A Software-Defined Radio (SDR) is a system where many of the traditional radio hardware components have been replaced or supplemented by means of software on a separate personal computer or a built-in operating system. While the concept of SDR has been around since the early 1970’s, recent technological advances and cost reductions have made these radios both affordable and popular among the amateur radio community.
A WebSDR is a Software-Defined Radio receiver connected to the internet which allows for multiple users to independently listen and tune simultaneously across the radio spectrum.
One of the benefits of listening on a WebSDR is that you can monitor a given frequency from an entirely different geographic location without having to actually visit that area. Here on the New England Weather Net the propagation is not always favorable to hear some of our participating stations from the local receiver. This is where listening remotely to a WebSDR will often assist you in being able to copy the net control or other participating stations.
In addition to using a WebSDR for as a remote receiver, there are some other good reasons you may want to give it a try. Here are a few:
- You can record and download audio files from the WebSDR server.
- You can test your station’s signal strength or check for open propagation in a given region.
- You can take it with you anywhere there is an internet connection. Most mobile browsers support WebSDR’s so you can wonder the house or the hi-way and listen to your favorite net on a smart phone, tablet, or similar device.
Below you will find some links to a few WebSDR’s that can be used to monitor the New England Weather Net:
- K3FEF, Milford, PA – http://k3fef.com:8901/
- WA1QIX, Townsend, MA – http://websdr.radioassociates.com:8901/
- Sigma SDR, MA,CT Border – http://sigmasdr.ddns.net:8073/
- N4DKD, Birmingham, AL – http://n4dkd.asuscomm.com:8901/
- K2SDR, Sea Girt, NJ – http://188.8.131.52:8902/
- WS6A, Georgetown, KY – http://wildcatsdr.com:8901
A global list of active WebSDR servers can be found here: http://www.websdr.org/.