Gqrx with RTL-SDR and UHD support

FM on FO-29Support for RTL2832U-based DVB-T dongles and USRP devices from Ettus Research is now available in the Gqrx source code repository.

Support for RTL2832U-based DVB-T devices is available via the rtl-sdr and gr-osmosdr libraries. This also provides support for Ettus Research USRP’s if the gr-uhd package has been installed prior to compiling gr-osmosdr. A complete build from scratch that would support all hardware devices would thus include the following steps:

  1. Install UHD
  2. Install GNU Radio with gr-uhd and gr-fcd
  3. Install the Osmo SDR driver library (if you have an Osmo SDR)
  4. Install the RTL-SDR driver library
  5. Install gr-osmosdr
  6. Compile Gqrx SDR

Be sure to test your devices using the test applications included in the respective driver packages:

  • For RTL2832U devices use rtl_test
  • For Funcube Dongle use fcd_nfm_rx (or the GNU Radio Companion flow graph)
  • For UHD devices use uhd_usrp_probe or uhd_fft

The video below shows reception of FM broadcast using an RTL-SDR dongle and the Funcube Dongle

Watch video on YouTube.

Please note that this is still very much a work in progress and only recommended for people who know their way around linux, compilers and building software from source. Don’t expect a finished and fine polished product with comprehensive documentation.

What works:

  • Automatic detection of Funcube Dongle, RTL2832U, UHD and Osmo SDR devices connected to the computer.
  • Basic AM, SSB, and FM functionality at any sample rate supported by the hardware.
  • Spectrum analyser mode which disables all DSP processing (Mode → Demod Off).
  • Tested with Funcube Dongle and various RTL-SDR dongles (including rtl_tcp).

Known problems:

  • Pressing the OK button in the device configurator using the same device as before causes crash.
  • Latency can be several seconds when using RTL2832U-based dongles. If it becomes too painful, try Mode → Demod Off then back to the mode you were using.
  • Funcube Dongle will crash on systems with libusb-1.0.9 (you can use the 2.0 branch until fixed).
  • Doesn’t compile on Mac OS X (I know about this and I will fix it – sending me “fan mail” will make no positive difference).

Feedback is welcome preferably via the Gqrx SDR group. Please remember to always include details about your hardware and software setup, including versions and how you installed them.