Getting started with RTL2832 USB SDR receiver in Linux: PC or Raspberry Pi

adduser $(whoami) plugdev

apt install gqrx-sdr rtl-sdr

The above gets you running quickly with your RTL-SDR on Linux. For more advanced options, see sections below.


MATLAB has RTL-SDR support

GNU Radio

apt install gnuradio

Test RTL2832 PLL Frequency range

rtl_test -t

Output should be like:

Found 1 device(s): 0: ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle Using device 0: ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle Found Elonics E4000 tuner Supported gain values (18): -1.0 1.5 4.0 6.5 9.0 11.5 14.0 16.5 19.0 21.5 24.0 29.0 34.0 42.0 43.0 45.0 47.0 49.0 Benchmarking E4000 PLL… E4K PLL not locked for 53000000 Hz! E4K PLL not locked for 2217000000 Hz! E4K PLL not locked for 1109000000 Hz! E4K PLL not locked for 1248000000 Hz! E4K range: 54 to 2216 MHz E4K L-band gap: 1109 to 1248 MHz

Record RTL-2832 SDR passband to disk for future playback/processing

Note, this is the entire passband e.g. 2 MHz bandwidth, not just the demodulated audio. Example command:

rtl_sdr /tmp/cap.bin -s 1.8e6 -f 90.1e6

Press Ctrl+C to stop recording after several seconds so that your hard drive doesn’t fill up. You can read the cap.bin file in MATLAB or GNU Radio.

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