Can a Pi enable me to do this remotely?

Status
Not open for further replies.

rabrol

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
237
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Hi Team. Looking for your suggestions on how to accomplish something, if it is even possible!

I would like to run a Pi at my cousin's house where the reception is much better than at mine. With 3 or 4 SDRs installed on the Pi (could be a mix of Airspy units, RTL-SDR v3),I would want to be able to run the following

1. General monitoring SDR
2. An SDR that DSD+ Fastlane can connect to that would enable me to monitor DMR systems
3. An SDR that could be linked to SDR# for decoding Tetra via Tetra Net Monitor
4. A FlightAware / PlanePlotter installation

#1 & #3 could be accomplished using SpyServer. However I don't know if SpyServer can handle multiple devices on the 1 machine.
#4 would be easy enough to implement I believe, although it is the least important in priority.

I have no idea if #2 can be accomplished. Is it possible to use DSD+ in this way so that FMP can connect to a remote SDR? Or can this be accomplished another way? With the cost of electricity in Europe, installing a full computer in the house is not really an option.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts / suggestions!
 

xawen

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
18
I've been playing with VirtualHere to do something similar. In my case, I'm trying to get an antenna in the attic without needing to run coax.

VirtualHere turns the Raspberry Pi into a remote USB port. So the SDR looks like it's plugged directly into your client machine and you don't need to worry about compatibility with SpyServer or rtl_tcp. So far, I've gotten it to work with just about everything (SDRSharp, SDRTrunk, Modesdeco2, dump1090, etc...). The only program that hasn't liked it has been Unitrunker.

The one challenge with running it on a Pi is that it needs about the same bandwidth that rtl_tcp does (30-35Mbps for a RTL-SDR v3). I need wireless for my attic setup and I'm struggling to get the Pi's wifi to push that much. But when I plug it in over Ethernet, it works great.

Edit: Some more detail. VirtualHere is free for 1 USB device, so you could try the setup without buying it. You need to pay to attach multiple USB devices to the server. It looks like the license is tied to the hardware though, so you'll need to be sure what device you want to run the server on.

I'm setting up on the same LAN so it's just client -> server. To run the client on a remote network, you'll probably need some sort of VPN/tunnel. That's where bandwidth is going to be the tough part.
 
Last edited:

xawen

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
18
What version of Ut have you tried?
I think it was 2.1.0.28. I've been focused on the bandwidth problem, so haven't had a chance to dig into what's wrong. It's possible that it's just a config issue with the VirtualHere client.
 

Thunderknight

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
2,033
Location
Bletchley Park
4. A FlightAware / PlanePlotter installation
For FlightAware, this is available as a pre-built SD card image...or you can do it yourself.
Then just port forward the local web interface map (I used a non-standard port) to see the local (unfiltered) map.

 

dave3825

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
2,743
Location
New York
I think it was 2.1.0.28. I've been focused on the bandwidth problem, so haven't had a chance to dig into what's wrong. It's possible that it's just a config issue with the VirtualHere client.

I was asking because I know some usb related stuff was done in version 2. It was done before 2 1 0 28. I see they have a windows version of VirtualHere. I might try it out later or tomorrow and see if I get anywhere.
 

rabrol

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
237
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
I've been playing with VirtualHere to do something similar. In my case, I'm trying to get an antenna in the attic without needing to run coax.

The one challenge with running it on a Pi is that it needs about the same bandwidth that rtl_tcp does (30-35Mbps for a RTL-SDR v3). I need wireless for my attic setup and I'm struggling to get the Pi's wifi to push that much. But when I plug it in over Ethernet, it works great.
Thanks for the suggestion of Virtual Here. I like the sound of this software, but the network usage would be far too great in this scenario. Both for the Pi Wifi, and the internet speed at the remote location (average 6mbps upload). It would also require 3 or 4 Pis running in order to accomplish what I'm looking to do. The idea behind it is great though!

For FlightAware, this is available as a pre-built SD card image...or you can do it yourself.
I'm already running FlightAware on one receiver (and using it to feed multiple networks / MLAT clients). I had thought about adding other software to it - e.g. SpyServer. That would allow me access to an RTL-SDR at the remote location as well.

I've read that it is possible to have the Pi run multiple instances of SpyServer, so that's good. Only issue seems to be identifying the particular SDR to connect to. With AirSpy hardware it is no problem, but for RTL-SDRv3 / NESDR units it seems to be a problem SpyServer just picks up any old SDR in a somewhat random order. This is the reason I don't currently have SpyServer running on my FlightAware setup, as it uses a filtered dongle on a tuned antenna. If SpyServer was to seize that instead of the regular RTL-SDR, everything would go haywire!
 

morfis

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2004
Messages
1,182
I've read that it is possible to have the Pi run multiple instances of SpyServer, so that's good. Only issue seems to be identifying the particular SDR to connect to.
If you give the rtl devices unique serial numbers and then start each software instance with a delay you would be able to force the correct adsb-b one first. Second could be spyserver. The spyserver bit would perhaps be more problematic if each rtl device was attached to a different tuned antenna. As spyserver can already use serial numbers it might be possible to have the author add support for 'shorter' numbers as used by the rtl devices.

I am intrigued that you mention electricity costs in the Europe but give your location as Canada?

An alternative might be to use a NUC...not as small or frugal as a pi but considerably more capable of handling four receivers and associated software under Windows (or linux)
 

rabrol

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
237
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
If you give the rtl devices unique serial numbers and then start each software instance with a delay you would be able to force the correct adsb-b one first. Second could be spyserver. The spyserver bit would perhaps be more problematic if each rtl device was attached to a different tuned antenna.

I am intrigued that you mention electricity costs in the Europe but give your location as Canada?
Maybe the software delay is an option, and yes, each SDR would be connected to a tuned antenna. That's why I would want SpyServer to pick up the right one each time. Seems the RTL-SDR serials don't play well with SpyServer. I ran into several problems using mine on the FlightAware Pi until I used an AirSpy branded device.

As for Europe / Canada - welcome to my tricky life! Canada is home, I was meant to be back there in June, but COVID and flight havoc has ensued and as yet I'm still stuck here. More flights starting up, but Canadian airline not handing me back the hard-earned cash used to pay for the flights. I'm sure you get the picture...
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top