Installing GNU Radio & rtl_power on Ubuntu 14 LTS

In continuation to my USB SDR post, installing GNU Radio was my first priority. GNU Radio (which I’m still very far from knowledgeable about) appears to allow my computer to recognize the USB SDR and grant me access to it. It can do much, much more, but that’s the extent of my knowledge so far.

sudo apt-get install gnuradio

This takes a while. Go get a cup of coffee.

Continue reading Installing GNU Radio & rtl_power on Ubuntu 14 LTS

My first USB SDR

It’s odd that I’m more excited about a sub-$20 USB Software Defined Radio (SDR) dongle than some of my more advanced (and pricey) radios. Ham radio and ‘home brew’ are synonymous. The idea of taking a pinch of hardware and applying a heaping portion of software to it gets me all worked up. I’ve decided to make this my ham radio goal for 2015.

Continue reading My first USB SDR

Helical Loaded Magnetic Loop Antenna

In July of 2014 I was invited by Mike, KI6OID, of the Red Cross here in the Bay Area, to help with a unique HF (low frequency) antenna build. He and I have a mutual friend, Suresh (W6KTM), who started a non-profit organization in 2007 to create what’s called Radio Mala. Their goal is to implement technological leaps in communication in India to help protect and provide relief to its population in the event of natural disasters, which the area is very prone to on what seems to be a regular basis.

Continue reading Helical Loaded Magnetic Loop Antenna