Roll Your Own SDR

If you have software-defined radio hardware and you are only using someone elses’ software, you are missing out on half of the fun. [Tech Minds] shows you how easy it can be to roll your own software using GNU Radio Companion in a recent video.

GNU Radio usually uses Python, but with the companion software you rarely need to know any actual Python. Instead, you simply drag blocks around to represent filters, DSP processing, and other functions you need to create the processing for your application.

It is very simple to create sophisticated user interfaces with waterfalls, spectrum analyzers, filters, and more. The example in the video is a 40-meter receiver using an RTL-SDR. Of course, given the right hardware, GNU Radio will work with any frequency, from audio to anything you can get into your PC.

We have our own video series on GNU Radio, which hasn’t changed much over the years. Ours starts with audio since it is a good bet you have a sound card. Later, we graduate to using real RF hardware. While you usually think of GNU Radio as a radio receiver or transmitter, it also makes a fine custom signal generator.

8 thoughts on “Roll Your Own SDR

    1. I met Michael Ossman briefly at the Dayton, OH HAM convention years ago. Very nice guy. He used the HackRF to show me what the radio signal coming from my car fob unlocking button looked like. :-)

  1. Dang it, THANK YOU. I ran into GRC a few years ago, and somewhere in a jumble of new computers and new living situations and pandemics, I lost it and couldn’t remember the name. Surprisingly, no amount of searching for Linux dsp or linux audio workstation or anything related to SDR, DSP, or audio tickled my memory or Google’s wisdom.

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