Saturday, July 21, 2012

How the £13 SDR project became the £26 SDR project

I mentioned that I had a suspicion that I'd blown the first SDR dongle up as it wasn't hearing much. I ordered another one last weekend and it arrived in mid week. Certainly the new one is behaving much better! No handhelds or across the shack transmissions have been made with the SDR on - just in case! I have connected the dongle up to the 50/144/432MHz collinear using the adapter I built last weekend and it seems to be working fine. I've heard GB3WH and plenty of stuff on airband including aircraft, ground and ACARS. On airband - the panadapter approach was excellent for determining the frequencies to listen to. The most fun I ever had with a scanner was with my old Yaesu FRG9600 with Ray Withers HF mods when I lived back in Cheltenham. Heard loads on that thing. I think the SDR dongle is easily the most cost effective scanner I have ever had. Wondering if I can use the dongle to decode ADS-B on 1090MHz. I can see some software to do it running under Linux. But I really don't want to go there! I have to play enough computers at work - at home I want computing to be as simple as possible! Yes, I could make Linux work, but....

5 comments:

Julian Moss said...

I ncan't remember where I saw it now but I seem to recall reading in someone's blog that they opened up the SDR and found that the front-end protection diodes had been omitted.

(PS: Today's captcha is a real b*st*rd.)

Anonymous said...

I ordered mine on Friday.Seems like fun!

Simon.m3hxe

Tim said...

Hi both,

Simon - definitely - hope you have fun - it's great to experiment with.

Julian - the lack of the front end protection diodes sounds very possible! Sorry about the captcha - horrid things :-(

G0MJW said...

I have heard some have missing static protection diodes. Rather than find some I suggest you make one into an adapter. You will need one anyway from belling lee to SMA, BNC or N. A resistor across the dongle input to drain any static and an isolating capacitor should do it. Say 1K and 1nF.

Mike

Tim said...

That's a good idea, Mike. Thanks. Have made up an adapter already so can easily incorporate this!

Tim

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