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README.md

rtl-sdr

Software to use a Realtek RTL2832 based DVB dongle as an SDR receiver

Original project page: http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr

Mac OS X Build Notes

These instructions were tested on OS X 10.11 'El Capitan'

Dependencies:

  • Mac OS Developer Tools (might be able to just install gcc directly, not sure)
  • Homebrew (to install other dependencies)
  • cmake - install with brew install cmake (you can also use autotools, per the documentation)
  • libusb1.0 - install with brew install libusb

Building:

  • git clone <desired fork of code>
  • cd rtl-sdr
  • mkdir build && cd build
  • cmake ../ -DCMAKE_MACOSX_RPATH=ON
    • if this gives an error related to libusb, make sure it is installed brew install libusb
    • If you don't want binaries installed to /usr/local, you can set the install location with cmake ../ -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/path/to/wherever
  • make
  • sudo make install (or make install if you are installing to a non-privileged location)

Testing:

  • Plug in the RTL-SDR dongle
    • If desired, check using the System Information tool, most should enumerate as "RTL2832U" or similar
  • Run rtl_test and verify that it does not produce errors
  • To test demodulation, install Sox (to enable commandline audio playback)
    • brew install sox
  • rtl_fm -M wbfm -s 200000 -r 48k -f 90.9M | play -traw -r48k -es -b16 -c1 -V1 -
    • This didn't work particularly well for me; I had to use the -F 0 or -F 9 filter options, to hear anything but the strongest broadcast FM stations
    • This worked better: ./rtl_fm -M wbfm -s 256k -r 24k -f 90.1M -g 20 -F 0 | play -traw -r24k -es -b16 -c1 -V1 -
    • Generally you have to play with the bandwidth (-s option) based on the signal; for FM broadcast, something around 256k seems to work fairly well.