Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Back to the future

Almost eight years have passed since experimenting with Software Defined Radio (SDR) was my main interest. I'd invest some time on my first (and so far my last) web page and it worth it. My experiment to hack a very common and cheap video acquisition card for PC based on the chip BT878A was a shock for the gnuradio community. Since then, the only way to approach to 1M samples/second was to spend some money in a pseudo professional PCI card. I got feedback from amateurs from around the world (and I still receive it) and this tool was a way to begin the exploration of the amazing world of SDR with a budget.
Since then, nothing has moved on my side about that. Like many other things my focus moved elsewhere and this hobbie became just a nice reminder that I could have fun surrounded by electronics and playing to be a mad scientist.
But recently, my old friend brought to my attention a recent shock. Another hack happened and this one is awesome. A USB TDT (Terrestrial Digital TV) chip receiver has been used to plug up to 3.2M samples/second into gnuradio. The RTL2831U is cheap and widely available and it promises hours of fun for old SDR enthusiast and the birth of need tools to break hard barriers: GSM, TETRA, who knows? New tools... for everyone.
The King is dead. Long life the King!

Note: I've decided to bury my old work with SDR and leave my main web page just for current projects. For future reference:
Analog to Digital Converter with 16 bits and 448000 Samples per second based in the Bt878A (English)
Convertidor Analógico Digital de 16 bits y 448000 muestras por segundo basado en el Bt878A (Spanish)
btaudio.c module modification to get 896000 Samples per second with the Bt878A ADC (English)
Modificación del modulo btaudio.c para la obtención de 896000 muestras por segundo con el ADC del Bt878A (Spanish)
My First Software Defined Radio (SDR) Receiver (English)
Mi primer Receptor "Software Defined Radio" (SDR) (Spanish)
ALSA support for the Bt878a and Fedora Core 4 (English)
Soporte ALSA para el Bt878a y Fedora Core 4 (Spanish)
Interface the ICOM R7000 10.7 MHz IF output to the Bt878a ADC (English)
Conexión salida IF 10,7 Mhz del receptor ICOM R7000 al ADC Bt878a (Spanish)


  1. hey buddy. I have the RTL2831U chipset USB TV, and I know that most of the mainstream SDR softwares only like the RTL2832/u series dongles but I am having issues trying to get any of them to see mine. I've tried Zadig to set it as a USB device and tried pretty much all the SDR software out there but just can't get it to work. I was hoping i could find a .dll for it so I could play with's software cause it seems pretty straight forward. please any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Hey rumjar86, have you found such dll? Searching for that too!

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