What can RTLs do?

Lots is possible using the RTL dongles, here’s a few images of what can be done:

1. Messaging, APRS at 144.8 MHz (or 145.8 MHz for the ISS)

The images show Tx’ing via Android Phone, Rx’ing at home – getting to France, or the data packets from the International Space Station (ISS):


Tools used: gqrx > sox > direwolf (or just gqrx using the built in AFSK1200 decoder)

2. Aircraft Tracking using ADS-B at 1090 MHz

Tools used: dump1090

3. Downloading NOAA Images at 137.X MHz

Here, you see the regular image, multispectral image and thermal image. When you receive them, it looks like this:

Try from the ISS amateur radio transmitter, you may catch some astronaut postcards:


Tools used: gpredict, gqrx > sox > .wav, then wxtoImg.

4. Receiving Pagers at 153.3 MHz


Tools used: gqrx > sox > multimon (for the POCSAG decoders)

Notes it is illegal to act on these messages and have personal information on there too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s