Building an antenna and receiving ham and shortwave stations with SDR

In my previous blog on the topic of software defined radio (SDR), I provided a quickstart guide to using gqrx, GNU Radio and the RTL-SDR dongle to receive FM radio and the amateur 2 meter (VHF) band.

Using the same software configuration and the same RTL-SDR dongle, it is possible to add some extra components and receive ham radio and shortwave transmissions from around the world.

Quickstart SDR with gqrx, GNU Radio and the RTL-SDR dongle

Software Defined Radio (SDR) provides many opportunities for both experimentation and solving real-world problems. It is not exactly a new technology but it has become significantly more accessible due to the increases in desktop computing power (for performing the DSP functions) and simultaneous reduction in the cost of SDR hardware.

LinuxWochen, MiniDebConf Vienna and Linux Presentation Day

Over the coming week, there are a vast number of free software events taking place around the world.

I'll be at the LinuxWochen Vienna and MiniDebConf Vienna, the events run over four days from Thursday, 28 April to Sunday, 1 May.

Google Summer of Code opportunities for ham radio and SDR

I've started preparing some ideas for Google Summer of Code projects I'd be willing to help mentor this year and one of them is for ham radio, with a focus on software defined radio (SDR).

Can you help?

If you can help as a co-mentor or simply help refer students for this project please get in touch with me.

A URI prefix for radio callsigns

I've had my amateur callsign far longer than I've had my email address or provider-independent IP ranges.

While working with the tel: URI recently, I started thinking it would be useful to have a similar URI scheme for radio callsigns. After all, callsigns follow a well documented and globally unique pattern. Amateur operators are often mixing computing technology with radio. This could be a useful foundation for bigger things.