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Old 14-09-2017, 18:29   #1
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OpenCPN 4.8.0 / Ubuntu / rtl-sdr Help please!

Hello all,

I am a new OpenCPN user and have a small amount of experience with rtl-sdr dongles. I cannot get things quite working on OpenCPN 4.8. / Ubuntu 16.04. I have installed rtl-sdr, aisdecoder and the rtlsdr plugin. I can perform an auto calibration through the rtlsdr plugin preferences window.

What I cannot do is select a program or enable AIS in the rtlsdr plugin preferences window.

I think I am missing something obvious but I cannot find anything else in the documentation or through Google. Does aisdecode need to be installed in a particular location to be accessed by OpenCPN? Do I need to run aisdecode from the command line and start a UDP connection to OpenCPN?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
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Old 16-09-2017, 07:22   #2
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Re: OpenCPN 4.8.0 / Ubuntu / rtl-sdr Help please!

rtl_fm | aisdecoder is outdated, use rtl_ais instead.

The plugin manages rtl_ais running and stopping it as needed, you do not need a udp connection. New versions of the plugin do not need to invoke rtl_ais, as they link directly with it, rtl_ais is built into the plugin.

You can run rtl_ais, without the plugin manually, and then you do need to make a connection.

Most likely reason you cannot pick up ais messages, is a bad antenna and/or incorrect ppm correction.
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Old 16-09-2017, 09:19   #3
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Re: OpenCPN 4.8.0 / Ubuntu / rtl-sdr Help please!

Thanks for the help. I am in Steamboat Springs, CO for the weekend without my boat laptop so will try rtl_ais next week.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:55   #4
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Re: OpenCPN 4.8.0 / Ubuntu / rtl-sdr Help please!

I never could get this working and it was definitely not an antenna issue.

As an aside I picked up QK-A026 Wireless AIS+GPS Receiver from Quark Electronics of Tindie for about ~$100 as a more permanent solution. I have not given it a real sea trial yet but at the dock it works great and was easy to get set up with OpenCPN.
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