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  • Automated FM band scan reporter and web site

    I'm the author of the live TV band scan on rabbitears.info I'm happy to announce that I've written a version for FM radio stations that broadcast RBDS and am looking for other people to participate. It is at https://rabbitears.info/tvdx/fm_all_tuners

    You will need a software defined radio compatible with sdrsharp (also called sdr#) software, the 'FM DX RDS Data Logger' plugin for sdrsharp, and some software I wrote that parses the log files that plugin creates. The plugin doesn't start automatically so there is a limitation that you have to configure and start it each time you start sdr#

    I also have something running for GQRX on linux, but it is not ready for prime time. If you are familiar with compiling software, installing packages, etc under linux I can give you some basic instructions. It works on an old laptop I have, and sort of works on a Raspberry Pi 4 (AM and FM-OIRT demodulation is broken, but the band scan part works OK).

    If you're interested in participating, contact me at XXXX_vhf@hotmail.com Substitute XXXX with my ham radio call sign KB8U

  • #2
    Very interesting. I supposed there are some DXers who use SDR# but those of us who have RSPDuos for the phasing must use Uno software and then I know there are those who love Console (I like it very much also). I have an Airspy Mini but use console for that one. Too bad you can't log stations that don't use RDS but I understand why. There still are thousands of stations who don't.

    Interesting about GQRX. I have it on my laptop (I use Mint 20.1 on my HP laptop) and GQRX is okay and I know the developer has put in plenty of time on it, but the PTYs are for Europe and they can't be switched to US. I'd use it for FM DXing but only if I had no other alternative, which is why I dual boot.

    But good luck with your project.
    Mike B.
    Enfield, CT
    -72° 30' W/41° 59' N
    FN31RX

    Online since 1999 and still going at
    mikesdx.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I just happened to discover this last night and quickly got it up and running today! I use both the RSPDuo/SDRPlay and Airspy with either SDR Console or SDR# so it was easy to give it a try. I'd imagine I won't have it running when I'm actively DXing an opening but this could come in very handy just leaving on overnight or while at work.
      Jeff Lehmann - N1ZZN
      Hanson, MA FN42NB

      Comment


      • #4
        Larry--so excited to see this! I've been using SDR Sharp along with the RDS Data Logger plug in for about five years...and it's put lots of new stations in the logbook by allowing it to run unattended and then looking up decodes later in the WTFDA database. This takes the same concept to an entirely new level.

        Now, I'm strictly a Windows guy, so the idea of "compiling packages", etc. is a little scary for me--but I have the hardware and software configured and running now. Can't wait to add Birmingham, AL to the list of sites. This is super exciting. We need these all over the country--it would be like our very own e-skip detection network! Hope lots of FM DX'ers will join in.

        Thanks for all that you do for the hobby.

        73,

        Les Rayburn, N1LF

        Comment


        • #5
          I just began using the RDS logger a few days ago using SDRConsole V3. I assume the logger is the same one as for the SDR#. One problem I have here is that I have at least 6 stations, that I know of, that broadcast the WRONG PI code and call letters. All, I think, are K prefixes but are local and semi-locals here in Virginia. With the logger, is there a way to lock out certain station from showing up? Next question is, do I need to continually scan the FM band when I'm not actively DXing because I haven't figured out how to do that in SDR Console, only in SDRUno.?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Denniskb View Post
            I just began using the RDS logger a few days ago using SDRConsole V3. I assume the logger is the same one as for the SDR#. One problem I have here is that I have at least 6 stations, that I know of, that broadcast the WRONG PI code and call letters. All, I think, are K prefixes but are local and semi-locals here in Virginia. With the logger, is there a way to lock out certain station from showing up? Next question is, do I need to continually scan the FM band when I'm not actively DXing because I haven't figured out how to do that in SDR Console, only in SDRUno.?
            I don't think you're talking about using the RabbitEars auto logger, just RDS in general. Most iHeart stations use a 1 as the first digit of the PI code, which makes them show up with K callsigns. For example, 93.3 WSNE sends out the code 1586, while the correct code for their call letters would be 8586, The RabbitEars auto logger is somehow set up to understand these codes for the iHeart stations near me, possibly using the WTFDA database.
            Jeff Lehmann - N1ZZN
            Hanson, MA FN42NB

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            • #7
              Note that Russ has a version of this for both SDRSharp (#SDR) and for SDRConsole. E-mail him for details.

              Working on getting this setup for my site in Birmingham.

              Comment


              • #8
                Where do I download the software?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shaftan View Post
                  Where do I download the software?
                  Rick-- To download the software, you need to contact Russ directly via e-mail. He will assign a unique user number for you, and send you links to get you started. Let him know if you want to run SDRSharp (#SDR) or SDRConsole or if like me, you want to try both.

                  He can be reached here:

                  If you're interested in participating, contact me at XXXX_vhf@hotmail.com Substitute XXXX with my ham radio call sign KB8U

                  It will be great to have you join us. Super fun!

                  73,

                  Les Rayburn, N1LF
                  Maylene, Alabama

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Up and running now in Alabama. We need more stations out West. Easy and inexpensive project...join in on the fun.

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                    • #11
                      After running now for two weeks, including one great opening on June 28th, I can say that this tool is nothing short of incredible. During that opening, I was able to dedicate the Airspy HF+ SDR to the Rabbit Ears auto-logging of RDS stations--which netted dozens of new receptions for the log. At the same time, I also recorded an 8mhz I/O file using the AirSpy R2 for later review, and DX'ed LIVE using the Elad SDR. Russ has created something really special for FM DX'ers here.

                      Easy to get started, and can be done using an inexpensive RTL SDR (Dongle) for about $20 bucks married to a simple outdoor antenna including a dipole. Let it run 24/7 and you'll be amazed at the new stations that you'll log.

                      Some suggestions for improvement:

                      It would be great if the software could alert you when you log "All Time New Ones." By flagging these for say 72 hours. After you've logged a lot of stations, it's not easy to spot when a brand new station is logged for the first time. Adding this "Flag" would really make the tool more useful.

                      After a big opening, the new stations don't always disappear from the "logged in the last 24 hours" section but instead linger. This can clutter the map and make the tool less useful.

                      Minor things to be sure...love this tool. We need more FM DX'ers from the West in USA and Canada. What are you waiting for? Join the fun today!


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Updated my computer to the latest version of Windows 10 last night...this morning it still hadn't finished the install, and I had to begin again. Ended up missing a big part of the opening this morning with the auto-logger. Still put two news ones in the log.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would love to participate. I have an SDRPlay RSP1A, although I'm on a Mac using Gqrx.
                          Kyle / DX Sphere
                          Moses Lake, WA (DN07hc) - Home
                          Ellensburg, WA (CN96rx) - Secondary
                          https://kaylonsphere.neocities.org/

                          kingcobra333@gmail.com
                          The DX Sphere (YouTube) | kaylon_sphere (Twitter / Instagram)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Denniskb View Post
                            I just began using the RDS logger a few days ago using SDRConsole V3. I assume the logger is the same one as for the SDR#. One problem I have here is that I have at least 6 stations, that I know of, that broadcast the WRONG PI code and call letters. All, I think, are K prefixes but are local and semi-locals here in Virginia. With the logger, is there a way to lock out certain station from showing up? Next question is, do I need to continually scan the FM band when I'm not actively DXing because I haven't figured out how to do that in SDR Console, only in SDRUno.?
                            See Jeff-MA's comment.

                            You can try substituting each other digit for the 1 in the first digit of the PI code. For example, if you log 18C6 on 105.9 you'll find it converts to KDIK. There is no KDIK.

                            Try 28C6, 38C6, 48C6, 58C6, 68C6, 78C6, 88C6, 98C6 in a PI-to-callsign converter. (I have one on http://www.w9wi.com/articles/rds.html) You'll get:
                            28C6 KJJY (92.5, Des Moines IA)
                            38C6 KPLM (106.1 Palm Springs CA)
                            48C6 KVNA (100.1 Flagstaff AZ)
                            58C6 WBOO (ch. 50 Elk Mound WI)
                            68C6 WHQC (96.1 Shelby NC)
                            78C6 WNRQ (105.9 Nashville)
                            88C6 WTTE (ch. 28 Columbus OH)
                            98C6 WZUS (100.9 Macon IL)
                            You can reasonably presume you had Nashville.

                            (this one was really unusual in that every substitute PI actually exists!)
                            Doug Smith W9WI
                            Pleasant View, TN EM66
                            http://www.w9wi.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by w9wi View Post

                              See Jeff-MA's comment.

                              You can try substituting each other digit for the 1 in the first digit of the PI code. For example, if you log 18C6 on 105.9 you'll find it converts to KDIK. There is no KDIK.

                              Try 28C6, 38C6, 48C6, 58C6, 68C6, 78C6, 88C6, 98C6 in a PI-to-callsign converter. (I have one on http://www.w9wi.com/articles/rds.html) You'll get:
                              28C6 KJJY (92.5, Des Moines IA)
                              38C6 KPLM (106.1 Palm Springs CA)
                              48C6 KVNA (100.1 Flagstaff AZ)
                              58C6 WBOO (ch. 50 Elk Mound WI)
                              68C6 WHQC (96.1 Shelby NC)
                              78C6 WNRQ (105.9 Nashville)
                              88C6 WTTE (ch. 28 Columbus OH)
                              98C6 WZUS (100.9 Macon IL)
                              You can reasonably presume you had Nashville.

                              (this one was really unusual in that every substitute PI actually exists!)
                              Don't forget about A8C6 - WQSK (97.5 Madison ME)
                              Kyle / DX Sphere
                              Moses Lake, WA (DN07hc) - Home
                              Ellensburg, WA (CN96rx) - Secondary
                              https://kaylonsphere.neocities.org/

                              kingcobra333@gmail.com
                              The DX Sphere (YouTube) | kaylon_sphere (Twitter / Instagram)

                              Comment

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