Over the weekend I had some time to try and see if I could get the cheap DVB-T usb dongle to work as a remote SDR using the Raspberry Pi as the server, using the tools from RTL-SDR it really isn’t that hard. On the Raspberry Pi I was using the latest version of Raspbain and also had turbo mode switched on.

Installing RTL SDR Software

You’ll need to install git which is simple “sudo apt-get install git” then clone the source code repo using the information from the RTL-SDR website. Before building RTL-SDR you need to install a few packages to make it work by doing “sudo apt-get install cmake, pkg-config, libusb-1.0” then follow the build steps

  • cd rtl-sdr/
  • mkdir build
  • cd build
  • make
  • sudo make install
  • sudo ldconfig
Example of command line output seen from RTL_TCP

Once its completed and you’ve restarted the Raspberry Pi if you do “rtl_tcp -a” the IP address should be the one assigned to your Raspberry Pi so you’ll probably need to change it!  as long as you get no errors your now ready to connect to the RTL_TCP server from another application I’m going to use SDR# but they are other applications available for Linux.

SDR# is easy to use I’d recommend you download the nightly build as it has all the latest features, then its just a matter of selecting RTL-SDR / TCP and filling out the IP information to match the Raspberry Pi and clicking Play! you can now use SDR# normally.

Screenshot of the FM Broadcast band using SDR Sharp

SDR# Screenshot

Between my Desktop and Laptop I’ve been listening a lot to broadcast FM (mostly Radio 1) and Airband for Oxford London Airport and Heathrow without any issues whats so ever.

Raspberry Pi with a RTL SDR usb stick connected

Raspberry Pi with a RTL SDR usb stick connected