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Old 15-05-2013, 05:58   #106
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Lars thankyou for this pointer and your notes.
Quote:
For Debian/Ubuntu/LinuxMint users: I really have to recommend the excellent guide on installing gr-ais on
DE8MSH *** German Shortwave Listener Station: Howto build a RTL-SDR environment on Ubuntu 10.04LTS !
In my spare time, Boat_Alexandra has had me occupied on other things. Thus I have not yet purchased one or tried it yet. Hopefully soon, but for now I am being a sponge, listening, gaining vicarious experience.

Now that I have Ubuntu 12.04 setup, it make more sense to try it because it may work for Weatherfax sound files too.
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Old 16-05-2013, 02:33   #107
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

You're welcome Rick!

I can only wish you good luck!
With that 3.2 kernel you'll probably won't be able to watch DVB-T, but that's not what you are aiming at.
-Knowing nothing about your PC I can only mention that if you've got a laptop with intel ** integrated graphics and your Ubuntu driver is not better than the Debian6-version you might get a 'segmentation fault' when you try to run OpenCPN. If so just start OpenCPN without OpenGL-support from terminal by:
Code:
$ opencpn -no_opengl
Pavel helped me out with that.

Best regards
Lars
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Old 16-05-2013, 05:07   #108
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Quote:
....Ubuntu driver is not better than the Debian6-version you might get a 'segmentation fault' when you try to run OpenCPN.
Larsed I do have a DELL XPS 15 laptop with intel integrated graphics + NVIDA Geforce GT 540M. I use the Geforce GT 540M, but I understand the Intel Graphics adds to current draw and I wish I could remove it. With Ubuntu 12.04LTS and VitrualBox (sugggested by Pavel) Opencpn seems to runs fine. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:30   #109
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Well, I got this working on my Windows Vista laptop with a Terratec TStick+, SDR#, AISMon, and OpenCPN 3.2.2. The solution to the problem was a better antenna. I pulled the masthead antenna cable out of the back of my VHF radio and clipped it to the antenna base supplied with the TStick+. Immediately AISMon started decoding messages and passing them to OpenCPN.

Read about SDR# here: SDR# | A Software Defined Radio in C# and download it from this page: Downloads | SDR#

Scroll down until you see this section, download the zip file and follow the link to the installation instructions.

Important note for RTL-SDR users
You can use this quick installation script to test the latest development version:
http://sdrsharp.com/downloads/sdr-install.zip
A step by step installation instructions can be found in the community website:
Windows Software [rtlsdr.org wiki]
Linux Software [rtlsdr.org wiki]
To get started with SDR# you may be interested by the excellent document from Henry (N2VFL) :
SDR# Quick Start | atouk alunda vita


You can download AISMon here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aismon/files/ if you're a member of the Yahoo group. The file you want is AISMon 2.2.0.exe. Google "aismon download" for other sources.

You need VB-Cable to pipe the audio from SDR# to AISMon. Look for it here: VB-Audio Virtual Cable

Finally, here's an excellent tutorial on how to put everything together: RTL-SDR Tutorial: Cheap AIS Ship Tracking - rtl-sdr.com

I haven't solved the antenna issue just yet. I'm OK with using my VHF antenna for testing, but I'm not willing to trade use of the radio for experimental AIS. I'm going to try putting together some adapters so I can use a "rubber ducky" antenna from an old hand-held VHF and see if that works any better. But if you try this and can't get any AIS messages the chances are you, too, need a better antenna.

Fabbian
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Old 19-05-2013, 21:13   #110
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

I wonder how ais-mon compares to gr-ais. Maybe with gr-ais you don't need as good of an antenna.

Should be fine to receive ais and audio on the same antenna at the same time. When transmitting, I think it can still receive ais, but it might drop those packets. Anyone done this yet? Can I just solder antenna into both radios, or is there ground loop problem if computer is powered and not isolated?
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Old 19-05-2013, 21:18   #111
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Sean...
I would say that you can't just solder them both directly to the antenna not to fry the dongle - it has probably not been designed to handle the power the VHF produces when transmitting... At least this they say when they sell all those Antenna splitters.

Pavel
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Old 19-05-2013, 22:12   #112
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Current rtlsdr.dll can be found at this post.
Plugin Threads (List)
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Old 20-05-2013, 14:07   #113
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsed View Post
You're welcome Rick!

I can only wish you good luck!
With that 3.2 kernel you'll probably won't be able to watch DVB-T, but that's not what you are aiming at.
-Knowing nothing about your PC I can only mention that if you've got a laptop with intel ** integrated graphics and your Ubuntu driver is not better than the Debian6-version you might get a 'segmentation fault' when you try to run OpenCPN. If so just start OpenCPN without OpenGL-support from terminal by:
Code:
$ opencpn -no_opengl
Pavel helped me out with that.

Best regards
Lars
Just a note that some Intel integrated graphics works OK. My eeepc 901 has Integrated GMA 950, and works OK. Lately with XUbuntu 12.04 and 13.04.

Thomas
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Old 20-05-2013, 14:53   #114
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Thank you Thomas and Lars. For some reason this Dell XPS 15 Laptop with Intel Integrated Graphics (IIG) and Nvidia Geforce 540m graphics, set to use Nvidia works fine with Opengl and not, when running Ubuntu 12.04LTS and Opencp. - I understand it does use more power and I have read some documentation on this dual graphics card setup that says something about the two boards sharing graphics jobs, which sounds like it could be a problem (but perhaps Dell sorted it out before this version of the laptop came out).
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Old 27-05-2013, 05:35   #115
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Rick, sorry for a late reply!

My reason for the delay is that I'm not quite sure that I know what I'm talking about and that I wouldn't risk to lead you completely wrong! So be careful with what I write!

I'm not used to the advanced nVidia cards, I have preferred ATI during these years, I'm not used to Ubuntu and I'm not used to your Virtual installation through Virtualbox in circumstances and with problems like these.
Well, in that order:
If I've met conflicts or malfunctions between my "extra" ATI graphics and the integrated graphics (mostly nVidia) in my real-harddisk (non-virtual) installations I mostly can disable the integrated graphics through blacklisting it in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf. In my laptop with single intel integrated graphics the intel driver is named something like "i9xx". Your nVidia graphics should, if I've understood things right, work with the ordinary "nvidia" Linux driver. What I mean in short is enabling the "nvidia" and disable/blacklist the "i9xx" driver. That is, if you do not use the nVidia proprieatary driver.

A link concerning installation of nVidias proprietary Linux-driver for your card i Kubuntu12.10 you can find here: [SOLVED] NVIDIA GT 540M Linux Driver

Quote:
- I understand it does use more power and I have read some documentation on this dual graphics card setup that says something about the two boards sharing graphics jobs, which sounds like it could be a problem (but perhaps Dell sorted it out before this version of the laptop came out).
I'm not familiar with what you describe but I read something similar in this thread concerning whether the laptop's -not graphics- configuration is using "NVIDIA Optimus Technology" or not:
Scientific Linux Forum.org -> NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M + drivers
From what I could read the Optimus technology could cause problem in som Linux dists at least up to 2012 if you couldn't turn Optimus off in the laptop BIOS.

Finally: The reason your Ubuntu installation in Virtualbox (though I can understand Pavels suggestion, it's a easy way to learn a new OS but it sometimes doesn't behave exactly as a "real" installation!) possibly can add some extra uncertainty to my lines above is that I sometimes have seen that the Virtual machine -be it Virtualbox or VmWare Workstation in some cases do not allow your installed guest system (in your case Ubuntu) to communicate directly to the host system's (in your case Windows) hardware but use "Virtual machine drivers" to connect to the hardware. That has happened to me for instance concerning parallell port or usb, somethimes also the sound card. -This could complicate the simple blacklist-method above.

One final note about your virtual installation that only is valid if you plan to install gnuradio/gr-ais in your Ubuntu installation: As both Sean (finally I guessed that Sean really was boat_alexandra, and not Jean as I erroneously guessed) and I have noted: gr-ais puts very heavy load on the processor! When you install a Virtual machine you have to share -among other things- processor- and ram-capacity between the host system and the virtual/guest system. -That is, your Virtual machine has not got access to all of the processors capacity.

I hope my lines were not too confusing, and above all doesn't lead you all wrong!! I just wanted to say something about having tried to think about your sometimes occuring problem with the dual graphics. And, if I should have misunderstood the whole thing about your virtual installation and the complications that could follow from that I can only hope that you'll excuse me and that someone will correct me where I am wrong. Perhaps I can learn something from that too.

Regards
Lars
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Old 27-05-2013, 06:25   #116
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Lars, Your notes are very good and all ring true. The VirtualBox guest sharing is a little finicky, but when it is working it works. Sometimes when I an unable to cut and paste from Windows Thunderbird email (for example) to Linus Teminal the git commands I have created, or I am unable to get access to the Windows-Linux shared folder (guest additional services), etc I have to shut Ubuntu down and reboot. Then it often works. Sometimes it takes two reboots. I used to reinstall the .iso but have found that is unnecessary most of the time.

I will look into your bios suggestion for disabling optimus (I don't know if I have that, but I do have the latest Nvidia drivers).

I think it will be interesting to see if Virtualbox runs the rtldsr sound successfully. I have not tried USB services yet either.

Thanks for your thoughtful response. It puts things in perspective. Largely, after some struggles I have Virtualbox-Ubuntu under control. I may have to move up to v13 however with sound card. ...we will see.

I agree about ATI, they were our mainstay for 286 onward with CAD.

Yes,
Sean=boat_alexandra
Jean=ptizef
both programmers and Sean is really prolific, and Jean is very good detail and interface oriented. We're lucky they contribute so much. They worked together on grib successfully merging features, it was interesting to watch.

Thanks
Rick
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Old 25-06-2013, 01:49   #117
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgd3 View Post
Has anyone had any luck with this? I got a Terratec TStick+, installed SDR#, VB-Audio, and AISMON. I can listen to broadcast FM using SDR#. I can pick up the marine VHF FM weather channels and a time or two I picked up some traffic on other VHF channels. I can see the horizontal lines that represent AIS data on the SDR# waterfall.

With AISMON and OpenCPN connected via UDP 127.0.0.1:10110 I can replay the LA_LB_Snippet.wav file and see AIS targets at Long Beach.

But I haven't had any luck getting AIS targets to appear locally. Perhaps the signals are too weak, perhaps I'm missing a step. I'm trying to pipe the audio from SDR# to AISMON by using VB-Audio. It seems to work. If I fool around with the AF gain in SDR# the level in AISMON responds, so I think the pipe is working. Any ideas?

Fabbian
Hi,
I have at last managed to get this running in Windows 7 (schools out) using SDR Sitck, SDRConsole V2, Stereo Mix VSPE and AISMon in to OpenCPN. I'm in a low traffic area and am processing around 35% valid messages.
The main issues I found are:
1. RX audio needs to be 80% -90% in both Stereo Mix and SDRConsole V2. Audio volume is the main issue and needs a lot of tweeking
2. SDRConsole needs to be in FM Narrow 12kHz mode with Freq correction of -103 for my stick, 42dB gain and no internal AGC, and then center to RX data burst in VCO window for both A & B freq, SDRConsole will run several VCO's at a time.
3. Antenna, I'm using a co-ax co-linear vertical home made also used for ADSB.

I tried SDR# but found SDRConsole V2 to be nicer to use, in Win 7, in Linux I'm using GR-AIS which is very reliable but does take some setting up and for work I needs Windows apps so am happy to have it running in Windows now.

Regards
David
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Old 04-08-2013, 14:09   #118
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

No reply, just an update.

Every time my server is up I note that quite frequently people from here and there try to download the SuSE-description i wrote in may. Though I explicitly said that my server is only intermittently up and it should not be kept permanently downloadable?

I can mention that in fact it is still in the same directory but in version 3, that is, in full path: http://lee-mactux.dyndns.org/public_...2.3.en.v.3.pdf but I do not encourage downloads . And make no promise it will remain there or in that version (or from autumn on perhaps not even in the same domain ).
-The most important correction from v.1 is that you should not download and build the specific version of gnuradio that we recommend, but the current version found under /news since the version of gr-osmosdr is better related to that.

A couple of weeks after I made the description accessible I noticed that someone had uploaded it to rtl-sdr.com. -No hard feelings, but I should have preferred to be asked first, or at least noticed. That should have made it possible for me to make a last revision.

Regards

Lars

Since this was written I've changed domain to www.lee-mactux.org, the download-directory though is the same.
Today the description covers SuSE12.2-12.3. In time it's possible it will come updates relating to 13.1-->.
If anyone should want to dl it, I therefore refer to the directory so you can choose file version:
http://www.lee-mactux.org/public_htm...dio/downloads/
Server isn't up 7/24, but normally daily 17-22 CET (UTC+1) except during summer.

Edited by larsed 2014-02-04
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:35   #119
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
but I understand the Intel Graphics adds to current draw and I wish I could remove it. With Ubuntu 12.04LTS and VitrualBox (suggested by Pavel) Opencpn seems to runs fine. Thanks for the heads up.
I am running Ubuntu 12.10 with an i7 3770T 45watt version of the processor and using the intell HD4000 video. 32 gigs of ram. With three ssd drives and two three terrabyte drives it only pulls about 18 watts of power sitting at the desktop browsing the Internet. If I play a movie it jumps to mid 20 watts. The 24 inch monitor pulls another 22 watts. So when you talk about the intell graphics adding to current draw, how much do you mean. I went with the on board HD4000 to reduce power consumption while getting a very full powered computer. I realisze this is still a bit more power than a lot of small laptops but this is a full high performance desktop other than the video that is using the intel on chip HD4000. I don't game and it does well enough that I can play two hd movies streamed to two different 24inch monitors at at the highest resolution the monitors support 1980x1600? at the same time with no lag or stutter. here is a link comparing the xeon version that I actually bought with the 3770 version. Intel Core i7-3770T vs Xeon E3-1265L v2
as far as I can tell they are the identical same processor just re-packaged under different model numbers. I got the xeon version becuase at the time it cost 50 dollars less than the i7 version.

I am using Opencpn on this (ubuntu 12.10 and intel HD4000 graphics) with no issues. ( I do have the use opengl setting unchecked in the configuration. It's been a few updates so I just for shits and giggles enabled it and restarted opencpn and it is working fine now)
The Intel HD4000 graphics seems to be fully supported even for multi monitor with no special configuration. I am using hdmi and display port to hdmi for the two monitors and can with a couple clicks of a mouse switch the audio stream from one monitor to the other through the hdmi. No special configuration again.

I tried to get the dongle with gnu radio to pull ais into it about 6 months ago and gave up due to the difficulties of making it work. Not sure how much it has progressed in ease of setup. I went ahead and purchased a em-trak b100 transceiver. It is still to be installed. I had a few extra dollars and someone knocked about 25% off retail on one for me and I really liked the idea of being able to send as well as receive on the ais. I wouldn't mind still getting the gnu radio version running as a backup receiver though.

ok time to quit messing around on the internet and pay the bills
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:38   #120
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Re: Fast cheap AIS using $20 rtl-sdr DVB-T SDR Dongles !

audeojude,

I won't comment on your intel or energy questions, since I neither have got that hardware nor experiences.

I cannot offer to guide you through the sdr-AIS installation in your Ubuntuversion, but just wanted to remind of a guide I mentioned higher up in this same thread:
. . . DE8MSH - THE SHORWAVE LISTENER STATION: Howto build a RTL-SDR environment on Ubuntu 10.04LTS
in combination with the script he uses for building gnuradio:
http://www.sbrac.org/files/build-gnuradio
I have found it useful in the old Debian Squeeze (6) as well as the newer LinuxMint 13 and 14.
-But since you mention it: I would never say that the complete build/install was easy.

You have got an excellent SDR-compatibility list here:
rtl-sdr
and here:
RTL-SDR compatibility list v.2 [work in progress, please help!] : RTLSDR

But, I would never rely on the DVB-T-receiver for navigation purpose.

Lars
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