Lecture and Lab Presentation 08-26-2018: Measuring Return Loss with the RTL-SDR

return loss plot_cropSeveral club members and guests have asked if I can share my presentation…so here it is!

Some links you might find helpful include:

The scanning and comparison software that we installed and practiced using, RTLSDR-Scanner: https://eartoearoak.com/software/rtlsdr-scanner

The “runner up” software that can, sometimes, display spectrum graphs in real time, Spektrum: https://github.com/pavels/spektrum/releases (be sure to use version 1.2)

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Lecture and Lab 08-25-2018: What to Bring

analyzer setup IMG_20180710_142419262This Saturday’s Lecture and Lab should be a fun one: we’re going to learn about different ways to turn our RTL-SDR USB dongles into antenna analyzers. Bring yourself and your curiosity. Bring $45.00! Bring your RTL-SDR dongle. Bring your favorite ideas about what to do with the RTL-SDR. We’ll have time to talk about them. Besides all those things, you should bring:

    1. A laptop computer. A Raspberry Pi might not have the horsepower, but if you’re stubborn, you can try.
    2. You’ll save time if you download and install the software we’ll be using. We’ll start by doing things the easy way, with the RTLSDR-Scanner. The installation is very easy for Windows, but a little more involved for Mac or Ubuntu. If you have a Windows or Linux laptop, you can also install version 1.2 of Spektrum, which we’ll discuss and experiment with.
    3. Bring your RTL-SDR Dongle! We will not have any for sale. If you’d like to support the club, your could order a dongle or a dongle with small dipoles through smile.amazon.com.
    4. A 12-14V power DC power supply for your noise source. It helps if it has a variety of barrel connectors so that you can be sure of having the right one. It can be very low power; only 0.2 amps are needed.
    5. Bring an antenna to measure. You can even bring more than one. (You can bring a lawn chair to analyze! Have Fun! —KE5ICX) We’re going to have plenty of time to measure antennas, experiment with the scanning software, and share our favorite tips and tricks for the RTL-SDR.


Lecture and Lab 08-26-2017: What to Bring

We will have several extra sets of parts at the August Lecture and Lab, so don’t panic if you forgot to pre-register. What should you bring with you to the build?

At the very least, you’ll want to bring your choice of feedline connector. For many hams this will be a panel-mount SO-239, but you might prefer a panel-mount N or BNC. You’ll also need to bring some electrical tape, and possibly some coax if you want to test your antenna. A soldering iron and some solder will help you make much stronger connections.

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