H1, which I found to be one of the more exciting innovations showcased at the 2016 Hamvention.

In essence, the PortaPack H1 is a shield that attaches to the HackRF and adds a touchscreen LCD, navigation controls, headphone jack, real-time clock, micro SD card slot, and custom aluminum case. When you add power via the USB port (or using a USB battery pack) you can utilize many HackRF features without needing a computer or tablet. The PortaPack firmware runs on the fast ARM processors in the HackRF. The only time an external computer is necessary is to reprogram the firmware.

Here’s a short video:

I fell in love with the PortPack H1 and purchased it on the spot at the Hamvention.

Why? Well, among many other things, you can do spectrum recordings natively and save them to a MicroSD card. The PortPack writes the recording as a basic IQ file. I suspect it’ll require a little tinkering to open and playback the file in another SDR application.

Why am I selling?

I had planned to use the PortPack as a means to do field SDR recordings and do a full review. After all, it must be the most compact, all-in-one solution for doing field spectrum recordings.

Tuned to Radio Australia this morning.

Truth is, though, I haven’t had time to tinker with the PortaPack at all as I’ve been so busy with family life, travels and doing other reviews.

Also, I rarely do field spectrum recordings because I’m lucky enough to live at a site that has little to no radio interference. It would be very difficult for me to find an outdoor location and deploy an antenna that would outperform my home setup. I could see myself using the PortPack while doing proper globe-trotting across the planet, but I have no plans to do this in the near future.

To be clear: though the PortPack H1 works as-is, it is developed with the hacker and experimenter in mind. You would need to figure out which app could import the spectrum files and what format to use.

I’d like to sell this to someone who could use it and would enjoy experimenting. (And possibly writing up something for the SWLing Post? (Hint hint!)

I bet I haven’t used the HackRF/PortaPack combo more than one hour on the air. It’s essentially like new and comes with the PortaPack metal case, the original HackRF One box, HackRF One plastic enclosure/case and cord.

Price

Originally, this package cost me over $500.

I’m selling this HackRF One and PortaPack H1 one shipped and fully insured via the USPS (within the US) for $400.

If you’re seriously interested, but live outside the US, please contact me. I would need to determine shipping costs based on the destination. Note that I’m no expert at doing international shipments, though, so can’t comment regarding import duties and customs clearance or tracking.

I would like to receive funds via PayPal or perhaps Google Wallet. I can do USPS money orders, etc. but they will need to clear prior to shipping (this adds a few days to the turn-around time).

I know very little in terms of operating the PortPack H1, so I would encourage you to check out both the HackRF One and Sharebrained Technology websites to learn more prior to purchasing.

Again, your purchase will essentially help me fund the SWLing Post! Contact me if interested–first come, first serve. Thanks!

SDR-Console V3 Preview now supports the SDRplay RSP2

Many thanks to Jon Hudson at SDRplay who has just informed me that SDR-Console V3 Preview supports the new SDRplay RSP2.

SDRplay posted the following on their blog:

Many thanks to Simon Brown for updating SDR-Console V3 Preview to fully support both the RSP1 and the RSP2- you can download the software from http://sdr-radio.com/v3_preview_downloads  (be sure to click on the software link  under where it says ‘Downloads’ unless you want to download the software from the advertisers who support Simon’s work!)

As new YouTube demo videos of SDR-Console V3 in action become available, we will add them to the playlists on our YouTube Channel:  www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP

Click here to read on the SDRplay blog.

Very cool, Jon!  Happy to see app support for the new RSP2 is propagating. Thank you for sharing!

Transatlantic medium wave DX: 3 Canadian stations rarely heard in Oxford, UK

Hi there, I thought I’d share with you, three recent catches from Canada that I had not previously heard here in Oxford, UK, over the past 18 months of DXing. The first is VOWR, a religous station in Saint John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. At the time of reception their TX power was 2.5 kW, thus a really pleasing catch. 800 kHz is such a difficult channel to DX in Europe due to heavy adjacent channel QRM, but the brilliant selectivity of the Elad FDM DUO operating via the FDM-SW2 software performed really well, producing mostlyy intelligble audio on LSB with an audio bandwidth filter of 2.1 kHz. Below is an embedded video and text link.

MW DX with 200 m Beverage: VOWR 800 kHz, St. John’s, N&L, first reception, with ID

The next reception video is CHHA ‘Voces Latinas’ from Toronto on 1600 kHz. This was the biggest surprise because this channel at the start of the X-band is dominated by The Caribbean Beacon, Anguilla. In fact, I would go so far as to say I’ve never heard anything else but Anguilla on 1600 kHz. The only difference in this reception is that it occurred relatively late in the morning for me – around 7:45 am. To catch CHHA for the first time, with a very clear ID was great, I hope to hear them again soon.  Below is an embedded video and text link.

Finally, a reception video of CBC Radio 1, transmitting on 1140 kHz. CBC are very often herad at my shack in Oxford, in fact, I see at least one carrier, usually with audio most evenings/mornings and often multiple signals are present across 600, 750 and 1400 KHz. However, their transmission from Sydney, Nova Scotia had never been copied previously and so this was a pleasing catch. Below is an embedded video and text link.


Thanks for reading/watching/listening and I wish you all great DX!

Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.