(Software Defined Radio)

~ Summary ~

With A Good USB TV Dongle (For 10$ Or 30$) You Can Scan, Listen... Radio Frequencies !
FM, AM, NFM, GSM... | Satellites, Planes, Boats, Trains, Cars, Pagers, Taxis...

(USB Dongle It's One Thing, The Antennas Another)

(You Have Some Links And Quick Start Guides Below...)

Here, A Video To Show How To Use And Some Basic Uses (In 2014 / 2015):

Miscellaneous SDR Links :

~ Quick Start Guide : A Fast Installation On Linux (Debian/Ubuntu) ~
  1. Buy A Compatible SDR USB Dongle (Based On The Realtek RTL2832U)
    [Compatible Tuners: E4000, R820T, R820T2, R828D, FC0013, FC0012, FC2580]

  2. Open A Shell And Install SDR Tools (Here Only "rtlsdr" And "gqrx") With This Commands :
    #> apt-get update
    #> apt-get install rtl-sdr gqrx-sdr

  3. Blacklist Module(s) :
    - Edit The "/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf" File (Here With "Vim" But You Can Use Any Editor) :
    #> vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
    - Add At The End Of File This Lines (You Can Add Others If You Want) :
    blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu
    blacklist dvb_usb_v2
    blacklist rtl_2830
    blacklist rtl_2832
    blacklist r820t
    - Save And Close "/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf" File
    - Reboot PC

  4. After Reboot, (If Unplugged) Plug Your SDR USB Dongle And Just Start "gqrx" (From A Shell Or Menu)
    [If You Want Reset "gqrx" Configuration, Run This Command On A Shell "gqrx -r"]

  5. For More..., Install GNURadio:
    #> apt-get install gnuradio gnuradio-dev

~ Quick Start Guide : A Good Installation On Windows ~
  1. Buy A Compatible SDR USB Dongle (based on the Realtek RTL2832U)
    [Compatible Tuners: E4000, R820T, R820T2, R828D, FC0013, FC0012, FC2580]

  2. Download And Install Pre-Requires Windows Runtimes :
    - Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6 (Or Newer)
    - Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015
    (You Can Install The 2015 64Bits Version But YOU MUST Also Install The 2015 32Bits Version)
    [To Be Calm, It's Very Recommended To Install All Others 32 Or 64Bits Versions: 2008, 2010, 2012, 2017...]

  3. Download And Install Pre-Require VB-CABLE Virtual Audio Device :
    - Then Go To Windows Soundcard Configurations (Control Panel > Sound)
    - Select "Recording" Tab (You Can Make Configurations On "Playback" Tab If You Want But It's Optional)
    - Select "CABLE Output" And Click On "Set Default" Button (On "Playback" Tab "CABLE Input" But Don't "Set Default")
    - Click On "Properties", Select "Listen" Tab And Check "Listen to this device" (Not Allow On "Playback" Tab)
    - Select "Levels" Tab And Set All Levels To "75" (On "Playback" Tab You Can Set To "75" Or "99")
    - Select "Advanced" Tab And Select On List "2 channel, 16 bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality)"
    - Click On "Apply" And "OK" Buttons (And Close All Others Windows)

  4. Download And Install SDR# :
    - Unzip "" File Were You Want (Here In "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\" Folder)
    - Execute "install-rtlsdr.bat" File (Here: "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\install-rtlsdr.bat") (Require Internet Connection) To Update "rtl_sdr" And "zadig"
    - Edit "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\SDRSharp.exe.Config" With NotePad (Or Other Editor)
    - And Change The Line "<add key="minOutputSampleRate" value="32000" />" By "<add key="minOutputSampleRate" value="48000" />"
    - Save The File (And Close)

  5. Install "Zadig" USB Dongle Driver (Works On USB2.0, USB3.0 Maybe Failed) :
    - Plug Your SDR USB Dongle And Run "zadig.exe" File (Here: "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\zadig.exe")
    - Select "Options" Menu And "List All Devices"
    - Select On List "Bulk-In, Interface (Interface 0)" (If Entry Not Exists, Read Below *)
    - Click On "Install WCID Driver" Button (And Confirm The Installation) (If Failed, Read Below *)
    - You May Have A Good Installation Message Like "The driver was installed successfully." (If Not, Read Below *)
    * IF Installation Of "Zadig" Driver Failed :
    - You Can Try With Another (older) Version (For Me "Zadig v1.1.1.139" Works Fine...)

  6. [Optional] Download And Install "Frequency Manager Suite" (SDR# Plugin) :
    [Depends On "Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6" (Or Newer)]
    To Install :
    - Extract / Run "FMSuiteSetup.exe" Set-Up File (From "FMSuite" File)
    - Click On "Next >" And "Next >" Buttons...
    - Enter "What folder contains SDR#?" Path (Here To "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\")
    - Enter "In what folder do you want to store FMSuite documentation?" Path (Here To "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\FMSuite\docs\" Or Others)
    - Enter "In What folder do you want to store FMSuite databases?" Path (Here To "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\FMSuite\dbs\" Or Others)
    - Click On "Next >" And "Finish" Buttons
    [After Install You Can Edit "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\Plugins.xml" File With NotePad (Or Other Editor) To Watch Changes]

  7. [Optional] Download And Install "TETRA Demodulator" (SDR# Plugin) :
    [You Have The Download ZIP File Link On Previous Linked Page]
    [Depends On "Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 (32Bits)"]
    >> Install "MSYS2" (Pre-Require) [It's Like A Shell On Windows] :
    - Download And Install "MSYS2" (Install By Default) :
    [Here To "C:\msys64\" Folder (64Bits Version)]
    - Run MSYS2 Shell "C:\msys64\msys2_shell.cmd" File (Or Shortcut)
    - On MSYS2 Shell Enter Command "pacman -Syu" And Enter "y" For All Questions...
    - Wait The End Of Updates And Close MSYS2 Shell (Close Window Or Kill Process)
    - Run MSYS2 Shell Again "C:\msys64\msys2_shell.cmd" File (Or Shortcut) And Enter Now The Command "pacman -Su"
    - After All MSYS2 Updates, Install Socat With Command "pacman -S socat"
    - Extract / Copy All Files On "tetra/msys_root/usr/bin/" From "" (Download Before) To (Here) "C:\msys64\usr\bin\" Folder
    - On MSYS2 Shell Enter Command "startrx" (It's The TETRA Decoder) (Keep Window Open)
    >> NOW Install The "TETRA Demodulator" SDR# Plugin :
    - Extract / Copy "tetradec.dll" And "SDRSharp.Tetra.dll" Files From "" (Download Before) To (Here) "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\" Folder
    - Edit The "Plugins.xml" File (Here: "C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\Plugins.xml") With NotePad (Or Other Editor)
    - And Add The Line "<add key="Tetra" value="SDRSharp.Tetra.TetraPlugin,SDRSharp.Tetra" />" Just After "<sharpPlugins>" Tag
    - Save The "Plugins.xml" File And Close

  8. Finally, (If Unplugged) Plug Your SDR USB Dongle And Start SDR# (Here: C:\SDR\sdrsharp-x86\SDRSharp.exe) :
    - On Left Click/Expand "Audio" And Select On "Output" List : "[Windows DirectSound] CABLE Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable)"
    [All Others Parameters, It's For You]

~ Get Your SDR USB Dongle "Frequency Correction (ppm)" (2 Methods) ~

(Every SDR USB Dongle Has It's Own "Frequency Correction (ppm)" Value)
  1. Follow A "Quick Start Guide" To Setup Your Dongle/Software... (Depends Of Your OS, See Before)
    [And (If Unplugged) Plug Your SDR USB Dongle]

  2. The First Method, With "rtlsdr" :
    - If You Are On Windows, You Can Download From This Link (And Unzip Anywhere) :
    - If You Are On Linux (Debian/Ubuntu), Just Install Package With Shell Command :
    #> apt-get install rtl-sdr
    - Now Open A Shell (Or "cmd.exe" For Windows, And Go To Unzipped Binaries Folder) And Enter This Command :
    #> rtl_test -p
    - Wait Some Minutes And Watch Results (You Can Stop With "CTRL+C") :
    On Results You Have Some "cumulative PPM: XX" Values (XX Is A Number)
    Make An Average Of All "cumulative PPM: XX" Values To Find Your SDR USB Dongle "Frequency Correction (ppm)"

  3. The Second Method, With A Software (Most Often, It's More Accurate) :
    - If You Are On Windows Start "SDR#", But If You Are On Linux Start "gqrx"
    - Put The "Frequency Correction (ppm)" To "0" On Your Software (Search On Software Parameters...)
    [On Windows And "SDR#", Click On "Gear" Icon On Top Named "Configure Source", You Have "Frequency correction (ppm)"]
    [On Linux And "gqrx", Select "Input controls" Tab On Right, You Have "Freq. correction"]
    - Enter A Precise And Fixed Frequency That You Know (A Fixed Frequency From : FM Radio, Narrow FM, AM...)
    [If You Don't Know A Precise Fixed Frequency, Make An Internet Search To Find One]
    - Now Adjust The "Frequency Correction (ppm)" From Your Software Parameters, To Center On The Fixed Signal
    [And Find Your SDR USB Dongle "Frequency Correction (ppm)"]