PiScan - an SDR Radio Scanner

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fire42man

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I've been working on this project for a while, and it seems there's enough interest out there that I've decided to take the wraps off.

Here's the elevator pitch: there's lots of SDR software out there, each of which have their own purposes. I've seen plenty of blogs that praise an RTLSDR as being a "$20 police scanner", but I had yet to find any program that functioned just like a scanner. At best, there would be a primitive scanning feature integrated into a resource-heavy desktop application. I wanted something that would function just like my RadioShack and Uniden scanners and could be embedded onto a Raspberry Pi, so I set out to build exactly that.

In short: it turns a Raspberry Pi into a scanner with a virtually unlimited number of channels. It can be controlled from the Pi, remotely from a PC, and eventually, a smartphone, and can cover as many as 200 channels per second.

86255

Source code and usage instructions for this project can be found at https://github.com/ezratl/PiScan

Development is currently in alpha, meaning there's still many features yet to be added. Thank you and happy scanning!
 

w2lie

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This is awesome!
I look forward to playing around with this and seeing where this project goes!
 

Falcon4

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Thank you for making this Sunday possible! I have another image laying around im going to pop that in and give this a whirl.
 

DC31

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Nice. This looks auite interesting.

The sdr sticks that I have (which nay be older models) each have a ppm correction. I don’t see a setying for this in PiScan Client. Will these sticks work with your program?

Thank you
 

fire42man

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Nice. This looks auite interesting.

The sdr sticks that I have (which nay be older models) each have a ppm correction. I don’t see a setying for this in PiScan Client. Will these sticks work with your program?

Thank you
Currently the backend code doesn't support PPM correction - that will come when I expand config options for dongles (it just picks the first available dongle for now) in the nearish future.

The client will eventually be able to modify the config, but for now config.json has to be edited by hand
 

boatbod

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I suspect you may find the digital protocols and voice codecs are going to consume considerably more computational resources than simple analog. There is a reason all the existing SDR apps tend to be fairly heavyweight. Good luck and have fun with the development!
 

DC31

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Just gave it a try on my pi3 (Raspbian Buster(. Followed the installation steps from Github step-by-step. When installing the dependencies about half of them failed to install. The git clone of the repository seemed to work fine but then it couldn't find ./bootstrap. At this point, I gave up for tonight. Any suggestions on where I went wrong? The thread of my activity is attached.
 

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fire42man

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Just gave it a try on my pi3 (Raspbian Buster(. Followed the installation steps from Github step-by-step. When installing the dependencies about half of them failed to install. The git clone of the repository seemed to work fine but then it couldn't find ./bootstrap. At this point, I gave up for tonight. Any suggestions on where I went wrong? The thread of my activity is attached.
A quick google search revealed there's a widespread issue with one of apt's mirrors right now, so it looks like you'll have to modify your sources.list to get around the issue until it's fixed. Also, bootstrap.sh is located in the PiScan folder, perhaps I should've added that you need to cd into the cloned repo before running it
 

DC31

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Ahh. I will give it a day or two. Also, I find that the file in the PiScsn directory is named boostrap.sh rather Than bootstrap.sh so it appears there may be A typo involved too.
 

DC31

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Okay, so I have dependencies installed this morning and have made lots more progress. The make live555 command took a long time and spit lots of warnings, but ended successfully. The two liquid dependencies are still a hang up.
 

ScubaJungle

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I wonder if, instead of doing this solo, you could integrate Unitrunker and DSDPlus and add all of the protocols that come with them? Basically, you'd have three major icons - EDACS/P25PI scanning(unitrunker), DMR/NXDN/P25PII, etc scanning (DSDPlus), and then an analog scanner, and you open whichever one you want based on what you're listening to.
 

sallen07

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Development is currently in alpha, meaning there's still many features yet to be added. Thank you and happy scanning!
Tried it but couldn't get it to build. I understand that it's alpha so I'm certainly not complaining, and I look forward to trying it again when you release the next version. I was pretty excited to see you mention your efforts in another thread as I've often wished I had an "analog scanner" to run on a Pi.

I would encourage you to focus your efforts on the current "analog non-trunking scanner" functionality since it fills a real void; OP25 already provides an excellent solution for P25 and DMR trunking.
 

boatbod

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I wasn't sure if they had Linux versions/would be willing to adapt them for a project like this
There is existing linux code that understands P25 conventional, P25 trunking ph1 & 2, some variants of DMR, YSF, DStar and Motorola Type II (Smartnet/Smartzone). All it needs is a much better UI, a configuration tool, some documentation and then it'll be quite happy to run on a Pi3 or Pi4.
 

DC31

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Okay, more progress to report. I finally got through installing all the dependencies, I think. Most of my problems related to the installation mirrors being down. Again, the make all command took a long time and spit many warnings but completed successfully. I can start the program from the build directory, it recognizes the sdr stick, then ends in a segmentation fault. Is that because I haven’t done any configuration of the program?

Or, more likely, An SD card issue? I wasn’t starting with a fresh install of Raspbian so that will probably be my next step.

ACFF1195-322C-4253-B55A-C698A5034F3D.jpeg
 
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fire42man

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Okay, more progress to report. I finally got through installing all the dependencies, I think. Most of my problems related to the installation mirrors being down. Again, the make all command took a long time and spit many warnings but completed successfully. I can start the program from the build directory, it recognizes the sdr stick, then ends in a segmentation fault. Is that because I haven’t done any configuration of the program?

Or, more likely, An SD card issue? I wasn’t starting with a fresh install of Raspbian so that will probably be my next step.

View attachment 86360
Looks like I may have missed a case that led to it trying to scan an empty database - did you create a systems.json file and place it in PiScan/data?
 
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