Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Discuss KerberosSDR - 4x Coherent RTL-SDR
rtlsdrblog
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Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by rtlsdrblog » Sun May 05, 2019 3:39 am

If you want to use the KerberosSDR as indepenant 4x RTL-SDR dongles you can do so easily, just plug it in and treat it as an RTL-SDR.

But some programs require that the EEPROM be set with different serial numbers. By default the EEPROM is NOT programmed.

To program it use rtl_eeprom in each RTL-SDR device sequentially, either by using the -d flag to select a device, OR by using the DIP switches to turn all off except for the one that is being written. If you use the DIP switch method, the -d flag will be 0 each time.

First write the generic RTL-SDR OEM info to each device's EEPROM with:

Code: Select all

rtl_eeprom -d 0 -g realtek_oem
rtl_eeprom -d 1 -g realtek_oem
rtl_eeprom -d 2 -g realtek_oem
rtl_eeprom -d 3 -g realtek_oem
Next set the device string:

Code: Select all

rtl_eeprom -d 0 -s "001"
rtl_eeprom -d 1 -s "002"
rtl_eeprom -d 2 -s "003"
rtl_eeprom -d 3 -s "004"

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kb3cs
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Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by kb3cs » Sun May 05, 2019 12:51 pm

suggest adding "-m RTL-SDR -p KerberosSDR" to each of the commands in the second set.

in this way, you can tell the RXs in the KSDR box apart from any other RTL-SDRs starting with a basic 'lsusb'.

StandingWave
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by StandingWave » Sat May 11, 2019 6:39 am

rtlsdrblog wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 3:39 am
If you want to use the KerberosSDR as indepenant 4x RTL-SDR dongles you can do so easily, just plug it in and treat it as an RTL-SDR.

But some programs require that the EEPROM be set with different serial numbers. By default the EEPROM is NOT programmed.

To program it use rtl_eeprom in each RTL-SDR device sequentially, either by using the -d flag to select a device, OR by using the DIP switches to turn all off except for the one that is being written. If you use the DIP switch method, the -d flag will be 0 each time.

First write the generic RTL-SDR OEM info to each device's EEPROM with:

Code: Select all

rtl_eeprom -d 0 -g realtek_oem
rtl_eeprom -d 1 -g realtek_oem
rtl_eeprom -d 2 -g realtek_oem
rtl_eeprom -d 3 -g realtek_oem
Next set the device string:

Code: Select all

rtl_eeprom -d 0 -s "001"
rtl_eeprom -d 1 -s "002"
rtl_eeprom -d 2 -s "003"
rtl_eeprom -d 3 -s "004"
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Pardon all the verbal spiraling on the ambiguity of the device, this one cleared things out once and for all.

:shock: :D

Have an excellent Saturday! Cheers!

StandingWave
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by StandingWave » Sat May 11, 2019 7:35 am

P.S. Here's a blog post that's quasi-related to any RTL-SDR related eeprom flashing woes one might experience, along with a couple of useful "what not to do to avoid this in the first place"-tips:

Un-Bricking an RTL-SDR Dongle after an EEPROM write
(From Feb 8, 2018)

http://ka7oei.blogspot.com/2018/02/un-b ... eprom.html

So, essentially it's possible to un-brick a bricked RTL-SDR unit if something goes awry with the flashing, although the whole un-bricking procedure as explained in that blog post seems quite daunting.

Just a heads up! :!:

StandingWave
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by StandingWave » Sat May 11, 2019 10:37 am

OK, so I plugged in the KDSR for the first time, the Generic RTL drivers (for all four RTL-SDR's) installed just fine on Win7/64bit - I see four RTL2832U devices on my Device Manager, but when I run rtl_eeprom.exe (x64) just for a quick overview on what's the status on KSDR, without reading or writing anything into the eeprom, I get this message:

Code: Select all

\...rtl-sdr-release\x64>rtl_eeprom.exe

Found 4 device(s):
  0:  Generic RTL2832U
  1:  Generic RTL2832U
  2:  Generic RTL2832U
  3:  Generic RTL2832U

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U
usb_open error -12
Failed to open rtlsdr device #0.
In comparison, when I changed the S/N on my RTL-SDR USB dongle with the same software and computer (I have no SDR units at all plugged into this PC, and I used this same rig to rewrite a RTL-SDR firmware, that worked just fine).

Troubleshoot, Ignore, Abort, Retry?

Any ideas?

Thanks.

StandingWave
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by StandingWave » Sat May 11, 2019 10:47 am

Found this from another RTL-SDR.com thread, not sure if this applies to KSDR. If it does, you might want to point this one out since if this is the case, it'll be the first brickwall for Windows (at least 7, 64-bit) users.

(From: viewtopic.php?t=110 )
You might need to disable windows automatic driver installs if it's causing problems, sometime for some reason Windows will overwrite your own installed drivers after a few minutes of installing them. http://www.microcentertech.com/tech_cen ... 06661B.htm

Then reinstal the RTL-SDR drivers via Zadig.
That solution is from 2014, and the person with the driver problems was a Windows Vista user, so ... Well. I'll try to Zadig those drivers first on my Win7/64bit and see how it goes. After that, I'll re-check the EEPROM status.

Cheers.

StandingWave
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by StandingWave » Sat May 11, 2019 11:14 am

I've Sherlocked this one out a bit. Let's rewrite the KSDR eeprom howto-guide a bit, shall we? ... Just the very first steps of the ladder, so that folks don't hurt themselves:
====================================
INSTALLING KSDR AS 4x RTL-SDR ON WINDOWS 7 / 64BIT.
====================================

1. To use all four receivers in the KSDR, make sure all the dip switches are switched to ON position.

2. Plug in the USB over USB3-C bus power cable and the MicroUSB to USB data cable [in which order??? I plugged in power first and then the data, just to make sure it received enough juice to install the drivers, that worked OK.]

3. Your Windows PC should now be automatically installing the RTL2832U Generic Realtek drivers.

4. Go to Device Manager (click "Start" and type in "device manager" without the quotes and press enter or choose it from the search results that appear in the start menu).

5. All four of the The RTL2832U units should be listed as four separate devices in your Device Manager's list of devices (open the device lists to see where they installed into. You should see four devices with the same name listed underneath each other).

6. Get the freeware driver installer program Zadig for the driver installation, by following the same procedure as are listed in the RTL-SDR dongle installation guides. See i.e. and follow the instructions from #6 onwards from the RTL-SDR dongle's "Quick Start Guide".

Link: https://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-quick-start-guide/

(You can download the latest version of the Zadig driver installer software straight from the developer at https://zadig.akeo.ie/ )

7. [Quick reference] Run Zadig as Administrator, check the "Options" drop-down menu to see that you have selected/checked "List All Devices" and "Ignore Hubs or Composite Parents" if you don't otherwise find your devices, which are listed as "RTL28232U". [NOTE: USB ID HAS TO BE: "0BDA 2832"]

8. Install driver for the first RTL2832U instance that you see from the device list menu [given that you have no other RTL2832U devices in your PC!]; it should be in the same bulk as with the three other RTL2832U devices. Just install the driver for the very first instance you come up with as you scroll from top down.

9. Click on Install Driver (WinUSB). Zadig should contemplate for a while, you might get an alert to verify system changes, and finally, there should be a notification on the lower left corner of the Zadig window saying: "Driver Installation: SUCCESS". If not, then it's back to square one.

10. I just ran my version of the "rtl_eeprom.exe" [NOTE: just to see what it'll comment on the KSDR now - no data written yet]. Now, things worked out a bit better than with the initial try, well, at least I got this listing and a loud BEEP tone:

Code: Select all

...\RelWithDebInfo\rtl-sdr-release\x64>rtl_eeprom.exe
Found 4 device(s):
  0:  Generic RTL2832U
  1:  Generic RTL2832U
  2:  Generic RTL2832U
  3:  Generic RTL2832U

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner

Current configuration:
Error: invalid RTL2832 EEPROM header!
Error: invalid string descriptor!
Error: invalid string descriptor!
Error: invalid string descriptor!
__________________________________________
Vendor ID:              0xffff
Product ID:             0xffff
Manufacturer:                                                                
                                                                   ÿ±
Product:
Serial number:
Serial number enabled:  no
IR endpoint enabled:    yes
Remote wakeup enabled:  yes
__________________________________________
So, I'm one step further now, but what should I do with those error messages in the current configuration? All help kindly appreciated and feel free to copy&paste whatever parts you found useful from my adventurous yarn! :o)
Last edited by StandingWave on Sat May 11, 2019 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

StandingWave
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by StandingWave » Sat May 11, 2019 11:19 am

Ha! The dip switches!

Aren't I glad I didn't flash anything yet.
rtlsdrblog wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 3:39 am
If you want to use the KerberosSDR as indepenant 4x RTL-SDR dongles you can do so easily, just plug it in and treat it as an RTL-SDR.

But some programs require that the EEPROM be set with different serial numbers. By default the EEPROM is NOT programmed.

To program it use rtl_eeprom in each RTL-SDR device sequentially, either by using the -d flag to select a device, OR by using the DIP switches to turn all off except for the one that is being written. If you use the DIP switch method, the -d flag will be 0 each time.
Will look into it. Might have to emphasize this step a bit more than usual in the Win7 "Quick Blast Manual" :D

Note that the dip switches in the KSDR need to be in ON position initially, or some of the units will be not be recognized. I'm a bit worried on the "invalid EEPROM header" + "invalid string descriptor"-arguments that came with exclamation points. And a BEEP from the speakers. A bit hesitant to try flashing anything onto a device that gives out such a litany on a dry run...

StandingWave
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by StandingWave » Sat May 11, 2019 11:40 am

Well, GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY!

WOW! Just as I was prepared for another uphill battle, but decided to give it a try as it is.

I didn't even have to flash the RTL-SDR :D Just for the heck of it (since Windoze7 did recognize the KSDR w/ Zadig drivers OKNP), I just ran the SDR Console v.3.0.9 and ... Well, I've already noticed that it's awesome just by trying it out for a while - way more resource-friendly and crash-proof in comparison to SDR#, at least in Win7/64bit. Donationware, available from https://www.sdr-radio.com/ ... Now I know where to donate a significant chunk of my mortal eeprom--remains to.

SDR Console v3 instantly recognized the KSDR as four different SDR receivers and even offered me choices to pick from with the installation! Now I know to which dev to shovel all them cash monies when I gets some! WOW. I was already about to give up :D Lesson learned: NEVER GIVE UP. There's still good things left in this world.

Instead, I'll do my good deed and SHUT UP now, and listen to the airwaves. Thank you :geek: :mrgreen: :ugeek:

... May these abovementioned Saturday excursions & related ramblings bring joy to this troubled world. Cheers!

StandingWave
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Setting the KerberosSDR EEPROM

Post by StandingWave » Sat May 11, 2019 10:42 pm

Well ... that fun ended pretty quickly.

Soon after I realized that the host software I was using (still without the KSDR EEPROM flashed, a.k.a. SDR Console v3, can't handle multiple instances of the KSDR, at least with the Zadig driver kit

SDRCv3 did show the RTL-SDR units as separate units and the same gimmick worked when I used two RTL-SDR dongles on SDRCv3.

Upon starting a completely separate instance of the software to cover frequencies outside of the main app's scanner's bandwidth limitations at the same time - the only way I've figured that to work is to run two instances of the software at once.

It worked fine with my previous setup of 2x RTL-SDR dongles, but for some reason, at least with just the WinUSB drivers installed (have not flashed the unit yet), SDRCv3 says that the unit is already in use, no matter which one of the tuners I choose.

I'm not sure if this has more to do with the EEPROM not being flash or how SDRCv3 handles those four instances of the detected RTL-SDR's.

The "Radio Definitions" window says there's 4x "RTL Dongle - R820T", w/ freq. 50-2000MHz each, the serial number of them being the same in each one, but the address being listed as "Generic:RTL2832U:[[serialnumber]]-x", with "x" being the number of the radio receiver from 1 to 4.

The "Option" menu lists the following: "Vendor: Generic, Product: RTL2832U, Serial: [serialno, the same in each], Tuner: Rafael Micro R820T"

One option from here on would be, that I could try out would be to try running KSDR as RTL-SDR over TCP with a Raspberry Pi 3B+. That's a whole different ordeal in of itself, then.

All help kindly appreciated, especially on whether or not I should try flashing the KSDR, given the premises that I posted earlier.

Thanks.

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