Monthly Archives: September 2012

RTL2832u ADS-B Performance Testing

In an earlier article, I mentioned that the RTL2832u / E4000 does a pretty reputable job receiving ADS-B signals. I thought it would be interesting to see just how well it worked. I used a couple of ¬†Windows tools to analyze the data decoded by gr-air-modes from the RTL2832u stick. The first tool is SBSPlotter, which creates a polar map showing the range and direction of the ADS-B signals you are receiving. This is a nice little tool to help you tweak your antenna or antenna placement for the best performance. SBSPlotter can be downloaded from¬†http://jetvision.de/sbs.shtml. The second tool was BSTChart, that will plot the type of ADS=B messages and number of messages from your receiver. BSTChart can be downloaded here. These programs work fine with gr-air-modes since the server outputs the ADS-B messages in Kinetics SBS-1 format. You just need to give them the IP address and port 30003 of the machine running the gr-air-modes and the RTL2832u server. They may work under Wine on your Linux box, but I did not try it. I just routed the data from my Linux box to a PC.…

New ExtIO for Alinco DJ-X11 Allows For Third Party SDR Software Support

The Alinco DJ-X11 even with it’s shortcomings has been a neat little hybrid wideband receiver with SDR capabilities. The DJ-X11 is a decent little receiver on it’s own, but when used with SDR software it gets even better. However, Alinco sort of dropped the ball when it came to developing a dedicated SDR software package for the radio. There was an initial very simple free package that had some basic features, but it now seems absent from Alincos website. You could use most standalone SDR packages to to use the Alinco DJ-X11 IQ output for SDR, but you were stuck having to set the center frequency by hand on the radio. Needless to say this was a bit of a pain, since the DJ-X11 had the capacity to be controlled via it’s computer interface. Thanks to Michael that is now a thing of the past. He has written an ExtIO plugin that will work with HDSDR and possibly other programs that support ExtIO radio programs. The ExtIO plugin allows HDSDR to tune the radio from it’s tuning controls or by clicking on the waterfall display. I tested out the plugin with the Alinco DJ-X11, ERW-8 interface cable, and HDSDR. Everything …