SDRTrunk Suggestions for improving live monitoring

brian

DB Administrator
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 10, 2000
Messages
1,971
Location
South Carolina
I am a long-time DSD+ Fastlane user who has recently shifted my monitoring platform to SDRTrunk + rdio-scanner. I am not a linux user, so OP25 and Trunk Recorder are not options for me. My use case is live, real-time monitoring - I am not recording for archive nor am I streaming. I am monitoring a single P25 Phase I simulcast site that is fairly busy with traffic.

I really like the display of information that DSD+ FL provides, showing activity and detail per RF channel, along with the activity details in a separate window. I can't figure out a way to display information in a similar way in SDRTrunk. Frequencies in use pop up and disappear dynamically, often before I can even read them. But SDRTrunks' P25 simulcast audio recovery is SO much better than DSD+ FL, I can actually hear and understand everything being said. I like that SDRTrunk supports similar priority functionality to DSD+ FL, and I use that extensively to ensure I hear things that are most important to me.

With SDRTrunk using two audio channels (left and right), I realized how much radio traffic I was missing through a single audio channel on DSD+. But I tend to get confused during casual monitoring with double audio streams and I see no way to "pin" certain talkgroups to a specific audio channel. It would be cool to have fire and EMS on the left channel, and law enforcement on the right channel, for example.

Rdio scanner has the great benefit of keeping up with all transmissions and playing them sequentially. But in doing so, I lose the priority functionality. And I have noticed that during daytime (busy) hours, I can have 100+ queued recordings, and I'm almost 10 minutes delayed in hearing them.

So, what other strategies have other folks found who use these tools for live monitoring? Any tips and tricks for improving my experience?
 

dispatchgeek

Complex combination of diodes, marbles and valves.
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
217
Location
Between the cornfields and the pastures, Michigan.
I asked the Rdio Scanner developer about implementing a “live” mode that skipped the queue and played the latest file. It would be nice to switch to “live mode”in busy periods where as you pointed out the app gets several minutes behind. Developer saw worth in it, but didn’t seem super interested to implement it.
 

dave3825

rebmeM evitcA
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
5,936
Location
Suffolk County NY
I messed around a little with rdio scanner but mostly use Trunking Recorder with Sdrtrunk and listen pretty much live (slight delay due to the amount of tg's I have set to record 24/7) at night. When its busy, I tell Trunking Recorder the tg;s I want to listen to and use that as my priority. And if I miss something or want to hear any activity on a tg that I was not listening to, since its recorded and set to keep for 20 days, I am good to go.
 

brian

DB Administrator
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 10, 2000
Messages
1,971
Location
South Carolina
DSDPlus does support dual audio channels.
How so, exactly? I think you can specify the output device to use the left channel, right channel or both. But to my knowledge DSD+ still only provides audio from a single RF channel at a time, whereas SDRTrunk can provide 2 audio channels at once. I think it would be cool to "steer" certain talkgroups to a specific channel, which might make it easer to follow when 2 audio channels are heard at one time.

I supposed one could run two instances of FMP/DSD+, and use priorities to limit each instance to a certain set of talkgroups, and assign each instance to a different audio channel. That seems complicated, and one then has to tolerate the poor audio quality of DSD+ FL.
 

DaveNF2G

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 8, 2023
Messages
62
Location
Cohoes, NY
I hear simultaneous audio on both speakers from different talkgroups or slots when using DSDPlus. I don't think there is a way to steer the audio. It probably balances the load somehow, because the same groups do not always come from the same speaker each time.

As far as quality, YMMV applies here. I have found SDRTrunk to be inferior in almost every way.
 

dispatchgeek

Complex combination of diodes, marbles and valves.
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
217
Location
Between the cornfields and the pastures, Michigan.
Elaborating more from a real keyboard- The sequential playing of files by applications like Rdio-Scanner, Trunking Recorder, Open MHZ and the Calls platform is a blessing and a curse. Sure, it's nice to copy all of the traffic when things are calm, but during a dynamic situation these options quickly become inundated if you are monitoring more than a handful of talkgroups.

I ran Rdio-Scanner for a while fed by my Bluetail P25RX. Even with only one TG at a time, Rdio-Scanner would still manage to gain a significant delay during busy periods.

IMHO, a toggle to prefer real time by logging all traffic and only playing the most recent file available would really elevate my experience with the "store and forward" style applications. It would more readily emulate a standard scanning experience while still allowing you to go back to recently recorded files for more context.

I really want to like Rdio-Scanner. It's polished and beautiful- I just wish I could use it for monitoring a large system without tons of delay. I also really like Trunking Recorder and actually use TR to ingest MilAir traffic from ProScan.

I do believe the option to switch between "sequential"and "near-realtime" modes would be a huge advantage.
 

millam

Old Radio Guy
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
549
I hear simultaneous audio on both speakers from different talkgroups or slots when using DSDPlus. I don't think there is a way to steer the audio. It probably balances the load somehow, because the same groups do not always come from the same speaker each time.

As far as quality, YMMV applies here. I have found SDRTrunk to be inferior in almost every way.
I am curious, what type system are you getting left and right audio from 2 different freqs, slots NEXEDGE, DMR or P25?
DSDPlus / FL will only give me 2 separate left-right when monitoring DMR, only left or right with NEXEDGE and P25.
SDRTrunk does give me left/right audio on 2 freqs when listening to P25, depending on bandwidth of course, no capability
for NEXEDGE I believe. Brian did say he was monitoring P25.

Mil
 

Kazzaw

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
323
Location
South East QLD, Australia
I think Dave might be confused. DSDPlus will give you left and right audio, but only from a single frequency (slot 1 and slot 2 of supported system).

The difference is SDRTrunk will give you the above, but also can monitor other frequencies at the same time and okay through a left or right channel. SDRTrunk is superior in its ability to monitor more than one frequency simultaneously
 
Top