The GQRX is an open source software defined radio which uses GNU Radio. It works on Linux and aswell on Mac OS X.

well it's really easy if you have Homebrew installed. If you don't have Homebrew install it from:

Install it with Brew

then you just have to install GQRX for Mac OS X with:

brew cask install gqrx

Easy to install in MAC OS X with Brew.

The first time you open the software you have to right-click it on the Icon in the application folder to open it up. Be sure to select the right adapter in the drop down menu:

Selecting the Realtek RTL2836U‌

After that it all works:

If you don't have Brew and want to compile it yourself

git clone
cd gqrx
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..

One liner:

git clone && cd gqrx && mkdir build && cd build && cmake .. && make

Other things

I had no antenna installed and my SDR is really old :) have to get a better one. If you have an suggestion what radio to use, please write in the comments below. I had problems with mine all along. I get so much noise from my computer. I guess its from the computer hardware and I cant get rid of it. I used the USB-Isolator Module: ADuM4160

This one: (Affliate Link) I had it lying around in my electronic boxes ;) must have ordererd it sometimes.

It's an USB Port isolator. It isolates not like an opto-coupler but with coils like an transformer. It's really cool:

The ADuM4160 provides mechanisms for detecting the direction of data flow and control over the state of the output buffers. Data direction is determined on a packet-by-packet basis.

You supply it with an Power Pack or other external power and it isolates everything, including ground. But sadly it won't work with the RTL-SDR. Otherwise it's an really cool thing :) I have tested it with an ESP8266 and the Serial over USB connection works just finde.

Software Defined Radios:

  1. The Hack RF (Amazon Affliate Link)
  2. NooElec based on the RTL2832U (Amazon Affliate Link)
  3. Blade RF -
  4. Ubertooth One - (Amazon Affliate Link)