Another beginner questions on SDR

SDRPlay Independent Community Forum Forums General Another beginner questions on SDR

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  • #668
    APT
    Participant

    Hi,
    I am very new to radio and have noone around to ask. I guess others have gone through similar deal. I have no idea what I am doing except trying out things and this seems a very interesting hobby; Youtube, Google and various chat groups are my only source. I started with RTL-SDR and recently bought SDRPlay RSPdx device. Beyond listening to the basic FM channel broadcast, weather channel, or tracking plane I am not making much progress. There are tons of resources available and not sure how to navigate. Below seems very basic question, yet I am struggling. I am hoping you can be kind enough to help

    General
    1) While scanning the frequency, I saw bunch of signals in SDRUno but I dont know how to decode it. Is there any way to detect the protocol i.e. to apply this is NFM, LSB, USB, .. DSD, ADS-B, All I see is a distinct signals but not sure what to make of it. Are there specific range to look for specific signals. Most of the frequency shared in web, does not work for me. Is this my antenna (I have Tram1411 antenna)

    AM station
    2) Beyond few local stations, I am not able to pickup most of the AM station. Do I need specific antenna. What kind of AM antenna can work indoor. Should this be connected to BNC or SNA connector

    DSDPlus
    3) I got SDRUno and DSDPlug interacting; i.e. I can see via virtual audio some logs on DSDAudio but I hear no sound. I think I am trying incorrect frequency; I dont even know what frequency to tune on SDRUno (I am in Austin, TX) to listen some digital sound. I downloaded the some XML files from radiorereference.com (dsdplus.sites) file and not sure the format to understand the frequency. For ex what does below mean in term of frequency and bandwidth
    P25,BEE09.13E,1.079,”Blanco”
    4) How do I add these frequencies in SDRPlus

    Misc
    5) What are other kind of things a beginners can explore to try out other aspects
    6) Are there good books or URL resources, youtube that beginners can go
    7) Anyone from Ausin, TX area that can share some interesting frequency that works on specific applications (what?) that I can try.

    Thanks you for your kind help

    #669
    Andy2
    Participant

    Just a brief reply. The basic modes on HF (short wave, 1.8 to 30 MHz) are AM, Upper Side Band, Lower Side Band and CW. These days most of the utility users have gone digital, and the best place for the basic modes are the amateur bands. To get to these easily, you can just use the ‘band’ buttons on the on-screen keypad. Pressing one of these will put you in the band and you cannot tune out of it. You will also need to select the correct mode and bandwidth to suit. Set the RF gain in the upper half of the range.
    For USB and LSB. you need a step size of 100Hz or less to make the voices sound right. Watch out for glitches which might select a wrong step size – not sure if this bug is still present, it may have been fixed now. For bigger steps (to move around the band quickly) tune by hovering your mouse over the digit you wish to change and use the mouse wheel.
    For the AM and lower HF bands, a ‘longwire’ antenna is a good start, connected to the BNC input. Beware local electrical noise from LED lighting and noisy PC’s and TV’s.
    On VHF, utilities use FM (not wide FM) and step size depends on where you live – 10kHz and 20 kHz in the USA, 12.5 kHz and 25 kHz are most common. Analogue is dying out and digital modes are becoming more common. To decode with DSD, you need something called a ‘virtual audio cable’ to route the signal from the SDRUno software to the decoder or you won’t hear anything.
    I can recommend joining the Facebook group. It’s very busy and there are lots of helpful people there. There’s a link on the main SDRPlay homepage.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by .
    #689
    APT
    Participant

    Hi Andy2
    Thankyou! Can you please suggest some frequency that I can scan in Austin area (and the mode to try LSB vs USB). I get nothing and not sure which band to go and what mode to try. My antenna is indoor but I have tries moving ourdoor and not much luck

    This may be even a very basic question how do one scan for valid signal. Do I set USB mode and hit the scan button. I scan range of frequencies and some seems valid signal but not sure how to decode. There is signal wiki and the waterfall does not match

    #690
    APT
    Participant

    Attach1 –

    Attachments:
    #692
    APT
    Participant

    attach2

    Attachments:
    #694
    APT
    Participant

    attach3

    Attachments:
    #696
    APT
    Participant

    attach4

    Attachments:
    #698
    APT
    Participant

    attach5

    #699
    APT
    Participant

    So How do one make sense of these attached signals. These seems proper signals but not sure how to decode(if unencrypted)

    #687
    APT
    Participant

    broadcast, AM radio and see plane tracking dump1090 but thats as far as I go.

    For ex.
    a. APRS: I try to follow steps per https://www.sdrplay.com/docs/SDRuno_APRS.pdf but I see no activity. Please see the screenshot. Not sure if this is my Antenna (Tram 1411 Broad Band Discone) that is inside or I am trying a wrong frequency, or mode. I live in Austin. TX
    b) ACARS: I try to follow steps per https://www.sdrplay.com/docs/SDRuno_ACARS.pdf but again I see no signal. I try other alternative frequency (129.125, 130.025) Again I only see/hear noise. I have attached the screenshot
    3) I try to punch in various frequency per https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=2749 for local stations. Again nothing useful. Try all modes AM/FM/LSB/USB etc
    d) While I scan various frequencies, I see signals but not sure how to decode those or band to try. Its a large file and I will try to attach next.

    Not sure what I am doing wrong- do I need to do some calibration etc (its a new unit), try outdoors or just my lack of information

    At this point I am pretty much stuck
    Appreciate if you or others can share some insight

    Thanks again

    #684
    APT
    Participant

    Thankyou Andy for your help. Unfortunately for me, I cant see/hear much on various bands. I can hear local FM Radio broadcast, AM radio and see plane tracking dump1090 but thats as far as I go.

    For ex.
    a. APRS: I try to follow steps per https://www.sdrplay.com/docs/SDRuno_APRS.pdf but I see no activity. Please see the screenshot. Not sure if this is my Antenna (Tram 1411 Broad Band Discone) that is inside or I am trying a wrong frequency, or mode. I live in Austin. TX
    b) ACARS: I try to follow steps per https://www.sdrplay.com/docs/SDRuno_ACARS.pdf but again I see no signal. I try other alternative frequency (129.125, 130.025) Again I only see/hear noise. I have attached the screenshot
    3) I try to punch in various frequency per https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=2749 for local stations. Again nothing useful. Try all modes AM/FM/LSB/USB etc
    d) While I scan various frequencies, I see signals but not sure how to decode those or band to try. Its a large file and I will try to attach next.

    Not sure what I am doing wrong- do I need to do some calibration etc (its a new unit), try outdoors or just my lack of information

    At this point I am pretty much stuck
    Appreciate if you or others can share some insight

    Thanks again

    #749
    Andy2
    Participant

    Hello again. Sounds like something is not right. You are receiving broadcast signals, so it’s basically working but it sounds like there may be a problem with your antenna or maybe you haven’t selected the right input. Difficult to say without getting ‘hands on’.
    Can I suggest you raise a support ticket (via the front page of this site)? They may ask you to post a screenshot of your entire workspace so they can spot anything out of the ordinary. They can operate your computer via a remote desktop if you let them. This will allow them to fiddle directly with your installation.
    Don’t lose heart – the SDRPlay receivers are good, sensitive radios that will perform just as well as most.

    Andy.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by .
    #963
    rmcculley
    Participant

    Hello!
    I am trying to choose between the RSP1A and the RSPDx. I don’t really want to listen to much below 20Mhz. I will do some sleuthing but really want to use it like a VHF/UHF scanner and may end up making it portable so I can monitor from my car. So I have a few questions:

    Is there any sonic quality difference between the 2 models if I am monitoring from 20Khz – 2Ghz?

    Is there a more elegant way using SDRUno to monitor P25 1 and 2 other than using DSDPlus?

    The scanning function is more like the search function where you enter a frequency range and search the frequencies between the low and high limits. Can you set up memory banks and scan them more like a traditional scanner?

    Looks like a promising product, thanks for the hard work!
    Rob M.

    #965
    Rick
    Admin

    If you only need a single antenna port and not going to use the diversity feature or as a twin tuner then no you probably would not notice any difference between the two units, currently using DSD+ for digital is the only choice with the new features in the fastlane version has improved functionality greatly, and yes you can scan a memory bank

    #1093
    mejov54675
    Participant

    Can i Play Games like Minecraft in linux. If so then please let me some easy steps for installation.

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