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How to use an RTL2832U with a Chromebook

Note: This is a work in progress (August 28, 2020).

Yes, if you have a Chromebook with Linux enabled, you can use your RTL2832U dongle from with it. I'm currently still in discovery mode, so check back often if this interests you.

Note, everytime you plug your dongle into your Chromebook, you have to allow Linux to have access to your SDR device.

Install necessary software and drivers

Install packages

sudo apt install -y alsa-utils cmake git gnuradio libusb-1.0-0-dev rtl-sdr

Install drivers

cd rtl-sdr/
mkdir build
cd build
sudo make install
sudo cp ../rtl-sdr.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/
sudo ldconfig

Now restart your Chromebook to assure the drivers load.

Try it out!!

Open the Terminal window.

rtl_fm -f 162.4e6 -M nbfm -s200000 -r 48000 - | aplay -r 48000 -f S16_LE

You should hear the familiar sounds of NOAA Weather Radio or Weatheradio Canada playing. You will need to change to frequency to match your local weather radio station. If you're outside of the US or Canada, try a local FM broadcast station.

rtl_fm -f 93.7e6 -M wbfm -s200000 -r 48000 - | aplay -r 48000 -f S16_LE

The above command will tune 93.7 MHz, in my case, KLBJ-FM.

HF communication

In order to enable reception below 28 MHz, bias trees must be enabled.

Install packages

git clone
cd rtl-sdr-blog
mkdir build
cd build
sudo make install

Enable bias trees

rtl_biast -b 1

Disable bias trees

rtl_biast -b 0
sdr/how_to_use_an_rtl2832u_with_a_chromebook.txt · Last modified: 2020-08-29T11:30:00-0500 by jcm