SDR for your preps

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NT2C
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SDR for your preps

Post by NT2C » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:46 pm

So, I just recently picked up a NESDR Nano 3 SDR bundle to use with my android phone (and with some spare phones and a tablet I have).

There's a bit of a learning curve with this, and some additional bits I plan to add in order to get the lower ham bands, but for $35 and a $10 app (there's freebies, I just wanted this one) it's a good start to a very versitile piece of comms kit.

Any other members using or interested in SDR here?
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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by sheddi » Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:46 am

I'm curious about SDRs, but haven't dabbled for a while.

There are/were SDR apps available for USB DVB-T sticks, SDR# is/was one of them. I have a couple of the sticks here but never got very far with SDR# (other things came along to capture my attention instead and I've not had the time/patience to go back to it).

Something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvOacxR0X00

I hadn't thought of using it with USB OTG and a smartphone, I look forward to hearing how you get on with it.
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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by Blast » Fri Apr 02, 2021 8:32 am

Yep, I've been playing with SDR and frankly, it's amazing. I live near several airports, including ones that hosts a lot of Coast Guard and Texas National Guard helicopters. I figure it'll give me advance warning if things go weird. Have you looked at attaching yours to a discone antenna? This type of antenna works across an amazingly broad range of frequencies which is really convenient. I use this one from Tram: https://amzn.to/3u8xxdU
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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by CrossCut » Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:39 am

I almost pulled the trigger on a PC/USB one a couple times, but my upstairs analog shack and downstairs digital computers aren't on speaking terms yet. Think I've decided to go with a dedicated laptop for all things radio software/digital when I do, then add a SDR, fldigi suite for digital modes, CW encoder/decoder SW, and maybe record keeping/logbook SW. Just a lot to bite off at one time and I'm way on the left side of the learning curve. Someday... Will be interested in your review/experiences with it.
Blast wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 8:32 am
Yep, I've been playing with SDR and frankly, it's amazing. I live near several airports, including ones that hosts a lot of Coast Guard and Texas National Guard helicopters. I figure it'll give me advance warning if things go weird. Have you looked at attaching yours to a discone antenna? This type of antenna works across an amazingly broad range of frequencies which is really convenient. I use this one from Tram: https://amzn.to/3u8xxdU
-Blast
We get flyovers of our home by A-10's from a not-to-distant Army Airfield on occasion, sometimes so low it seems like they might hit my 2m vertical. Often wondered if they ever lit up my house with their targeting radars, our home is somewhat unique being ICF with aluminum radiant barrier in the attic, and if so wondered if it stands out in some way that a regular home doesn't.

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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by NT2C » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:40 pm

So far, so good...

Image

Image

(pay no attention to what the cats have done to their cat pole)

Just a quick couple of shots I took with my wife's phone. Lots of RFI in that room from LED lights, a dimmer switch, and the laser printer that was printing at the time. They still illustrate the size of the package though. I do have a discone antenna but it's sitting in my ham trailer which is parked on the other side of the continent. Another may have to be purchased when funds permit (wife has me on a tight budget). I did discover that this model won't do some of the bands I want without an upconverter. I will probably buy one of the good ones one day but dor now I have an RTL-SDR.com SDR on order from China. Should be here sometime this millennium. I also have a better antenna on order, with a mag mount, that will be here Tuesday. Until then I will continue to futz with this and maybe get it all figured out. There's some different software I want to try but I need to make the phone stop defaulting to this one first.
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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by Blast » Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:00 pm

I'm jealous. I use SDR# to run SDR on my iMac and MacBook but there doesn't seem to be a way to join/run an SDR dongle on a iPhone or iPad. :(
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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by NT2C » Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:18 pm

Blast wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:00 pm
I'm jealous. I use SDR# to run SDR on my iMac and MacBook but there doesn't seem to be a way to join/run an SDR dongle on a iPhone or iPad. :(
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That's my regular-sized phone. I can't find my tablet at the moment and the version of Android on my other saved phones are all too old. Time to recycle a couple of them I suppose. I do keep old phones with useful apps loaded on them, especially Kindle books (saved to SD card) as free repositories of information and tools I might need in an emergency. I could probably reduce the stash to just a couple though.

This unit, and the other unit I have coming, will both work on my various laptops and I do have an older Toughbook running Win 10 that I use strictly for radios and travel in my Jeep. These will be integrated with that at a future date. Right now, I'm wondering what would happen if I hook my GAP Titan to this one? Should at least get me 10m and 6m...
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Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by SCBrian » Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:20 pm

Nice, when I first looked at something like that, it was clunks piece together with a Rpi and other bits, and the kit prices were high. Nice to see it's come down and have a more professional build.
NT2C wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:40 pm
There's some different software I want to try but I need to make the phone stop defaulting to this one first.
Should be able to toggle that in android settings.
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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by woodsghost » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:36 pm

NT2C wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:46 pm
So, I just recently picked up a NESDR Nano 3 SDR bundle to use with my android phone (and with some spare phones and a tablet I have).

There's a bit of a learning curve with this, and some additional bits I plan to add in order to get the lower ham bands, but for $35 and a $10 app (there's freebies, I just wanted this one) it's a good start to a very versitile piece of comms kit.

Any other members using or interested in SDR here?
I *was* going to say "no," but it looks like that is about to change. And my wife is excited that there are options put there which cost less than $500.
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Re: SDR for your preps

Post by NT2C » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:29 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:36 pm
NT2C wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:46 pm
So, I just recently picked up a NESDR Nano 3 SDR bundle to use with my android phone (and with some spare phones and a tablet I have).

There's a bit of a learning curve with this, and some additional bits I plan to add in order to get the lower ham bands, but for $35 and a $10 app (there's freebies, I just wanted this one) it's a good start to a very versitile piece of comms kit.

Any other members using or interested in SDR here?
I *was* going to say "no," but it looks like that is about to change. And my wife is excited that there are options put there which cost less than $500.
Let me just say that Nooelec has really good customer service, and really crappy quality control. The right angle adapter that came with the kit was defective and killed the SDR. A new kit should be on its way to me today.

Also, I ordered a different SDR, one from RTL-SDR.com, after the first one broke. This one is shipped from China and may take a while to show up (currently tracking shows it in Shanghai)

Edit: Okay, now I really, really can't recommend anything from NooElec. Right after ordering the Nano 3 SDR kit from them I decided a better portable antenna would be good, and since their RaTLSnake M6 V2 antenna kit was reasonably priced and recently redesigned for a better 50-ohm match with the receiver it seemed like a good one to buy. Yeah, no.

The antenna arrived today (after several postal mishaps) and the very first thing I noticed as I was assembling it to try was that they sent me V1, not V2, the difference being that the original used cheap crap Japanese 3c-2v 75-ohm TV coax and had a poor match with the 50-ohm SDR input, instead of the RG-58 on the version 2. I just fired off a harsh review on Amazon and an email to customer support. We'll see what happens but seriously folks, avoid this company.
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