GQRX is a quick way to use RTL-SDR receivers on Linux:
adduser $(whoami) plugdev apt install gqrx-sdr rtl-sdr
You can also download the latest release of GQRX directly.
Example RTL-SDR usage
Test RTL2832 PLL Frequency range
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 ~ 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, Python or GNU Radio.
Non-GQRX easy ways to use RTL-SDR
There are many more ways to use RTL-SDR on an embedded system or laptop, here are some of the more popular ways.
MATLAB has RTL-SDR support with several examples and a free eBook. Matlab also supports USRP and PLUTO SDR hardware among others.
Python has numerous methods to access RTL-SDR hardware
GNU Radio (perhaps start with GNU Radio Companion graphical SDR IDE)
apt install gnuradio
pyrtlsdr module which is a pure Python wrapper for
librtlsdrand less bulky than GNU Radio.