Tagged: DAB

DAB/DAB+ Decoder Software “Welle.io” Now Available on Android

Back in March of this year we posted about “Welle.io”, a DAB/DAB+ decoder that supports the RTL-SDR and other SDRs like the Airspy. It was available for Windows, Linux and Raspberry Pi 2/3.

Albrecht Lohöfener, the author of Welle.io has recently written in to announce that Welle.io is now available for Android as well. The app appears to be free, but is currently marked as beta, so there may still be a few bugs.

The only other app that we’ve seen which is capable of decoding DAB/DAB+ on Android is Wavesink. Wavesink costs $14.90 USD on the Google Play store, but there is a free trial version available with runtime limitations and no DAB+ support.

Albrecht notes that the app is fairly computationally intensive and will require an Android device with at least 4 cores and a clock speed of 1.3 GHz to run the app. He also mentions that they are also looking for any interested developers and translators to help with development of the app.

Welle.io on Android
Welle.io on Android

welle.io: A New RTL-SDR & Airspy DAB/DAB+ Decoder Available for Windows/Linux

Thanks to Albrecht Lohofener for submitting to us his new software package called ‘welle.io’ which is a free DAB and DAB+ decoder and player that supports the RTL-SDR (directly or also via rtl_tcp) and Airspy software defined radios. The software can be run on both Windows and Linux, and also supports Raspberry Pi 2/3 and cheap Chinese Windows 10 tablets.

Albrecht writes that his software is a fork of the qt-dab codebase, with the development goal being to create an easy to use DAB/DAB+ software receiver. The software is still under heavy development, and Albrecht mentions that he is looking for fellow developers and testers to help improve the software and report any bugs. Albrecht writes:

I’m proud to introduce a new open source DAB/DAB+ reception application welle.io https://www.welle.io. welle.io is a fork of qt-dab http://github.com/JvanKatwijk/qt-dab (old dab-rpi and sdr-j-dab) with the goal to develop an easy to use DAB/DAB+ reception application. It supports high DPI and touch displays and it runs even on cheap computers like Raspberry Pi 2/3 and 100€ China Windows 10 tablets. As input devices welle.io supports rtlsdr and airspy.

Currently daily Windows binary builds are available over on the projects GitHub. For Linux and Raspberry Pi users you’ll need to compile the code from source, but in the future he plans to provide Ubuntu snaps.

We gave the welle.io software a brief test and it ran as expected. There is an automatic channel scan feature which scans through all the possible DAB channels and an advanced mode for seeing technical information such as the frequency, SNR and error rates. The software also has a nice touchscreen friendly GUI which automatically downloads and displays the DAB/DAB+ program guide information.

Welle.io DAB/DAB+ decoder for the RTL-SDR and Airspy.
Welle.io DAB/DAB+ decoder for the RTL-SDR and Airspy.

Decoding DAB with an RTL-SDR and SDR-J On an Odroid C2

The Odroid C2 is a $40 USD single board computer with a 1.5 GHz ARM-A53 quad core CPU and 2 GB of RAM. Compared to a Raspberry Pi 3 it is more powerful and costs almost the same. YouTube uploader radio innovation recently wrote into us and wanted to share his video showing SDR-J decoding DAB+ smoothly on his Odroid C2. It seems that SDR-J works perfectly and only uses a small amount of CPU.

DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcast and is a replacement/alternative to standard broadcast FM stations. SDR-J is a software suite that includes a DAB decoder for the RTL-SDR. It is compatible with Windows, Linux and the Raspberry Pi (and evidently also the Odroid C2). Over on their website they also provide a ready to go Raspberry Pi 2 image, and they write that it should perform well on the Rpi2 platform as well.

We’ve also seen that there is a new variant of SDR-J for the Raspberry Pi (and potentially other similar devices) available on GitHub. This one has a nice touch screen friendly GUI, which should be useful for creating a cheap portable DAB device.

Alternative SDR-J Raspberry Pi GUI
New SDR-J Variant for the Raspberry Pi with nice GUI

Receiving DAB with a Raspberry Pi 3 and RTL-SDR

Over on his blog Michael Carden has produced a tutorial showing us how to use SDR-J on the Raspberry Pi 3 for receiving Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) radio. DAB is a type of digital broadcast radio used in several countries outside of the USA for general broadcast radio programs. It usually provides clearer digital audio compared to FM broadcast.

His post starts from scratch, showing how to create a Raspberry Pi image file and configure the Pi, then shows how to install and use SDR-J.

SDR-J is also available for Windows and is compatible with the RTL-SDR and other radios such as the Airspy and SDRplay.

SDR-J Running on Windows.
SDR-J Running on Windows.

SDR-J Now Compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2

The popular software DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) decoder SDR-J has recently been updated and can now run on the Raspberry Pi 2. In addition the author has also added experimental DRM decoding capabilities to his shortwave receiving software. The author writes about the Raspberry Pi 2:

The Raspberry PI 2 has a processor chip with 4 computing cores. By carefully spreading the computational load of the handling of DAB over these cores it is possible to run the DAB software on the Raspberry PI 2.

In my home situation the – headless – Raspberry PI 2 is located on the attic and remotely controlled through an SSH connection using the home WiFi on my laptop in my “lazy chair”. To accomodate listening remotely, the DAB software on the Raspberry PI 2 sends – if so configured – the generated PCI samples (rate 48000) also to an internet port (port 100240). On the laptop then runs a very simple piece of program reading the stream and sending it to the soundcard

DAB is a digital audio protocol that is used in some countries as a digital alternative to broadcast FM (music stations). SDR-J is a suite of programs that includes the ability to decode DAB, FM, and several shortwave modes such as AM, USB, LSB, PSK, RTTY, WeatherFax, SSTV, BPSK, QPSK, CW, NavTex (Amtor-B), MFSK, Domino, Olivia, Hell, Throb and now DRM. It can directly connect to RTL-SDR receivers as well as other hardware such as the Airspy and SDRplay.

Screenshot of SDR-J running on the Raspberry Pi 2.
Screenshot of SDR-J running on the Raspberry Pi 2.

SDR-J Updated to Version 0.98

The RTL-SDR compatible DAB Radio receiving software SDR-J has recently been updated to version 0.98. DAB stands for digital audio broadcasting and is a type of digital radio signal used in some countries for transmitting broadcast radio stations in digital audio.

The new versions fixes some minor errors, brings back their ‘spectrum viewer’ software and also comes with a ‘DAB mini’ receiver which is simply a smaller windowed version of the regular DAB receiver. The new version also now supports the sdrplay and Airspy software defined radios.

SDR-J DAB Receiver
SDR-J DAB Receiver

New DAB Player for RTL2832U

A new Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) player has been released for RTL2832U dongles (Link text is in German use Google Translate to translate). This player uses the official drivers and not the RTL-SDR drivers, although we believe the DAB demodulation is still done in software. You will need to install the drivers provided on the download page to run this DAB player. For R820T models, the Treiber2.zip file should be used and for E4000 Treiber.zip should be used. You will also need have installed the Visual C++ Redistributable package to run the program.

The software UI is written in German, but its controls are easy to figure out for non speakers.

An alternative DAB player that uses the RTL-SDR drivers is SDR-J.

RTL2832U DAB Player
RTL2832U DAB Player

Transmitting DAB with the HackRF

A RTL-SDR.com reader has written in to let us know about his project involving transmitting Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) using GNU Radio and the HackRF. DAB is a digital radio technology that is used to broadcast radio stations. He uses the CRC-DABMUX and CRC-DABMOD software to modulate an audio file into DAB and then uses a GNU Radio python script to write the modulated signal to the HackRF for transmitting.