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Software Defined Radio - RTL-SDR with SDR# Setup on Windows

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When I was reluctant to post such basic post my friend forced me to write this article saying "people love basics articles also. Which you think would be known to all." So here goes nothing

1) What is RTL-SDR

If you know about RTL-SDR Skip to 3rd point directly.

RTL - Realtek
SDR - Software Defined Radio


2) History and Discovery of RTLSDR (Source)

It turns out that Antti Palosaari is perhaps not entirely responsible alone in getting credit for the discovery of Realtek 2832U tuners being used for SDR. The RTL2382U parts were always intended by design for SDR as the dongles come with closed SDR software in Windows for DAB+ and FM reception on the mini CD. I think the credit for uncovering of what the Windows software does lies with a fellow named Eric Fry originally sniffing the USB packets from the Windows application in FM and DAB mode way back in March of 2010. He had hoped to get a DAB+ or FM receiver working in Linux (he had originally been providing unofficial support for Linux and this Quad Realtek DVB tuner). Eric and I discussed this privately at length and I made some reflections about this SDR feature in 2011 on the linux-tv mailing lists and discussed SDR potential on the associated #linux-tv IRC channel. Realtek had sent me some alpha FM SDR software for Linux with a promise of DAB+ to come. Antti's infamous email followed in early 2012. Very quickly the Realtek RTL2382U Linux driver and and some independent work by Osmocom (who were making their own E4000 based SDR) collided and in RTL-SDR as we know it exploded onto the scene.

So, the original 'discovery' lies with Eric. Much of the work getting the RTL2382U and it's associated tuners tamed in between then and now lies with Antti and Osmocom.

3) On Windows You Say ?

Yes, I know lots of people keep talking about RTL-SDR on linux and all gnu-Radio and other softwares. But wait I found some great softwares on windows also for RTL-SDR. So why not share those. I will also write something about linux setups in some later post. I had got my first RTL-SDR Dongle from dx.com (Exact model)

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I opened Kali and wanted it working and listen something. But at first gnu-radio gave me some trouble getting started with basic FM also. So in hurry to listen something on dongle booted a windows machine. To my surprise there were lots of program available in windows also for the SDR. Some of them supported RTL-SDR via dierect USB some supported via a TCPIP bridge for RTLSDR. The best one I would dare say would be SDR# or SDRsharp. This is very cool software for SDR written in C# by Youssef Touil which directly detects RTLSDR from USB and can use it directly without any bridge. SDR# is free software and can be downloaded from HERE
So I downloaded SDR# plugged in my RTLSDR usb dongle and I was good to go. Oh ya one glitch I forgot to tell about the RF gain. Which is simple thing but no one tells you about. My dongle didnt started reception on first go I couldnt get anything not even Local FM radio stations in my town. So digged little bit around. I went to the official IRC channel of SDR# which is #sdrsharp on freenode . There after asking questions for some time some one asked me about RF gain settings. So when you starting your first run with RTLSDR and SDR# first thing to be done use configure button near the device dropdown. Choose NFM in band and open configure window then start with less gain and turn it higher till you start hearing FM channel at your known frequency. You can directly enter frequency on the right hand side area of the configure button....
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Find Full articles and picture at my blogspot blog here

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