RTL-SDR as a Panadapter

My Yaesu FT-450D is connected to my PC via a serial to USB cable I pulled off of Amazon. I am using Ham Radio Deluxe ver to interface the Radio with the PC. So far this is working well. I like the log capability built into HRD.

What I was really hoping to pull off was to use a RTL-SDR dongle to provide panadapter/SDR like features to operating the FT-450D. What I did not want to do was open up my brand new FT-450D and tap into the IF output. That would have been the highest performance method but would have voided my warranty. So I can’t:

  1. Access my Radio’s IF output directly
  2. Use the same antenna that I am using on the FT-450D as I have no way to switch for transmit using the dongle.

What I do have is the broadband discone antenna that I plan to share between an RTL-SDR setup and with my Baofeng HT as a 2m Base station (more on that later). The discone antenna is wired through a manual switch and uses an adapter to go from SO-239 to an f-connectors. I then use a three way splitter to feed three individual dongles.

One dongle is connected to an upconverter and provides DC-25Mhz reception. The other two are 25Mhz to 1.8Ghz reception. I plan to use two ultimately with Unitruncker to use as a scanner. For now I just have the one hooked up to test.

I am using HDSDR software with the HF dongle. HDSDR has a DDE feature which allows it to be controlled by Ham Radio Deluxe software. The result is that when I change frequency or mode on the radio it updates HDSR to match. Now when I see a signal on the waterfall I can click on it and it changes the radio frequency to match. This seems to work well down to the 20m band.

UPDATE: Works well down to 40m and takes some adjustment to the display to see anything on 80m.

I am running SDR# on the other dongle. This one tuned manually and lets me monitor VHF/UHF bands while using the HF radio. Here is a screen shot of the whole thing running:


Unfortunately, the wiring is a mess:



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