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Communications Input Devices

Software-Defined Radio For $11 171

Malvineous writes "Don't have $1500 to drop on a USRP? A Linux kernel developer has discovered that a Realtek digital TV tuner chip has an undocumented mode that turns it into a software-defined radio, with a frequency range of 64-1700MHz. The going rate for one of these USB devices can be as low as US$11. If you're unfamiliar with software-defined radio and have 20 minutes to spare, Balint Seeber has a great video introduction."
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Software-Defined Radio For $11

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  • Too long (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebcdic ( 39948 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @03:31PM (#39535929)

    I'm unfamiliar with software-defined radio, and I don't want to spent 20 minutes watching a video. I hate this trend of using a video for something that could be explained in text that I could read in a fraction of the time.

  • Not Searchable. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by solios ( 53048 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @03:45PM (#39536037) Homepage

    Time isn't the issue for me. The issue for me is the fact that video "tutorials" feature voices that frequently grate on my nerves. Worse, the video tutorial cannot be quickly searched for the relevant information.

    Seriously. I can find out if a text tutorial is relevant to the issue at hand in seconds. With video tutorials, I've typically closed the tab before the "host" finishes talking about how great he is, how great the software is, and what the tutorial is going to cover.

  • Re:better get (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 31, 2012 @03:48PM (#39536051)

    Don't be a retard.

    It's a TV receiver, it has no transmit capability. No FCC license is required to receive (almost) anything with a Class 15 device, which these are. The exception would be cellular telephony, but AFAIK there is no FCC license permitting eavesdropping on those -- you're either the (licensed) carrier who's actually handling the call, or you can't listen.

    If you add a transmitter, well, the fact that you're listening via TV dongle obviously doesn't eliminate the licensing and equipment requirements for whatever radio service you're operating in, so a warning specific to this case is unneeded. Anyone "freebanding" or otherwise operating illegally probably knows exactly what they're doing, and if they don't care about what the law says, I very much doubt they care what you say either.

  • Re:Too long (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Auroch ( 1403671 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @04:03PM (#39536157)
    Actually, I think the point the OP was trying to make was something like ... "Why not just explain it in a sentence or two IN THE F*SKING ARTICLE instead of linking a video or an external source".
  • Re:Too long (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @05:20PM (#39536647) Homepage Journal

    Sorry but why complain because someone didn't know you knew what software radio was? This is Slashdot News For Nerds not CNN. If someone posted a story about AMD would you complain that they didn't include a wikipedia link to AMD?
    I just don't think that it is outside of reason to expect someone reading slashdot to google something they do not understand.

  • Slashdot (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Higgins_Boson ( 2569429 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @05:42PM (#39536761)
    Has become a haven for cowards who think that "I disagree" and "troll" are the same thing.

    This site has gone so far down hill that it's now underground and slowly suffocating to death.

    Let it die off already... especially if this is how it is allowed to run.
  • Re:Too long (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrVomact ( 726065 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @06:25PM (#39536995) Journal

    I'm unfamiliar with software-defined radio, and I don't want to spent 20 minutes watching a video. I hate this trend of using a video for something that could be explained in text that I could read in a fraction of the time.

    Amen, brother. I figured that my aversion to video "tutorials" or "reviews" or whatever was just cranky old me being out of touch with the rest of the world again, so I wasn't going to say anything. But yeah, I am very sick of people talking and mugging for the camera instead of just writing a couple of clear concise paragraphs. The written word is random access. I can quickly skim a few paragraphs to see if this is what I'm looking for, I can read a lot faster than some fool can talk, and I if I just need one particular piece of information I can find it much more quickly in a written document than a video. I reserve particular disgust for people who try to demonstrate complex procedures, but have no idea about lighting or camera angle, so that the critical stuff is always done either in murky darkness or hidden behind the guy's hand.

    Videos suck time. You have to sit in front of the monitor and watch while some guy natters on about whatever the subject is. Even if the video truly contains important reference information, you can't just watch it once, then later quickly go back to the critical part that you forgot. You have to try to find the right place to start playing the video. Again. You can't search a video for key-words. You can't print a video for later reference, or print a page to give to a friend who has a similar problem, and needs just a bit of key information. You can just send him the link, and invite him to waste his time.

    What I truly fear is that the trend to videos is just another sign of cultural degeneration: it is part of the decline of literacy, of regard for the written word, and of the analytical thought that is possible only by means of the written word. So I don't look for a reversal of this trend any time soon. It's just going to get worse, along with everything else.

  • Re:Too long (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ChrisMaple ( 607946 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @08:34PM (#39537755)
    SDR makes possible "brick wall" filters that aren't practical with analog circuits, and that are more stable over temperature and time than is possible with analog circuits. Software doesn't drift. Physical inductors have limited "Q", crystals and mechanical resonators have "spurs", and so forth and do on.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre