AN HELPFULL STARTER IN SDR RADIO
This is just a starter to the world of SDR RADIO and I mean the world is your oyster!
A Basic SDR Radio consists of TV Dongle as below...
There are loads of TV dongles on E-Bay here is a Picture of basically what you are looking for
Basically you need E4000 chip and RTL2832U chip on board
There are various types out there which all cover free-view TV, DAB Radio etc. but do not have the same chips on board. Make sure that they are able to operate SDR radio before you purchase and they work in your region and also have the chips above on board.E4000 chip and RTL2832U
You will also need a sound card in your PC and a free version of software called SDR Sharp and another free program called ZADIG
SDR Sharp... http://sdrsharp.com/index.php/downloads
Extra info... http://www.rtl-sdr.com/tag/zadig/
There are other programs that work with the SDR dongles too but you need to search for them.
Do not load the software that came with the dongle unless of course you just want it for TV and DAB Radio?
Load the free SDR software instead!
Once you have installed SDR Sharp also install Zadig!
Once you have connected the dongle with antenna attached run Zadig which will install the appropriate drivers (you may have to look into options and show all devices where you should be able find your device).
Open up SDR Sharp and choose your device from the drop down menu then press start and you should be in business.
The program normally starts off around the FM Broadcast band where you can tune in local FM Stations and then move the frequencies to the required program.
There is also a drop down menu panel on the left hand side that you can adjust AGC, RF Gain, and other parameters.
If it does not work first time you will need to check all your drivers have installed in the control panel and USB devices.
If you have installed the Software that came with the Dongle uninstall it and start again they do not like running together!
Once you get it running you can on average cover the frequencies of 45 MHz to 2.2 GHz depending on the actual dongle specification! Some go from 24 MHz or lower up to 1.700 GHz.
You can listen or monitor 6Mtrs, 4Mtrs, FM Broadcast band, Aircraft Band, 2Mtr Amateur radio Bands, Marine Bands, Taxi's, and PMR, 70Cms Amateur radio Bands, License free PMR, and so on up to the highest frequency limit of the dongle.
And with SDR Sharp software you can also listen in the different modes of FM, AM, LSB, USB, CW.
There are loads of free software programs and other attachments to be added to the basic SDR Dongle like HF converters, Weather Sat reception, Data modes etc.
Here is a Photograph of an SDR radio that covers 100 KHz-1.7GHz that can be purchased on e bay
There is now a wide variety of SDR radio dongles / boxes, you need to search and find the best value for money to suit your needs.
There are loads of uses for this type of SDR RADIO and associated software
Buy it try it you will be impressed! Where else can you listen to all these frequencies and modes for an outlay of about £15.00 + basic set-up and it is not rocket science to set up? But the technology and impressive performance equals rocket science!
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