Listen to cops, pilots and truckers by turning your phone into the ultimate radio

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What else can I do?

While we’ve shown two very unique things you can do with an RTL-SDR adapter, there are a host of other ways you can use such equipment including:

  • Tune into local radio: As we said before SDRTouch is compatible with the FM band used by local radio stations. Unfortunately you’ll need a piece of equipment called an upconverter if you want to tune into local AM radio stations.
  • Receive weather alerts: If you live in the U.S. or Canada, then you can use Android applications like SDRWeather, which will tune into the U.S. Government’s NOAA weather system to give you weather updates and alert you if a weather advisory takes place.
  • Listen to shortwave radio: To do this you’ll need something called an upconverter, which you can buy for about $50. An upconverter tunes frequencies below 25MHz up so you can pick them up with your RTL-SDR adapter. Below 25MHz you can pickup all sorts of stations including AM radio, other amateur radio operators, and even government radio stations.
  • Receive satellite data: You can’t do this on Android, but the RTL-SDR website has a guide on receiving NOAA satellite images using RTL-SDR and the right kind of antenna.
  • And so much more: Check out the RTL-SDR website for a list of other things people have done with their RTL-SDR devices. Bear in mind some of these things may require licenses and more technical know-how to achieve.

Feel free to let us know if you discover any interesting things we should add that people can do with their RTL-SDR adapters.

Final tips

This guide can’t cover the many things capable with RTL-SDR, as well as the many complex tools and technology that can work with this equipment. This guide opens the door to all sorts of amateur radio tools, which we highly recommend you check out if you want continue experimenting with your RTL-SDR adapter. We stress the importance of getting a proper FCC radio license if you plan on transmitting, buying more equipment, or want to learn more about how radio technology works.

Be sure to also keep an eye on the RTL-SDR website, which provides tons of news and resources, as well as more guides on what you can do with RTL-SDR. This guide focused on how to do this on Android, but there are many more things you can achieve with RTL-SDR on a PC or laptop.

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