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Message ID: 15950     Entry time: Sun Mar 21 19:31:29 2021
Author: rana 
Type: Summary 
Category: Electronics 
Subject: RTL-SDR for monitoring RF noise / interference 

When we're debugging our RF system, either due to weird demod phases, or low SNR, or non-stationary noise in the PDH signals, its good to have some baseline measurements of the RF levels in the lab.

I got this cheap USB dongle (RTL-SDR.COM) that seems to be capable of this and also has a bunch of open source code on GitHub to support it. It also comes mith an SMA coax and rabbit ear antenna with a flexi-tripod.

I used CubicSDR, which has free .dmg downloads for MacOS.It would be cool to have a student write some python code (perhaps starting with RTL_Power) for this to let us hop between the diffierent RF frequencies we care about and monitor the power in a small band around them.

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