During the last few months of Bitspace, RF veteran Tom, media engineer Roman and YT met on a few occasions to discuss activation of some practical radio experiments. The plan is to use low cost RTL-SDR (software defined radio) integral to DVB-TV adapters to record local radio space. So it was great to get them together again this week and set up of some basic frequency scanning and heatmap rendering of the environment up at Uniform. Red areas show higher energy frequency use and blue/green the lower levels. We utilised a new tool rtl_power which improves on previously available software.
Tom was kind enough to review some of the principals and pitfalls of such work as well as guide us in the set up and use of some great RTL tools for linux that drive the SDR to output CSV files. These records were uploaded to a web service to visualise spectrum.
After a bit of orientation it was easy to focus in on interesting regions of intensive and sparse RF landscapes. The top image shows a middle range of 80Mhz through 110Mhz we know as the FM band where legacy commercial and pirate analogue broadcasts live. Radio enthusiasts may be familiar with these graphics but it’s fascinating to hear more and experiment with options. So many great resources exist to support research not least at the Radio Society website.
This image shows a 1 minute scan of the full range of the DVB SDR capability between 24Mhz and 1766Mhz at 100k intervals. Click on it to see more detail as it’s wideband!
Our intention is to build a series of RF listening posts to install along Deptford Creek as part of MAZI pilot ‘Creeknet‘ that continually scan the environment and publish a comparative record of radio activity from end to end.
Further research into available equipment revealed just how much interest and activity is in play. A sub $100 device for wider spectrum research is the Adalm-Pluto so we ordered one to test that should arrive for next weeks session! Come up to Uniform on a Thursday to find out more and help us out!
The first day of September was celebrated is grand style at the Party in the Park for New Cross and Deptford with a variety of local music, arts and campaign stalls sharing their creative energies and enthusiasm for the area with over a thousand revelers and partymakers enjoying the refreshments and great food on offer. A few T-shirts (S, M and L) are still available for those who missed out, just £8 from the website.. funds for next years Party are already rolling it, thanks so much to everyone who donated.. and if you haven’t yet please check out the website!
The core PITPNXD group have been organising for months and somewhat against the odds, funded and facilitated a great day out for all with over 25 bands and performers, dozens of community stalls, a wellbeing area as well as ‘Tent City‘, the focus for this year, in conference to discuss local housing concerns and promote co-ordination between cooperative and association groups.
Plenty more images and video material can be found at this shared image library, so if you have a selection of images to share there please upload some of yours and enjoy the growing collection.