Radio frequency visualisation with the SDRPlay

I was given the opportunity to play with the SDRPlay software radio. Radio frequency visualisation is traditionally impossible to do without expensive equipment and a fair amount of technical knowledge. As a result ut’s one of those areas that normally when faultfinding we rarely have direct visibility of.

I’d just been given a ‘dead’ remote controlled car.┬áDusted down car, changed batteries and nothing.

……so today was the day to try out the software radio. A quick check of the controller showed that the transmission frequency was 17MHz.

Installation of SDR Sharp was reasonably easy, and a quick check at 17MHz showed that the controller was transmitting something. This gave a good indication that the fault was likely to be at the car side of the radio bridge. A little disassembly showed no power to the motor that was traced back to a broken solder joint at the battery holder.

This is just one example of how the SDRPlay software radio can help simplify the fault finding process by providing an additional cost effective tool that helps to speed up location of a fault.

We now use the SDRPlay software radio for helping children to visualise what is being transmitted when building a 868MHz radio link using RPis and a USB  radio serial link.

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