How to sniff the ether for 20$ (50-1100Mhz and 1250-2200Mhz)

1. Buy a Realtek RTL2832U with a Elonics E4000 receiver from ebay

2. Install gnuradio and its development package

3. Build RTL-SDR

4. Build latest SDR# from SVN (pre-built binaries didn’t work for me on Linux)

5. Enjoy

Optionally you can use DSD to decode P25 digital broadcasts

If you’re having troubles using RTL-SDR via USB in SDR# use the RTL-SDR / TCP module:

– launch rtl_tcp server by running ` rtl_tcp -a`

– Select RTL-SDR / TCP source in SDR#, click on configure and change the server ip address to the address of the machine rtl_tcp is running on ( should do it if you’re running both client and server on the same host)


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  1. # rtl_test -t
    Found 1 device(s):
    0: Generic RTL2832U (e.g. hama nano)

    Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U (e.g. hama nano)
    Found Elonics E4000 tuner
    Supported gain values (14): -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
    Benchmarking E4000 PLL…
    [E4K] PLL not locked for 51000000 Hz!
    [E4K] PLL not locked for 2218000000 Hz!
    [E4K] PLL not locked for 1109000000 Hz!
    [E4K] PLL not locked for 1266000000 Hz!
    E4K range: 52 to 2217 MHz
    E4K L-band gap: 1109 to 1266 MHz

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