Because radio rocks, and open source radio systems that let anyone
learn about radio are worth promoting. A step-by-step guide to turning your computer into a quite functional software-defined radio receiver.
For $20 you can receive higher frequencies than a VX-7R… add a 70€ upconverter (http://wimo.com/cgi-bin/verteiler.pl?url=funcube-sdr-dongle-receiver_e.html) and you can receive down to almost DC.
Sadly all the RTL-SDR USB sticks have a gap around 1200MHz,* and there are no cheap SDRs that cover this band as far as I’ve been able to find. (The gap comes from the E4000 tuner that’s widely used.) If anyone knows of one that does, let me know…
* Or they can’t receive that high at all.
“What was designed and sold as a simple device for watching TV on your computer could be turned into a radio capable of receiving anything between 64 MHz to 1700 MHz with open source software.
Now, anyone with about $20 USD to spare can tune into everything from police and fire transmissions to the International Space Station.”