Setting up the R820T SDR usb dongle on a mac is relatively straight forward thanks to the hard work of Alain de Carolis who neatly packed all the dependancies and libraries into a DMG, ready to use out of the box (sort of). With this program there is also a small issue when hooking up the R820T. After opening up the server connection upon launching GNU Radio – borip_server, and subsequently running HDSDR, you need to change the device hint to RTL, not RTL e4k. Unfortunately, this failed the second time launching the program so I was forced to reinstall the DMG and go through the same process.
After getting the program to succesfully connect with the dongle, some noise should be heard. No official documentation has been put out by HDSDR, but because it is a free, open source software, there is a community built up around it to support. I went through this documentation and watched a few youtube videos. The program itself is fairly straight forward and the documentation is built in a way that lets you click on any area of a screenshot to bring up its description.
In order to receive the signals, an antenna is needed. The antenna provided by the kit is a monopole antenna, but I found it to be pretty much useless. All I could receive was static noise. I even attempted hacking together a dipole antenna from RadioShack, but to no avail.
The next step to get a clear signal will be trying to install the libstl made by Steve-m onto my mac and run it through terminal. Updates to come.