|A bargain on AliExpress|
Initially I used Gqrx on my Mac to communicate with the RTL-SDR, but eventually I had to resort to SDR# on Windows 7, as it has a bit more features. I have the impression that most radio (and ham-stuff) is made for Windows rather than Mac or Linux.
|Apparently not much activity on 10m, but JT65 lurks there in the noise|
|A few JT65 signals in the WSJT-X waterfall|
|Receiving JT65 in WSJT-X|
However, after a bit of tweaking with the audio levels in SDR# and WSJT-X, I was able to receive some JT65 messages. It was incredibly fun to receive signals from Spain, Russia, South Africa and Brazil (among others) on this 11$ stick and my home-made dipole antenna. (Now I finally understand what the amateur radio people are so intrigued about.)
|Received JT65 on 10 m from ZS6KMD in South Africa (9715km)|
|JT65 on 10m from PY2RED in Brazil (10550km)|
Obviously, there are some improvements that can be done with the RTL-SDR to help HF reception. A FM-broadcast bandpass filter would eliminate the interference from the strong FM broadcast transmiters. As I am mainly interested in HF, and do not care about the performance above 30MHz, a simple low-pass filter at 30MHz will probably also do the trick. Better shielding and filtering on USB can also help. Many folks are also using an upconverter, for example the Ham-it-up, which is undoubtedly the way to go to improve HF sensitivity.
Although I might try to improve HF reception on the RTL-SDR later, I will rather go building a Softrock RXTX SDR Tranceiver. The said kit is already on my workbench, and the soldering iron is hot. More to come...