SDR# Quick Start Guide

It looks like its been more than a few weeks since I actually posted something here. I’ve been busy with some personal suff.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to keep busy by getting back into radio as a hobby, and the timing for that turned out to be pretty good. There are cheap ($20) dongles that plug into USB ports that were designed to receive digital TV in Asia. Pretty useless here in the US, until some really clever people found out that they could be turned into general purpose receivers with a frequency range of approxomately 52Mhz to 2Ghz.

The best piece of software for using it this way is a windows package called SDR# by Youssef Touil. www.sdrsharp.com

It’s completely free, pretty damn fast, and getting better with each revision. And did I mention that it’s free?

I’ve gotten to know Youssef pretty good from conversations on IRC, and he’s a pretty cool guy. So when I had a chance to contribute something to the project, the code was in pretty good hands, so there wasn’t much I could do there. He has the DSP math and other parts rock solid, and there are some pretty clever people jumping in to help him with other parts of the program. So what was missing was a Quick Start guide for setting up the software. Because of some technical issues with licensing, the install had to be split up into several parts to be installed seperately. Lurking in IRC (freenode #sdrsharp), it became pretty clear that new users kept asking the same questions.

The result is two versions of the same guide. A pdf version, and a web version. Feel free to let me know of any errors or exclusions. I’ll keep the guide updated as necessary, but only when important changes are made to the program, or installation procedures change.

UPDATE: I’ve been asked by several people for translations of the pdf into other languages. If anyone is willing to contribute, I’d gladly post here with due attribution. I’ve been asked for French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Danish, and German. Of course, any language would be welcome.

Downloads Moved To The SDR Page

8/18/12 – Ver 1.2a Updated html and pdf with format and spelling corrections, and minor content changes. Cleaned up HTML. Note to self, NEVER let Office create a web page from a document! Ever!

Current SDR# version binaries as reported by the SDR# website:

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29 Responses to SDR# Quick Start Guide

  1. hazzino says:

    Hi there trying to install the SDRSharp application i’m always encountering in this problem,(RTL-SDR/USB is eithere not connected or its driver is not working properly).I tried to use the ZADIG version 157 end before nothing is working.My specs pc is a intel 7 asus MB windows7;eithere my laptop where it run an XP SP1, where i attached from the pccard the dongle TREKSTORE dvb, the chip for sure is the RTL…
    Thanks in advance for taking care.

  2. atouk says:

    Try this version http://www.sdrsharp.com/downloads/zadig.zip. Also, with win 7, remember to run it as administrator.

    edit: typo in url fixed.

  3. hazzino says:

    Thank you, but the prob persist in both pc, under unix system the dongle works ok, thinking something happend to it.
    Thanks again

  4. atouk says:

    I use XP myself, so anything I can tell you about fixing an installation issue on 7 would only be ancedotal.

    If you have an irc client, go to #sdrsharp on freenode and maybe somebody there who runs 7 can give you better first hand advice, or somebody with a possible answer can post here.

  5. Demian says:

    Hi,
    I’ve been having a terrible time trying to get SDR# to work with my USRP B100. I’m using the version with EXTIO. I used Zadig to install driver and made sure the driver files are in the same folder as SDR#. I see there is an option for USRP in the device drop down menu but EXTIO fails to make a connection to the USRP. I am able to get it to work with my RTL device. I can get the USRP to work in HDSDR but it’s very shaky and crashes. Any ideas?

  6. atouk says:

    I haven’t got a USRP myself (donations always welcome), but if you pop into #sdrsharp on freenode IRC, I’m sure there is someone there that will be able to help you. If I remember correctly, there is more than one regular there with a USRP device, and should be able to give you better answers than I can.

  7. robybenjy says:

    Hi Henry,
    I found your quick guide very useful and I translated it in the Italian text.
    I saved the work, both as pdf and as a Chrome html document.
    If you contact me at the email address, I will send you the two files so that you can see if I did a good job and if it can be published.
    Maybe you could also update the text and some images to be closer to current versions of the program before the publishing.

  8. atouk says:

    I’ll be doing a new version with updated pics within the next week or so. If you email them to me at atouk at this url (atouk.com), i’ll get what you have up, and we can worry about the next version later. Better to have something up, even if one version behind.

    I really appreciate your work doing this, and I’m sure others will, too.

  9. robybenjy says:

    Here you can download the pdf file in Italian language https://www.box.com/s/8azd3npowgss0koffq9x

    Here you can download the Chrome Web Document, even if I don’t know if it’s usable in your site because it is created from Open Office https://www.box.com/s/mhvad0z2z6upy3paocoi

  10. atouk says:

    I’ll get both of these up on the site as soon as possible. We had a little weather issues here in NJ (New Jersey, USA), and I didn’t have power for a week or so, so unless I lose power again from the 2nd storm we’re having (4 inches of we snow so far), I should be up sometime today.

    I really appreciate the work doing this. I hope others find it helpful. The newer version will be delayed a bit, But I hope you’ll be doing the translation on that one, too.

  11. OZ1DKE, Jan says:

    Saw the ‘challenge’ above. Danish translation coming up. How do I transfer it to you?
    I’m working from the HTML document as I don’t have any means of ‘breaking the PDF open’ ;-) , being a Linux user.
    If the (haven’t checked!) PDF and the HTML version are different, could you please supply me with the PDF contents in editable format?

    73 de OZ1DKE, Jan

  12. atouk says:

    Send them to atouk @ this website. If you create the document for the pdf as a word file and send it to me, I can do the conversion. Or you can use an online conversion tool such as http://convertonlinefree.com. The latter probobly the better solution so I don’t mangle it, since I don’t read Danish.

  13. Arnie W8DU says:

    I recently got a DVB-T dongle with R820T tuner from NooElec.com. I cannot for the life of me seem to get it installed properly under my Windows XP system. I tried zadig, but none of the device hints work. Can someone post a step-by-step starting with inserting the dongle into the USB port for Windows XP through settings needed in SDRSharp?
    Tnx from this newbie…73 de Arnie W8DU

  14. Jennifer Edwards -N3GPA says:

    I an not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but here goes: I would love to use the sdr# application to communicate to my transciever. Basically capture the output from the mouse click event on the “bandscope” display, then format a three character tag along with the content of the freq. variable and send it down the serial port to the radio.
    Alas i am not a C developer, i work in boreing proprietary business app dev languages. Is there a “hook” available to the app where i could capture the freq and center freq values within sdr# from another application, and perhaps even update those values, instead of keyboard/mouse input?
    Thanks, Jen

  15. atouk says:

    For specific questions and tech advice, you would probobly get better (and faster) answers from the yahoo newsgroup.

    http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/SDRSharp/

  16. Michael Van Damme says:

    QST magazine published by ARRL has an article on how to get on SDR radio and my dongle came on Friday and I’m actively listening now. It’s January 2013 p.30 called “Cheap and Easy SDR by Robert Nickels, W9RAN.

  17. Wasi says:

    I used Zadig to install the proper driver. Then ran the SDR# program. Instructions say that For the device Other should be changed to RTL-SDR / USB, but I only get RTL-SDR / TCP. I am using Windows XP on Toshiba Satellite A-70.

  18. atouk says:

    Make sure that the rtl-usb line us uncommented in sdrsharp.exe.config. Or you can use the preedited one in the /config folder in the rtlsdr nightly zip to overwrite the current one.

  19. Uli says:

    @ Wasi :
    I had the same problem when installing the SDR# files manually, but it worked by executing the “install.bat” file.

  20. Tom Westerfield says:

    I’ll chime in as another with problems with the mono part of the install script/manual procedure (I’ve tried both).

    mono complains:

    MonoDevelop Build Tool
    File ‘SDRSharp.sln’ is not a project or solution.

    I’ve no experience with mono development – any suggestions about where to statrt debugging?

  21. Tom Westerfield says:

    My brain is just starting to function this morning!

    The problem described above is on an Ubuntu 12.10 system. All the prequisites seem to be in place – the install script ran flawlessly up to that point.

  22. atouk says:

    For mono, you’re better off asking in the IRC channel. Earler versions of SDR# did work well with mono, but compatability has never been a design goal.

  23. jaltstatt says:

    For Tom Westerfield:
    This is a bug in mondevelop. It does not recognized the first line of the .sln file as valid.
    “Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 12.00″
    ^^^^^
    change 12.00 to 11.00 and it will work:
    “Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 11.00″

  24. jaltstatt says:

    For Tom Westerfield:
    This is a bug in mondevelop. It does not recognized the first line of the .sln file as valid.
    “Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 12.00″
    _____________________________________________^^^^^
    change 12.00 to 11.00 and it will work:
    “Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 11.00″

    (reposted to get the ^^^^ in the right place)

  25. ik3ery says:

    They are looking for the Plugin SDRSharp “Auto Tuner”, and can not find it
    in this zip file with the name “Release-latest.zip” of 1,046 Kb
    Help me, please link
    Sergio

  26. Fernando says:

    Help please.
    Have follow steps as per link http://www.atouk.com/SDRSharpQuickStart.html. However, there is no option to select RTL-SDR/USB form the “Front end” field. I have used Zadig, follow the instructions outlined in http://rtlsdr.org/softwarewindows to replace the USB diver, but SDR is not recognizing the generic dongle I’m using on a Dell desktop running win 7. I tried on an older IBM T-40, with xp and is working like beautifully!! So how do I get SDR to work with my Dell desktop?

  27. atouk says:

    If the USB option is missing, either uncomment it in the sdrsharp.exe.cfg file. or simply overwrite it with the copy in the /config folder in the RTLDR plugin zip.

  28. hazzino says:

    Ok after 1 year now the program works good.
    But if i wanna listen to fm frequency i do not hear any clear station even shifting with the bandwith knob.
    Any Idea

  29. atouk says:

    You shouldn’t have to play with the bandwidth for FM broadcast. Just make sure you have WFM selected, and if you want, the Stereo checkbox.

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