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Thursday 11 April 2019

RTL-SDR dedicated machine sort of set up

I have an old laptop with a display that has no working backlight, a Samsung RV510, and am putting this machine to use as a dedicated RTL-SDR receiver, it originally served as the now closed Richmond CB FRN gateway, with me having high SWR (and having to use a matcher), it remained closed for quite some time however the machine was in fact hibernating from the very point it was closed down.

It seems to run the SDR# software fine and works with both RTL-SDR sticks (I already know that the cheapo black one works, the NESDR SMArt was tested). so first test was with Soundmodem and APRS, it worked ok, though I don’t think I configured it correctly to pass packets from soundmodem to APRSIS32 so nothing was gated in that experiment.

Next was to decode DMR, it did not do well here either due to there being some noise on the frequency I could not seem to get rid of, though this was in the 70cm band and the supplied magmount is fitted with RG58, trying a piece of 213 and a dipole didn’t make a difference and destroyed my SMA-M to SO239 adaptor almost to the cost of the stick’s SMA-F connector (though the sheared pin was removed with Blu-Tack.

I am going to rehash my Handheld CB and PMR446 videos after either the Ripon or Blackpool rally, the first videos were all HT to HT (or in the 446 video between two units with fixed helical antennas) using this setup, the final location of this receiver of many talents will be next to my “Stranger Things” radio (the Realistic Pro-53 Patrolman, I call it that because it really looks like it was pulled from the Netflix series Stranger Things though I owned it before I heard of that).

The two videos will be done under the same conditions at the TX end, using the same radios (Intek MT-5050 for PMR446 and Midland Alan 42 Multi for 11-meters, both again using the stock rubber duck antennas), the RTL-SDR will be connected to an antenna using a lenght of RG213 to keep loss as low as possible, the antenna will most likely be in the window, outside if possible, and I want to make it from a couple of cheap CB antennas with the 3/8th thread on them as I have a dipole centre configured this way, that arrangement won’t be used for TX as there would be no choke.

The receiver works from as low as 24MHz right up to 1.7GHz. so 10-meters, 6-meters, 4 meters. 2-meters, 70cm and a lot of commercial, licence-free and aviation frequencies are also covered as well as the Amateur bands and CB frequencies, first things first is that I require a new SMA-M to SO239 adaptor and preferably a way to stop the SMA pin shearing off.

On closing I now have an extended battery to record video footage from the camcorder, this is so I can record footage of the Ripon and Blackpool rallies , Ripon is on Sunday (with an aim to have the video uploaded by Monday afternoon), Blackpool is two weeks later (with an aim to have the video uploaded by the following Monday afternoon)

73 de 2E0EIJ/26CT730

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