The keyword for making this hardware useful is Software Defined Radio or short SDR. And since the hardware is based on the Realtek Chip RTL2832U the software supporting it is called RTL-SDR.
I kind of expected an annoying process of getting it to run on Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) but it turns out it was very easy. Just follow these steps.
1. Get the Hardware
2. Install the Software
After the installation has finished, plug in the tuner and test it by executing:
Giving me this this output:
Found 1 device(s): 0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001 Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U OEM Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner Supported gain values (29): 0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6 Sampling at 2048000 S/s. No E4000 tuner found, aborting.
which looks good!
3. Run GQRX
Now that you hopefully have a running gqrx. Execute it from the command line:
In the following screenshot I’m tuning in on my garage door opener:
A ridiculous amount of coffee was consumed in the process of building this post/project. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep me going!