First, if you plan on participating, please bring a Windows laptop (Win 7 or later, 32/64 bit) with at least 4 GB of RAM and an Intel i3 or higher-rated processor. Atom-based laptops may struggle to keep up. Linux and Mac OS laptops can work great for SDR, but we'll be focusing on Windows-based tools as they are the easiest for the newcomer to get started. If you bring a Mac or Linux laptop, we'll be happy to discuss some of the SDR theory but we may not be able to help with your specific software.
Second, if you already own an SDR dongle, please bring it. We will have some available to use during the workshop, available on a first come, first serve basis, but we may not have enough for everybody who is interested.
Third, we may not have internet service at the conference location, so if you can, please download the following software. We will try to have some drives available locally with the necessary installers as well.
- .NET 4.6 redistributable (required for SDR#)
- The "Windows SDR Software Package" will work for both 32- and 64-bit Windows.
- RTL1090 (ADSB)
- Virtual Radar Server (ADSB)
- PDW (Paging)
- DSD+ (P25, D-STAR, etc.)
- VBCable (Audio piping)
Please review the Quick Start Guide at rtl-sdr.com. We will go through the software setup at the workshop, but if we do not have internet service, certain pieces of the SDR# installer, such as install-rtlsdr.bat will fail as it automatically downloads certain components.
Each day will start off with a short talk introducing SDR and covering some of the basic concepts you'll need to know to get started. After that, we'll help you get the software installed and configured, and start working on some demos. We will cover the topics below, but there should be plenty of time to explore the air waves and find new signals to analyze and play with.
- Setting up and tuning your rtlsdr
- Locating and identifying signals
- Pager decoding
- ADSB decoding
- P25 voice decoding