In case the Realtek RTL2832u-based USB TV tuner dongle isn’t useful enough, the folks behind a project to get a software defined GPS receiver off the ground successfully plotted GPS data in real-time with this very inexpensive radio.
Previously, we’ve seen these dongles grab data from GPS satellites – useful if you’re building a GPS-based clock – but this build required hours of data collection to plot your location on a map.
The folks working on the GNSS-SDR project used an RTL2832 USB TV tuner and a Garmin active GPS antenna to track up to four GPS satellites in real-time and plot a location accurate to about 200 meters.
The Google Earth plot for this post shows the data collected by the GNSS-SDR team; the antenna was fixed at the red arrow for the entirety of the test, and the yellow lines represent a change in the calculated location every 10 seconds. Amazing work, and only goes to show what this remarkable piece of hardware is capable of.