using SDRplay on a 32 bit os

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N4TKO
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:44 am

using SDRplay on a 32 bit os

Postby N4TKO » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:17 pm

first of all, running Slackware 14.1 (32 bit) on a quad core intel machine
3.5Ghz i5 cpu
4G ram

i tried downloading the api, installing soapysdr and soapysdrplay, as well as gr-osmocom. when trying to run a test in gnuradio, i keep getting errors that there is no source device connected. saw some errors that hinted at the driver being a 64 bit driver. so i tried two live dvd solutions (skywave and another ubuntu with SDR apps installed). after installing the sdrplay api, soapysdr, soapysdrplay, and cubicsdr from scratch on those two distros, found that yes, the driver does work in a 64 bit environment, but cubicsdr soon chews up all available memory and swap space, and crashes badly.

i'm not familiar enough with ubuntu to track down the reason for the memory hogging (i think it may have something to do with ubuntu's use of ramdisk), but i have been using Slackware for almost 20 years, and am quite a bit more familiar with it (and it doesn't need ramdisk to run)

can somebody point me in the right direction to:
a) install the sdrplay api properly in a 32 bit environment,
b) get soapysdr, soapysdrplay, and gr-osmocom properly installed in a 32 bit system
c) get gnuradio working with sdrplay (which didn't play nice with gnuradio in a 64 bit environment either)

any help here would be appreciated.
Last edited by N4TKO on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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GrahamC
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:59 pm

Re: using SDRplay on a 32 bit os

Postby GrahamC » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:32 pm

Good day,

All good questions.

I had a lot of trouble trying to get SDRPlay working on a 32bit slackware install. I almost got there but in the end never really did everything working the way I wanted.

In order to get even that far along I had to build all the soapy and gr-osmocom bits and pieces and GQRX. Got it sort of working but spent far too much time - many (too many) hours fussing over something that should be simple. In the end I even managed to screw up GQRX so badly that I couldn't even use one of RTL dongles.

In the end I felt it time I needed to do a re-install of the OS so I opted for a 64 bit version of Ubuntu (Mate) and started the process over again but this time going down the path to get CubicSDR going and in that regard by just following the online instructions for CubicSDR I got things working to a good level.

I think if CubicSDR continues to be developed and improved upon along the path they have been following then it will be a pretty decent piece of SDR software and so far it isn't too bad at that.

what is really missing from SDRPlay's sandbox is a simple and easy to install SDR app for Linux - both 32bit and 64bit. Windoze has some good SDR apps but the Linux side is very disorganized.

Good luck.

cheers, Graham ve3gtc
Last edited by GrahamC on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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N4TKO
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:44 am

Re: using SDRplay on a 32 bit os

Postby N4TKO » Sat May 07, 2016 5:21 am

tnx... i got a copy of Skywave Linux (which is 64 bit Ubuntu) and installed it on an external drive. i got the API and all the Soapy stuff installed and working properly. i tried CubicSDR, but it has very serious memory leak issues, but was at least able to verify the radio works. got gr-osmocom installed properly and reinstalled gnuradio on the ubuntu system, i also installed sdrangelove. i used sdrangelove to get some nice pix of spectra that i found interesting using 8Mhz bandwidth (which after a fashion is 8Mhz, since the response drops off a bit at the outer edges, and is only really accurate for a 6Mhz width). i got some nice pix of HDTV (ATSC) signals, an 8Mhz chunk of the FM broadcast band, and an L-band pulse radar (according to several sources, it's used for mapping wind shear at Denver International Airport). i verified the radio's operation down to 20khz (yes, it can be made to work that low, and up to 1.65Ghz. i've been using sdrangelove and gqrx. sdrangelove has some limitations as a spectrum analyzer, such as the spectrum display window only having two widths, 1.65Mhz and 8 Mhz, and they can't be zoomed to fit the SDRplay's bandwidth setting. sdrangelove also doesn't have a speed control for the waterfall, and with some signals, if you blink you missed it.

gqrx works great not just as an analyzer but a radio as well. the ability to see other signals pop up while listening to something else is really nice... if i had tools like this when i was young, shortwave listening wouldn't just have been a hobby, but an obsession...
Last edited by N4TKO on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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georgemacin
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:32 am

Re: using SDRplay on a 32 bit os

Postby georgemacin » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:35 am

Technically x86 simply refers to a family of processors and the instruction set they all use. It doesn't actually say anything specific about data sizes. The term x86 started out as a 16-bit instruction set for 16-bit processors (the 8086 and 8088 processors), then was extended to a 32-bit instruction set for 32-bit processors (80386 and 80486), and now has been extended to a 64-bit instruction set for 64-bit processors. It used to be written as 80x86 to reflect the changing value in the middle of the chip model numbers, but somewhere along the line the 80 in the front was dropped, leaving just x86.

Macin

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Regina M. Delafuente
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:41 pm

Re: using SDRplay on a 32 bit os

Postby Regina M. Delafuente » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:42 pm

georgemacin wrote:Technically x86 simply refers to a family of processors and the instruction set they all use. It doesn't actually say anything specific about data sizes. The term x86 started out as a 16-bit instruction set for 16-bit processors (the 8086 and 8088 processors), then was extended to a 32-bit instruction set for 32-bit processors (80386 and 80486), and now has been extended to a 64-bit instruction set for 64-bit processors. It used to be written as 80x86 to reflect the changing value in the middle of the chip model numbers, but somewhere along the line the 80 in the front was dropped, leaving just x86.

Macin


Thanks for explanation.

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