Digital SDR program that "just works" for Linux?

Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
29
Location
Whitehorse, Yukon
#1
Hello,

I've got an RTL2832 and have used it with GQRX and that is good for listening to analog. I would like to be able to listen to DMR and P25 systems in my area too. I tried piping GQRX into DSD but could never get the audio to work.

I tried to find "gqrx-digital" but it looks like it's no longer available. I then heard about OP25, tried to install that via "PyBombs" which was a complete disaster that broke my OS.

Is there anything like GQRX with DMR and P25 already built in for Linux that "just works"?
 

jasonhouk

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
Messages
855
Location
Marion, Ohio
#2
Hello,

I've got an RTL2832 and have used it with GQRX and that is good for listening to analog. I would like to be able to listen to DMR and P25 systems in my area too. I tried piping GQRX into DSD but could never get the audio to work.

I tried to find "gqrx-digital" but it looks like it's no longer available. I then heard about OP25, tried to install that via "PyBombs" which was a complete disaster that broke my OS.

Is there anything like GQRX with DMR and P25 already built in for Linux that "just works"?
https://youtu.be/qCiyN9llVGA

Thanks

J

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
29
Location
Whitehorse, Yukon
#5
https://youtu.be/qCiyN9llVGA

Thanks

J

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

AYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY



root@box:~/sdrtrunk# ./gradlew ckean buildSdr

"BUILD FAILED"



I give up. People wonder why Linux hasn't seen more adoption? Because of this. People don't talk to each other, just randomly go off changing packages, dependencies, libraries, etc. No co-ordination, no communication, no organization.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,234
Location
SW Mo
#6
AYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY



root@box:~/sdrtrunk# ./gradlew ckean buildSdr

"BUILD FAILED"



I give up. People wonder why Linux hasn't seen more adoption? Because of this. People don't talk to each other, just randomly go off changing packages, dependencies, libraries, etc. No co-ordination, no communication, no organization.
You are soooo right! I've built quite few packages through linux. It may work or it may not. It may work this time and not the next. Gets old.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
527
Location
North Texas
#10
haha even worse..

Honestly, stick with Ubuntu or Mint. If you have little experience with linux, those two are by far the easiest to use and maintain. Most of the instructions you're going to come across for linux software are going to be Ubuntu based OS's anyway. Save yourself the headaches...
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
1,553
Location
Springfield MO
#11
Kali is not meant to be used as a daily runner OS, it's a pen testing distro and most everybody understands that. Yes I suppose in some situations it would be advantageous to have not only all the pen testing capabilities but have SDR usefulness as well in the one kit-and-kaboodle package but really, Kali and it's predecessors (BackTrack and before that Auditor) just aren't really designed for everything and the kitchen sink too functionality. :)

I agree with sticking to the more well known daily runner distros if you're going to be that focused on using SDR hardware and software. As for OP25, there are some instructions in the OP25 thread posted last year that are spot on - if you follow them exactly it will install and work without issues aside from learning how to create the necessary command line arguments to get it working for your particular listening needs and the config files it uses for system info.

It's possible to do a great deal with Linux-based distributions, obviously, as most of the hardcore folk out there seem to use Linux for SDR purposes (GNURadio is quite extensive but not an easy thing to just jump into using) and yes having to build/edit/etc are all part of using Linux itself.

If you want the simple path for SDR usage, that's Windows-based more often than not.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
29
Location
Whitehorse, Yukon
#12
Kali is not meant to be used as a daily runner OS, it's a pen testing distro and most everybody understands that. Yes I suppose in some situations it would be advantageous to have not only all the pen testing capabilities but have SDR usefulness as well in the one kit-and-kaboodle package but really, Kali and it's predecessors (BackTrack and before that Auditor) just aren't really designed for everything and the kitchen sink too functionality. :)

I agree with sticking to the more well known daily runner distros if you're going to be that focused on using SDR hardware and software. As for OP25, there are some instructions in the OP25 thread posted last year that are spot on - if you follow them exactly it will install and work without issues aside from learning how to create the necessary command line arguments to get it working for your particular listening needs and the config files it uses for system info.

It's possible to do a great deal with Linux-based distributions, obviously, as most of the hardcore folk out there seem to use Linux for SDR purposes (GNURadio is quite extensive but not an easy thing to just jump into using) and yes having to build/edit/etc are all part of using Linux itself.

If you want the simple path for SDR usage, that's Windows-based more often than not.


Hi... yes I've been running Kali as a main Distro for awhile now. I know everybody always says "Kali is only for pentest" and stuff like that... but in my own experience, Kali has been excellent for day-to-day stuff. Also, the majority of times where things did not install it was the program that was using out-of-date libraries, doing strange things, etc and not Kali's fault.
 

DSheirer

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
452
Location
Fulton, NY
#13
AYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY



root@box:~/sdrtrunk# ./gradlew ckean buildSdr

"BUILD FAILED"



I give up. People wonder why Linux hasn't seen more adoption? Because of this. People don't talk to each other, just randomly go off changing packages, dependencies, libraries, etc. No co-ordination, no communication, no organization.
I'm not sure why you're trying to build/compile the software ... there is already a pre-compiled release version ready for download: https://github.com/DSheirer/sdrtrunk/releases

If you follow the instructions on the release page, or on the sdrtrunk home page, it says to download the .jar release file and simply run it.

If you find that the instructions are not clear or could be reworded, please let me know and I'll update them to make it easier for everyone.

cheers,
Denny
 
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
75
Location
Basement Dweller, Huntley IL
#14
SDR, DSD P25, Linux vs Windows

I run Linux Mint mostly and gave up on piping GQRX to DSD for P25. GQRX is great for analog but I also jumbled a Linux OS trying to make it all work. I tried the complex setup for SDR Trunk in Linux and after a few hours, (failed scripts, build fails,etc) I was sure it wouldn't work at all, but it did sort of work. I could use it like Unitrunker (under Windows now) to see the calls, but it would not stay on the control channel for very long, it would change the control channel frequency at random times by itself, no matter how many times I corrected it, a second later, it changed the numbers I entered by itself and lost my control channel. I gave up on the audio decoding. I also wasn't keen on how it displayed the talk groups info, it shows a bit more of the P25 technical handshake logs info and Motorola (system WAN calls), but Unitrunker on Windows is the King. I am using the RTL2832 SDR/SMART dongles with Win 7 there. But only to "see" the system data coming in.

As for using Unitrunker and DSD Plus in Windows 7, for P25 (Phase 1) decoding, I spent days fiddling with it and would only get open squelch and no calls. After muting the control channel and adusting squelch for the voice channels (biggie) all I still got was piss poor robotic audio (with echo). I had installed the VB Virtual Audio cable driver too and it was playing nicely with Windows, and two of the RTL2832 dongles, but I had to open all of the windows mixer audio levels and play roulette with the all of the sliders. One stereo mix level cannot be above 1% or you just get squelch noise. But I was getting calls. The end result was still just sporadic P25 decode with crappy robotic illegible audio with a good antenna feed running into each dongle. It was allegedly working as it should, decoding calls and I had perfect waves on the scopes for both control channels and voice channels when they appeared and I could see the DSD decode stream working fine. I was also getting encrypted channels (muted of course) that I didn't want to hear and all the Pace Transit Buss talk groups that I could honestly live without and the rest of the assorted talk groups medley that I don't want to hear either. Cute. But this Does NOT make it a real scanner! More like an experiment. Useable? For Monitoring P25? No Way. YMMV. I think of it as just a time sink for now. I have used Kali Linux (Debian) to crack some WiFi APs, but not as a daily distro. But since it runs on Debian, I don't see why it wouldn't work the same as a plain Debian distro, that's what it is.
 
Last edited:

DSheirer

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
452
Location
Fulton, NY
#15
but it would not stay on the control channel for very long, it would change the control channel frequency at random times by itself, no matter how many times I corrected it, a second later, it changed the numbers I entered by itself and lost my control channel.
Did it change the control channel frequency or did it change the tuner's center frequency? The software is designed to automatically change/adjust the tuner's center frequency so that it can decode both the control channel and any traffic channels as each call occurs. If you were manually changing the tuner's center frequency, then you were fighting against the normal operation of the software.

I also wasn't keen on how it displayed the talk groups info
What's good or bad about it? How could it be changed to better display the talkgroup info?

cheers,
Denny
 

DSheirer

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
452
Location
Fulton, NY
#16
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
75
Location
Basement Dweller, Huntley IL
#17
DSheirer, thanks for the tips. Yes, I was changing the tuner's center frequency and now I see what was wrong there. As for talk groups, I'll get back to you later today when I give it some thought. Nobody is still awake now except crazy people. Welcome to the club.
 
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
75
Location
Basement Dweller, Huntley IL
#18
SDR Trunk Talk Groups in Hex Format

Dsheirer, I see the talk groups are in hex, (From/To) that's what threw me. I was wishing that they could list out in decimal form. Everything I relate to talk groups is in decimals. But I could just setup Alias tags on them and it would fix that. Otherwise it runs on Linux well and does list the minutia real good. I've solved two problems with it. Great program now.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
29
Location
Whitehorse, Yukon
#19
I'm not sure why you're trying to build/compile the software ... there is already a pre-compiled release version ready for download: https://github.com/DSheirer/sdrtrunk/releases

If you follow the instructions on the release page, or on the sdrtrunk home page, it says to download the .jar release file and simply run it.

If you find that the instructions are not clear or could be reworded, please let me know and I'll update them to make it easier for everyone.

cheers,
Denny

Thanks Denny I am not sure how I missed that. Okay... so I have sdr-trunk up and running but for whatever reason, my RTL2832 is not being identified under "Tuners" and everything there is greyed out. Any ideas? The RTL2832 works fine under GQRX.
 
Top