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Surfin’: Get On the Air with SDR

04/27/2012

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ gets its feet wet with SDR by means of a bevy of online SDR receivers.

On the Software-Defined Radio (SDR) front, Tad Cook, K7RA, mentioned PA3FWM’s WebSDR in the K7RA Solar Update on April 13 and I mentioned it here back in June 2008. It is worth repeating because it is a very valuable online resource and it has expanded greatly since my mention four years ago.

WebSDR is an online SDR receiver that allows many users to listen and tune it simultaneously. SDR technology makes it possible for each user to tune independently, and thus listen to different signals; this is in contrast to the many classical receivers that are already online.

Pieter-Tjerk de Boer, PA3FWM, first conceived WebSDR as a means to make the 25 meter radio telescope at Dwingeloo, The Netherlands, available to many radio amateurs for EME reception. In order to test a preliminary version of the software without using the 25 meter dish, a shortwave WebSDR was set up on Christmas Eve 2007 at the radio club of the University of Twente.

After further development, its existence was publicly announced in April 2008. Interest for the project has been great since then, and many amateurs worldwide have set up their own WebSDR server. The WebSDR website lists 34 WebSDR servers located all over the world.

As Woody Woodward, K3VSA, remarked to me, “For those of us who are curious about SDR, here’s a way to get an introduction to it without having to invest anything more than your time.”

Yes, indeed!

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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