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RTL-SDR spectrum analyzer on the Beaglebone

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Few weeks ago I gave a talk titled Software Defined Radios for VHF, UHF and SHF at the annual Danish VHF-meeting. My plan was to present the commonly available SDR hardware and software in a non-death-by-powerpoint way, and as an extra twist I have decided to bring a demo that would motivate people to move on beyond installing sdrsharp on a wintendo PC. I wanted to show people that with the availability of cheap SDR devices like the RTL2832U-based DVB-T dongles (aka. rtl-sdr) and affordable embedded computing devices like the Beaglebone, awesome things can be done even on a hobbyist budget.
 
The demo was to be an rtl-sdr based spectrum analyzer running on a Beaglebone and to prove my point I didn't start until 3 days before the talk. Thus, I had two evenings and one full day to create the spectrum analyzer and to prepare my talk. I knew it could be done since I already had librtlsdr compiled and running the Beaglebone – all I had to do was some FFT and a simple GUI.

 

 

 

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Been talking to ( and helping some ) a guy in #beagle that has been running RTL-SDR, and GNURadio on his bbb. Which both sound like very cool use cases to at the very least toy around with. I would love to toy around with these myself eventually.

 

Maybe even make some FM testing tools from them if possible. Since wulf is a Radio station engineer.

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