Category Archives: Software Defined Radio

SDRplay lowers RSP1 price to $99.95 US

The SDRplay RSP software defined radio

(Source: SDRplay Press Release via Jon Hudson)

SDRplay are pleased to announce a price reduction for their entry-level SDR receiver, the RSP1 to $99.95 USD making it the most competitive mid-range SDR to include reception down to low frequencies without the need for an upconverter.

The RSP1 provides general coverage receiver and panadapter capability from 10 kHz to 2 GHz. As well as providing SDRuno SDR software, support for popular 3rd party packages like HDSDR, SDR-Console and Cubic SDR is provided. Recent availability of an SD Card image makes for easy set up on a Raspberry Pi.

Click here to visit SDRplay online.

Click here to read our RSP1 review.

Receiving Jupiter with the SDRplay RSP1

I’ve been fascinated with radio astronomy since my university days. In the 1980s and 90s almost any radio astronomy experiment equated to forking out some serious money to purchase a wideband receiver (serious money to a student, at least). With the advent of SDRs, though, radio astronomy has become affordable for everyone.

Many thanks to RTL-SDR.com for publishing the following video and post about monitoring Jupiter radio bursts:

Over on YouTube user MaskitolSAE has uploaded a video showing him receiving some noise bursts from Jupiter with his SDRplay RSP1. The planet Jupiter is known to emit bursts of noise via natural ‘radio lasers’ powered partly by the planets interaction with the electrically conductive gases emitted by Io, one of the the planets moons. When Jupiter is high in the sky and the Earth passes through one of these radio lasers the noise bursts can be received on Earth quite easily with an appropriate antenna

In his video MaskitolSAE shows the 10 MHz of waterfall and audio from some Jupiter noise bursts received with his SDRplay RSP1 at 22119 kHz. According to the YouTube description, it appears that he is using the UTR-2 radio telescope which is a large Ukrainian radio telescope installation that consists of an array of 2040 dipoles. A professional radio telescope installation is not required to receive the Jupiter bursts (a backyard dipole tuned to ~20 MHz will work), but the professional radio telescope does get some really nice strong bursts as seen in the video.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to read at RTL-SDR.com.

As Carl mentions above, you do not need a professional radio telescope to receive Jupiter noise bursts, a dipole will do.

In fact, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) has a dedicated Jupiter receiver–a simple SDR kit called the Radio JOVE Receiver which is promoted by NASA. While PARI has the resources to install any number of antennas, PARI uses two simple dipoles which are mounted only a few feet off the ground as their radio telescope. I doubt their investment in the antennas exceeded $50. It works brilliantly.

The Radio JOVE receiver at PARI

I had planned to purchase and build a JOVE receiver (and, for fun, still may!), but it would be much easier to simply use the SDRplay RSP I already have in my shack. What a great project this fall.

Post readers: Please comment if you’ve used an SDR or JOVE kit to receive Jupiter bursts!

PantronX Titus II DRM receiver June 2017 update

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

Here’s an update on the PantronX Titus II DRM boombox from Mike at PantronX:

“We are first fulfilling large orders from international broadcasters. Individual orders most likely are late fall.

If you preordered someone will contact you when the order comes up. Sorry for the delays but demand has been almost overwhelming.

Thanks for your continued support.”

Thanks fo sharing this update with us, Ed!

Raspberry Pi image with preloaded SDRplay RSP software

The $35 Raspberry Pi 3

SDRplay support have just posted the following news on their community forum:

We have released a Raspberry Pi 3 image that has a number of SDR applications pre-built and tested that support the RSP. Periodically, we will update the image with software updates and new software.

The current list of software included on the image is:

SoapySDR/SoapySDRPlay, SoapyRemote, ADS-B (dump1090), CubicSDR and SDR-J DAB receiver

Please note: This is a complete OS with software image. Writing the image to a micro SD card will wipe the micro SD card of any other data that is on there, so we recommend you make sure you have backed up any data on your existing micro SD card or you use a new micro SD card.

Instructions:

1. Download image. There are two downloads provided, the 7zip version is just a smaller download but not everyone has 7zip which is why we also provide a zip download. The links are here:

http://www.sdrplay.com/software/SDRplay_RPi3_V0.1.zip (2.7 GB)

http://www.sdrplay.com/software/SDRplay … 0.1.img.7z (2.0 GB)

2. Extract the contents of the compressed file. This will extract to a .img file which will be about 7.2 GB

3. Use an image writer such as Win32DiskImager (https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager) to put the image onto the micro SD card.
WARNING: Please make sure that you use the correct drive letter for the micro SD card. The image writing software will completely remove any data that is on the destination media.

That’s it – put the micro SD card into the Raspberry Pi 3 micro SD card slot and boot the system. Allow the system to fully boot and you will see a GUI that will allow you to run each of the applications or read further information.

We also recommend that you use an active cooling system on your Raspberry Pi 3 to avoid any issues with over heating. In our tests, we have used heatsinks and a fan in a case. The CPU speed will be throttled if the temperature gets too hot, so for optimum use this is really recommended. These cases are available at reasonable prices from many Raspberry Pi stores.

If you are a developer of software that supports the RSP and you would like to be included on the image that we will release periodically, please contact us at software@sdrplay.com – currently we’re aiming to update the image every quarter, this will largely depend on software availability and what the demand is.

We are aware of other software that we are looking to get onto the next release such as Pothos and more SDR-J software. We will work with developers on any issues we’ve seen during this process so that we can get them onto future images.

Best regards,

SDRplay Support

This is great news in my book, because a fully-loaded and configured disk image makes it much easier to get started with an RSP/Pi combo.

Note that the message above is merely the announcement on SDRplay’s community forum. I would strongly encourage you to follow this thread, and the forum in general, if you’re interested in updates and announcements.

Raspberry Pi systems are very affordable and available in a number of configurations (from $35US – $80US depending on accessories) and from a number of retailers including:

KiwiSDR network updates include native HF FAX

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Fahey, who writes:

Lots happening with KiwiSDR – there are now over 130 live 0-30MHz fully controllable SDRs scatted around the world some in really interesting locations. Using Kiwi’s around the world is like being able to go on a exotic DXpedition any time.

Here (attached graphic) is a map of the current locations, you can see the live status of online receivers here:

http://rx.linkfanel.net

and as a list of receivers here:

http://kiwisdr.com/public/

KiwiSDRs now include HF Fax reception natively, just select Fax in the Extension menu, select the part of the world you are interested in and the Kiwi will tune the weather fax frequency and receive the weather fax all natively (no extra software needed) – too easy!

Lots more great things happening.

Here is the latest news…

http://www.kiwisdr.com/#id-31-may-17

Cheers,
Mark

Thank you for the update, Mark! I had no idea the KiwiSDR app had an HF Fax extension. After reading your message, I loaded a KiwiSDR session in Europe and used the Fax feature. It couldn’t have been easier. The screen grab (above) came from my first attempt.

The KiwiSDR network is truly amazing. I use it all the time–especially if there’s an important broadcast happening and I can’t easily receive it at home or while traveling. As an example, during the recent French elections, I listened to results roll in on France Inter mediumwave from a KiwiSDR in Italy. It felt like being there.

My one feature request would be that the KiwiSDR app include some form of native broadcast recording like the WebSDR at U Twente.

Many thanks for the update, Mark!

Click here to read about Mark’s KiwiSDR installation.

Would you like to host your own KiwiSDR?

The whole system only costs $299 US. The KiwiSDR site has a list of distributors around the world.

Amazon has units in stock at $299 US shipped.

I would have purchased a KiwiSDR ages ago–during their Kickstarter campaign–if I only had the Internet bandwidth at home to support it. My Internet speeds are likely lower than anyone else here in the SWLing Post community. One of the compromises living in a relatively remote spot with no RFI. 🙂