Course Description & Benefits

RTL-SDR for Telecommunications Land, Sea, Air & Space will get you going receiving the signals that are most important to you. We start off by covering all the basics such as hardware, connectors, antennas and SDR software. Then we examine the various applications depending on service type. Course includes video, text, problems, software settings, GNU Radio schematics and in-field use videos.

  • Understand the different hardware versions of the RTL, the connectors and adapters required, as well as the various antennas used in different applications.
  • Cover the different SDR software platforms that can be used with the RTL, and which platform is best for the required application
  • Examine many Land based applications such as AM, SWL, FM, TV broadcasting and Amateur Radio.
  • Examine popular Marine applications such as VHF radio, Weather, AIS, GPS, EPIRB, RDF.
  • Examine popular Air applications such as VHF AM, ADS-B, VOR.
  • Examine Space applications such as GPS, NOAA Satellite Weather, GOES16 Satellite Weather,   Inmarsat Satellite, Iridium Satellite and Astronomical Hydrogen Line 21cm.

Course Outline

Chapter 1 - Introduction

*Why the RTL-SDR is the premier Telecommunications Learning Tool
*Course Overview & Learning Objectives
*About the Instructor

Chapter 2 - RTL-SDR Hardware

*Hardware Versions
*Connectors & Adapters
*Block Diagram
*YouTube & Blog Resources

Chapter 3 - RTL-SDR Software - Apr 7th

*Airspy SDR#

Chapter 4 - RTL-SDR for Land Applications - Apr 14th

*AM Broadcasting
*SWL Short Wave Broadcasting
*FM Broadcasting
*TV Television Broadcasting
*Amateur Radio
*YouTube & Blog Resources

Chapter 5 - RTL-SDR for Marine Applications - Apr 21st

*VHF Radio
*GPS/GNSS Positioning Systems
*AIS Automatic Identification System
*EPIRB Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon
*RDF Radio Direction Finding
*YouTube & Blog Resources

Chapter 6 – RTL-SDR for Air Applications - Apr 28th

*VHF AM Radio
*ADS-B Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast
*VOR VHF Omni Range
*YouTube & Blog Resources

Chapter 7 - RTL-SDR for Space Applications - May 5th

*GPS/GNSS Positioning Systems
*NOAA Space Weather Satellite
*GOES16 Space Weather Satellite
*Inmarsat Satellite
*Iridium Satellite
*QO100 Amateur Satellite
*Hyrdrogen Line 21cm
*YouTube & Blog Resources


  • Is this course right for me?

    The instructor YouTube channel & associated Blog posts will give you an idea of the research done over the past three years on the RTL-SDR which will be reflected in this course.

  • What background do I need

    An amateur radio operator, short wave listener or telecom technician background would be ideal. There is no complicated math required, although programming knowledge in C/Python would definitely be helpful when we look at GNU Radio schematics. The course is based on a Windows 10 laptop and associated software, but all programs have their counterparts on Mac/Ubuntu/RaspberryPi OS's.

  • Do I need to buy hardware?

    You need to purchase/borrow an RTL-SDR for this course - Don't panic this is far less than the cost of your weekly Starbuck's addiction. The version depends on what type of applications you are most interested in. It is recommended to purchase at least a version 2 with metal case & tcvcxo. If you are doing space applications with an LNA, then a version 3 with biasTee to feed the LNA and E4000 tuner may be a better option.

Course Background & Equipment Requirements


*College/University Engineering Student
*Amateur Radio Operator
*Short Wave Listener
*Blue Water Sailor
*Amateur Astronomer
*Telecommunications Technician
*University/College Lab Instructor
**Basic Programming Knowledge C/Python



*Windows 10/11 Laptop or MacOS or Ubuntu22.04 or RaspberryPi4
*Downloadable Open Source Software
*RTL-SDR >=V2 depending on your application & associated antenna