If you've ever been curious about software defined radio (SDR), this USB stick is the easiest way possible to have fun with a powerful, configurable receiver. Packed with the powerful RTL2832U and R820T tuner, it can tune into signals from 24MHz to 1850MHz. That means you can use a computer (with Windows, Mac, or Linux) to tune into: FM Radio, AM signals (but not AM radio), CW (morse code!), unencrypted radio signals (such as those used by many police and fire departments), POCSAG pagers, and more.
We plugged it into our windows computer and used Zadig+SDR# to poke around and listen to the wireless world around us, it's lots of fun!
For tons of usage ideas, check:
- http://www.rtl-sdr.com/ - a blog with tons of information, ideas and projects
- http://rtlsdr.org/ - a nice resource with links to software.
- http://www.superkuh.com/rtlsdr.html - a blog with tons of hardware details on the RTL SDR chipset
- Melissa Elliott's lovely talk on hacking with the RTL (and her notes on using the command line utilities on a Mac)
- Some nice graphical Mac tools
Please note! Depending on your location, listening in to some radio signals may not be legal. So consider this your warning to check before 'accidentally' tuning into naughty frequencies.
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