Software defined radios

Submitted by tarvid on Sat, 02/11/2017 - 09:47

The US Military switched to SDR (software defined radio) in the 200x period. The US television industry went digital over the same period. Realtek, the company that makes the Ethernet and audio chips used in most computers, came out with DVB-T chips (the decoders in your TV set). When the price dropped below $20, I bought the NooElec NESDR mini 2 kit for $20. This one has MCX socket and the v.3 has SMA which is probably a better choice.

I installed gqrx on Ubuntu 16.10 following these instructions. The default available from Ubuntu repositories does not work on 16.10. The antenna supplied is poor and I ran up the gain to the max, tuned to WAMU (88.5) and got poor but intelligible reception. I did not get the remote to work. I replaced the battery to no effect.

I have a discone antenna. It accepts a PL-259 connector, The NESDR has an MCX jack. I'll have to get a pigtail to connect the two. I may want to insert an LNA. A more compact alternative is an active wideband  antenna.

The NESDR is receive only. The LimeSDR (@$299) is 2x2 Mimo which offers promise as a transceiver. This is obviously a pit.