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OpenWebRX Remote Listening at its Best

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OpenWebRX remote listening is a ton of fun. Use your browser to connect with over 200 SDR radios online from all over the world. Very easy to use. 

I have fallen in love with OpenWebRX as a source for remote SDR listening. The project was started a few years ago by a Hungarian student, András Retzler. He is a ham radio operator, HA7ILM, and now a freelance software engineer. While he was in school, he developed OpenWebRX as a thesis for his B.Sc.

His basic idea was to create a web-based front end (GUI) for the RTL-SDR.  András also developed a server-side DSP library which does the heavy lifting to tune and demodulate the receiver. Accordingly, OpenWebRX’s goal was to let anyone put their SDR receiver on a network and enable others to use it. All of his efforts were released as open source.

Over time, many other radio’s have been interfaced to OpenWebRX including HackRF, SDRPlay, AirSpy and Perseus. But perhaps the most popular radio to make use of this project is KiwiSDR. We will talk more about KiWiSDR in a future article, but for now, two things to note:

  • Some controversy erupted with the KiwiSDR use of OpenWebRX source code. Since that, an agreement has been reached to share profits and source code improvements with András and all now appears to be well.
  • Most of the receivers shared at OpenWebRX web site are KiwiSDR, which provides complete 0-30 MHz coverage.

Unlike WebSDR, OpenWebRX is more focused on general coverage rather than ham radio bands. If you are interested in hearing all the technical details behind this wonderful project András explain things in this video.

Incidentally, the system works well with lower bandwidth connections, around 200 kb/s. All of the tuning and demodulation is done on the server, which just sends display information and compressed audio.

OpenWebRX Remote Listening any time of the day

OpenWebRX remote listening is great for medium wave fans. For example, I can tune hundreds of medium wave stations in south-east Asia by selecting the receiver at Shenzhen, China near Hong Kong. Or, I can use one of the northern European receivers to do trans-Atlantic MW DX. The other day, I was able to tune in some Canadian CBC stations on clear channels from Sweden at night.

The OpenWebRX works in any browser that supports HTML5. Tons of features include waterfall and spectrum displays, variable bandwidth, noise reduction and notch filtering, manual and adjustable AGC. Especially useful is an extension which supports multiple antenna switching. Some of the users have connected the antenna switch supporting directional loop antennas.

Just go to OpenWebRX and have fun. No manual needed. Play around and you will learn quickly. Or you can watch this video demonstration to get started.

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