ShinySDR Manual: Operation

This section of the manual describes how to use ShinySDR as a radio once the server has been installed and configured.

Quick start

After you have ShinySDR open in your web browser (the server will give you the URL when it starts up):

  1. Adjust the “Center frequency” to tune your RF hardware to the band you want to observe.

  2. You can zoom and pan in the spectrum view:

  3. Click/tap on a signal of interest. This will create a receiver, which will be marked on the spectrum as well as displaying controls in the “Radio Config” section. Use the controls to select the appropriate mode (type of demodulation).

    Multiple signals can be received at once by shift-clicking in the spectrum view. To stop, click the “X” button by the receiver.

Basic concepts

There are devices and receivers. [TODO improve this wording]

A device corresponds to a hardware device (or multiple devices working together) providing antenna, tuner (VFO/LO), ADC, antenna rotator, etc. Devices are set up in the configuration file. The device's options, as well as a menu to select the active device if there is more than one, are displayed at the top of the Radio Config section.

A RF device has a center frequency which determines what range of the radio spectrum is digitized. It is marked by a hairline in the center of the spectrum view. (Note that some devices have a so-called “DC offset” which creates a spurious signal exactly at that hairline. If this is true of your device, make sure you don't set your receiver frequency exactly the same as your center frequency.)

A receiver selects and demodulates a specific signal within the band received by a device. A receiver has its own channel frequency; whenever the channel frequency is not sufficiently close to the center frequency to be within the bandwidth of the device, it will be inactive.

Receivers are displayed as additional hairlines in the spectrum section and below the device in the Radio Config section. Normally there is only one receiver, but additional receivers can be created and deleted. Note that additional receivers result in significant additional CPU load on the server.

Tricky bits

Ideally, the UI would be fully discoverable, but right now there are a number of things that are probably not obvious; here's a list of those that haven't already been mentioned: