Turn your Mac into a radio scanner for $15.


Hello and welcome to another episode of the
iBookGuy. It is my job to show you cool things that you can do with your Mac. And I have
something really unusual and interesting for you today. I want to show you this little
guy. Its a USB dongle that you can buy on ebay for about $15. Comes with this little
antenna here. So, the purpose of these is for watching television. But these aren’t
designed for American television standards, they’re actually designed for European, I
believe. But we’re not going to use them for watching television, there is something else
you can do with them, which I’m going to show you. OK, so just plug in this thing and go
online and download a program called GQRX. This is a software defined radio. You can
type in any frequency you want to listen to. Lets try listening to FM radio. A popular
station in the Dallas area is Mix 102.9. It comes in quite clearly. “exclusively at Kroger.
1 0 2 9 NOW one station” But what about some less obvious things. How about C.B. radio
on channel 19? I can tune my scanner to 27.185 Mhz and hit the transmit button. “testing,
testing, 1, 2, 3.” What about using a GMRS or amateur radio? I can key in a frequency
on my radio and put in the same frequency on my scanner and talk away. “this is a test
of iBookGuy broadcasting system. Thank you for listening.” What if I want to listen to
NOAA weather radio? “highs in the mid 70’s. South winds 5 to 10 miles an hour becoming
North” I can also listen to the Arlington Police Dispatch. “OK FD squad 2 just drove
off. 10-4” Here’s one you might not have thought of. What does my chevy keyfob sound like?
What about my Nissan keyfob? Notice that it transmits on two frequencies at the same time.
Here are some other thoughts of things to listen to. Fire Department, Airplanes, Marine
VHF, and business radios. So yeah, there are an endless number of things that you can listen
to with this. One of the things that you’ll find out when you start just kind of randomly
looking through the radio spectrum is you will be amazed at how many frequencies are
actually in use all of the time, all around you. I mean, you can’t see it, you can’t hear
it, you don’t even typically have devices that can receive it, but the airwaves are
actually quite crowded. Most of the signals are digital signals so you’re just going to
hear weird noises and stuff. Um, but there’s a lot of analog stuff out there you can listen
to. So anyway, I hope that you might find some kind of useful entertainment out of this
device. I mean it’s $15, about the cost of getting a pizza. So it’s not a whole lot to
spend. I would point out when you go to buy one of these, just look on ebay and type in
something like S.D.R. for software defined radio. You’re most likely going to find some
of these things already being advertised for that purpose so you’ll know you’re getting
the right one. And of course, it goes without saying, these things work on Windows computers
as well. In fact, it was hard for me to find some software to show you that works on the
Macs. So if you have a windows machine you actually have even a wider selection of different
software that you can use for your software defined radio. And if you liked the episode,
please go ahead and click like, that’s how I know I’m doing a good job. And consider
subscribing if you haven’t already. And until, next time. See you later!