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 Use Utilite and RTL-SDR Dongle as RF Spectrum Analyzer 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Use Utilite and RTL-SDR Dongle as RF Spectrum Analyzer
Overview

The availability of the inexpensive RTL-SDR, USB dongles has opened up a new frontier of Open Source Radio Frequency development. One interesting application is a RF Spectrum Analyzer. Utilite combined with a RTL-SDR broadband receiver dongle and the software package, RTLSDR-Scanner, form a nice Spectrum Analyzer.

For information on using the RTL-SDR broadband receiver dongle with Utilite, see:

http://www.trimslice.com/forum/viewtopi ... =77&t=1972

Attachment:
FM Broadcast Band Sweep.png
FM Broadcast Band Sweep.png [ 140.89 KiB | Viewed 3846 times ]


Attachment:
FM Broadcast Band 3D Spectrogram.png
FM Broadcast Band 3D Spectrogram.png [ 167.51 KiB | Viewed 3839 times ]



Hardware
1. Utilite
2. RTL-SDR USB dongle
3. Antenna

Attachment:
RTLSDR_Scanner_Hardware.jpeg
RTLSDR_Scanner_Hardware.jpeg [ 24.11 KiB | Viewed 3846 times ]



Software

Required Packages
1. python
2. python-wxgtk2.8
3.python-matplotlib
4. python-numpy
5. python-imaging
6. pyserial
7. rtl-sdr
8. pyrtlsdr
9. rtlsdr-scanner


The packages python,python-wxgtk2.8,python-matplotlib,python-numpy, python-imaging, and pyserial, if not already installed on your Utilite, are available from the Ubuntu package manager. Rtl-sdr, pyrtlsdr, and rtlsdr scanner however, are not available in the package manager, so they must be downloaded and installed from source.

Software Installation

1. For rtlsdr package installation refer to:

http://www.trimslice.com/forum/viewtopi ... =77&t=1972

2. For pyrtlsdr library installation, execute the following commands in terminal:

$ sudo git clone git://github.com/roger-/pyrtlsdr.git
$ cd pyrtlsdr
$ sudo python setup.py install

Note: I executed the above commands in /usr/local/src in keeping with somewhat common source installation convention.

3. For RTLSDR Scanner,

A. Navigate to https://github.com/EarToEarOak/RTLSDR-Scanner and download the file RTLSDR-Scanner.zip. Extract the zip file in a suitable directory.

B. Navigate to the ~/RTLSDR-Scanner-master/src directory and test that all required libraries and packages are present by using the command python rtlsdr_scan_diag.py. Hopefully there are no problems and the test results look like:

Tests for missing libraries

Testing for wxPython
Testing for Numpy
Testing for matplotlib
Testing for pySerial
Testing for pyrtlsdr
No problems found

Press [Return]


C. Now try to run the RTLSDR Scanner application using the command python rtlsdr_scan.py.

if you get the error "No module named tools.list_ports" or something similar, there is a problem with your pyserial installation. You will need to upgrade pyserial. The recommended method for upgrading pyserial is to use python-pip instead of your normal package manager. Use the following command to fix the issue.

$ sudo pip install pyserial --upgrade

Now the RTLSDR Scanner application should run without issue.


Last edited by hassellbear on Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:03 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:24 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Re: Use Utilite and RTL-SDR Dongle as RF Spectrum Analyzer
Results

RTLSDR Scanner produced some nice results. Actual scans using Utilite are shown below.

Sweep of FM Broadcast Band
Attachment:
FM Broadcast Band Sweep.png
FM Broadcast Band Sweep.png [ 140.89 KiB | Viewed 3844 times ]



Sweep of 2 Meter Amateur Band
Attachment:
2M Amateur Band Sweep.png
2M Amateur Band Sweep.png [ 122.46 KiB | Viewed 3844 times ]



Sweep of Aircraft Transponder Band
Attachment:
Aircraft Transponder Band Sweep.png
Aircraft Transponder Band Sweep.png [ 133.6 KiB | Viewed 3844 times ]



Conclusions

1. Utilite in conjunction with a RTL-SDR dongle and the program RTLSDR-Scanner make a quite nice RF Spectrum Analyzer.


Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:34 am
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