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Mageia 9 and Software Defined Radio (SRD) using Gqrx Software

 Software Defined Radio (SRD) is a radio receiver where minimal hardware is used and most of the signal processing is done by a computer. The benefits are extremely wide frequency coverage with multiple modes of communication at very low cost.

I purchased the NESDR SMArt RTL-SDR v5 from Amazon for US$44. It's a USB dongle that ships with a USB extension cable and three small antennas. 

No software is provided but the application Gqrx is provided with Mageia 9. It does require some manual configuration for use with Mageia.  Although UBUNTU-focused, the Gqrx HOWTO is a useful starting point.

To install on Mageia 9:

1. Install gqrx and gnuradio:
$ sudo urpmi gqrx gnuradio

2. Create the group plugdev
$ sudo groupadd  plugdev

3. Add your user to the group plugdev.

4. Blacklist the default drivers  by creating the  file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-dvb.conf and edit it to include the following: blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu

5. Install the driver we want:
$ sudo urpmi rtl-sdr (It may already be installed.)

6. Create a udev rule for the device:

Create /etc/udev/rules.d/rtl-sdr.rules and edit it to include the following:
# RTL2832U OEM vid/pid, e.g. ezcap EzTV668 (E4000), Newsky TV28T (E4000/R820T) etc.

SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="0bda", ATTRS{idProduct}=="2838", ENV{ID_SOFTWARE_RADIO}="1", MODE="0660", GROUP="plugdev"

This is the rule for the purchased device described above. A full set of rules can be found at the Gqrx Github website. You would select the rula that matches your devices product and Vendor ID.

7. Connect the dongle (avoid USB3 ports) and reboot the computer.

8. Test to see if the dingle is detected and working.
$ rtl_test
Found 1 device(s):
  0:  Nooelec, NESDR SMArt v5, SN: 00000001

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U OEM
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Supported gain values (29): 0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6 
[R82XX] PLL not locked!
Sampling at 2048000 S/s.

Info: This tool will continuously read from the device, and report if
samples get lost. If you observe no further output, everything is fine.

Reading samples in async mode...
Allocating 15 zero-copy buffers

Looks good, so . . .

9. Launch the application:
$ gqrx

Refer to Practical Tricks and Tips for getting started  using the application.


rtl-sdr - Specs and Supported Hardware


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