Receiving HF with R820T with no mods or converters

How do you receive HF signals using your RTL SDR? You’ll probably say that the easiest way is to get an upconverter. That’ll certainly get you the best quality results. You might also suggest modding the hardware itself. This also works, but can be tricky if you’re not used to soldering.

There is a third way, however, and that is to hack the software so that the RTL-SDR dongle thinks the signal is bypassing the tuner on the dongle, as is what happens with the hardware modification. Continue reading

Constructing an ADS-B Collinear Antenna

Antenna feedline, adapter, USB receiver and laptop

I haven’t posted here in about a year and a half, which is shameful! But, my last post was about low-cost SDR, and since then I’ve ventured into it. In this post I want to describe how to build a collinear antenna, which can be used for receiving ADS-B signals on 1090MHz from aircraft. I use a NooElec R820T tuner dongle on my laptop as my radio receiver (I’ll write up more about this later), and as I love quite close to an airport, it’s ideal for capturing signals from airlines. Continue reading