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KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 10:43 pm
by StandingWave
Hi there,

Now that I finally got my preliminary antennas to be used with the KerberosSDR, I'd like to ask if there's a tutorial anywhere on how to use the KerberosSDR as a simple USB-SDR tuner unit plugged into a desktop PC's USB port, running any typical SDR scanner/tuner software.

Yes, I'm talking about the simplest stuff there is to be done with this "amazing device" - to operate it just as a single or perhaps even a dual-SDR receiver unit? Or did I misinterpret the advertised features of the board?

Sure, the range finding is something I'll look into, but what I'd really want right now is to plug this sucker into a desktop PC, and run either SDRsharp or any supported SDR program on Win7 64bit or Linux environment and just listen to the aether. There seems to be no clear documentation on that whatsoever.

The available instructions that I could find on that one are more or less obscure; such is the case with the forum posts as well.

While it's said in some instances that the KSDR unit will only run on Linux, it's also claimed to being equivalent as running (up to) 4x RTL-SDR units at once. I'm familiar with the RTL-SDR USB dongle stick, they've worked just fine on a Win7/64bit environment with SDRsharp.

Can somebody please clarify this for a KSDR noob like me? Thanks.

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 10:51 pm
by StandingWave
Just noticed that somebody had commented on the same issue to one of the latest articles regarding KSDR on the rtl-sdr.com main site, url : https://www.rtl-sdr.com/kerberossdr-bat ... available/
I don’t care about their radar thingy in the least. 4 nice SDR’s in a box…

Connected up to my SDRTrunk box and its running along fine using 2 tuners.

Problems are:

1) HEAT – Case needs ventilation holes/slots or a fan – I am likely to ditch the metal case shortly and put it in something else or slice and dice that case for some ventilation…..

2) SDR EEPROM is CORRUPT – Thus rtl_test WILL LIKELY BRICK It to set S/N#, as the corrupt EEPROM has CORRUPT S/N. This is an issue with programs like SDRTRunk which use the S/N’s an index. Although it seems to work by luck or fluke right now with 2 tuners for my main test system.

3) Power – Needs to deal with using a proper DC power connector v. USBC and/or trying to get 3A from a USB port… So get a good 5V 3A+ supply….

4) UBS Ports – Seems to dislike some USB ports. I had it plugged in fine, ran for about a week… now it won’t work in either of those USB ports, I had to dig around on the box to find a USB port it would like… (Device is POWERED BY A PS to the USBC port! 5V 3A)

Have not tried it with OP25 yet, as I been testing out other things…and mainly I am concerned unplugging from that box and port and plugging back in after using OP25 on a different box it won’t work at all on that box.

As for license crap.. you can blame two things…

A) DVSI – The WORST company on the planet to deal with … and even P25 is encumbered with this crap. sighhhh… 99.9% of the cost of this is DVSI’s exorbitant licensing even with real radios makers, its out of this world. I can only imagine the grief and crap uniden had to put up with to get this deal.

B) A certain relationship with a certain site which is enriching one person at the expense of others in the community… Thats why I don’t purchase certain radios, they rely on a data store which I am not enriching with my knowledge. all becuase 99.999999% of users are TOO LAZY to learn to program a device. … sighhhhh.

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 5:19 pm
by kb3cs
about DVSI -- you buy an AMBE-3000 chip and you have your license. really, it's not a big deal. no need to lodge irrational complaints. feed it baseband data and it returns audio samples. then use AMBEserver so you can process data-to-audio streams on your LAN (source code is readily available).

i have already posted Hints and Tips for writing serial numbers to the RTL-SDR eeproms in the KSDR. with that accomplished, you can then, for instance, run one spyserver per RTL-SDR.

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 1:13 am
by rtlsdrblog
Remember that at it's core the KerberosSDR is four RTL-SDR dongles.

So it can certainly be used as four independent RTL-SDR dongles without any issue, and it will work on Windows too.

You don't need to do anything special. Just plug it in and treat it like four RTL-SDR dongles connected to your system.

EDIT: I just added a sticky post to the forum that shows how to program the EEPROMS on board the KerberosSDR. Certain programs might expect a serial number, so it can be set via the EEPROM.

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 5:13 am
by Flexme
kb3cs wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 5:19 pm
about DVSI -- you buy an AMBE-3000 chip and you have your license. really, it's not a big deal. no need to lodge irrational complaints.
Complaints are not baseless. I've had the great misfortune to have to deal with them, so know a think or two..

We are not going to agree, and this will devolve into nothing more than a useless argument over my ill view of DVSI. You enjoy your rosey view of them, I will post and flog them relentless, and deservedly so.

We will have to agree to not agree.
kb3cs wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 5:19 pm
i have already posted Hints and Tips for writing serial numbers to the RTL-SDR eeproms in the KSDR. with that accomplished, you can then, for instance, run one spyserver per RTL-SDR.
The posts were reviewed, and I don't trust rtl_eeprom not to corrupt a device. Nor do I trust the posted info in the new sticky.

You want me to test fine. Send me another unit to test it with, then I will. The one I paid for, nope.

Hopefully FUTURE SHIPMENTS will have the EEPROM properly programmed. When I purchase some more for use with OP25, SDRTrunk...

Why would you not properly program to start?????

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 5:27 am
by Flexme
StandingWave wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 10:43 pm
Hi there,

Now that I finally got my preliminary antennas to be used with the KerberosSDR, I'd like to ask if there's a tutorial anywhere on how to use the KerberosSDR as a simple USB-SDR tuner unit plugged into a desktop PC's USB port, running any typical SDR scanner/tuner software.
While it's said in some instances that the KSDR unit will only run on Linux, it's also claimed to being equivalent as running (up to) 4x RTL-SDR units at once. I'm familiar with the RTL-SDR USB dongle stick, they've worked just fine on a Win7/64bit environment with SDRsharp.

Can somebody please clarify this for a KSDR noob like me? Thanks.
What do you want to do on the SDR side???

Trunking - P25, Motorola SmartZone?

NBFM? - local public safety etc.?

NBAM? ie: aviation

ADSB?

Flex/POCSAG?

ACARS?


I can tell you right now... with SDRTrunk works great to follow my P25 system and compare with the real stuff..... I will NOTE that SDTRunk WANTS an S/N for an index... using V3 dongles it won't tune... by LUCK or FLUKE its working right now to run 2 tuners...

I will gladly advise on what you need for the above, but it will BE LINUX ONLY. I don't use any other software. So if it don't run on Linux., it doesn't exist as far as I am concerned.

Basically for any software be it SDRTrunk or OP25 or rtl_airband. just follow the directions as if it were a regular RTL-SDR dongle. If you want to use more than one program remember to use the programs option to specify which...NOTE: SDRTrunk CLAIMS ALL RTL-SDR dongles when it starts. So if 4 are enabled it WILL CLAIM ALL 4 and you can't use them in say rtl_airband.

Just let me know.

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 1:14 pm
by kb3cs
You enjoy your rosey view of them, I will post and flog them relentless, and deservedly so.
you, sir, have drawn a conclusion without evidence.

obtaining a license and capability to encode/decode using DVSI technology is presently a simple matter of commerce. simple consumer commerce, as a matter of fact. no B2B and NDAs required.

the global effect of public (and private) entities deciding to use closed proprietary single-source technology is another matter entirely, and one i did not touch upon. with this said, you may surmise our views to be more aligned than your aspersion assumes. and you would be correct.

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 4:18 am
by rtlsdrblog
Flexme wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 5:13 am
The posts were reviewed, and I don't trust rtl_eeprom not to corrupt a device. Nor do I trust the posted info in the new sticky.

You want me to test fine. Send me another unit to test it with, then I will. The one I paid for, nope.

Hopefully FUTURE SHIPMENTS will have the EEPROM properly programmed. When I purchase some more for use with OP25, SDRTrunk...

Why would you not properly program to start?????
Running rtl_eeprom is not really dangerous, it's a very commonly used tool. As long as you don't start messing around with the -w flag, not much can go wrong.

KerberosSDR is intended for use with our coherent software, which doesn't require the EEPROM. Several programs like SDR# also don't care about the EEPROM. But the EEPROM is there for those who need it, and it's easy to program.

If it comes to light that more people decide to use the KerberosSDR as 4x independent RTL-SDRs instead of coherently with our software, we might look into preprogramming the EEPROM.

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 12:34 pm
by kb3cs
at the time i set my serial numbers, there was no information available about what (if anything) might already be in the KSDR eeproms.

being exceedingly cautious, i used a "least number of bytes changed" method in an attempt to preserve any 'magic bytes' in the eeprom the KSDR software might need.

now that it has been made clear the KSDR eeproms start off COMPLETELY UNINITIALISED: the sticky note here in the forum documents how quick-and-easy initialising the eeprom can be.

Re: KerberosSDR as a simple RTL-SDR replacement tuner? Seriously.

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 6:18 am
by StandingWave
Hi! I sure stirred up the pot, hehe.

Thanks for the answers, people. Just to clarify, I might not be as SDR-noob as I might've presented myself as; I've got both the latest SDRsharp (SDR#) and the latest SDR Console (v3) configured on Win7/64bit and know the rudimentary basics due to my work background - I've successfully tried running two of my RTL-SDR's simultaneously with both SDR# and SDR Console V3. I did that by changing the serial number on the other one of the two sticks with the rtl_eeprom utility.

The two-stick "patent" seems to be working just fine, especially with SDR Console v3. Well, I haven't figured out a way yet to combine two SDR receiver sources into a single program instance/matrix window view - my guess that's not implemented (yet) in the software, so, although it recognizes multiple SDR sources simultaneously, it's only possible to use one per program instance. *"If I was a rich man ..."* *whistles*

Anyway, sidechains aside - the two-stick-hack w/ rtl_eeprom worked just fine on the RTL-SDR dongles. I only changed the S/N as was instructed elsewhere and left all the other settings untouched - using an incremental numerical value (= +1) for the second dongle's S/N.

As that 2xRTL-SDR s/n gimmick worked just fine on those original RTL-SDR v3's, I've been feeling tempted to try out if it is possible to flash the EEPROM's on the KSDR in the same way, for Windows to recognize them as 4xRTL-SDR tuners, and me not bricking the device in the process.

Now ... Am I haplessly off the tracks here, or should the KSDR, if it works as advertised, work just about exactly like four separate SDR tuners, even in a Win7 64bit environment - after all, KSDR was advertised as being a 4xRTL-SDR-in-one, i.e. highly suitable for dimwits like me ... Ahem, except, didn't someone already try out exactly that? I mean, flashing the serial# with rtl_eeprom, and ended up bricking the thing? I'm kinda looking for a solution to that small glitch rite here. Remember those times when hardware came with a manual, even the kind you could print up from the internets as a PDF? Yeah, me neither! Hehe!

As for the suggested KSDR setup, I have a few Linux boxes and the RPI 3B+ as recommended for the KSDR, but I would really just like to tune in with i.e. SDR Console v3. That'd be something called a "hassle-free setup" for me.

Tell ya what, if I get the KSDR working as 4 independent RTL-SDR's in Windows somehow, I'll write a tutorial about it. Might even make a how-to vid onto Youtube. How's that?
"KSDR Windoze7 Setup For Assburgerish Whiny Baboons - Made Easy "
- I'd buy that for a -- wait --