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horiz0n, 02/19/2016 10:51 PM


PageOutline = rtl-sdr =

DVB-T dongles based on the Realtek RTL2832U can be used as a cheap SDR, since the chip allows transferring the raw I/Q samples to the host, which is officially used for DAB/DAB+/FM demodulation. The possibility of this has been discovered by the V4L/DVB kernel developer [http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.drivers.video-input-infrastructure/44461/focus=44461 Antti Palosaari].

Specifications

The RTL2832U outputs 8-bit I/Q-samples, and the highest theoretically possible sample-rate is 3.2 MS/s, however, the highest sample-rate without lost samples that has been tested so far is 2.8 MS/s. The frequency range is highly dependent of the used tuner, '''dongles that use the Elonics E4000 offer the widest possible range (64 - 1700 MHz with a gap from approx. 1100 - 1250 MHz)'''. When used out-of-spec, a tuning range of approx. 50 MHz - 2.2 GHz is possible (with gap).

Supported Hardware

The following devices are known to work fine with RTLSDR software:

'''VID''' '''PID''' '''tuner''' '''device name'''
0x0bda 0x2832 all of them Generic RTL2832U (e.g. hama nano)
0x0bda 0x2838 E4000 ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle
0x0ccd 0x00a9 FC0012 Terratec Cinergy T Stick Black (rev 1)
0x0ccd 0x00b3 FC0013 Terratec NOXON DAB/DAB+ USB dongle (rev 1)
0x0ccd 0x00d3 E4000 Terratec Cinergy T Stick RC (Rev.3)
0x0ccd 0x00e0 E4000 Terratec NOXON DAB/DAB+ USB dongle (rev 2)
0x185b 0x0620 E4000 Compro Videomate U620F
0x185b 0x0650 E4000 Compro Videomate U650F
0x1f4d 0xb803 FC0012 GTek T803
0x1f4d 0xc803 FC0012 Lifeview LV5TDeluxe
0x1b80 0xd3a4 FC0013 Twintech UT-40
0x1d19 0x1101 FC2580 Dexatek DK DVB-T Dongle (Logilink VG0002A)
0x1d19 0x1102 ? Dexatek DK DVB-T Dongle (MSI DigiVox mini II V3.0)
0x1d19 0x1103 FC2580 Dexatek Technology Ltd. DK 5217 DVB-T Dongle
0x0458 0x707f ? Genius TVGo DVB-T03 USB dongle (Ver. B)
0x1b80 0xd393 FC0012 GIGABYTE GT-U7300
0x1b80 0xd394 ? DIKOM USB-DVBT HD
0x1b80 0xd395 FC0012 Peak 102569AGPK
0x1b80 0xd39d FC0012 SVEON STV20 DVB-T USB & FM

If you don't know where to buy one or if you are just looking for a trustworthy source, try http://shop.sysmocom.de/products/eztv668-bulk

People over at reddit [http://www.reddit.com/r/RTLSDR/comments/s6ddo/rtlsdr_compatibility_list_v2_work_in_progress/ are collecting a list (v2)] of other devices that are compatible.

Other dongles based on the RTL2832U might be added in the future as well.

This is the PCB of the ezcap-stick:brbr
Image(ezcap_top.jpg,50%)br
More pictures can be found [http://www.steve-m.de/pictures/rtl-sdr/ here].

Software

rtl-sdr is a commandline tool that can initialize the RTL2832, tune to a given frequency, and record the I/Q-samples to a file.

The code can be checked out with: {{{
git clone git://git.osmocom.org/rtl-sdr.git
}}}

It can also be browsed on http://cgit.osmocom.org/cgit/rtl-sdr/

If you are going to "fork it on github" and enhance it, please contribute back and submit your patches to: osmocom-sdr at lists.osmocom.org

A [http://cgit.osmocom.org/cgit/gr-osmosdr/ GNU Radio source block] for [http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/ OsmoSDR] '''and rtlsdr''' is available. '''Please install a recent gnuradio (>= v3.5.3) in order to be able to use it.'''

=== Building the software ===

==== rtlsdr library & capture tool ====

'''You have to install development packages for libusb1.0''' and can either use cmake or autotools to build the software.

Please note: prior pulling a new version from git and compiling it, please do a "make uninstall" first to properly remove the previous version.

Building with cmake: {{{
cd rtl-sdr/
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../
make
sudo make install
}}}

Building with autotools: {{{
cd rtl-sdr/
autoreconf -i
./configure
make
sudo make install
}}}

The build executables (rtl_sdr, rtl_tcp and rtl_test) can be found in rtl-sdr/src/.

[RelWithDebInfo.zip pre-built Windows version] using libusb 1.0.9 and pthreads-win32 cvs

==== Gnuradio Source ====

'''The gnuradio source requires the rtl-sdr package and a recent gnuradio (>= v3.5.3) to be installed.'''

The source supports direct device operation as well as a tcp client mode when using the rtl_tcp utility as a spectrum server.

Please note: prior pulling a new version from git and compiling it, please do a "make uninstall" first to properly remove the previous version.

Building with cmake: {{{
git clone git://git.osmocom.org/gr-osmosdr
cd gr-osmosdr/
mkdir build
cd build/
cmake ../ -Wno-dev
make
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig
}}}

NOTE: The source block will appear under 'OsmoSDR' category in GRC menu.

For initial tests we recommend the multimode receiver gnuradio companion flowgraph (see "Known Apps" table below).

==== Automated installation ====

Marcus D. Leech has kindly integrated the forementioned build steps into his gnuradio installation script at [http://www.sbrac.org/files/build-gnuradio]. This is the most user-friendly option so far.

=== Usage ===

==== rtl_sdr ====

Example: To tune to 392.0 MHz, and set the sample-rate to 1.8 MS/s, use:

{{{
./rtl_sdr /tmp/capture.bin -s 1.8e6 -f 392e6
}}}

to record samples to a file or to forward the data to a fifo.

If the device can't be opened, make sure you have the appropriate rights to access the device (install udev-rules from the repository, or run it as root).

==== rtl_tcp ====

Example:

{{{
rtl_tcp -a 10.0.0.2 [-p listen port (default: 1234)]
Found 1 device(s).
Found Elonics E4000 tuner
Using Generic RTL2832U (e.g. hama nano)
Tuned to 100000000 Hz.
listening...
Use the device argument 'rtl_tcp=10.0.0.2:1234' in OsmoSDR (gr-osmosdr) source
to receive samples in GRC and control rtl_tcp parameters (frequency, gain, ...).
}}}

use the rtl_tcp=... device argument in gr-osmosdr source to receive the samples in GRC and control the rtl settings remotely.

This application has been successfully crosscompiled for ARM and MIPS devices and is providing IQ data in a networked ADS-B setup at a rate of 2.4MSps. The gr-osmosdr source is being used together with an optimized gr-air-modes version.
You can find a Makefile for OpenWRT [http://steve-m.de/projects/rtl-sdr/Makefile here].

==== rtl_test ====
To check the possible tuning range (may heavily vary by some MHz depending on device and temperature), call {{{
rtl_test -t
}}}

To check the maximum samplerate possible on your machine, type (change the rate down until no sample loss occurs): {{{
rtl_test -s 3.2e6
}}}
A samplerate of 2.4e6 is known to work even over tcp connections (see rtl_tcp above). A sample rate of 2.88e6 may work without lost samples but this may depend on your PC/Laptop's host interface.

Using the data

To convert the data to a standard cfile, following GNU Radio Block can be used:br
brImage(rtl2832-cfile.png)brbr
The GNU Radio Companion flowgraph (rtl2832-cfile.grc) is attached to this page. It is based on the FM demodulation flowgraph posted by Alistair Buxton [http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.drivers.video-input-infrastructure/44461/focus=44525 on this thread].

Please note: for realtime operation you may use fifos (mkfifo) to forward the iq data from the capture utility to the GRC flowgraph.

What has been successfully tested so far is the reception of [https://www.cgran.org/browser/projects/multimode/trunk Broadcast FM and air traffic AM] radio, [http://tetra.osmocom.org/ TETRA], [http://gmr.osmocom.org/ GMR], [http://svn.berlin.ccc.de/projects/airprobe/ GSM], [https://www.cgran.org/wiki/gr-air-modes ADS-B] and [https://github.com/smunaut/osmo-pocsag POCSAG].

Tell us your success story with other wireless protocols in ##rtlsdr channel on freenode IRC network.

Known Apps

The following 3rd party applications and libraries are successfully using either librtlsdr directly or the corresponding gnuradio source (gr-osmosdr):

||'''Name'''||'''Type'''||'''Author'''||'''URL'''|| ||gr-pocsag||GRC Flowgraph||Marcus Leech||[https://www.cgran.org/browser/projects/gr-pocsag/trunk]|| ||multimode RX||GRC Flowgraph||Marcus Leech||[https://www.cgran.org/browser/projects/multimode/trunk]|| ||simple_fm_rvc||GRC Flowgraph||Marcus Leech||[https://www.cgran.org/browser/projects/simple_fm_rcv/trunk]|| ||python-librtlsdr||Python Wrapper||David Basden||[https://github.com/dbasden/python-librtlsdr]|| ||pyrtlsdr||Python Wrapper||Roger||[https://github.com/roger-/pyrtlsdr]|| ||rtlsdr-waterfall||Python FFT GUI||Kyle Keen||[https://github.com/keenerd/rtlsdr-waterfall]|| ||Wireless Temp. Sensor RX||Gnuradio App||Kevin Mehall||[https://github.com/kevinmehall/rtlsdr-433m-sensor]|| ||!QtRadio||SDR GUI||Andrea Montefusco et al.||[http://napan.ca/ghpsdr3/index.php/RTL-SDR]|| ||gqrx (fork)||SDR GUI||Alexandru Csete||[https://github.com/mathisschmieder/gqrx]|| ||rtl_fm '''(NEW)'''||SDR CLI||Kyle Keen||[https://github.com/keenerd/rtl-sdr]|| ||SDR# '''(NEW)'''||SDR GUI||Youssef||[http://sdrsharp.com/]|| ||gr-air-modes (fork) '''(NEW)'''||SDR CLI/server||Nick Foster||[https://github.com/steve-m/gr-air-modes]|| ||tetra_demod_fft '''(NEW)'''||SDR GUI||osmocom team||[http://cgit.osmocom.org/cgit/osmo-tetra/tree/src/demod/python/rtlsdr-tetra_demod_fft.py rtlsdr-tetra_demod_fft.py]||
br
Using our lib? Tell us! Don't? Tell us why! :)
brbrbr
Image(rtl-sdr-gmr.png)br
Multiple GMR-carriers can be seen in a spectrum view with the full 3.2 MHz bandwidth (at 3.2 MS/s).

Updated by horiz0n almost 6 years ago · 91 revisions

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