Some time ago I bought a cheap DVB-T USB dongle from ebay. I was inspired by several stories found on the internet how to use it as a primitive SDR (software-defined radio). Somehow I didn’t get around to do anything with it, partly because most of the instruction in net were for windows based PC’s and those I found at that time for linux were command line programs.
It’s been a while since the last update. Let’s wrap this topic up by going through the final set-up for the minimum hardware (= soundmodem based) iGate.
Part 1 lists all the needed building blocks for the iGate. PC, linux/ubuntu operating system, soundmodem software, xastir software (aprs client), internet connection, 2m FM radio (only RX is needed for iGate) and an audio (stereo) cable with 3,5 stereo plugs are needed.
Part 2 shows how to configure the xastir for the connection to APRS-IS server. In this case there is no GPS, but your station location is entered as part of the station configuration. This makes sense for a fixed station, especially for an iGate.
Part 3 shows how to configure the soundmodem. When this is done it might be a good idea to test that the soundmodem works properly. This can be done with the soundmodemconfig’s Diagnostics functionality.
One way of building iGate is to connect a TNC between the receiver and PC. Since I wanted to set up a minimum hardware iGate and since I didn’t have a suitable TNC, I use a SW called soundmodem between the radio and PC’s soundcard.
Ubuntu releases 2 new versions every year, in April and October. About one and an half year ago I got fed up and decided to update only when a long term support version is released. In synaptic you can choose to get notifications only for LTS versions. Here’s the Ubuntu release timeline.