NSND 2013 Osijek : RTL-SDR software defined radio

For a long time, doing anything with various devices which use radio waves proved to be almost impossible for software geeks like me. Fortunately with RTL DVB-T sticks all this is about to change, and at our last meeting Ništa se neće dogoditi in Osijek I tried to show some of possibilities using them.

For a start you need compatible Realtek RTL2832U DVB-T tuner. Just go over to rtl-sdr osmocomSDR and examine supported tuner list. Choice of DVB-T sticks in Croatia isn't so good. They are about 170 kn and come with FC001[23] tuners: Hama 53176 has FC0013 tuner and TV LV5TDLX has FC0012 tuner. I did some research and ordered this $13 DVB-T from dealextreme which has R820T tuner:

dpavlin@blue:~$ sudo rtl_test -t
Using device 0: ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
It's a good choice, shipping is free (but takes few weeks), and it works well with ADS-B which was first interesting application which I wanted to try.
I also ordered E4000+2832U USB DVB-T TV Receiver Stick for $16.50 but it hasn't arrived yet so I don't have any experience with it.


I also have a good fortune that my friend is very skillful in radio communications, so he created variant of Coaxial Collinear Antenna for ADS-B Receiver. This one is more sensitive to static electricity which means it's not suitable for top of skyscraper scenarios, but in works very nicely. Under construction is filter which would cut everything expect interesting part of RF spectrum which would also solve problem of static electricity.

On the picture, you can see part of it together with output in browser created using dump1090. It's important to note that normal DVB-T antena without any modification will work with R820T tuner since it's most sensitive so far, but range will be much smaller.


We also had good luck with getting data about keypresses from power-socket controlling device using rtl_433 from github with just a peace of wire as antenna for short range tests.