Online Remote Control Radio Receivers!
Several years ago I had a receiver running on GlobalTuners.com and it was a lot of fun. I eventually sold that ICOM PC-1000 receiver so I could fund another project. However, I did have an interest in doing it again one day. Here comes my new online receiver the RTL-SDR.
I received an email from Yves at GT, and he asked if I would be interested in putting another receiver online. He suggested I consider this radio as a low cost solution for getting back on GT. He mentioned folks were missing the Los Angeles radio! So how could I resist!
What is RTL-SDR?
RTL-SDR is a very cheap ~$25 USB dongle that can be used as a computer based radio scanner for receiving live radio signals in your area (no internet required). Depending on the particular model it could receive frequencies from 500 kHz up to 1.75 GHz. Most software for the RTL-SDR is community developed, and provided free of charge.
The receivers origins stem from mass produced DVB-T TV tuner dongles that were based on the RTL2832U chipset. It was found that the raw I/Q data on the RTL2832U chipset could be accessed directly. This allowed the DVB-T TV tuner to be converted into a wideband software defined radio via a custom software driver developed by Steve Markgraf. If you’re curious about the RTL-SDR here is some more info.
Over the years, RTL-SDR has become extremely popular. Now anyone, including hobbyists on a budget, can access the radio spectrum. It’s worth noting that this sort of SDR capability would have cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars just a few years ago. The RTL-SDR is also sometimes referred to as RTL2832U, DVB-T SDR, DVB-T dongle, RTL dongle, or the “cheap software defined radio”.