Many thanks to Jon Hudson with SDRplay who shares the following announcement:
We now have an updated beta version of ADS-B for both the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. This is based upon the 16bit Mutability version of dump1090 developed by Oliver Jowett and unlocks the full 12 bit performance of the RSP1. People should see a significant performance improvement over the dump1090_sdrplus version, which was based upon 8 bit code. The latest beta version can be downloaded in binary form from http://www.sdrplay.com/rpi_adsb.html .
Section 1 is how to load a brand new image onto an SD card
Section 2 should be straightforward – 2 commands – one to get the software and another one to run it.
Though I don’t live in a metro area with a lot of air traffic, I am often in the flight path of a couple major airports. I’ve been looking for a simple way to try ADS-B (and ACARS). As soon as I locate a dedicated monitor and keyboard for my Raspberry Pi 3–and a little dedicated time–I will give the ADS-B app a go. Thanks again, Jon!
I printed all of your inquiries and made sure they were addressed during my visit. I also took a lot of photos!
I had hoped to have a post published the following week with all of the photos and responses properly curated, but frankly, I haven’t had the spare time to do it yet. I’ve simply had too much travel and too many projects on my plate since that site visit (not to mention cramming for the Extra exam!).
I’m working on a draft of the post now and Macon Dail (WB4PMQ), the transmitting station’s Chief Engineer, is helping me with captions and responding to your questions.
One reader asked if I could snap some photos that could be used as wallpaper on his computer. This morning, I selected eleven images and cropped them to fit a widescreen monitor.
I tried to pick images that would work well as a background/wallpaper–meaning, they’re not too busy (visually). Some are abstract close-ups.
Click on any of the images on this page to enlarge–then simply save the image to your computer to use it as you see fit.
There’s a new SDR under development–one that is promoted as a “Flexible, Next-generation, Open Source Software Defined Radio.”
The LimeSDR‘s goal, essentially, is to democratize what I call the “RF of things.”
My friend, Bernie S, told me about the LimeSDR a couple months ago and I’ve been following progress since then. It’s a fascinating concept and one that is being supported by the likes of Canonical Ltd.
LimeSDR is a low cost, open source, apps-enabled (more on that later) software defined radio (SDR) platform that can be used to support just about any type of wireless communication standard, including UMTS, LTE, GSM, LoRa, Bluetooth, Zigbee, RFID, and Digital Broadcasting, to name but a few.
While most SDRs have remained the domain of RF and protocol experts, LimeSDR is usable by anyone familiar with the idea of an app store – LimeSDR is the first SDR to integrate with Snappy Ubuntu Core. This means you can easily download new LimeSDR apps from developers around the world. If you’re a developer yourself, then you can share and/or sell your LimeSDR apps through Snappy Ubuntu Core as well.
The LimeSDR platform gives students, inventors, and developers an intelligent and flexible device for manipulating wireless signals, so they can learn, experiment, and develop with freedom from limited functionality and proprietary devices.
From Radio Astronomy to Personal Telcos
Here are just some of the applications that are possible with the LimeSDR:
2G to 4G cellular basestation
Wireless keyboard and mice emulation and detection
Tire pressure monitoring systems
Drone command and control
Test and measurement
With state-of-the-art technical specs, a fully open hardware and toolchain, and integration with Snappy Ubuntu Core’s app distribution platform, LimeSDR is limited only by our collective imagination.
Features & Specifications
RF Transceiver: Lime Microsystems LMS7002M MIMO FPRF (Datasheet)
FPGA: Altera Cyclone IV EP4CE40F23 – also compatible with EP4CE30F23
Memory: 256 MBytes DDR2 SDRAM
USB 3.0 controller: Cypress USB 3.0 CYUSB3014-BZXC
Power: micro USB connector or optional external power supply
Status indicators: programmable LEDs
Dimensions: 100 mm x 60 mm
Bernie has encouraged me to evaluate the LimeSDR. I may very well attempt to do so, but frankly, I don’t have the experience to truly unlock this device. I am curious if it would make for an amazingly useful little all-in-one HF/VHF/UHF digital decoding device. In fact, I’m pretty sure it would be an easy task for the LimeSDR.
Any Post readers out there plan to back the LimeSDR project? If so, please comment and tell us how you plan to use the LimeSDR.
The Hammarlund RBG CHC-46140 (Photo by Rich Post, KB8TAD)
Yesterday, in a comment thread, SWLing Post reader Dan described a covert antenna he once installed in a student apartment:
I’m waxing nostalgic now, but I had a great set-up for a couple of years back in the ’70s. The receiver was a black WW2 Navy surplus Hammarlund RBG CHC-46140. (I still have it).
I was a student living in an apartment on top of a two story, wood-framed apartment building. The attic access for that building was from the ceiling of the wardrobe closet.
During a Christmas break I was probably the only occupant of the building. I snuck into the attic and installed a set of five switchable dipoles. I had a good 60′ of space to work with and the antennas were broadside to the southwest. This was quite a memorable listening post.
When I moved out, I cut the coax to the dipoles and used toothpaste and borrowed pieces of “cottage cheese” to fill the five holes in the ceiling. Those antennas are probably still there.
Indeed, I bet they are still there, Dan!
In reply to Dan’s comment, Walt Salmaniw, noted:
Dan, reminds me when I was stationed in Germany in the early 80’s.
We lived in old French officer’s quarters. Basically, 4 story buildings with the upper floor/attic uninhabited.
The Kenwood R-2000 (Photo: Universal Radio)
I put up some nice 60 m dipoles in that space, with a goal of hearing a lot of tropical band DX, which I did using my Kenwood R2000 receiver.
Those were the glory days of dxing!
Thanks, Dan and Walter, for sharing those stories. The thread reminds me of a post we published sometime back where one young listener installed a wire antenna in his home while his parents were away. (I can’t seem to locate that post at the moment for a link!).
Though not nearly as elaborate as Dan and Walter’s antennas, I did install a small covert antenna once myself.
In the early 90s, I lived in Grenoble, France, in a four bedroom house in which three bedrooms were occupied by university students. The landlord was a rather fussy elderly woman who lived on the ground floor. I never dared ask her if I could string a random wire outside my top floor bedroom window. Though she was mostly fair and even sweet at times, I knew what the response would be if I asked for permission: a firm “Non.”
One night, I opened the bedroom window and carefully connected a short wire antenna to a nail on the side of the house, above and slightly to the side of the window. I had to stand on the window and hang out of the house to do it.
The Realistic DX-440
The antenna dangled there the whole year I lived in that room and served me quite well. I’d simply open the window and clip it to my Realistic DX-440. I did remove the antenna before before I moved back to the States, but it was virtually undetectable against the exterior wall of the house.
Other covert antenna installations?
Please comment if you’ve ever installed a hidden antenna as well. (I love this stuff!) Besides…who knows…your antenna might benefit someone in need of a hidden antenna today!