Author Topic: USB-DVB-T-DAB-FM-RTL-SDR-Realtek-RTL2832U-R820T-Tuner-Receiver-PAL-IEC-Inp  (Read 23223 times)

Offline 19and41

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That is a veritable electronic Swiss army knife!
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline DavePEI

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That is a veritable electronic Swiss army knife!
Yes, I would think that is a pretty good analogy!

I guess one could think of it as an extremely broadband radio, where the software does the tuning, and software does the decoding, hence the name SDR - Software Defined Radio.

It is amazing how people have taken advantage of the capabilities of these, and how new applications keep appearing. I guess as long as people have an imagination, they will continue.

And it all begins with an under $10 Chinese dongle!

Anyway, I have been having fun with mine. Their main limitation out of the box is the cheap, poorly designed do-everything antenna which comes with them. If I could figure an easy way to run my collinear scanner antenna to mine without tearing up the house, I'd be all set!

Below, see a photo of what you get for your $10. Throw the software disk and remote away - it is only for TV reception, which as I mentioned doesn't work here due to differing systems. Use the software and drivers mentioned in my first post. Center is the actual dongle, and on the left, the cheap antenna which comes with it. As noted above, it really isn't a good antenna, but will work with strong local signals - for vertically polarized signals, probably a good broadband high gain scanner antenna (e.g. a collinear) is best. For satellite a circular polarized antenna which can be home brewed is best.

At any rate, I just wanted to point out what fun they are, and what a great base for experimentation they are. And they do work surprisingly well!

I have to thank my son, Jeffery who is a network administrator for the government of Canada in Ottawa for making me aware of these. I had heard of SDR, but the early units were quite expensive - it is only with the advent of the Chinese RTL2832U=R820T SDR dongles that it became cheap enough to experiment with!

Dave
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 06:42:08 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline twocvbloke

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If I could figure an easy way to run my collinear scanner antenna to mine without tearing up the house, I'd be all set!

Well the pictured socket looks to be a standard Belling female socket, so if you acquired an adaptor (see below) for that to convert it to F-Plug, then that'd easily open the door to connecting other antennas... :)

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/151050941664

Offline DavePEI

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If I could figure an easy way to run my collinear scanner antenna to mine without tearing up the house, I'd be all set!

Well the pictured socket looks to be a standard Belling female socket, so if you acquired an adaptor (see below) for that to convert it to F-Plug, then that'd easily open the door to connecting other antennas... :)

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/151050941664
That is correct. It is. But that isn't the problem. My collinear comes out in another part of the house and is in use daily with my wife's scanner, and even if I cut off her scanner, it would be awkward to run it into my office.. What I really need is a second collinear just for this one...

Dave
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 06:53:03 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline twocvbloke

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Ah, not enough antennas... ;D

It's a bit like people who like satellite hunting, "just one more dish" they say... ;D

Offline NorthernElectric

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The latest chips do a better job receiving vs. earlier ones.  The latest KWorld models seem to have decent sensitivity (from my tests - over earlier KWorld and Hauppauge units). The best one I've used was a Hauppauge unit that handled mobile DTV well (until the stations in the US started encrypting Mobile DTV) - the downside was that the unit had a Micro SMC (?) connector that was prone to breaking.

You may also want to consider an HD Homerun (latest versions) for over the air - they're network-based, so they connect to badly any media center software.

I'm guessing that the HD Homerun would be a streaming device which wouldn't fit in to my existing setup too well.  My media PC runs Crux Linux without any packaged media center front end.  For the front end, I used openbox scriptable menus plus some custom software.  I'm an old C programmer from a way back, so I rolled my own front end for tuning with a nice transparent signal strength meter and I'd hate to lose that.  I evaluated Myhbuntu, XBMC, and Windows media center and all took 2-3 minutes to boot.  Mine's ready to go in about 25 seconds +/- (depending on the NTP server I sync time with).

So my preferred options at this point are another internal tuner card or USB dongle with Linux driver support.  My current tuner is an ATI HDTV Wonder (Conexant chipset).  It has occurred to me that I might actually have another ATSC tuner card kicking around here somewhere because I used to have one in my Windows PC back when the OTA digital conversion was taking place.  Also, since your post I have been researching which devices might have better sensitivity than others.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 11:27:00 AM by NorthernElectric »
Cliff

Offline NorthernElectric

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It has occurred to me that I might actually have another ATSC tuner card kicking around here somewhere because I used to have one in my Windows PC back when the OTA digital conversion was taking place.

Found it!  It's a Hauppauge HVR-1250.

PS.  and another, an HVR-1600.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 11:59:41 AM by NorthernElectric »
Cliff

Offline DavePEI

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Cliff: There are Linux programs which support these as well:

http://www.rtl-sdr.com/big-list-rtl-sdr-supported-software/

Dave
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Offline DavePEI

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Now, this is fun. These are the skies over my son's apartment in Ottawa right now using one of these, its stock antenna, and and Dump390 on a Rasberry PI! I haven't figured out how to set it up on this machine yet...

Dave
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 02:21:00 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Ok, so now I have it set up on my Windows 7 machine here. Only one  flight so far within range of the cheap antenna. A better antenna will help!

I am updating the image with one taken at 5:46 p.m. which shows 3 commercial flights, two eastbound and one westbound over the Island.

Dave
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 04:52:31 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Some more about the ADS-B program and the SDR radio...

I noticed this morning, that if you click on a flight, you get extended information above in the preciously un-populated spaces..

Then if you click on an option which appears, it will give you the flight name, its take-off point, and when it is expected to arrive at its destination. If the aircraft is squalking a code, it will show that code, as well...

The following is a flight from Ireland to N.J. as it passes over PEI.

Dave
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Offline twocvbloke

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Quite an intriguing gadget for something that's only meant to be a TV & radio tuner, might have to get one myself as I live near to Newcastle-upon-Tyne airport and often see aircraft flying over in various directions... ;D

Offline DavePEI

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Quite an intriguing gadget for something that's only meant to be a TV & radio tuner, might have to get one myself as I live near to Newcastle-upon-Tyne airport and often see aircraft flying over in various directions... ;D
It really is amazing. I had it turned on for most of yesterday, and during the day saw flights from and to the US, Swiss flights, British Airways flights, German flights, flights from Egypt basically every flight which passed overhead.

With my cheap antenna that came with the gadget, I can see transponders about 50 miles out - a better antenna should give me a range of 200 miles. And once it spots a flight, to be able to get the info on where it is coming from, and where it is going to, type of airplane, etc.  makes it twice as interesting.

All with a dongle costing under $10. The biggest bear is setting up the software - there is no one software needed to do it, and no simple installation as you would have with commercial software, Each mode you plan to use it for requires its own software. The best thing about it is most of this software for various modes is available free of charge. Perhaps one day, someone will come out with a good "Do All" program.

I think I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating - don't set up the software on the disk that comes with the receiver - but don't worry if Windows tries to set up its own drivers for the card. Let it - they will then be replaced using a program called Zadig, which will replace the windows drivers using the correct SDR drivers.

A good tutorial for the basic SDR set-up can be found on:

http://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-quick-start-guide/

Once you have it working as a receiver, then you can set up the programs for different modes, such as ADS-B, which you can find links to on the Rtl-Sdr site.

It is fun, and the capabilities of that software defined radio seem to be endless, especially amazing consider the low cost of them!

Just as a teaser, Flight Stats and Flight Aware details for a UPS flight which came over a few minutes ago...

Dave
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 06:40:35 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline twocvbloke

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I tend to throw away included antennas for most things like this as they never work well for the intended purpose, unless the signal is really strong (like our TV & radio signals, being located within 2 miles of the local transmitters, Burnhope for local & commercial radio and Pontop Pike for national TV & Radio), they don't always pick up what you're tuning into... :)

Speaking of antennas, I made my own TV antenna, given our location with Pontop Pike being in full view from the street, it didn't need to be that big so trimmed a couple of pieces of copper wire to about 746Mhz (perfect mid-range for the frequencies used by the transmitter, and just happens to be a GPO telephone model!!), could probably do the same with one of these USB tuners too with a selection of lengths of wire to make suitable antennas...  ;D

Offline DavePEI

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Speaking of antennas, I made my own TV antenna, given our location with Pontop Pike being in full view from the street, it didn't need to be that big so trimmed a couple of pieces of copper wire to about 746Mhz (perfect mid-range for the frequencies used by the transmitter, and just happens to be a GPO telephone model!!), could probably do the same with one of these USB tuners too with a selection of lengths of wire to make suitable antennas...  ;D
Even simpler to do when you make an antenna for ADS-B - 1/4 wavelength is only something like 2.69 inches at 10.9 mhz. I made a significant improvement in my reception by putting a 5 inch metal can lid under the mag. mount. It perhaps doubled my range just by doing that, giving it somewhat of a ground plane.

Collinears and planar disk antennas are supposed to work well, as well as discones, and even a wine cork antenna works better than what comes with it. One thing to remember, with ADS-B, it is vertical polarization, so a dipole for it needs to be mounted vertically.

I am told also, the use of an LNA and bandpass filter for 1090 mhz. between the antenna and receiver will help a lot to increase reception beyond the 200 mile range.

Below are a few types of antenna known to work well with ADS-B:

Dave
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 10:03:13 AM by DavePEI »
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
http://www.islandregister.com/phones/museum.html
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