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macOS Server App For AirSpyHF+ / Discovery SDR

This app lets you run your AirSpy HF+ / Discovery on your Mac, in macOS, without the need for Windows!

It only works with the AirSpyHF+ and Discovery, no other AirSpy versions.

It works well with SdrDx, which IMHO is the best SDR app out there for the Mac. SdrDx can be downloaded from:

Please note, I cannot help with general questions about the use of SdrDx.

Plug in your AirSpyHF+ / Discovery

Download a copy of the server app (download link at the botton of this page). Unzip (if needed) and run the app.

To use this app, you need to have libusb installed. If you do not have it installed, you can do so as follows (at your own risk, of course!), using the terminal:

If the directory /usr/local/lib does not exist, create it:

sudo mkdir /usr/local/lib
Then copy libusb-1.0.0.dylib, included with the download, to /usr/local/lib:
sudo cp path_to_blah_blah/libusb-1.0.0.dylib /usr/local/lib/
Replace "path_to_blah_blah" with the path to the downloaded dylib you are copying. If you get an error/crash reporting it cannot find libusb-1.0.0.dylib then note the directory it is looking in from the crash report, and copy it there instead.

Run the server. If your Mac complains it can't open an unidentified app, right click, select open. If it still complains (likely if running a very recent macOS version, due to Apple's security restrictions), you may need to codesign the app and/or the dylib. I cannot help with this, unfortunately.

When you run the server app, it should look like this. If you get an error that it could not find the AirSpyHF+, you'll need to figure out why. Maybe it wasn't plugged in? Or there's an issue with the libusb dylib.

In the server app, you can select which TCP/UDP port to use, 50000 is the default, whatever value you set must also match in SdrDx. You can also change the IP address to which UDP data packets are sent, the default keeps them on your machine. In theory you can direct them to other machines on your network, but I have no experience doing this nor can I offer any assistance.

Then you need to go to SdrDx and configure it to use the server. You need to do two things.

First, click the NET button (low left part of the SdrDx window) to bring up the network settings, and check the box "Just use". Also make sure the SDR TCP Port setting is the same in the server app, 50000 is the default value:

Click OK. The bottom of the SdrDx window should display AirSpyHF+ Connected in big green text.

Also, the server app should now say it is connected.

Then you need to click the SDR button (also lower left part of the SdrDx window). In the SDR Setup, you need to do a few things:

Under custom settings, set the Sample rate and Bandwidth both to one of the valid sample rates listed in the server app. Also set the bandwidth.

Then check the Custom Grid Spacing, SR BW checkbox below that:

Click OK.

You should now be able to click the Run button, and enjoy the AirSpyHF+ running under SdrDx on your Mac, without any need for Windows.

Version 2.0 adds the ability to record I/Q data to files, in RF Space Spectravue / SdrDx format. You will need to set the save directory as well as the file size (you should probably keep this under 2 GB). Then click the Run/Save button to start recording. Data will be written to timestamped files. if a file reaches the limit, a new one will be started. Watch out, you can fill up your hard drive. Click the Stop button to stop recording.

Looking for a great SWBC/DXing app that also is integrated with SdrDx, but also works stand alone for any DXer no matter what radio? Take a look at Dx ToolBox which is available for both Mac and Windows.

Download the AirSpyHF+ macoS Server - Version 2.0, 23 August 2023. 64 bit app. Requires macOS 10.6 or later

Download the AirSpyHF+ macoS Server - Version 1.8, 20 October 2021. 64 bit app. Requires macOS 10.6 or later

If you want run it on Big Sur or later you will need to sign / notarize the libusb dylib and possibly the app itself.

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Last modified August 23, 2023