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Author Topic: SDR software with widest waterfall display width?  (Read 8966 times)
G7MRV
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« on: February 10, 2014, 10:35:49 AM »

Im awaiting delivery of my DVB-T dongle, but am interested in which software out there to drive it can give me the widest waterfall display range? Are they all just able to show the IF bandwidth, or is there one that can display a wide spectrum plot of several MHz or more?

Im interested really in the possibility of using this for UHF airband monitoring, where seeing a large swathe of the band will allow much easier finding of the brief transmissions
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 02:34:35 PM »

Im awaiting delivery of my DVB-T dongle, but am interested in which software out there to drive it can give me the widest waterfall display range? Are they all just able to show the IF bandwidth, or is there one that can display a wide spectrum plot of several MHz or more?

Im interested really in the possibility of using this for UHF airband monitoring, where seeing a large swathe of the band will allow much easier finding of the brief transmissions

If you are taking the IF from a normal analog radio you will be limited by both the radio's design and the bandwidth of your sound input device (typically 44.1 KHz to 192 KHz for really fancy sound cards) but there are several receiver designs that use direct digital conversion of many MHz of spectrum.  So you need a dedicated SDR for that kind of bandwidth.
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G7MRV
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 11:57:27 PM »

Im awaiting delivery of my DVB-T dongle,

Its a RTL2832U / R820 SDR DVB-T USB receiver
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N0IU
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 03:55:59 AM »

I believe the bandwidth is dependent on the device, not the software. Those dongles have a bandwidth of about 3.2Mhz
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G7MRV
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 04:04:37 AM »

OK, that would be usable,

Im a bit confused though, how can the device have a bandwidth of just over 3MHz, when a DVB-T signal is 8MHz wide? (I know this, as Im currently controlling the radiating of about 300 DVB-T signals!) Huh
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G7MRV
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 04:09:06 AM »

Ah! Ignor my last question! I was only thinking about the channel bandwidth of the transmisison. Ive just been told the USB port bandwidth is 3.2MHz, so the limitation is in the data transfer rate. That makes sense.
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N0IU
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 04:43:02 AM »

I am very much an SDR noobie, but I have found a lot of great information at the SDRSharp Yahoo group.
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VE3TMT
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 07:35:33 PM »

I use both SDR# and HDSDR, both for different reasons. SDR# is great for monitoring, scanning etc while I like HDSDR better for sampling my HF radio's IF for use as a panadapter.

What you will see on the screen is very dependant of your sound cards capabilities. If you have a sound card that will sample at 192 KHz you're all set. I use a Soundblaster Fatal1ty Champion card @ 192 KHz and can almost see 3 MHz of bandwith onthe monitor, but 300 KHz at a timeis more than enough.

Good luck,
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ZL2MC
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2014, 12:01:01 PM »

WinRadio Excalibur shows a real-time spectrum of everything from VLF to 30MHz+, then you can click on a portion and show it in another spectrum down to the single signal.

Not that I have one! Still using a much older G303e which can be set to scan the whole VLF to 30MHz and display the results but it's not in real time.

Anything that takes it's signal through the soundcard will only display 196kHz wide maximum.
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K9AQ
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 05:46:56 PM »

If he is going to use a DVB-T dongle, the sound card isn't used.  The width of the waterfall therefore does not have any thing to do with the width of the waterfall.  I am using the DVB-T dongle with an upconverter for my panadapter. I use HDSDRsoftware and I can view about 2.4 mhz.

Don
K9AQ
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G7MRV
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 10:54:28 PM »

so, my waterfall bandwidth limit is going to be of the 2 1/2 MHz region. Ok, thats not too bad. But it does fall quite short of the 160MHz or so needed to fully cover the UHF air-band!  Cheesy

I wonder if there is any way to implement a scanning regimen that smoothly scans in steps equal to the displayed bandwidth? Perhaps displaying each scanned 'channel' as its own snapshot of waterfall, so that a full waterfall of the whole desired band can be built up on screen?

I know this would mean multiple strips of waterfall display, but if the scan rate was fast enough, and the waterfall scroll rate slow enough, a good swathe of the band could be displayed at one I would have thought,

sadly, im no programmer (I gave up when 16bit address, 8bit data became obsolete!) so its not something I myself could ever implement
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N4OI
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 05:10:58 AM »

This may be slightly shifting the topic, but am I the only one who does not have the need for a panadapter width more then 60Kc or so?  My operating environment is HF CW, with Extra privileges, so 60Kc provides a full view of the CW sub-bands all the way up through the SKCC and FISTS regions. 

My K3/P3 combo has a bandwidth capacity of 200Kc, which I tested, and it works, but when operating, I find I have no need for anything greater than 60Kc...  Am I missing something here, or is the need for more bandwidth only important with other modes and bands such as SSB or VHF? 

73
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VE3TMT
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 11:33:45 AM »

If he is going to use a DVB-T dongle, the sound card isn't used.  The width of the waterfall therefore does not have any thing to do with the width of the waterfall.  I am using the DVB-T dongle with an upconverter for my panadapter. I use HDSDRsoftware and I can view about 2.4 mhz.

Don
K9AQ

I thought the bandwidth in HDSDR was dependent on the sound card sampling rate. I may be mistaken. I do get much better results with the Soundblaster card than I do with the onboard audio.
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G7MRV
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 12:52:53 PM »

This may be slightly shifting the topic, but am I the only one who does not have the need for a panadapter width more then 60Kc or so?  My operating environment is HF CW,

73

It entirely depends on what the person is attempting to receive. When operating WSPR or PSk for instance, I dont need very many kHz at all, but my normal transceivers do that,

In my particular case here, my interest is in monitoring UHF airband comms, which is an awfully big band to try and cover, with average transmissions lasting no more than a few seconds. I need to be able to 'see' a very wide chunk of the band to be able to spot active frequencies quickly.
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G7MRV
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 12:54:31 PM »

If he is going to use a DVB-T dongle, the sound card isn't used.  The width of the waterfall therefore does not have any thing to do with the width of the waterfall.  I am using the DVB-T dongle with an upconverter for my panadapter. I use HDSDRsoftware and I can view about 2.4 mhz.

Don
K9AQ

I thought the bandwidth in HDSDR was dependent on the sound card sampling rate. I may be mistaken. I do get much better results with the Soundblaster card than I do with the onboard audio.

But no one is talking about using a soundcard! This is a USB DVB-T tuner. The bandwidth of any soundcard is irrelevant as no sound card is used.
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