Running an RTL-SDR on OpenWRT

OpenWRT is a special custom Linux based firmware designed to create a fully functional Linux system on a internet router by replacing the stock firmware. Since OpenWRT is Linux based, it is possible to install the RTL-SDR software and run it on the router itself. On his blog Tom Jones has posted a brief tutorial showing how he got the RTL-SDR working on a WR703N router that is running OpenWRT. Basically he just installs the RTL-SDR package which is available through the OpenWRT package manager and runs rtl_tcp, but he talks about a few adjustments he had to make to the rtl_tcp buffers to make it run smoothly. The WR703N is a mini wireless router that goes for about $30 USD on Amazon.

We also looked around for more information about running RTL-SDR on OpenWRT and found this older post from Yuval Adams showing how he got dump1090 and the flightradar24.com feeder running also on an OpenWRT’d WR703N router.

The WR703N wireless router which is capable of running OpenWRT and RTL-SDR.
The WR703N wireless router which is capable of running OpenWRT and RTL-SDR.

3 comments

  1. Schaumi

    works like a charm!
    only had some trouble to get the webinterface running, in short: i had to copy all the files in the dump1090 folder in /usr/share/ to the webserver that is already running, like, the default one that serves the configuration gui, to /www. like:
    mkdir /www/dump1090
    cp -r /usr/share/dump1090/ /www/dump1090
    or use mv if you’re short on disk space… ;P

    this would let me open the webinterface, but then i got an error about a missing json file,
    but here a:
    dump1090 –net –write-json /var/run/dump1090
    did the trick. i mean, i did not change anything in the html file, shouldn’t this be, like, the default path where it should write to? or did i get something wrong? anyway, hope somebody might find this useful… 🙂

  2. Aaron ball

    Hi guys, I would love to get one of these up and running. Is there a step by step instructional for a noob? I have the router and sdr with Windows running on my tough book. Any info or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

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