OpenWebRX Version 0.18.0 Released: New Decoders for Digital Voice, Digital Ham Modes and More

Back in early January we posted about how the popular web based SDR and RTL-SDR compatible receiver software known as OpenWebRX was officially discontinued by the original author. However, thanks to it's open source licence, code contributor Jakob Ketterl (DD5JFK) has been able to continue developing the code and is taking over as the lead developer on his own fork of the code.

Recently he released version 0.18.0 of OpenWebRX which includes a few major upgrades including the much needed shift to Python 3, and the inclusion of multiple new decoders for DMR, D-Star, YSF, NXDN, FT8, FT4, WSPR, JT65, JT9, APRS and Pocsag.

Hello fellow radio enthusiasts,

with great excitement I would like to announce the availability of OpenWebRX Version 0.18.0 as public release. This is the first release of the project in some time, and the first release since I started working on it, so I’m more than happy to bring this to you.

What’s new? Quite a lot, actually. For those that haven’t had the chance to follow the progress of the project in the past months, here’s a quick overview:

    • Most of the server code has been rewritten for better flexibility, stability and performance. The project is now fully based on Python 3.
    • Large parts of the frontend code have been updated or polished.
    • The new core now supports multiple SDR devices simultaneously, as well as switching between multiple profiles per SDR, allowing users to navigate between multiple bands or frequencies.
    • Added support for demodulation of digital voice modes (DMR, D-Star, YSF, NXDN).
Added support for digital modes of the WSJT-X suite (FT8, FT4, WSPR, JT65, JT9).
  • Added support for APRS.
  • Added support for Pocsag.
  • Bookmarks allow easy navigation between known stations.
  • Background decoding can transform your receiver into an automatic reporting station, including automatic band scheduling.
  • The integrated map shows digimode spots as well as APRS and YSF positions.
OpenWebRX 0.18.0 is available via the following channels: Please check out our updated Setup Guide along with the rest of the documentation on the Wiki!

Questions, ideas, problems? Get in touch with the community at [email protected]!

Best regards and vy 73s

Jakob DD5JFK

We're so glad to see that this excellent software isn't dead in the water and is in fact thriving. We will continue to follow the Jakob's and the OpenWebRX communities' future developments. If you are interested, you can follow OpenWebRX development on the OpenWebRX groups.io forum.

OpenWebRX Screenshot
OpenWebRX Screenshot

19 comments

  1. Jack

    anyone knows how to open the bands on this software? with my raspberry I can only choose the preselected 2m and 70cm but I want to listen outside of the ham bands.. how to do this?

      • jack

        Unfortunately not, I like the concept of this software package but the UI design and usability is a bit stiff right. I also miss the pocsag flex decoding capability and other basic features like dragging the waterfall to go to another frequency

  2. Joseph Jesson

    I understood András to be working now on his PhD and, trust me, this requires crazy levels of day/night focus and work 🙂 Plus, he has moved from his native country of Hungary to the Netherlands (I think) to get his PhD. Congrats to Jakob for his amazing progress with OpenWebRX and new SDRs like ADALM-Pluto.

    Joe W2JEJ

  3. Keith G4MSF

    Hello Andras, I am very new to OpenwebRX.
    I have set up my system on a Pi 3+, and I am very impressed by the software! Thank you!
    May I ask if it is possible to decode DPMR (which is FDMA) transmissions?
    There is/was a number of Chinese walky talkes about that used DPMR (not to be confused with DMR) and within Europe there are some 32 DPMR channels on PMR446, which is why I am very interested in being able to decode these transmissions, but I don’t think, or at least I can’t find, how to set up openwebrx to decode DPMR transmissions.
    May I ask if this mode can be added or if it already is, how to set it up in config_webrx.py please ?
    73
    Keith
    G4MSF/GB7XX

  4. John

    This is really a great development…. WEBRx is a fine UI that is fantastic for getting radios running and doing useful stuff quickly. I can’t thank you enough!

  5. Max

    Server mapping to sdr.hu does not work
    In the last version of the image from 8.02 everything is ok, in the latest unfortunately no server response after entering “localhost:8073/status” even though it can be seen from the outside and works

  6. Joe

    Hello Jakob,
    thanks a lot – fantastic work! Andras also seemed to have created a solid base to build on.
    For a v0.18 this works very well, with the seamless integration of all the digital modes it is very impressive.

    I simply took your image, connected a bunch of SDRs to my Pi3, changed the password, set localization, turned on the SSH server, adapted the config file, selected 30m FT8 on my HF gear and have been receiving signals from Alaska to Argentina, Island, South Africa, Thailand, Japan, Australia, New Zealand … just with a simple magnetic loop under the roof in a noisy multi-family house, here in Munich, Germany. It shows that this decoder works really well.

    Sometimes the mode doesn’t switch correctly (mostly between AM and FM), then I have to select a different mode and click back on the mode I actually need, this usually helps. An AGC and RF gain/limiter would be a nice to have, but so far I am super happy and very impressed with this ready made image. Will soon install it manually on a more powerful Tinkerboard and see how it behaves. Trying larger bandwidth with higher resolution SDRs usually hung up the system – so maybe that will improve.

    Now I have all my receivers on my smartphone/headset wherever I go – it uses appx. 260kBit/s, which is around 2 times mp3 streaming bandwidth, so not as nuts as streaming raw I/Q 🙂 … very nice!
    A low bandwidth mode with “audio only” would also be a great, where you set it up and then optionally turn off the waterfall and other dynamic visual stuff – would be another nice to have.
    Thanks so much and best regards
    Joe

  7. Jakob DD5JFK

    Everybody who enjoyed visiting sdr.hu in the past: I hear you. Unfortunately, that site is still operated by the original author of OpenWebRX, András. I don’t know what intentions he followed when he introduced the login there, nor do I have any influence over his course of action.

    With that said: the receivers themselves are not affected by that change, it’s only the index that has been restricted. So if you do have any receiver bookmarks, history, or other links, they will still work. You can share them amongst each other, too.

    Building a new index on the other hand is a lot of work, and I still have a lot of work to do on OpenWebRX itself. So bear with me, Rome wasn’t built in a day either 😉

  8. Douglas Ward

    It would be interesting to see a web application that uses the WebUSB project as a hardware interface to RTL-SDR –

    https://github.com/WICG/webusb

    Perhaps the standard RTL-SDR library and apps could be ported to Web Assembly and used with WebUSB to create new applications that could be downloaded and executed entirely in a web browser, without a server backend.

  9. Anton OM1AEG

    Jacob, thank you for your work. I’ve been playing with your (docker) version for a couple of days and considering launching permanent 2m server. What I see as a possibility of improvement is control on small touch screens (smartphones), the possibility of turning off the waterfall (saving data) and reworking aggressive Audio ALC (annoying on FM).

  10. James

    It’s a shame that you need to be a HAM operator to access the online SDRs.
    It’s a lot easier to use the airspy spyservers with sdrsharp.

      • DH4CK

        @admin:
        Those receivers listed are KiwiSDRs only, from what I saw.
        sdr.hu listed KiwiSDRs and openwebrx receivers.
        At the moment I don’t see any alternative to sdr.hu.
        I also just looked into the setup file in DD5JFKs openwebrx github repo and I don’t see any comments on other aggregation sites.
        I whish that the openwebrx receivers would be available without an extra login “wall”.

        • harald geier

          I suggest someone with knowledge on web programming hooks in and takes over the part of running a aggragation site similar to sdr.hu which interfaces to the opensource version for signup and availability monitoring . It would not make sense that jakob´s time gets used by this task too.

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