Lab Outline

Week 1: RF Spectrum Visualization

  • Install the USB SDR on your laptop

  • Use GQRX or SDR# SDR programs to visualize different communications bands

  • Identify several different types of signals

Week 2: Modulation, Decimation, Filtering, and Spectrograms

  • Capture signals, and load them into matlab

  • Compute spectrograms to visualize the signals

  • Extract specific signals by modulation, filtering, and decimation

Week 3: AM Modulation

  • AM Modulation is used for air traffic control radio

  • Capture airband signals, and play them back in matlab

  • SSB AM receiver

Week 4: Narrow Band FM

  • Narrowband FM is widely used for police and fire radios, and also amateur radio

  • Capture police radio signals

  • Demodulate the FM signals, and play them back

  • Build your own police scanner

Week 5-6: Broadcast FM

  • The broadcast FM signal contains a stereo audio signal, plus many other signals

  • Week 5 we will demodulate the mono FM signal

  • Week 6 we will build a stereo receiver

  • We will also look at the digital HD radio signals, and the RDS data signal

Week 7-9: Digital Communications

  • Find digital signals in the RF spectrum, identify the modulation schemes

  • Capture APRS digital packet radio signals, and decode them. APRS is a simple amateur radio packet network (think Twitter for amateur radio).

  • Capture and decode ATS-B signals, the air traffic control radio packets that airplanes use to broadcast their ID, location, and speed.