Program and build Raspberry Pi based ham station utilities, tools, and instruments
The new improved RTL-SDR V4 allows you to receive radio signals between 500 kHz and 1.75 GHz from stations utilizing different bands including MW/SW/LW broadcast, ham radio, utility, air traffic control, PMR, SRD, ISM, CB, weather satellite, and radio astronomy.
The book Raspberry Pi for Radio Amateurs gives extensive coverage of deploying the RTL-SDR kit through the use of a Raspberry Pi.
This bundle contains:
RTL-SDR V4 (Software Defined Radio) with Dipole Antenna Kit
RTL-SDR is an affordable dongle that can be used as a computer-based radio scanner for receiving live radio signals between 500 kHz and 1.75 GHz in your area.
The new RTL-SDR V4 offers several improvements over generic brands including use of the R828D tuner chip, triplexed input filter, notch filter, improved component tolerances, a 1 PPM temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO), SMA F connector, aluminium case with passive cooling, bias tee circuit, improved power supply, and a built in HF upconverter.
RTL-SDR V4 comes with the portable dipole antenna kit. It is great for beginners as it allows for terrestrial and satellite reception and easy to mount outdoors and designed for portable and temporary outside usage.
- Improved HF reception: V4 now uses a built-in upconverter instead of using a direct sampling circuit. This means no more Nyquist folding of signals around 14.4 MHz, improved sensitivity, and adjustable gain on HF. Like the V3, the lower tuning range remains at 500 kHz and very strong reception may still require front end attenuation/filtering.
- Improved filtering: The V4 makes use of the R828D tuner chip, which has three inputs. The SMA input has been triplexed input into 3 bands: HF, VHF and UHF. This provides some isolation between the 3 bands, meaning out of band interference from strong broadcast stations is less likely to cause desensitization or imaging.
- Improved filtering x2: In addition to the triplexing, the open drain pin on the R828D can be also used, which allows to add simple notch filters for common interference bands such as broadcast AM, broadcast FM and the DAB bands. These only attenuate by a few dB, but may still help.
- Improved phase noise on strong signals: Due to an improved power supply design, phase noise from power supply noise has been significantly reduced.
- Less heat: Another advantage of the improved power supply is low power consumption and less heat generation compared to the V3.
- 1x RTL-SDR V4 dongle (R828D RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA)
- 2x 23 cm to 1 m telescopic antenna
- 2x 5 cm to 13 cm telescopic antenna
- 1x Dipole antenna base with 60 cm RG174
- 1x 3 m RG174 extension cable
- 1x Flexible tripod mount
- 1x Suction cup mount
Raspberry Pi for Radio Amateurs
Although much classical HF and mobile equipment is still in use by many amateurs, the use of computers and digital techniques has now become very popular among amateur radio operators. Nowadays, anyone can purchase a Raspberry Pi computer and run almost all amateur radio software on the ‘RPi’, which is slightly bigger than the size of a credit card.
The RTL-SDR devices have become very popular among hams because of their very low cost and rich features. A basic system may consist of a USB-based RTL-SDR device (dongle) with a suitable antenna, an RPi computer, a USB-based external audio input-output adapter, and software installed on the Pi. With such a simple setup it is feasible to receive signals from around 24 MHz to over 1.7 GHz. With the addition of a low-cost upconverter device, an RTL-SDR can easily and effectively receive the HF bands.
This book is aimed at amateur radio enthusiasts, electronic engineering students, and anyone interested in learning to use the Raspberry Pi to build electronic projects. The book is suitable for the full range of beginners through old hands at ham radio. Step-by-step installation of the operating system is described with many details on the commonly used Linux commands. Some knowledge of the Python programming language is required to understand and modify the projects given in the book. Example projects developed in the book include a station clock, waveform generation, transistor amplifier design, active filter design, Morse code exerciser, frequency counter, RF meter, and more. The block diagram, circuit diagram, and complete Python program listings are given for each project, including the full description of the projects.
Besides wide coverage of RTL-SDR for amateur radio, the book also summarizes the installation and use instructions of the following ham radio programs and software tools you can run on your Raspberry Pi: TWCLOCK, Klog, Gpredict, FLDIGI, DIRE WOLF, xcwcp, QSSTV, LinPsk, Ham Clock, CHIRP, xastir, and CQRLOG.