A few months ago [Antti Palosaari] discovered cheap USB TV tuners could be used as a software-defined radio. Since then, we’ve seen these TV tuners receive signals from GPS satellites and even the signals between air traffic control and passenger aircraft. Like everything cool, Mac support for these drivers is slightly terrible so [hpux735] wrote his own Cocoa app to support these amazing dongles.
[hpux735]‘s driver is a port of the osmocom driver, repackaged as a native Cocoa app so the terribly fickle libusb and other dependencies aren’t needed. All the code is up on GitHub, ready for you to start playing around with SDR.
As far as tutorials for those wading into the deep waters of software-defined radio, a number of how-to guides have popped up over the last month to get SDR noobs up and running quickly. Here’s a few of the best ones we’ve seen:
[braingram] put up an Instructable for Ubuntu users.
For people who have a Windows box lying around [balint] put up a getting started guide.
There’s a slightly more thorough Windows guide here.
Most of the development in the TV tuner SDR community is happening on the RTLSDR subreddit, and there’s more than enough info there to do just about anything with these TV tuner dongles. If you come up with a novel use for one of these dongles, send it in on the tip line.