Android tablet SDRs?

Image: screen grab from SDRtouch video

SWLing Post reader, Philip, writes with the following question:

“I want to know if you are aware of any good shortwave receivers that can be used on an Android tablet.”

I am aware of the Android SDR application, SDR Touch (see image above), but have never used it so I can’t comment on compatibility with the various SDRs on the market. I know that SDR Touch is compatible with devices that support USB host mode–but you may need to do research to see if your Android device and potential receiver are compatible. I believe most SDR Touch users connect their device to RTL-SDR dongles.

Readers: Please comment if you have any suggestions for Philip. I’m also curious if anyone has had success pairing an Android tablet to an HF-capable SDR.

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8 thoughts on “Android tablet SDRs?

  1. HH

    Must the receiver be physically attached to the tablet for mobile applications? If not, the receiver could be hosted on a PC, or a small embedded Linux board like Raspberry PI, or even a Linux router. The client-server mode may provide more choices when selecting a receiver (especially if the tablet generates HF radio noise.) The wireless link between the tablet & receiver host can be WiFi, Bluetooth or wUSB.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_USB

    If there is no remote control software that is compatible with your receiver, it might still be possible to virtualize the USB link over a wireless connection using this: https://www.virtualhere.com/

    See also WiFi Direct / ad-hoc wireless networking

    SDR hardware
    http://www.rtl-sdr.com/roundup-software-defined-radios/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_software-defined_radios

    SDR software
    http://www.rtl-sdr.com/big-list-rtl-sdr-supported-software/
    http://www.amrad.org/projects/sdr/
    http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/DRM

    Let us know how the project turns out.

    Reply
  2. Matthew, WA4246SWL

    I attempted to do this with a variety of tablets. The best success I had was with a Kindle Fire HD 7. The RTL-SDR dongle coupled with SDR Touch worked rather well and there wasn’t much RFI. I decided to take it a step further and purchased a FunDongle so that I could cover HF. Bad idea. I don’t know if it’s the table or SDR Touch, but they did not play well together. I think the best bet is to get a Windows tablet so you can use SDR#.

    Reply
    1. John

      Matthew,
      I’m trying to get my dongle to work on my kindle fire HD 7″. Problem I’m running into is the kindles aren’t USB host capable. An easy check is using a OTG cable doesn’t recognize the dongle or anything else for that matter. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

      Reply
  3. Don

    The RF Space sdr’s can be controlled remotely by an Android – look at SDRAnywhere.com It can control your SDR-IQ or Cloud SDR if you have it running on a server or it can connect to other servers around the world. I find it works extremely well, I’ve had my SDR-IQ on it ever since it came out.

    Don
    VE6JY

    Reply
  4. Eric Cottrell

    I am only aware of the RTL2832U driver port for Android, so that limits hardware to the RTL-SDR based devices.

    I have used the Elad FDM-S2 software on a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet running Windows. It works, but some controls are very small on screen. A larger screen may work better. Most Windows SDR software is designed for larger screen size.

    Reply
  5. Ken Hansen n2vip

    You could try a Windows tablet – they can work with any ‘regular’ SDR radio I’m familiar with…

    Reply
  6. DL4NO

    SDRtouch run for a time on my Android tablet. Then my tablet caught a virus I could not remove and now the SDRtouch driver does not work anymore. I tried it on my new smartphone but the driver refused to work there, too.

    If you Android device offers “USB on the go”, get an “USB on the go” cable and try it with your RTLSDR unit.

    You might experience quite some RFI from the Android device. Then insert an active USB hub. This also improves the battery life of your Android device.

    Reply

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