Monthly Archives: December 2012

About Ham Radio Science Product Reviews

Occasionally on Ham Radio Science we write articles or reviews on commercial products. These reviews or articles are based solely on our opinion. We are not too interested in generating a bunch of numbers about the hardware we review. There are other sites out there that do that job very well. We also believe that “numbers” do not always tell the whole story. For example the $20 RTL2832U dongles have pretty poor numbers but offers a huge fun factor for the money. What we  do look for is does the product do what it is supposed to do, how well does it basically work, and how much value does it offer for the price. So we prefer to use a more “down to earth” approach to our product articles or reviews from a “users” perspective.…

Upcoming for January

Hi Folks,

We hope you had a great holiday and got some new SDR toys to play with! It’s been a little quite here around Ham Radio Science for the last couple of weeks. However, we have some exciting things planned for January. Here are some of the articles and projects we have planned during the upcoming weeks:

Studio1 SDR Software Review
– We will be taking a look at the new interesting SDR software Software package from Woodbox Radio and SDR Applications.

Afedri Net-SDR Radio Review – The Afedri Net-SDR is a very low cost IP SDR radio that may be just the thing for those interested in a low cost budget SDR!

Per Vices Noctar – The Per Vices Noctar  is an experimental SDR receiver on a card with a frequency range 100Khz to 4GHz transmit and receive. Per Vices has agreed to to send out a Noctar for us to take a look at.

Giveaways – The good folks at NooElec have sent us some goodies for a few giveaways. We hope to start these sometime in January, so keep checking back!…

PlanePlotter Now Supports RTL2832U Sticks as ADS-B Receivers

We always said that using a RTL2832U DVB-T stick actually works well for ADS-B reception. Especially as an entry level device for the beginning ADS-B hobbyist or some one who is curious about if they could receive ADS-B aircraft traffic in their area. The RTL2832U stick at about $20 is a great way to get some experience with ADS-B before investing in more expensive gear. Our testing has shown while not quite as effective as the commercial ADS-B receivers, the RTL2832U ADS-B setup can come pretty close. With that in mind, Bev from COAA, the maker of PlanePlotter has just recently announced that support for RTL2832U receivers has been added to the PlanePlotter. This also includes support for Multilateration the PlanePlotter uses to estimate the position of an aircraft that is transmitting Mode S reports, but not positional data. To get these features in PlanePlotter, it is recommended that you use the RTL1090 ADS-B windows decoder from Here are the details of the announcement from Bev regarding PlanePlotter and RTL2832U sticks from the PlanePlotter Yahoo Group:…

ADS-B Sharp ADS-B Decoder for Windows

If you have been using RTL-2832U sticks for SDR applications, you probably are very familiar with SDR Sharp. Youssef has published a new simplified ADS-B decoder which is now part of the SDR-Sharp software download. The ADS-B Sharp project has been around since early December, but is now become a bit more mature. We have discussed the Windows based RTL0190 decoder a bit on Ham Radio Science, so it would be natural to compare the two decoders. However, both decoders are still under development, so anything we say here is most likely subject to change. With that being said, ADS-B seems to have a slight advantage in frame rates. With about 8 aircraft in review ADS-B Sharp reported a frame rate of around 25, while RTL1090 showed about 9. This allowed ADS-B Sharp to “see” a couple of more aircraft than RTL1090 was able to in the same time frame. Like RTL1090, SDR-ADS-B outputs it’s data in AVR format which makes it  compatible with Plane Plotter and Virtual Radar Server. …