Building Inexpensive Software Defined Radio System

  • CERT Admin
  • Wed Jun 22 2016
  • Cyber Guardian Blog


Software-defined radio (SDR) is a technique for turning a computer into a radio. But not just an AM/FM radio by using the computing power on your desktop you can listen and decode a wide variety of broadcasts. SDR can turn your computer into a weather-band receiver, a police/fire report scanner, a music listening station, and more! Instead of manually tuning inductors, its all done in software by chips fast enough to pick up and decode radio waves on the fly

To build inexpensive SDR system, we need following items:

1. RTL2832U Chipset and R820T tuner based Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial (DVBT) Tuner.
You can buy DVBT Tuner from eBay around 10 USD. 

 2. SDR Sharp (SDR#) Software 

Once you have properly configured those to hardware and software modules, you can use a computer (with Windows, Mac, or Linux) to tune into: FM Radio, AM signals (but not AM radio), CW (morse code!), unencrypted radio signals (such as those used by many police and fire departments), POCSAG pagers, and more.

Step by step configuration details:

Priyankara Perera

Priyankara is an Associate Information Security Engineer at Sri Lanka CERT|CC

Last updated: Wed Jun 22 2016