[clug] Listening to digital radio with Open Source software

Mike Carden mike.carden at gmail.com
Sun Aug 7 00:02:18 UTC 2016

On Sat, Aug 6, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Stephen Hocking <stephen.hocking at gmail.com>

> Thank you Mike - this has been one of the things I've been wanting to try
> out. A lot of these devices can do FM as well, have you had a chance to try
> that?

Sure. Listening to broadcast analogue FM is kind of the Hello World of SDR

If you 'apt-get install rtl-sdr sox' you'll get a suite of command line
tools called rtl_<name> including one called rtl_fm. With that, you can do
a CLI one liner to listen to FM radio, but figuring out the right frequency
offset to tune the dongle can be a bit hit or miss. Somethig like this
plays local FM for me:

rtl_fm -M wbfm -f 104.8M | play -r 32k -t raw -e s -b 16 -c 1 -V1 -

There are all sorts of fun things being done with SDR dongles. Using the
dump1090 software you can monitor aircraft in your vicinity on a realtime
map in a web browser.

To learn more about SDR, I recommend this great series of video

Also, there is a group in the USA who hold monthly CLUG-like meetings
called Cyberspectrum. Search for them on YouTube to find some great
technical talks about SDR.

And for all things related to the dongles, it's worth keeping an eye on:


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