Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Android SDR with Spectrum Analyzer and Waterfall display

Last year when I started out in Amateur Radio, I saw this video on Youtube, by Make Magazine contributor Matt Richardson, about "Exploring the Spectrum for $20 with Software Defined Radio (SDR)". I found recently that you can get the USB Dongle for under $10!! (On eBay). 

I experimented with the Dongle and then used it every once in a while. I was never aware of any Smartphone/Tablet apps that could work with the USB Dongle, until Hamvention 2014 came around. I had the USB Dongle in my room and every once in a while I would monitor 2 meters to see who was on the air, but other than that it was just collecting dust. I was using the Dongle on my computer, and at the same time searched Google for android apps and I found the SDR Touch App.  

SDR Touch - Live radio via USB - screenshot

Depending on which RTL-SDR dongle you get the frequency coverage could span between 50 MHz - 2.2 GHz. This covers most of the Amateur Radio Frequencies. I mainly monitor the 2 meter band, which spans from 144 MHz to 148 MHz. I think that everyone in amateur radio who wants to own a SDR should have this USB Dongle.

Make one! 

Parts Required for this project are:

Your Favorite Hat
Android Tablet or Phone
Android OTG USB Cable
MCX style RF connector to BNC
BNC High Gain Antenna
Antenna Hat Clip Mount



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