September 2012
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Wide band software defined radio (SDR)

There is some very cool stuff out there, you just have to look for it. Software defined radios are in that category. Many things come with a SDR, including a built in spectrum analyzer, continuously variable IF bandwidth and so on. Many manufactures have build SDR’s; ICOM, AOR, TENTEC, WInRadio, etc. Until recently, a SDR would set one back a pretty penny.

Then there is the Ultra Cheap Software Defined Radio based on a RTL2832 USB Television tuner.  Someone figured out that the TV tuner covers from approximately 60 MHz to 1700 MHz and it’s raw output can be used by any number of free, open source software programs.

Interface and program and be found at:

List of compatible devices can be found here:

Google discussion group: Ultra Cheap SDR

Radio software information: HDSDR, GNUradio, WinRadio

I found a Newsky TV28T USB tuner on Amazon for about $30.00.  I figured, what the heck, it is only thirty dollars.  There are some sources that have the ezcap EzTV668 on dealextreme for less than $20.00, however, I could not find that particular model.  In any case it looks like a fun project.

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2 comments to Wide band software defined radio (SDR)

  • Dewey Jacks

    I prefer radios with knobs you can turn and buttons you can press,…I have every good reason to believe that when these SDRs bite the dust,my Yaesu FT-950 will still be going strong. There’s just something about placing your hand on that big tuning knob and slowly tuning through the bands,…SDRs won’t ever give you that feeling.

  • Bob Doolittle

    The cheap SDR RTL dongle radios will work on HF with a simple mod. (I used the one from KC9QLE). Add a preamp and preselector (aka ant tuner) and it gives you DC-30mhz. Works well for a total $20 investment.
    Bob Doolittle W1CTC

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