Brussels / 31 January & 1 February 2015


First Steps in Receiving Digital Information with RDS/TMC

The Radio Data System (RDS) is a digital subcarrier on ordinary FM radio broadcasts that is used to convey a bunch of information including station name, time, alternate frequencies, and optionally traffic information with the Traffic Message Channel (TMC) protocol. Given its ubiquity, narrow bandwidth demands, and frequency band, RDS might be a good first digital project for SDR newcomers, extending the 'Hello World' of SDR, i.e., the FM receiver. RDS can be received with very cheap hardware like the RTL-SDR and simple antennas making the technology accessible for everybody.

In this talk, I will give a short introduction in RDS / TMC and present the current state of the GNU Radio RDS project. Besides the receiving part, we will also have a brief look in the transmit side that allows you to create your own small radio station including RDS and TMC messages. The information is hopefully just enough to whet your appetite and helps to get you started.


Photo of Bastian Bloessl Bastian Bloessl