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Playing RTL-SDR radio through VLC
Playing RTL-SDR radio through VLC
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Old 17th August 2019, 06:11 PM   #11
rpi is offline rpi  United States
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: San Francisco
phofman, the idea to use RTL-SDR with Raspberry Pi is relatively old. For example here is the tutorial from Adafruit dated by 2014:
Overview | Freq Show: Raspberry Pi RTL-SDR Scanner | Adafruit Learning System
But almost everyone was focused on a spectrum analyzer UI related to RTL-SDR. That's understandable - it looks almost like rocket science

Just remember that the usage of the RTL-SDR is not legal in some countries because besides FM radio range it can receive the signal almost in the whole radio spectrum: police, emergency/weather channels, TV etc
Radio spectrum - Wikipedia

The signal strength mostly depends on the quality of your antenna. The quality of the FM radio signal is definitely not high quality. As far as I remember for FM stations 14KHz is the high limit. Also you should expect noise if the signal is weak. Another problem which I experienced - the USB dongle becomes really hot. Despite of all these drawbacks it can be still usable in autonomous systems (without Internet access) or for lovers of the vintage systems

Stereo is the other area to investigate. I didn't try gnu radio myself but read somewhere that it's very resource (memory/CPU) hungry system. rtl_fm which I'm using takes about 20% of CPU on RPi 3, redsea takes another 11% and aplay about 20%.
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Old 17th August 2019, 06:24 PM   #12
rpi is offline rpi  United States
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: San Francisco
Another alternative option for FM radio can be this kind of modules:

You can set the frequency using I2C interface. But that's the only thing which you can do with such modules. You cannot get the output signal as these modules have on-board amplifier. That makes it difficult to use for existing system which has already DAC or Amp as you need separate speakers and volume control. But for the small dedicated system it's pretty good.
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Old 17th August 2019, 08:54 PM   #13
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Pilsen
gnu radio is written in python (complete DSP processing), whereas rtl-srd and redsea are in C.
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