Raspberry Pi and SDRs

I had an idea that my RSP2 SDR could sit in the loft driven by a Pi in the shack. The Pi in question had DireWolf and a DVB-T stick watching APRS traffic. Ideal, I though. Hmmm.

I really thought this would be easy and a web search suggested that it should all work, my plan being to use the Pi to serve the SDR remotely from one of the laptops. 

My first attempt was to install a fresh Raspberry Pi OS and install SoapySDR and SoapySDRPlay. However, various bits of SoapySDR failed to compile due to some things not being found, even though I followed the instructions to the letter. A web search found only two identical but unanswered questions, so no help there.

More searches. SDRPlay have a useful looking image for the Pi where it will run in a number of modes, including soapy remote. This seemed just what I wanted. It all went in and the Pi throws open port 1234 which web searches indicated as the right thing for it to do.

However, SDRPlay refuses to play whatever I try. I have again followed what instructions I can find regarding remote operation, some of which point to the SoapySDR package so I downloaded those onto the Windows laptop. Again, no go. Trying a different mode results in – nothing.

There was also a claim that SDR Console will see a remote SDRPlay but it won’t for me and given my setup works really well for the Pluto / QO100 transceiver I have no intention fiddling with that further.

CubicSDR made promises as it at least mentioned Soapy Remote but will not find the Pi. Stuffing bits in by hand results in nothing.

Trying different modes in the SDRPlay Pi image yielded nothing further.

There seems no way to progress, so I have, for now at least given up and gone back to using the good old DVB-T dongle which at least has a simple plugin that works for data bits like APRS via DireWolf. At least it works.

Now, I’ve been fiddling about with software all my career and I would / should be able to figure this out. But thinking as a beginner all it would lead to is frustration. If this kind of facility is viable then more thought needs to go into documentation, simple step-by-step guides with problem solutions, and simple one-click installations rather than sending the user chasing around the globe finding bits that end up not working. Yes, I know the software is all provided as-is and someone has spent a lot of effort in building each bit for free. And yes, if I make the time to figure it out I will produce such a guide,  but don’t hold your breath as many other projects are calling for attention.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though (and it’s not just someone with a torch bringing more work!) – using the guide at https://www.2m0sql.com/2012/10/10/remote-sdr-using-raspberry-pi-rtl_tcp/ and SDR# on the Windows laptop at least the DVB-T dongle is working fine. Something to build on pending me sorting the SDRPlay out.

Of course, the nice thing about the Pi is it is so easy to copy a new image if you make a mess, and keep several SD cards with various ‘experiments’ on them.



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