Earlier this week I shocked Pete Juliano by telling him that I was taking a break from my normal analog, discrete component, no-chips mode of construction so that I could put together a Raspberry Pi-based SDR receiver. Even from 3000 miles away, his astonishment was clearly perceptible. He seemed briefly disoriented by it. I'm sure some of you may have a similar reaction. I'd been lured in by that video of the Raspberry Pi RTL-SDR receiver with the very cool touch screen display. It has a waterfall! And a touch screen! How could I resist? I went to Amazon, but there I discovered that that attractive display is not exactly cheap. And maybe I'd need a new Raspberry Pi. At this point, in search of economy and convenience, I began rummaging through my digital junk box. There I found a Rasp Pi Model B. And an old computer monitor. This will be easy, I thought. Just get some SDR code into that Pi, hook up the RTL-SDR dongle and Bob's my uncle, right? Not so fast. I quickly began to run into daunting digital obstacles. Sure, the Raspberry Pi fired right up and filled the computer display with lines of code. But it was all Linux. Yuck. Sorry Linux fans, but for some of us mere mortals, Linux is a weird opaque world in which every little thing is somehow a lot harder. I also began to suspect that my 2013 Model B might be sort of a Model T in the Rasp Pi world. It might not be up to the computing task. And finally, as I poked around the internet, I began to conclude that the Raspberry Pi software for SDR is not quite done yet. All the sites seemed to have the word "experimental" in there. And lots of "I'm pulling my hair out" comments Maybe I'm wrong, but maybe we just need to give this more time. Let me ask the distinguished group some questions: Is my Model B really useless for SDR purposes, even if I don't need all the bells and whistles? Is there an SDR program that can be easily placed in a Raspberry Pi by someone who has NOT mastered the mysteries of Linux? For now, I have cleared the raspberries from the bench and am back to working on HDR stuff.
In response to popular demand, "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" is now available as an e-book for Amazon's Kindle.
Here's the site:
For the print version:
For shipping from a printer in the U.S. (probably better for N. American buyers) Click here: SolderSmoke USA Version
For shipping from a printer in the UK, Spain, or the USA (probably better for UK and other European buyers)
Click here: SolderSmoke EU Version
The two versions are identical, except for a minor difference in the paper used. That's why the prices are a bit different.
Bill's OTHER Book (Warning: Not About Radio)
Click on the image to learn more
W4HBK's QRSS Grabber: The Amazing Pensacola Snapper (Live!)