ECE497 Notes on Rtlizer

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Rtlizer is a simple spectrum analyzer written for the BeagleBone. Rtlizer uses rtl-sdr a command line tool to interface with software defined radios such as the R820T used here.


Instructions for installing rtl-sdr and rtlizer can be found here. They are copied here for convenience.

Run the following as root on the BeagleBone:

 git clone git://
 cd rtl-sdr/
 autoreconf -i
 make install
 mv /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig/librtlsdr.pc /usr/lib/pkgconfig
 git clone git://
 cd rtlizer

How to Run

In X11 run the following:

 cd rtlizer
 rtlizer 640x360+0+0


This site contains more information about rtl-sdr including a long list of SDR applications that use the library.

The R820T is a very nice (and cheap) SDR with some nice functionality. One thing that it cannot do however (at least in the US) is function as a TV tuner. The tuner uses the DVB-T standard. ATSC is the standard used for digital TV broadcasting in the US.

Future Work

It would be interesting to do some radio decoding on the BeagleBone using rtl-sdr as a back-end to the R820T. A possible application could be something like ADS-B (aircraft tracking) or NOAA (weather satellite) decoding.