Category: Digital

HAMsmithing – DIY Receive-only Antennas for RTL-SDR Dongles

So, after putting my cell phone in to use and running RTL-SDR radio listening apps, it was time to make 2 antennas for the dongle, the original one being Poor.

So I got me a coffee, nerves of steel, and started soldering on two MCX window Connectors for RG-174 cables.

The wire was sourced from a surveillance camera installation cable. It has 3 single conductors and a coax wire that seems to be RG-59 75ohm one.

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Digital Weekend – Turning your Cell Phone into a Scanner with RTL-SDR

Hello! I am starting new series describing my ventures to the digital radio world. I will be using the weekend down time to do, try, photograph and write short articles on the matter.

But do not expect many of them. I do not own HF equipment yet, and my patience with installing PC programs that do not work has worn out. So, I am new to Smartphones so I am still like to play with them. And we better have something to do with them when the lights turn off, don’t we?

If you haven’t heard of RTL-SDR receivers for your PC, the basics are these. One gets an dirt cheap RTL TV dongle and uses it with a freeware program like SDRTouch to scan the VHF & UHF spectrum. Practically some people repurposes them by writing their own programs for scanning.

The output is then displayed on the screen with the mesmerizing view of a rolling waveform graph.


PC running SDRSharp Screen Grab

Then things get more complex as they develop the programs to scan by their own, plugins to record, filters to de-noise, and plug-ins to decode digital modes.

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