Thursday 27 January 2022

Using Spyserver


I am building my second antenna rotator this month, one which allows a much larger dish to pick up L-Band. As it will be outside well out the way of my desk imac, I have to find a way to communicate with the rotator from a distance. I decided to check out Spyserver by Airspy which can be downloaded from the link.

Spyserver is a way to send your radio signals remotely over wifi to your desktop or laptop. It is a great idea for many situations. So I gave it a shot to use with rotator 2.0.

The devices I tried to use:
Raspberry pi Zero W - Did not work: Far too underperforming, not enough GPU or Ram
Nvidia Jetson TK1 - Working.
Did not work: The Airspy deb files for spyserver include an option for Armhf so I tried to use this one. The Jetson TK1 is 32bit. However for now I could still not get it to stream.
Updated: It works on TK1 32bit > I use 'Spy server - SDR Server for Linux ARMHF' from this link
Then I install Airspy on TK1 > sudo apt-get install -y airspy

Then when I run 'airspy_info' i get error:
airspy_lib_version: 1.0.7
airspy_open() board 1 failed: AIRSPY_ERROR_NOT_FOUND (-5)

if I run sudo airspy_info i get success:
airspy_lib_version: 1.0.7
Found AirSpy board 1
Board ID Number: 0 (AIRSPY)
Firmware Version: AirSpy MINI v1.0.0-rc10-0-g946184a 2016-09-19
Part ID Number: 0x6906002B 0x0000xxxx
Serial Number: 0x022C61C82Axxxxx
Supported sample rates:
    6.000000 MSPS
    3.000000 MSPS
Close board 1

So to get airspy mini working in gqrx or spyserver etc we have to run:
sudo usermod -a -G plugdev `whoami`
then reboot TK1
And success! Spyserver and gqrx running perfectly.

Jetson Nano 2GB - Works Like a charm! I used the .deb file for ARM64.

Editing the .config file is as straight forward as it gets, there is nothing there to really confuse.

you can edit it directly on the nano, or ssh then using:
sudo nano spyserver.config

The Spyserver is setup to connect through the Jetson Nano using as a default address

On your main computer, you can connect to spyserver using either SDR# or SDR++ using the IP address of you jetson nano followed by the 5555 port number.

If you have good internet, very fast wifi dongles, powerful computer, you should have no problem streaming an airspy mini at 6Mbps, or you can use 3Mbps and reduce the system demand. There are other tweaks you can perfrom to reduce demands too in the config file.

I am now wondering if Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W will run spyserver. It only has 512MB Ram and I think the wifi is not high speed as I cannot find detailed specs about it's wifi adapter. So it's two possible faults are not enough ram and low bandwidth wifi.

For now, I will stick with a 2GB/4GB Jetson Nano and 1200Mbps wifi dongle.

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