• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

SDR's vs. Hardware Scanners/Receivers

Status
Not open for further replies.

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,586
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I've created this thread after reading the comments posted in the BCD536HP thread, specifically from this post and a few others thereafter:

http://forums.radioreference.com/2106420-post1281.html

I think it's fantastic that those that have developed GNURadio and OP25 have been able to accomplish the great things that they have and I applaud them for their efforts. It has to be hard work with no reward other than the feeling of accomplishment. I will not stray into the "argument" that may or may not be taking place in that thread, that's not why I created this thread. Please don't bring it here.

I speak for myself with regards to a considerable level of frustration with learning how to implement GNURadio and OP25. I consider myself an advanced computer user in the Windows environment, and I have a basic understanding of Linux. However, when trying to implement GNURadio I have never been successful. To date, any documentation outlining the steps to get this software installed and working have not met with success.

I am one that is willing to learn, but it seems to me that those that use this software expect me to know far more than I do about Linux, and/or be at a certain level of understanding how things work in that OS before I have any chance of success implementing it. Inquiries I've made here at RR and in other places have been answered and I thank the people that have tried to help, but a lot of the help regardless of the location seems to require a greater level of understanding than I have. In a few other cases, responses to my inquires have come across as somewhat condescending in nature and ultimately those trying to help may have abandoned the cause because of my lack of knowledge. If that's the case, well, so be it.

I guess my point is that most people here read about how wonderful GNURadio and OP25 are, but it's very likely going to be a very small percentage of them that will ever be able to manipulate it successfully. So now it becomes an issue of what is available to the mainstream vs. what may or may not be a better way of accomplishing things. The former being hardware scanners/receivers, the latter being the cutting edge technology of SDR's.

Without a "GNURadio For Dummies" and an "OP25 For Dummies" type of tutorial I expect a majority of us will never have the opportunity to experience them. Hopefully this doesn't sound like a cop out; I appreciate the effort that those that have created that software have put into it.

I'm not looking for a free ride, but I think there needs to be a compromise, some middle ground. If it's out there I haven't found it yet, and if you think there is such a thing please point me to it, because if you're arguing for what exists instruction-wise, I must respectfully disagree.

Given the fact that SDR's are a hot topic and will only become more mainstream as we move forward, maybe it is time for the "Dummies" approach. I have fought, kicked, scratched, crashed computer systems, and then done it all over again and I've had no success getting GNURadio to work. This comes after following available instructions to the letter or as far as I could before something went awry. I am aware of the availability of some .iso images that allow for the running of custom versions of Linux that have programs such as "gqrx" available, which I have been able to get to work with my RTL dongles, but other than those if there is a dummy approach I'm missing it....well, probably because I'm a dummy! :D

So, in closing, saying that OP25 can run circles around a Uniden scanner may be factual, but at this time I see it as extremely difficult or unobtainable by the majority of radio hobbyists. I'll never give up trying, but right now I'm partially resigned that my use of SDR's may be limited to the Windows platform, and I know because of that I'm missing out on a lot of possibility.

I'm hoping there will be some good comments in this thread, and some understanding from those that are "already there" that a lot of us want to try to catch up, but to date it's been an exercise by and largely steeped in frustration. Right now I'm part of the problem, which makes me want to be part of the solution!

Thanks.
 

AZScanner

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,352
Location
Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
I haven't gotten much farther than you have from the sound of things, but last time I attempted this gnuradio thing I learned that Kali linux already has gnuradio included which may help make things easier. I think the problem I ran into there was that OP25 is not yet compatible with the latest version of gnuradio. I myself prefer sdr# and dsd+ to anything I've ever tried on Linux.

-AZ
 

KA1RBI

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
484
However, when trying to implement GNURadio I have never been successful. To date, any documentation outlining the steps to get this software installed and working have not met with success.

[snipped]
Hi Scott

The op25 project has a mailing list which is located on yahoo groups, by the name of op25-dev.

We know about the installation issues and are currently working to make it easier, but we cannot address issues unless users send us specific trouble reports, containing sufficiently detailed documentation to enable proper problem diagnosis.

Last night we received feedback on the list from a user named "Scott" (coincidence?) who reported

I'm pretty sure I understand how this install process works now. Thank you for the guidance. I'm kind of digging the pybombs concept.

I chose to install the max-pybombs branch, which ended with an 'installation ok via: src' message. I wasn't able to save the install log, as terminal buffer was limited. I'm still trying to figure out where things are getting installed. But I'll figure all that out eventually...
His first posting to the list was a printout of the error message he'd gotten when trying to install OP25.

Everyone here on RR are such sticklers when it comes to following proper protocols about posting messages. Well, there are proper channels for reporting problems in installing OP25 as well... If you don't report the specific issues, we have no way of fixing them.

Best

Max
 

LIScanner101

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
1,427
Location
Hicksville, Long Island, NY
I can beat anyone at how little they say they know about Linux, because I can confidently say that I know NOTHING about it. Now, with that said, I will also say that I have never even dabbled in SDR. My sole reason at this time would be strictly for travel. If I could get away with leaving my scanner at home and just use my laptop (which I have to bring anyway), a USB dongle and a small "receiver" then that's going to be much easier to pack. Will an SDR set-up give me the same performance a "real" scanner will (alpha tags, P25, trunking and fast scan times etc)? I don't know, will it ;) ?
 

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,586
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Thanks AZ, I have heard of Kali but haven't got a chance to try it yet. I'll burn a disc and do so.

Thanks again Max. You've been very helpful. That was not me on op25_dev but if I get that far I will certainly try to provide input. There's always a degree of "fear" of sounding like an idiot when posting in advanced topic forums, and as I stated in the original post I've met with a wide degree of response, but it's the only way to learn, and as you suggest it's the only way that the developers find out about problems.

Here's an effort at OP25 to provide install instructions for newbies:

BeginnersBuildDeprecated

Sadly, the magic word is "Deprecated". I gripe about this knowing full well that the creation of any such tutorials is voluntarily done, everyone has busy lives, etc., but it is a roadblock I have run into not only in this case, but in others pertinent to gnuradio as well. Just when you think you've finally found that tutorial you discover it's for a version of Linux that existed 4 years ago.....or it's a tutorial that you get through steps 1-8 of without a hitch....but then because it's a tutorial for an older version of (your software package here) step 9 doesn't work, and your fledgling knowledge of what to do to circumnavigate the problem leads you to 10 dead ends. The last time I did it, I "thought" I had a workaround and followed those instructions. When I rebooted the PC, Linux didn't want to work anymore. I wound up having to forcefully remove the grub installer and having to wipe the partition entirely. I haven't started over since.

This is the type of stuff that drives me nuts. In the interests of full disclosure, I don't even have any issues with LSM systems because they don't exist in my area. I just see another way to implement SDR that may be superior to SDR#, DSD, SDR-Radio etc. and I want to make it work.

I've been a radio hobbyist since I was a kid, and I love to search for new signals as well as DX when conditions warrant. Since my discovery and use of SDR, whether it be with a formerly owned AR5000 interfaced with an RFSpace SDR-14 or via the RTL dongles I now use, there is no better way in my opinion to do it than with SDR; seeing what's going on and clicking to tune to me blows the doors off of turning a VFO knob. I'll never return to conventional receivers, and I am researching which "quality" SDR I want to move forward with. But if I'm going to do that I want to have every opportunity to use it to the max. Maybe gnuradio is overkill for me just looking at a chunk of spectrum and tuning, I know I can do that all day long with SDR#. But it's there....so I have to try to make it work! :)
 

KA1RBI

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
484
There's always a degree of "fear" of sounding like an idiot when posting in advanced topic forums
No! We don't want the op25-dev list to be an elite forum. We're all volunteers and we all start out with zero knowledge. I didn't even know how to spell P25 or DSP or SDR when the first P25 systems came online in this area. The second one that came online was an LSM system and that provided the impetus to learn how the system worked, including many futile hours of head banging against the brick wall of trying to decode LSM using C4FM demodulation...

We try to welcome any and all users, and we certainly want to hear bug reports

Best

Max
 

br0adband

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
1,568
Location
Springfield MO
I have to ask this so forgive me for doing so:

Scott (meaning the OP), what exactly are you hoping to achieve by using GNU Radio/OP25 that you can't already do with something like SDR# or whatever? While I was successful in getting GNU Radio installed (under Ubuntu 12.04.03 LTS in a dual boot situation), and I even had success with OP25 the one time I bothered with it a few weeks ago - just that one time because as I've noted before here in Las Vegas there's practically no P25 traffic to bother with at all so I don't have a requirement to focus on it.

Right now the only thing that would seriously put an even bigger smile on my face - considering my short experience with SDR-type monitoring as opposed to having a physical scanner anymore - would be a "proper" trunk tracking scanner app of some kind. I'm trying to say that without knocking Unitrunker in any respects because I am very grateful for that app and I use it regularly but, so far and since this SDR stuff is still relatively new overall compared to our traditional "conventional" analog communications tech that's been around for decade upon decade now.

Yes I'm aware that with an SDR I can monitor practically anything these days. I was just sitting here this morning hearing traffic from Nellis AFB just up the road as a bunch of F-15, F-16, and F-22 aircraft (Eagles and Falcons and Raptors, oh my!) were taking off headed out for bombing practice. We'll have Red Flag back finally (last year it was scrapped for budget reasons) coming up in about 2 weeks and then again in March, it'll be fun to be able to monitor stuff using these RTL sticks I've got now but I need to get that Homebrew OCFD built here in the next week or so if I can manage it.

If I had the talent and the know-how and the skills necessary I'd write what I'm looking for but so far there doesn't seem to be anything that basically uses an SDR like it was a scanner, probably never will be. I suppose someone would say "if you want all the capabilities of a scanner, just get a damned scanner" which is true but, considering what's possible with a "cheap USB TV tuner" nowadays, and who knows what'll be possible as time passes, I have to wonder if the days of actual scanners aren't being numbered...

Anyway, I'm curious myself to know exactly what the OP is aiming for, more or less, with respect to those apps: general knowledge, a specific purpose, development, learning, etc. Primary reason I don't bother with GNU Radio is I simply don't like it, just a personal preference thing I suppose. And with OP25 I haven't seen anything that jumped out to make me continue using it. In time I expect our S.N.A.C.C. system to move to more integration with P25 Phase II (that's the next big thing for that system) and a potential move to 700 MHz, so if it does then I'll be more involved in P25 at that time.

To me it seems like SDR# and the Windows side of this hobby tend to be just that: for the hobbyist, the casual listen, even someone with years upon years of scanner listening under their belts, while the GNU Radio/OP25 side of things tends to be for the far more serious person with specific goals in mind (protocol development, hardware design like HackRF and similar tools, etc). Could be just me but that's how I perceive things with respect to those tools.
 

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,586
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I don't "have" to do it....I "want" to do it. General knowledge and learning.

From a hobbyist standpoint I'm very happy with SDR#, SDR-Radio, and DSD. I expect I could use them indefinitely with my forthcoming SDR endeavors and be happy. I'd simply like to learn how to use gnuradio and OP25 because it's there.

Another point that I was trying to make however was that while it's wonderful to have a software based system that purportedly does what Uniden scanners may have yet to achieve, it's a project that for most will be difficult or downright impossible for many hobbyists to attain. In other words, these gentlemen are with all due respect spouting about a setup that already works for systems that many hobbyists have been struggling for years to receive...but the method of doing so may be out of reach.

So I would love to learn how to make it work in order to:

1. Have the knowledge.
2. Teach others how to set it up.
3. At least assist in a way to have some sort of "for dummies" tutorial.

As I sit here typing this I'm listening to my local MA state police Type II 3600 baud TRS using UniTrunker and two RTL dongles. I have a third dongle running decoding DMR voice via DSD for my local electricity provider. Given that I'll always have computers present for other reasons, total cost of materials to do all of this? You know the answer, about $60.

Now to be able to take that or something similar and still probably considerably less expensive than a new Uniden scanner and make it work to decode systems that Uniden and/or Whistler may or may not have right in their upcoming models, I think it's something worth at least trying to learn. Like I said I don't even have LSM systems (yet) in my area, but I don't need one to learn how to set up gnuradio and OP25.

So I don't HAVE to....I WANT to. Oh, and for the record I do have a BCD436HP on order, but it will very likely be the last scanner I ever buy. I know without a doubt that my days of buying conventional wideband receivers are over.
 

AZScanner

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,352
Location
Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
Oh, and for the record I do have a BCD436HP on order, but it will very likely be the last scanner I ever buy.
Same here! My next radio purchase after the 436 arrives (and I've given my "toy budget" enough time to recover lol) will be a pair of HackRF's, one for my live feed and one for tinkering with on the laptop. SDR is definitely the future of the hobby and I'll be surprised if both Whistler and Uniden don't jump on the SDR bandwagon in the next couple of years. I think either company could easily produce a quality SDR that would retail for around $300 and sell like hotcakes. The little $15 dongles are neat, but they're not nearly robust enough for my liking. There's definitely an opportunity for a big player like Uniden or Whistler/GRE to come into the SDR market and make a BUNCH of money. Or AOR, even - let's not count them out.

If Uniden creates one, maybe then Paul would finally consider me as a beta tester for one of his whizbang new radios. HINT HINT... ;)

-AZ
 

Boatanchor

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
990
Same here! My next radio purchase after the 436 arrives (and I've given my "toy budget" enough time to recover lol) will be a pair of HackRF's, one for my live feed and one for tinkering with on the laptop. SDR is definitely the future of the hobby and I'll be surprised if both Whistler and Uniden don't jump on the SDR bandwagon in the next couple of years. I think either company could easily produce a quality SDR that would retail for around $300 and sell like hotcakes. The little $15 dongles are neat, but they're not nearly robust enough for my liking. There's definitely an opportunity for a big player like Uniden or Whistler/GRE to come into the SDR market and make a BUNCH of money. Or AOR, even - let's not count them out.

If Uniden creates one, maybe then Paul would finally consider me as a beta tester for one of his whizbang new radios. HINT HINT... ;)

-AZ
I look at what DSD and DSDPlus is capable of now, together with the advances in SDR hardware and software and I think to myself, as far as home base monitoring is concerned anyway, the SDR route offers so much more potential than a 'hardware defined' scanner.

My SDR suite is more sensitive than any of my scanners, partly due to the fact that I can customize and optimize the receive bandwidth settings to match the emission being received. As an example, I can receive weak, distant P25 and DMR signals at levels that don't even break the mute on the scanners.

I was thinking of purchasing the 436HP too at some stage for portable operation, but when I sat down and thought about what I actually listen to locally (Analogue and Phase 1 non-simulcast), my 396XT does everything I need, in a more compact package than the 436HP :)
So, in effect, I've just saved myself $500!

It's been amusing watching some of the posts here as some people get more and more 'hyped up' about the new Uniden offerings and have been busting their balls to put a deposit down weeks ahead of the first batch of deliveries - The anticipation of the Fedex delivery must be almost overwhelming for some by now :) Reminds me of sheeple lining up outside the Apple store when the new I'thing' is released - Anyway, I digress...

For home base monitoring, a FuncubedonglePro+ and some el-cheapo RTL sticks, together with a few bits of 'software' allow me to listen to much more than any scanner ever could.

At this point in time, my next substantial purchase will be the HackRF, the Airspy (or both :) )
 
Last edited:

KA1RBI

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
484
Scott sent an update today to op25-dev, which I'm passing along here for the sake of completeness. There's really no need for duplicate postings, henceforth those who are interested are most welcome to sign up for the op25-dev group at yah00... We understand the install process for OP25 is difficult and there's more work to do, but we've made considerable progess already.

Here's what he wrote:
Hi Max


Just a quick note as not to leave you hanging.. Setting the proper run time environment solved all my issues with running the OP25 python scripts. So I think I'm good to go now as far as having a working install. It was really a lot less painful then I expected the whole process to be. I'm now happy I took the plunge.

I'm contemplating wiping the partition and starting fresh, then document it all for others to follow. From one noob to another, so to speak. Due to my inexperience with Linux left me with a messy install anyway. The path to gr-op25_repeater/apps is eight layers deap from home. Too much typing.. heh

I do have several questions, but I'll post those in new topics unrealated to the install process.

Thank again for all the help Max, it's appreciated!

-Scott
 

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,586
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I expect Yahoo is having some problems, as it appears I'm unable to register either by email or via the group's webpage. Despite correctly entering the Captcha every time it flags as entered in error.

The email method is apparently "pending" or lost. I immediately received the "confirmation of registration" reply (in my spambox of course) and replied per instructions, but nothing since. Seems none of this is easy! :D

It's encouraging to see Scott's comments; thanks for sharing them. Once I get registered I'll look forward to learning and participating. Thanks.

As far as my SDR purchases go, I'm researching right now. I know I'll have an Airspy as they'll be inexpensive. I'd like to have a HackRF. I'm still looking at the Ettus USRP B200 although it's pricey, and I'm very intrigued by the BladeRF although some of the comments I've read about USB 3.0 issues scare the crap out of me. If the B200 or BladeRF become part of the arsenal here, it'll be after it's made clear to me that those issues are cleared up; if I'm buying them I obviously want max performance; USB 2.0 ain't gonna cut it!
 

mancow

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Feb 19, 2003
Messages
5,862
Location
N.E. Kansas
What I can't understand is these open projects are never really seen to any finished end. Everyone involved is content to create a bare board that is basically thrown on a table with a mess of cables waiting to be shorted out.

There are so many talented people involved in these projects with different skills. Many seem to be into 3D printing, PC board manufaturing, CNC skills etc. I have always been surprised none have ever come together to make a really polished finished project. If you consider the capabilities of hack rf, GNU radio, etc... it could all be conbined into a handheld or small desktop unit with a nice display, some controls and battery pack that could do just about anything from 0- several GIGs with end user waveform modules that could be uploaded at will.
 

Boatanchor

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
990
I expect Yahoo is having some problems, as it appears I'm unable to register either by email or via the group's webpage. Despite correctly entering the Captcha every time it flags as entered in error.
Yeh, no good for me either.
Seems the capture function isn't working.
 

br0adband

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
1,568
Location
Springfield MO
Just realized I forgot to ask a question I myself was interested in earlier based on content in this thread:

What is it that's supposed to be so awesome and spectacular that GNU Radio or OP25 can accomplish that is so superior (said with a smug accent) to what a real actual hardware device decoding P25 is already capable of? And I say "real actual hardware device" meaning scanners predominantly since most folk can't/don't/won't actually use real honest-to-goodness P25 radios from various manufacturers.

Since the majority of us as scanner enthusiasts use scanners it's a given that there will be some differences - sometimes minor, sometimes quite major - in terms of features compared to a real P25 device like audio quality primarily.

Personally I still think digital comms sucks, big time suckage, massive major deep suckage 'cause I can't stand the lame low quality codecs in use that DVSI keeps pumping out but, I guess nobody else apparently has figured out how to do it better so there goes that idea. We're moving to digital like it or not so I guess there's no much can be done at this point.

But I do agree with Scott on one major aspect: the fact that actual scanners with digital mode capability (strictly P25 for now, hopefully with DMR/MOTOTRBO and even NXDN sometime in the near future, near as in "... just a firmware upgrade away...<hint,hint>") end up costing so much out of pocket and still not doing what some folks would love them to do because that's where things are headed is just a problem for many of us too.

I'm in a similar situation as far as SDR goes as the OP and others: spent maybe $40 so far on two RTL sticks, some BNC/MCX pigtails, already had the computer, bought some coat hangers for $2 at a thrift store and hacked together one of those 1/4 wave ground plane antennas using an SO-239 chassis mount and a few adapters plus some screw-on BNC/SO-239 connectors and a 6 foot piece of RG-58U - it's not even soldered at all, and I have antennas cut for 127 (1/4 wave), 300 (5/8), 460 (1/2), 855 (1/2), and 937 MHz (1/2) where all I do is slot the wire into the top of the SO-239 and good lord it works great, amazingly. ;)

I think perhaps this weekend I'll muck around with GNU Radio myself, but as for OP25 again that's basically useless to me as I have nearly no P25 systems to bother with.

Guess I just don't see what all the dang fuss is about... :D
 

Boatanchor

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
990
Just realized I forgot to ask a question I myself was interested in earlier based on content in this thread:

What is it that's supposed to be so awesome and spectacular that GNU Radio or OP25 can accomplish that is so superior (said with a smug accent) to what a real actual hardware device decoding P25 is already capable of? And I say "real actual hardware device" meaning scanners predominantly since most folk can't/don't/won't actually use real honest-to-goodness P25 radios from various manufacturers.

Since the majority of us as scanner enthusiasts use scanners it's a given that there will be some differences - sometimes minor, sometimes quite major - in terms of features compared to a real P25 device like audio quality primarily.

Personally I still think digital comms sucks, big time suckage, massive major deep suckage 'cause I can't stand the lame low quality codecs in use that DVSI keeps pumping out but, I guess nobody else apparently has figured out how to do it better so there goes that idea. We're moving to digital like it or not so I guess there's no much can be done at this point.

Guess I just don't see what all the dang fuss is about... :D
I understand that OP25 or one of it's variants can incorporate decryption capability.
In theory, if you have access to the encryption key/s or if you are prepared to 'brute force' the keys, you can listen to encrypted traffic. This is something that no off the shelf scanner will ever be able to do..

OP25 can also be used to transmit P25 and can even be used to produce a P25 repeater with some additional OTS hardware.

Leaving aside the the decryption and transmit capability, for the rest of us mere mortals, it would seem that DSD and DSDPlus have well and truly overtaken OP25, simply because of all the additional digital modes that they are capable of receiving and the relative ease of installation/use.

I'm not going to set up a dedicated linux PC just so I can install OP25, when my Windoze machine with DSDPlus does as well, if not even better :)
 
Last edited:

br0adband

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
1,568
Location
Springfield MO
Yeah, that's the general idea for most folk: they feel like they have to have a completely different computer to use Linux or at least do some dual boot scenario.

But in reality, that's the extreme solution - you can do all this stuff just fine with a virtual machine these days with little to no serious issue with performance for most modern machines (and yes I realize a great number of scanner enthusiasts do use older machines, Pentium 4's, etc, running XP just for such purposes so there's no guarantees there).

I mean I get the idea of GNU Radio and it's appealing to me on some levels, but unless I can use it to monitor analog trunked comm systems with all the bells and whistles and be able to hold the monitoring on a specific talkgroup (aka make it a full fledged trunking scanner) and letting everything else just pass by then I can't find much other use for it since SDR# so far has proven itself to be simply outstanding in functionality (thank you, Ian and Youssef, for sharing your remarkable tool with all of us).

I plan to do some testing this weekend using GNU Radio (OP25 is meaningless to me as noted) installed and (hopefully functional again) in a virtual machine using Ubuntu 12.04.3 as the guest OS (Windows 7, my primary OS, is host) with one of my RTL sticks attached to the VM at the same time that I'll be running SDR# on Windows 7 using the second RTL stick I own. Since they are USB devices, it's entirely possible to do just such things by "attaching" the USB device to the virtual machine aka the guest; the host OS no longer "sees" the device as part of it's hardware pool so it opens up yet more potential possibilities for experimentation and learning.

Should be interesting hearing everything doubled up... ;)
 

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,586
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
My second PC in the radio room has a sole purpose of supporting any number of receivers/scanners. This is the PC that I have and will use for learning gnuradio. It has a 500 GB hard drive in it, which is nowhere near occupied. During any Linux install you're prompted for the amount of hard disk space you wish to use. Taking 100 or 150 GB for such a purpose is absolutely painless. The machine then becomes a dual boot system; grub boot loader shows a menu that can be tweaked to the default system, length of time it remains on the screen at bootup, etc. I've not had a great deal of luck with virtual machines although I do think it's an interesting approach.

I'm hoping to find some time today/this weekend to dive back into this project. I was successful joining op25-dev, but doing anything with that depends on whether I have success with gnuradio.

I understand the thinking regarding SDR#, SDR-Radio, DMRDecode, DSD, DSDPlus maybe doing it better, and surely easier, but given that I plan on moving forward with a truly serious SDR as mentioned in previous posts, I want to learn the other side as well.

Of course, the last time I tried to install gnuradio I blew out the entire Linux install....hey, what could possibly go wrong this time? :D
 

br0adband

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
1,568
Location
Springfield MO
That's another great thing about using virtual machines (this will be the last time I bring them up, promise, 'cause I know some folks just don't have much luck with them or plain old just can't figure out how the hell they work): you can install the OS of choice, do all the necessary updates (in GNU Radio's case, it's quite a bit to get the Linux distro ready before you even get around to installing GNU Radio itself) which can be quite a bit depending on things, and when you're actually ready to get <insert whatever software here> you can take a "snapshot" of the VM itself, just as it is at that moment - basically an image of the entire installation - and then install whatever software you want to play around with.

If something goes wrong, if you "blow out the entire Linux install" as sometimes happens, you can revert to the snapshot in a matter of seconds, literally, and get another chance to blow it out again. :D

Anyway, it's an option for people, with VMware Player being completely free (VMware is like the king of all things virtual machine related but it's resource heavy in some respects), and also VirtualBox (a full blown virtual machine environment), as well as a few other options.

You can always dual boot but, if things go horribly awry, I find it easier to know I'm still running Windows 7 as my host OS and never skipping a beat. YMMV, as always.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top