Tagged: RF

Hakology Day 46 – Blog Entry

[0300]
Today was spent tinkering with the FM transmitter. I swapped out my initial 150cm half wave wire antenna for a 165cm solid core half wave, fashioned a crude battery pack from two D cells some wire and duct tape. After modifying the battery pack I moved the transmitter to the loft and went and did a little range check. The modifications possibly boosted the signal by 20-30 meters. In total line of sight I think roughly 200 / 250 meters reach which isn’t too shabby. FM needs a lot more power to extend range and I think the circuits good to 12v and is currently running at around 3v will do a little more reading before I start experimenting with different power supplies and voltages, also want to check the data sheet for the transistors.
[/0300]

Installing SDR# on windows …

How to install SDR# on windows …

You will need …

PC/Laptop (Recommended dual core, 4gb RAM)
RTLSDR dongle
(Optional antenna / adapter. *Recommended*)
.NET Framework 4.6

DO NOT PLUG IN THE DONGLE
DO NOT INSTALL ANY SOFTWARE IT CAME WITH
If you have uninstall the software, driver and unplug the dongle.

Goto airspy.com and download the ‘SDR Software Package’
Unzip the files somewhere
Run install-rtlsdr.bat
Plug in your dongle
Run zadig.exe (as administrator)
Click options
Make sure ‘show all devices’ is selected.
In the device drop down select ‘Bulk Interface 0’
Ensure WINUSB is selected in the other drop down.
Click install
Click OK to any warnings
Run sdrsharp.exe
Select the RTLUSB dongle
Click the play icon to start capture.
Tune to a known frequency (FM station)
Ensure WFM is selected
Open the options menu
Increase RF gain, but don’t let the signal distort.
If you can hear distortion try adjusting the volume control in SDR#

Give yourself a pat on the back and get scanning!

Moving on to gqrx and linux in the next video.

Recommended SDR shopping list for up coming content …
RTLSDR – RTL2832(u) DVB-T+DAB+FM Dongle (£10-£15)
MCX MALE TO BNC FEMALE (for connecting antennas) (Approx £2)
AIR BAND (or similar) antenna (usually with BNC male connector) (£3-£10)

Hakology – Introduction to SDR

What is SDR?

S.D.R. stands for Software Defined Radio.

SDR is a combination of hardware and software used to scan/monitor/demodulate/transmit electromagnetic radio signals.

Signals?

Signals can be used to transmit voice or data.
The most common methods of transmission are FM and AM.

FM = Frequency modulation

AM = Amplitude modulation

FM, modulates the frequency of the carrier wave to transmit a signal.
AM, modulates the amplitude of the carrier wave to transmit a signal.

Both can be used to transmit analogue or digital data.

SDR setup?

You will need …
PC / laptop – Laptop preferably for portability, currently running on an i5 2.4ghz 8gb ram pretty smoothly, I did try this on an older atom processor on linux using gqrx but latency was an issue.

SDR dongle  – RTL2832U – If you want to follow along with the next few videos grab an RTL dongle you can always decided if you like the hobby enough to invest in more expensive equipment at a later date.

Antenna – You can use the one provided but its not recommended for the next few videos ill be using a cheap airband antenna I bought from ebay.

Realtek DVB-T+DAB+FM Dongle

RTL2832U – Notes: The dongle was never intended to be used for SDR but two researchers discovered the chip used was able to cover a wide range of frequencies (24 mhz – 1766 mhz) and decided to rewrite the drivers. (Antii Palosaari and Eric Fry of Osmocom) Since then the dongle has proved hugely successful with amateur radio enthusiasts.

So what can you do with SDR?

Voice, ADSB, ACARS, digital voice, AIS, POCSAG, FLEX, consumer devices, weather ballon data, HAM internet, DVB-T, GSM, GPS, spectrum analysis, weather satellites, ISS, radio astronomy, meteor scatter, FM/AM radio, RDS, DAB, RNG … probably much more!

Over the last few years lots of researchers and developers have started producing applications and code for the RTLSDR and hopefully many more projects to come as the community grows.

Keep tuned for more SDR fun stuff!

If you get bored in the meantime try googling some of the stuff I’ve listed above and start your own research / project / experiment / learning / hack / etc.

Useful links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AM_broadcasting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_broadcasting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_radio
http://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Signal_Identification_Guide

 

Hakology Day 10 : Blog Entry

[1600]
Great sleep, late start, wish I’d stayed awake earlier but must have needed the sleep, feeling refreshed time to get busy. Recorded first audio for SDR EP yesterday, needs work but not bad for first try.
[/1602]

[1755]
Rewritten dialogue again reads a lot better now. Looking for other SDR projects and ideas. Still yet to see if I have multimon-ng installed on the netbook. Tasks for the afternoon.
[/1757]

[1808]
Not so random pictures for the day …


[/1828]

[1919]

Just cooking some food and getting ready to record.

Recommended SDR shopping list for up coming content …
RTLSDR – RTL2832(u) DVB-T+DAB+FM Dongle (£10-£15)
MCX MALE TO BNC FEMALE (for connecting antennas) (Approx £2)
AIR BAND (or similar) antenna (usually with BNC male connector) (£3-£10)
PC/LAPTOP – Preferably laptop for portability. (Varies lol 😉 )

[/1927]

[1949]
Recorded introduction to SDR episode but still not entirely happy with the take, have some RL boring stuff I need to do but will be back later this evening.
[/1950]

[2039]
Back, quick wash and shave and time to record the final take. *Fingers crossed.*
[/2040]

[2256]
Editing done, rendering video.
[/2256]

[2301]
mmmm coffee!
[/2301]

[0006]
Uploading.
[/0006]

[0100]

[/0100]

[0239]
Time to relax!
[/0239]

[0451]
Sleep required.
[/0451]

Hakology Day 9 : Blog Entry

[1124]
So it begins, late night last night, got the SDR working under windows. Todays goals, get the SDR working under linux and gqrx, look at what I managed to capture in the log and start a video showing how to setup SDR#.
[/1124]

[1215]
Really don’t want to stop logging messages lol, but I suppose its time to start making notes. Once I can get this running on the RPi ill leave it logging 24/7 for a while so I can analyse the data. Still lots of data being sent that shouldn’t be, names, phone numbers, address information, IP addresses, email addresses, URLs … and I’m sure if I log for long enough the obligatory username and password.
[/1215]

[1306]
So I can’t show or share any of the data I’m collecting. Hibby just pointed me to (Legal stuff) … even though I can’t share the data I can show you how to demodulate the signals yourself.
[/1306]

[1415]
Written up notes for SDR# installation.
[/1415]

[1513]
Executing operation tidy up for recording later also doing a few other chores.
[/1513]

[1606]
Still tidying 🙁 b/c I’m a messy bugger.
[/1606]

[1613]
Random picture for today …
Since I’m working on radio stuff here’s my baofeng handset its the uv-5r, a great starting handset for people looking to get in to HAM radio and start learning. I bought one relatively cheap on ebay around £20, before I got my licence so I could scan and listen a little. I’ve some other scanners and sets but ill save those for another day.
baofeng
[/1613]

[1713]
meh RL … need to script my house work or hack together some sort of roomba capable of washing up and making tea/coffee on demand.
[/1715]

[1824]
Chilling out time for a coffee and some food. BBL
[/1825]

[21.41]
A few pages of notes written and a rough idea for an introduction to SDR. Time for a brew and to record / talk through the audio. Will report back in a while.

Useful links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AM_broadcasting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_broadcasting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_radio
http://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Signal_Identification_Guide

Captured a little extra audio for the hakology introduction too.
[/2147]

[2344]
Sleep required.
[/2344]

[0448]
Woke up after a few hours sleep been doing a little radio research, too early to start the next blog entry, too late to be editing this one hmmm.
No vblog for day nine either will have to make up for it later.
[/0450]

Hakology Day 8 : Blog Entry

[1500]
Good afternoon hakologists. Late start but lots to do.
[/1500]

[1544]
Posted ebay stuff, bills to pay, boring stuff. Couple of support calls to make. Will be on soon though.
[/1544]

[1612]
The amount of profit water, gas, and electricity companies make you’d think they’d have more people staffing the phones. Especially when everyone uses mobiles these days. I hate online payment services much prefer top up cards or direct payment. Finally got through and turns out I’m ahead with my payments whoot whoot. Only one more call to make.
[/1612]

[1633]
Finally done with all the menial stuff. Time to get busy.
[/1633]

[1711]
Whiteboard pens ordered, need to login to the corsair portal and check progress on that ticket.
[/1711]

[2343]
Had a friend over for a while played a little doom4 and insurgency. Finally unlocked the BFG on doom, whoot! Hopefully not too far away from completing it on campaign mode.
[/2343]

[0119]
Reading up on FSK (frequency shift keying) and POCSAG. Managed to get SDR# working with PDW and virtual cable for the first time. Now logging messages and noting frequencies for a tutorial.
[/0119]

[0147]
fsksample
Rendering vlog preparing to setup multimon-ng and rtl-fm.
Reading.
[/0147]

[0204]

[/0204]

[0444]
flex
Time for some sleeps.
[/0444]

HAM: First contact

So after owning my licence for I don’t know how many weeks / months I finally made my first contact. In the interest of privacy I’ve decided not to publish my call sign or any others on the blog. People always said its difficult to press the button but I didn’t feel that way it was easy to press the button but just a little awkward trying to remember all the stuff I’d learnt for my licence how to communicate and trying my best as a complete novice to follow protocol. So if you’re going to chat with other hams turn your roger noise off in the settings on your radio. One of the first things I was asked was to turn off the roger noise (which I’d been warned about but just forgot to turn it off before making contact.) The two people I initially contacted (Les and Paul) were welcoming and gave me feedback on my signal also asked what gear I was transmitting on, someone else hopped on to get a signal report. When you initially make contact make sure you have a pen and paper to hand so you can write down times, locations and call signs etc. Hopefully by the time I write part two to this blog entry ill have sorted my log book out and might even treat you to a couple of pictures of my current amateur setup. 73s. Hakology signing off. Over.