Pluto may no longer be a planet, but it is still a fun software defined radio (SDR) set up from Analog Devices. The inexpensive radio uses a USB connector and looks somewhat like a network connection to your PC. But what if you want to really use it with a network? [SignalsEverywhere] shows you how to do it using a USB network adapter and a USB connection adapter.
Just plugging a USB dongle into the box isn’t sufficient, an extra power supply is required as well as a minor bit of configuration. The IP address will be static so you might want to use an IP that your DHCP server won’t hand out, or reserve the IP on your local network.
The Pluto SDR is an inexpensive ($150) student kit that can both receive and transmit (at very low power). There’s a free book about it, too. By default, the device only operates from 325 to 3800 MHz — too high to receive the FM radio band, for example. However, there is a hack that not only makes the range from 70 to 6000 MHz, but also increases the bandwidth from 20 MHz to 56 MHz. It may not be totally “in spec” in the increased range, but it works fine to pick up FM signals, for example. The official page hints this only works with certain units, but we’ve known quite a few people to get it to work, so it will likely work for you, too.
In addition to increasing the frequency range, you can enable the device’s 2nd CPU which is disabled by default. If you want to do a little more hacking, there’s a custom firmware for it that turns it into a stand-alone streaming device — handy with the Ethernet hack. You can download PlutoWeb from GitHub.