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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2013, 11:27 PM
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Anyone here make any videos of this. Could a senior with a foggy brain figure this out. Is there a parts list
with ebay links around/ Thanks GBY
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Old 12-11-2013, 3:12 PM
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Parts? Except for the USB receiver stick, everything is done in software.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 12-20-2013, 8:44 AM
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I'm attempting to use UniTrunker with SDR# and an RTL-SDR stick. After following the installation instructions included with the Trunker plugin, I am receiving the following popup error when starting SDR#:

"Error loading 'SDRSharp.Trunker.TrunkerPlugin, SDRSharp.Trunker' - Unable to cast object of type 'SDRSharp.Trunker.TrunkerPlugin' to type 'SDRSharp.Radio.IFrontEndController'

After clicking OK, SDR# loads and works as usual, obviously without the Trunker plugin. UniTrunker has no problems decoding control channels that I tune (primarily P25 and Moto in my area)

O/S: Windows 7
SDR#: v1.0.0.1172
UniTrunker: v1.0.26.16
Trunker Plugin: 1.2013.430.1
Visual C++ Runtime: 2012.4

Could this be related to the version of VC++ Runtime (2012.4 vs the 2012.1 mentioned in the plugin's installation instructions) or to the version of SDR#?
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:08 AM
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I resolved it...I had placed the plugin key in the wrong section of the config file.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 12-24-2013, 3:06 PM
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I seem to be doing something wrong. I've installed Unitrunker, installed SDR#, and installed Zefie's mod. The thing I can't seem to find is Unitrunker.xml. I'm assuming that the file is supposed to be created by Unitrunker when it's installed, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

Anyone have any thoughts about where I'm going wrong?
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Old 12-24-2013, 7:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garys View Post
I seem to be doing something wrong. I've installed Unitrunker, installed SDR#, and installed Zefie's mod. The thing I can't seem to find is Unitrunker.xml. I'm assuming that the file is supposed to be created by Unitrunker when it's installed, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

Anyone have any thoughts about where I'm going wrong?
Gotta ask this so don't fret over it: are you trying to monitor an analog or digital system, and do you have 1 or 2 RTL devices?

I think the file you mean is sdrsharptrunking.log which is the file created by Unitrunker (when everything is properly set up, that is) and it'll contain just one line of info with a frequency which is the one that Unitrunker is trying to pass to SDR# so you can actually monitor it - that's the file that Zefie's trunking plugin is looking for to tell SDR# what frequency it's supposed to tune to. That file should be located in the Unitrunker directory when everything is actually working properly; if it doesn't appear after you get Unitrunker set up properly and working (it's created by the Debug radio iirc), it won't appear at all.

Unitrunker.xml is the config file for Unitrunker itself (how you have that app set up, color settings, etc). It's not used by SDR# nor Zefie's trunking plugin, least not as far as I can tell.

It's a daunting thing to get this stuff set up and working properly, and I've read like 35 "how to" guides but I finally did get it working. The basic path is:

- Unitrunker set up with two receivers (can be done with just one but two is better: one for the control/signal channel, one for voice)
- First receiver tunes/decodes the control channel
- Second receiver (debug) takes frequency data from the decode and passes it out to a text file called sdrsharptrunking.log
- (not 100% sure on this next part so if I'm wrong don't sue me) SDR# + Zefie's trunking plugin work together with the Remote.dll (for Unitrunker) and SDRSharp.Trunker.dll (for SDR#) to check for updates in that sdrsharptrunking.log file and when one is detected the trunking plugin tells SDR# to tune to the frequency passed to it

That's about it in a very small nutshell but I'm sure it's probably a bit more complicated.

The thing with that sdrsharptrunking.log however is where most folks (based on what I've been reading before I finally got it all working myself) get a bit stuck because Zefie's code or programming or whatever requires a lot of support from those Microsoft Visual C++ libraries, a bunch of 'em it seems. Maybe someday it'll be nice and self-efficient and not quite so dependent on so many other support files - or maybe some coding wizard will just create a real actual honest to goodness software-based scanner app that duplicates most every function of modern handheld/mobile scanners, I don't know if that's possible.

Having said all that/this, I ended up deleting everything at least twice before I finally took a deep breath and started over - and I mean literally the third time was the charm with getting SDR# + the trunking plugin + DSD (for digital mode decoding, P25/DMR/MOTOTRBO) to actually function correctly.

One tip I can give you is this: you have to start up the apps in a specific sequence: Unitrunker first, enabling both (or just the one depending) receivers before you fire up SDR# at all - took me a few tries of re-reading before I realized that's a major aspect of this to get it working right.

If I had to offer a guide to get things working, this would be it:

$20 trunking police scanner | Tylerwatt12.com

Covers most everything necessary, including links to all the goodies - especially all the Microsoft Visual C++ stuff that needs to be installed, sadly. I have like 9 items in my Add/Removes programs now all related to old versions of those library distributions, sheesh.

Good luck...
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Last edited by br0adband; 12-24-2013 at 7:37 PM..
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 12-24-2013, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by br0adband View Post
Gotta ask this so don't fret over it: are you trying to monitor an analog or digital system, and do you have 1 or 2 RTL devices?
I have two dongles, but I'm only using one right now. I actually got the problem partially solved by downloading and installing version 1.27 of Unitrunker. I'm still using that with SDR#, but I understand that this version will control two dongles without having to use SDR#.
Quote:

I think the file you mean is sdrsharptrunking.log which is the file created by Unitrunker (when everything is properly set up, that is) and it'll contain just one line of info with a frequency which is the one that Unitrunker is trying to pass to SDR# so you can actually monitor it - that's the file that Zefie's trunking plugin is looking for to tell SDR# what frequency it's supposed to tune to.
No, it was Unitrunker.xml, which is the Unitrunker configuration file. SDR# looks for that when it starts. For some reason, the older version of Unitrunker didn't install that when I ran Set Up. The new version did and put it in %APPDATA%.

Quote:
Unitrunker.xml is the config file for Unitrunker itself (how you have that app set up, color settings, etc). It's not used by SDR# nor Zefie's trunking plugin, least not as far as I can tell.
If you are in SDR# and try to set up the Unitrunker plug in, it will not work without the XML file. The odd thing was that I could go to the configuration screen in Untrunker and change settings, but there was no XML file that I could find.

Quote:
Covers most everything necessary, including links to all the goodies - especially all the Microsoft Visual C++ stuff that needs to be installed, sadly. I have like 9 items in my Add/Removes programs now all related to old versions of those library distributions, sheesh.

Good luck...
One other thing I did was install the 64 bit version of the C++. I don't know if that was part of the problem, but I thought that the instructions said to run the 32 bit version even if the computer was 64 bit.

Either way, that problem is solved. Now, it Unitrunker doesn't want to show frequencies for 900 Mhz systems, analog or DMR. There's a 700 mhz P25 system near me that I'm going to try too. This SDR stuff can be frustrating, but it's a lot of fun if it's working.

It's a journey, not a destination!
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 12-24-2013, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garys View Post
I have two dongles, but I'm only using one right now. I actually got the problem partially solved by downloading and installing version 1.27 of Unitrunker. I'm still using that with SDR#, but I understand that this version will control two dongles without having to use SDR#.
While that's true - Unitrunker could control two RTL devices if needed - the app doesn't provide you with any audio so, either way yes, you're gonna have to use some SDR app so you can actually do the monitoring aka listening in that all this near-futility is being done for, and since SDR# seems to integrate better for this multi-app usage, well, there ya go.


Quote:
It's a journey, not a destination!
I completely agree, it's been fun so far, limited in most scope but that's a given considering meaning even in spite of what this setup is capable of the lack of actual software to define what I/you/we may want done is the limiting factor here. I swear I wish I could go back in time a bit and take more of a direction towards programming 'cause I believe there's a ton of stuff we can make possible using these sticks even as they exist right now (and will improve over time).

There was a rumor posted recently (might have been in this very thread, can't remember where someone mentioned that Rick (author of Unitrunker and the man himself) may be working towards some merger or hybrid of Unitrunker + RTL-SDR to have a one-app-can-do-most-of-it-all with respect to monitoring trunked communications "properly" - I haven't seen another mention of it and I know Rick is busy doing whatever he does (real-life, etc) so if it's true and it happens, awesome, but if not then we'll make do with what we've currently got.

I got rid of my trusty BC-246T a few days ago, now I honestly miss it and wish I hadn't done it but sometimes you just have to make a break from the past I suppose. It's awesome being able to monitor the huge SNACC system here in the Las Vegas area but geez, not being able to stop and monitor a given talkgroup is incredibly frustrating at this point. I'll live, of course.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by br0adband View Post
While that's true - Unitrunker could control two RTL devices if needed - the app doesn't provide you with any audio so, either way yes, you're gonna have to use some SDR app so you can actually do the monitoring aka listening in that all this near-futility is being done for, and since SDR# seems to integrate better for this multi-app usage, well, there ya go.
A post over at Scan-ne would seem to indicate otherwise. Still, I'm not at that point yet. The analog 900 systems near me I can set up in a scanner and listen easily. I've only monitored them on Unitrunker so I can get used to the program with a known quantity baseline.

There is one 700 Mhz P25 system that I can monitor, but it's still in test and build out phase so there isn't all that much activity yet. Unitrunker recognized it and provided some decode this morning.

Unitrunker won't decode MotoTrbo trunking as of yet, so I'm using SDR# and DMRDecode to investigate that. There's an active group at Scan-ne, and most of them are at least a year ahead of me on this. Once I've become familiar enough with DMRDecode, it's on to DSD for audio. The DPW in my town went to some sort of digital system on VHF, so that will be where I will start. The electric company in my area went to a digital UHF trunk, I think NxDN, I'll look at that too.

There's a whole new world out there for me to play with.

And not to start this debate again, but I think it's a matter of time before some of these modes show up in scanners. The original algorithms for decoding Motorola and EDACS were backwards engineered by third parties who sold the deliverables to Uniden. The big issue isn't patents, it's copyrights. Copyrights last longer than patents and are renewable. By the time the original copyright expires, the technology will be antiquated. Still, a backwards engineered system that doesn't use the same technology as the original would be viable. At least it seems that way

</off topic>

Quote:

I completely agree, it's been fun so far, limited in most scope but that's a given considering meaning even in spite of what this setup is capable of the lack of actual software to define what I/you/we may want done is the limiting factor here. I swear I wish I could go back in time a bit and take more of a direction towards programming 'cause I believe there's a ton of stuff we can make possible using these sticks even as they exist right now (and will improve over time).
We're fortunate in that there are some sharp programmers out there who are also scanner enthusiasts. BCTool and Freescan are pretty good examples of that, as are the trunking decode programs, DMRDecode, and DSD. Amazing stuff.

Quote:

There was a rumor posted recently (might have been in this very thread, can't remember where someone mentioned that Rick (author of Unitrunker and the man himself) may be working towards some merger or hybrid of Unitrunker + RTL-SDR to have a one-app-can-do-most-of-it-all with respect to monitoring trunked communications "properly" - I haven't seen another mention of it and I know Rick is busy doing whatever he does (real-life, etc) so if it's true and it happens, awesome, but if not then we'll make do with what we've currently got.
I think this is what Version 1.27 of Unitrunker does. As I said, I haven't explored that yet but I do have two dongles. I'm one port short on my splitter or I'd probably be playing with that now. Plus my outside antenna needs to be replaced. That's a spring project along with the coax of course. Plus I'm looking for a way to run this mobile, with the antenna and a splitter being the biggest issues at the moment. I'll have to find a set up that won't look too geeky.
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old 12-25-2013, 12:57 PM
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The latest PREVIEW version of UniTrunker does indeed support a two dongle system, one for signal and one for voice. I'm listening to it work on my local MA State Police Zone as I type this. It does a fine job. Each dongle needs to be run in SDR# first to get the PPM correction, then that value is entered into the parameters of each receiver in UT.
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Old 12-25-2013, 1:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garys View Post
I think this is what Version 1.27 of Unitrunker does. As I said, I haven't explored that yet but I do have two dongles. I'm one port short on my splitter or I'd probably be playing with that now. Plus my outside antenna needs to be replaced. That's a spring project along with the coax of course. Plus I'm looking for a way to run this mobile, with the antenna and a splitter being the biggest issues at the moment. I'll have to find a set up that won't look too geeky.
Yes, it does - meaning v1.27 supports two dongles for "proper" trunking (and much faster) operation - but what I meant was that Unitrunker doesn't do audio decoding so you can't use it as a listening app. It merely decodes the control channel data being received by the first dongle which can then be sent over to another app using the Debug receiver (which is not using one of the dongles) - you still have to run some SDR application to control the second dongle which becomes the actual audio receiver for audible monitoring.

I've tried to get things set up with just the one dongle when that was all I had, never had any worthwhile success on that side of things, but with two dongles - one for control channel/Unitrunker, the other for the voice channel/SDR# and DSD in there for P25 which isn't very popular here in my area, oddly enough, at least not yet - it's working great. I gave it several attempts using various guides and tips but I just couldn't manage to make a single dongle functional for any kind of trunking monitoring (analog or digital).

The rumor I read led me to believe that there's a chance that work is being done on creating a single integrated app (Unitrunker + an SDR application) that would accomplish both tasks (monitor the control channel using one dongle and then tuning the voice channel with the second dongle) at the same time which would be freakin' awesome.

Seemed puzzling to me considering modern trunking scanners only have the one receiver: they either monitor the control channel and decode it or they're tuning to a voice channel, they're not doing both at the same time - or maybe I missed something somewhere. When I first heard about SDR my immediate thought was "How awesome would that be with Unitrunker decoding the data and then switching to voice channels and back using SDR..." but that doesn't seem to work right because of the inherent lag I've read about - the time required to tune the control channel, decode it to a point where activity happens, pass that info to the SDR app, the SDR app tunes the voice channel based on that info, when it's done it goes back to the control channel frequency but takes time to resync and pick up again, repeat process.

Or maybe I'm just doing all this wrong in the first place...
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Old 12-25-2013, 2:07 PM
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But the new version of UniTrunker does allow for audio from the voice dongle, if you're monitoring a system that uses analog talkgroups. My interpretation of Rick's remarks are that forthcoming versions of UT will be able to pipe the audio from the voice dongle to DSD. Maybe I'm wrong about the latter, but again I am sitting here using two dongles and recovering analog audio just fine with no 3rd party software. The voice dongle is not set as a debug receiver, it's set as an RTL dongle, as is the signal dongle.

Maybe your comments are exclusive to P25, in which case I believe they would be correct; you still need to get that audio to SDR# and then on to DSD for decoding.
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Old 12-25-2013, 2:41 PM
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Well learn something new every day and twice on Christmas, go figure.

I had no idea at all that UniTrunker could output the audio, I honestly didn't catch that, never saw a single post about it, and my belief - up to this moment - was that it required at least a discriminator tap to function with SDR meaning the signal path would be:

Discriminator tap -->> Unitrunker to decode the control channel data to get the voice frequency -->> voice frequency passed to SDR# by way of the Remote.dll + Zefie's trunking plugin -->> SDR# tunes the voice frequency and outputs the audio

Apparently that's all out the window with the bath water and the baby as of this moment so thank you, scancapecod, for pointing this all out, I simply never caught that UniTrunker could do that. I see now what you're referring to with using both dongles as RTL devices - one tunes the control channel and decodes it for voice frequency and passes that to the second dongle which just tunes it and pipes the audio. Outstanding!!!

Even with this setup it still wouldn't require SDR# for doing digital mode decoding either since DSD can just "tap" into the audio playback using the Windows recording mixer - doesn't even really require using a virtual audio cable app either, awesome.

/me runs off to redo everything with a fresh clean install of UniTrunker v1.27 from December 23rd and learn something else new...
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Old 12-26-2013, 5:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scancapecod View Post
But the new version of UniTrunker does allow for audio from the voice dongle, if you're monitoring a system that uses analog talkgroups. My interpretation of Rick's remarks are that forthcoming versions of UT will be able to pipe the audio from the voice dongle to DSD. Maybe I'm wrong about the latter, but again I am sitting here using two dongles and recovering analog audio just fine with no 3rd party software. The voice dongle is not set as a debug receiver, it's set as an RTL dongle, as is the signal dongle.

Maybe your comments are exclusive to P25, in which case I believe they would be correct; you still need to get that audio to SDR# and then on to DSD for decoding.
Interesting...Can unitrunker connect to the dongles remotely like you can in sdrsharp (rtl_tcp)?
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:28 AM
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Interesting...Can unitrunker connect to the dongles remotely like you can in sdrsharp (rtl_tcp)?
To my knowledge only the USB type connection is currently available.
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Old 12-27-2013, 9:20 PM
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Well, this has me a bit baffled.

I have SDR# with trunking support running and feeding data to Unitrunker. Unitrunker will decode the various 93x.xxxx analog Motorola trunks in my area. Surprisingly, it even decodes the 77x.xxxx Motorola P25 trunk that the MA State Police is building. What it won't do is decode the MSP 800 Mhz analog trunk. Or rather it will when it feels like it, which isn't often. OTOH, Trunk88 decodes that same data like a champ. I get all sorts of data from that.

I'm running VBCable to feed everything. Everything being Trunk88, Unitrunker, DSDPlus, and DMRDecode. I think the problem is with my Unitrunker (1.27) set up, but I can't think of another parameter to change.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 12-28-2013, 2:35 PM
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Yes. As this sounds like something specific to Unitrunker, please start a thread in the trunking decoders forum. We can pick up from there.
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Old 12-28-2013, 2:58 PM
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Yes. As this sounds like something specific to Unitrunker, please start a thread in the trunking decoders forum. We can pick up from there.
I'll do that. I'll do a cut and paste of my post. Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2013, 8:17 PM
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Default trunker plugin

...

Last edited by xnaron; 12-31-2013 at 8:38 PM..
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:28 AM
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I'm having a problem with the Delay Retune feature. If it is enabled, it never tunes to a voice channel. Doesn't seem to matter what the minimum signal is.
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