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  • cheapest sdr in existance

    posted by r2kordmaa on 05/06/2012
    7 0

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week

    Pros:

    it does have:
    RTL2832 receiver + elonics e4000 tuner thus it is 100% compadible with GNURadio
    1MSPS - 3.2MSPS with tuning range 64MHz - 1700MHz
    8bit IQ samples

    within these limitations you can receive anything you can program a receiver for, for example i got ADS-B ModeS working with it(gr-air-modes reads info sent by aviation transponders and puts the airplane tracks on google-earth for you) - hey presto a 19$ aviation radar.

    other example, it was trivial to listen on my wireless earphones signal, or local fm stations. lots of possible applications for this device

    Cons:

    75ohm antenna connection is crap, the provided monopole is below crap, sure you can put other antennaes on it but it would really be nice if it had sma connector
    USB connector tends to bend
    local oscillator is not that great, PLL lock time is slow and temperature drift very noticable

    you get what you pay for, when it comes to build quality

    OtherThoughts:

    http://gnuradio.org/redmine/projects/gnuradio/wiki
    http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr
    https://www.cgran.org/wiki/gr-air-modes
    https://www.cgran.org/wiki/RDS

    it is no match for 1700$ USRP but can do much of the less demanding jobs just fine

    Bottomline:

    you can do jobs done with this 19$ usb gadget you would otherwise need tools in the several thousand dollar price range for. for an radio amateur, electronics geek etc a great tool to have, and costs next to nothing, a must buy even if it doesnt have much precision and signal quality

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