Free Software + $20 USB Dongle = Software Defined Radio

Hak5

Free Software + $20 USB Dongle = Software Defined Radio

Software Defined Radio the Snubsie way! Shannon discovers how much fun a $20 radio dongle and open source software can be. Plus, Darren meets with J0hnny Long at Shmoocon 2014 to learn about a rugged Pi based education system from Hackers for Charity.

SDR (Software Defined Radio) Today I'm going to be taking a look at SDR (software defined radio) and a Windows application that will let you receive data with a simple setup.
What is SDR? Software Defined Radio is a radio communication system that takes what you'd usually find in hardware and implements it in a software application on a PC. A PC would have to be equipped with a sound card, or analog-to-digital convertor, and some kind of RF front end. Signal processing is done via the processor. Airwaves are analog, and PC's are digital, so this SDR Dongle is my RF Frontend that is converting the airwaves for my software to make sense of.
This can be used as an AM / FM radio, a police scanner, air traffic control listener, etc. You're basically packet sniffing with radio! And you don't need license bc it doesn't transmit, it only receives. So tada! Now you have your own little SDR setup with less than $25 instead of a crazy hardware product that can only do AM and FM.
Setup your Software on Windows: Use SDR# (SDR SHARP). Download the Automated Install. Open the program. Choose your DVB-T SDR Dongle once it's plugged into your PC, and play with the frequencies!!
This is pretty cool, but it's only one of the many ways to check out software defined radio.