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totaly new to SDR - little help?


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Hello all

 I just have a basic question about what SDR device to buy, i really like what ive read about these gizmos and really want to mess with one. But all ive read makes me want one more and more but i cant find a radio that says it works in the USA. Im looking on Ebay and ide like to get one thats round 10-20 bucks.  Found on another place that  this one  --     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0129EBDS2?psc=1                  -- but i found the same on eon Ebay for 22 bucks and it does not state the region.  I allso found one that has some kind of add on box that you build yourself, i like to solder and am proficient in it, so that actualy sounds fun to me, but is that worth it ??  ---         http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-100KHz-1-7GHz-full-band-software-radio-HF-FM-AM-RTL-SDR-Receiver-kit/272186930027?_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D38530%26meid%3Da06b0a7e26264ba38917a3cb2774dbbd%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26                   ----    im just trying to decide that to buy. i just want to make sure i get something i can Use for sure. Any info and help would be great.   The first one from amazon that people are saying is very good i checked the peoples account that have reviewed it and some are from china and areas like that but all so some are from the USA, so i take it that it works in the USA? im just like kinda DAAA about the subject matter here, but yes The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                    thank you all !!

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I would get the RTL you had in the link. The ebay posting didn't provide any info about what chipset, osculator tolerance, or max bandwith. Never seen that one befor either lol.

If you're just starting out go with that RTL. That one in particular as a 1PPM TXCO (Temp Compensated Crystal Osculator) which means it has a tigher tuning tolerance. You can do more fun stuff like liston to Satellite communications with less of the struggle. :D

Also, regions doesn't mean anything in SDR, it will work as well in China as it would in the US. SDR works with the raw frequencys amplitude as interpreted via the SDR device. Modulation (AM,FM), some tuning, filters, and or channels (if you're working with a known chanel set) are all handled in software. Basically it gives you the 3 primary colors, its up to you to make it a painting. 

Edited by NotPike
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so really ,,, maybe i should just get one of those cheepies for like 5-8 bucks to see if really im even going to get in to this stuff?  ide like to check this stuff out  but dont really want to drop 30 bucks on it to find out ..maaa this isnt for me type thing.   Whats your idea on that ? something like this one  ---  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-DVB-T-USB-TV-FM-DAB-Radio-Tuner-SDR-Receiver-Stick-RTL2832U-R820T-New/121518471364?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D2220071%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D40807%26meid%3Dadbd41a6b8d04558a30ad90717774661%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D6%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D171749696878      ---    I need one that runs with Windows 8

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You can still do some fun stuff with that last RTL you posted. It has the same chipset as the RTL with the TCXO but the osculator isn't as nice. 

Personally I would get the one with the TCXO because their more forgiving to work with. You can tune it by adjusting for the frequency offset but I prefer one less thing to fight. Also if you decided to do more low power small bandwith monitoring (GPS for example) you would have a hard time with the cheaper RTL.

If you're running windows I would recomend getting Virtuabox and download both Kali with the SDR meta package and GNU Radio Live. They both come with a lot of usefull tools.

https://www.kali.org/news/kali-linux-metapackages/

 http://gnuradio.org/redmine/projects/gnuradio/wiki/GNURadioLiveDVD

Also I would recommend watching these to learn more about SDR. Alot of the examples you can do with the RTL.

https://greatscottgadgets.com/sdr/

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1 minute ago, NotPike said:

If you're running windows I would recomend getting Virtuabox and download both Kali with the SDR meta package and GNU Radio Live. They both come with a lot of usefull tools.

 

by that do you mean run Linux in Virtual box ??  i do have a second HDD that i dual boot linux mint on.

1 minute ago, NotPike said:

 

 

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5 hours ago, the great potato said:

 

by that do you mean run Linux in Virtual box ??  i do have a second HDD that i dual boot linux mint on.

 

Cool! Yah run it in mint and learn how all the tools. SDR works better on bear metal anyway. Although if you have any trouble playing with the software both Kali and the live boot have SDR tools/drivers pre installed.

You shouldn't have too much trouble getting an adapter and making your old antennas work. Might experience a little bit of signal loss (Adapters, and long cables cause signal) but they should work. 

Edited by NotPike
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