Joe at USA Satcom, reports excellent results receiving and decoding beautiful Earth images from satellite GOES-17 using his XRIT software and an RSPduo. To find out more about his decoding software, visit his site at https://usa-satcom.com/
For newcomers to satellite image reception, we encourage people to go to the SDRplay forum and review the posts made by “RSP2user” who is very active and knowledgeable about the different satellites which are accessible and what it takes to successfully receive and decode their images.
For example take a look here: http://www.sdrplay.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2674&p=9000&hilit=xrit#p9054
There’s also a lot of information on low cost antennas for GOES satellite reception on: http://www.sdrplay.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3262&hilit=xrit
Over the last year or two, we have generated a lot of applications’ material in the form of documents, articles and videos – these are designed to make it easy to get up and running with an SDR receiver from SDRplay. Many other folks have also generated useful and interesting content. Our attempts to use the YouTube playlist system to catalogue videos proved difficult and navigating our website gets harder the more content we add or try to link to. So we decided to create our own searchable catalogue to help people find what they need. This can be found by going to: https://www.sdrplay.com/apps-catalogue/
As well as the short descriptive title of each item in the catalogue, if you hover over the icon for either the video or the document, you will see a fuller description relating to it. Many of the articles are useful to owners of other SDR receivers and we welcome suggestions for links to other high quality generic videos or articles relating to Software Defined Radio receivers.
We will continue to add links to more and more useful content as it gets created. We’re hoping some of the non-English language distributors will be suggesting additional material under the category “non-English” which can also include links to their website for their own non-English language technical support.
Please send suggestions for new links to jon.hudson at sdrplay dot com.
This excellent article from SWLing.com shows a number of practical options for indoor antennas:
We are pleased to announce the release of the ExtIO plugin for the RSPduo. This release uses the latest API (v3.01) which has also been updated. The plugin will work both in single tuner as well as dual tuner mode so multiple applications can use the same RSPduo at the same time.
The plugin installer will automatically install the Windows 3.01 API so there is no need to install it separately.
It will put the ExtIO dll into a default directory (usually C:\Program Files (x86)\SDRplay) and then you should copy that into your application install directory (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\HDSDR)
In order to improve the interoperability between this plugin, SDRuno and dump1090, both of those applications have been updated as well. There have been no other functional changes to those applications.
All of the installers can be found on the SDRplay downloads page (https://www.sdrplay.com/downloads)
We have been collaborating with RS Components to put together a demonstrator “laptop radio” with full SDR receive and display capability. This is a good way to introduce newcomers to the world of Radio Communications and an exploration of the wireless spectrum. We took the popular Raspberry Pi based Pi-Top laptop computer to see if we could easily add an SDRplay RSP to it (see https://pi-top.com/products/pi-top to find out more about the Raspberry-Pi based modular computer designed for educational and developer use).
The Pi-Top has a pull-away panel above the keyboard under which additional circuit boards can be mounted. We found that the RSP1A circuit board fitted snugly inside as you can see in this picture:
We also added an additional rotary shaft encoder to act as a tuning knob, and an external SMA coax socket for the antenna. This “concept video” shows the resulting unit which becomes a powerful compact “all in one” SDR radio with keypboard and display. The purpose of the video is to show the kind of educational project which can encourage computer lovers to explore the radio spectrum: https://youtu.be/C4U1r-lF-YI
The video uses the off-the-shelf SDR package “Cubic SDR” but as can be seen in another other recent video from SDRplay, we have additional guides for those using non-windows software in conjunction with an RSP: https://youtu.be/ekFgShByK20
This Pi-Top + RSP combination could form the basis for any number of educational or research projects alongside bespoke Raspberry Pi software controlling the full functionality of an RSP.
RS Components reference page: RSP1A: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/radio-frequency-development-kits/1503954/
RS Components reference page: Pi Top (UK keyboard version): https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/9176213/
Cubic SDR software site: https://cubicsdr.com/
For those heading to Alabama this weekend for the Huntsvillve hamfest, be sure to drop by the Kenwood stand and meet Steve from SDRplay who will be running demos and answering technical questions.
Next to the Kenwood stand is Ham Radio Outlet, our US channel partner and reseller.
This week saw Simon Brown of SDR Console release V 3.02 of SDR-Console which now has added support for the RSPduo (in single tuner mode). Simon relies on donations to support much of his work so please give generously via his website on https://www.sdr-radio.com/Software/Downloads . SDR Console remains a great way to provide remote access to an RSP. For those of you thinking about buying an RSP you can try out actual RSPs around the world by going to http://www.sdrspace.com/Version-3 where, if you scroll down you can see a list of all the available remote SDRs – usually there are at least 10-20 RSPs on there, to try out (avoid the ones with padlocks or warning triangles!) For those of you with an RSP wanting to make yours available for remote listening (great to play with at work for example!) then this video guide shows how to do it (some of the exact screens may have changed since the video was made): https://youtu.be/z2jr_ksIMp8
We are testing the EXTIO plugin for the RSPduo and hope to have that out within a matter of days – this will enable HDSDR to run the RSPduo.
Many thanks for all the positive feedback from our Non Windows Video guide which is encouraging us to get on with the next one which instead of Cubic SDR, will take you through the GNU installation.
I am late getting out a blog on the educational project we are doing in conjunction with RS Components to put an RSP1A inside a Pi-Top Raspberry-Pi laptop computer – it will come very soon!
Finally, one thing we really enjoy at SDRplay is looking at the numerous videos posted by users – like this cool one taken during the recent meteor shower: https://youtu.be/xDmPZTbI-ss
Last month we introduced our interactive web interface for non-windows installations, for people who want to create their own software builds – it included details on how to get up and running with these our libraries. There’s a link to this in our downloads section of the website: https://www.sdrplay.com/non-windows-workflow
Well now, we have released the first of what should be a series of videos demonstrating how this works in practice.
The video talks through how to get started and is a step-by-step guide to the installation process for people using non-windows platforms such as Linux or Raspberry Pi and who want to build their own configuration (i.e. not using a ready made build). This video goes on to show installation of Cubic SDR on the resulting platform. We plan in future videos, to show the process for GQRX, Pothosware and GNU radio.
Click here to view the video: https://youtu.be/ekFgShByK20
The video should be useful to developers and students who want to control the RSP directly using the API for their own radio spectrum processing applications.
More Library information:
As part of our plans to increase the software support for the RSPduo, we have updated 2 key libraries to enable single tuner mode functionality using API 2.13 on all supported platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux – both x86 and ARM based). The first of these libraries is SoapySDRPlay (https://github.com/pothosware/SoapySDRPlay) and the second is gr-osmosdr (https://github.com/SDRplay/gr-osmosdr/tree/sdrplay2)
SoapySDRPlay is used within the SoapySDR framework for applications that support this flow, e.g. CubicSDR and Pothosware
gr-osmosdr is used within the Gnu Radio framework for applications that support this flow, e.g. Gnu Radio Companion (GRC) and GQRX
Over on the Ham Radio Science website, they have been using an RSPduo for a couple of months now and published a review. In it they conclude: “Providing an SDR with dual independent SDR receivers with great performance for $269 is an amazing feat. When diversity reception becomes available, the RSPduo will probably be the “go to” SDR for the serious radio hobbyist. If you are considering trading to a new SDRPlay RSP or just looking to get into SDR radio, get the RSPduo. ” Click here to read their review.
In the latest (August 2018) edition of Spectrum Monitor, Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY writes in his review of recommended SDRs (titled “SDR—You Can Do It!”): “I believe this unit (the RSP1A) would be an excellent place to start for the beginner who wants a serious receiver, or who is ready to move up a notch from a simple entry-level SDR, such as a USB dongle unit”
Elsewhere in the August edition, the RSPduo features in another article: “Not the Sounds of Silence: Exploring the ELF and VLF Band”, by Georg Wiessala
Individual editions of the Spectrum Monitor can be bought electronically by going to: https://www.thespectrummonitor.com/ (the June issue also has a special focus on Software Defined Radios)