SDR (Software Defined Radio) is a radio communication system where components that have been typically implemented in hardware (e.g. mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators/demodulators, etc.) are instead implemented by means of software on a personal computer.
The main advantage of SDR is the reduced cost.
In France (and many countries in Europe), we are free to use the 433MHz frequency (433,050 à 434,790 MHz).
This way we could be able to receive signal sent from the balloon, then decode the signal to get the coordinates etc...
I ordered a USB dongle DVB-T RTL2832U+R820T:
- 7 € on Ebay (shipping included)
- Include antenna (and unused remote)
- Able to receive from 24 MHz to 1766 MHz.
Product: RTL2838UHIDIR Manufacturer: Realtek Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL2838 DVB-T
The dongle is supposed to be RTL2832 but report on lsusb and dmesg RTL2838
I use Gqrx (GPLv3) to visualize and hear radio signal.
To install all dependencies I used this script.
I modified it a bit for my LinuxMint Debian Edition distro.
On my computer I take 1 hour and half to compile.
We can test with:
$ rtl_test Found 1 device(s): 0: ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle Using device 0: ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner Supported gain values (29):
To install Gqrx:
$ git clone https://github.com/csete/gqrx.git $ cd gqrx $ qmake $ make $ sudo cp gqrx /usr/local/bin/
$ gqrx linux; GNU C++ version 4.7.2; Boost_104900; UHD_003.005.002-56-g34052015 gr-osmosdr 871f0cc2 (0.0.1git) gnuradio 22.214.171.124 built-in device types: file fcd rtl rtl_tcp uhd etc...
Then we can test by listering a “regular” radio:
We can see the space of few hundreds of KHz between radio channels.
We can change the volume of Gqrx with