This summer I was looking for a cheap Android Tablet in order to replace a dead TomTom Go730 GPS navigator, that suddenly decided to dead and being close to go in holiday I decided to investÂ money into a more versatile device that could be used as a gps navigator but even in other ways.
The final choice went to the Google Nexus 7 (first series) and to SygicApp as navitator App. Holidays are ended and i can say has been a good choice.
But that’s not the main topic of this post, as you can read from the title….
Well, to be honest, the idea to purchase an Android Tablet came in my mind some months ago, playing with the RTL SDR dongles on the PC. You can read some more posts on this blog about RTL SDR
On the Android markets, moreover as you know there are many Ham Radio Apps, that somentime those apps are not present on the Apple App Store.
Being an happy Apple iPhone 5 owner, I was curious to test the SDR Apps that for their particular nature, will never be present on a IOS device. Infact the app that I bought inte Google Play store, SDR Touch 1.6 need ad additional custom driver app to be executed before, that allow the app to interface RTL SDR dongles. (Cannot immagine Apple to approve similar apps in their app store…)
App is not free by the way, but the few euros spent will convince Martin Marinov the app developer, to implement new features.
Well, first of all you need a USB2Go / OTG cable to connect microUSB adapter to the RTL SDR USB Dongle.
You will need also a new generation tablet, capable to support CPU requirements, and the Google Nexus 7 does the job.
Secondly keep in ming that antenna and location is all in radio signal reception.
I’m using a small VHF antenna bought at ham-fests with SMA connector. If you run all the tools from a Bunker-Like office like the one where I work, well receiving signals is a rare case, but if you keep the antenna outoor or you are close to windows will be enought.
About the Receiver
Well to be honest, my Baofeng UV3R outperform in all bands this SDR receiver in selectivity and sensivity, and saying this I think no other words will be needed. The good is that it has a very wide frequency coverage 24 â€“ 1766 MHz, and that hopefully some scanning features will be enabled on the App.
It’s at his first releases, and offer basic functionalities. I’m using at time writing, version 1.6. It lacks according to me of some scanning features, and a better improvement of Gain. I tipically use in auto mode. Tuning is not always easy to be done since with my big fingers, not always is easy to select the proper screen area to move the frequency up and down.
About ptice, 7 euro is a bit expensive, but is the only App in the market.
- Google Nexus 7 – 250 euro aprox.
- RTL SDR Dongle + adapters – 20 euro
- USB2GO OTG adapter 2 Euro
- VHF Antenna – 15 euro
- SDR Touch – 7.5 euro
Of course if you are looking for a scanner, this is not convient at all, but if you want to play with SDR and you already own an Android device, or you need an Android Tablet, with 40 euro you can add a wide freqency receiver to your apps.
More to come about Android and Ham Radio… want to share with you the apps I’ve downloaded from the store for my ham radio activities…Feel free to add a comment below if you want to discuss about RTL-SDR, will be pleased to answer you.