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RTL SDR FM Player for your RTL-SDR USB dongle
#1
Wink 
Hi everyone,

When I was first planning my build(shopping) I ran across this usb dongle thing that said it could receive FM radio, I thought 20 bucks plug and play what could go wrong right? Later to find out there was no practical use for it. From my reading, I'm not the only one, huh.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to dig into it further. It's been a big learning curve for me Huh What's this rtl-sdr stuff? I found some interesting stuff and got my dongle working, streaming to my desktop from my car Tongue . I've done a bit of Python programming(shade tree) but never much GUI stuff. But I was inspired.

With that said, I was able to put together a front end GUI player and I just released the code on Github> RTL SDR FM Player

I have not yet* been able to launch this from OAP that's still a work in progress.

I welcome anyone who would like to contribute to this project! It needs some polish.

Here's a crappy screenshot.

[Image: Jqyd5Xfm.png]

My model 3B+ shows ~30-40% CPU usage when playing stereo, not too bad IMO.

Thanks for any feedback.
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#2
Very nice! What donlge do you use?
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#3
Can you scan stations and save them to a stationlist? Is any RTL2832U dongle able to play FM?
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#4
Nice work, divingmule.

I may play around with your code. I'd like to add scanning up/down buttons, saving favorite stations which can quickly be selected with buttons and probably configurable volume commands (so that those buttons can be set to trigger OAP's volume up/down hotkeys) and/or the ability to simply hide the volume buttons for use inside OAP. RDS support could also be added to show broadcast information.

I would also like to know which dongle you are using and how well it is working for you

Thanks for sharing.
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#5
So I started testing my 10 bucks ebay dongle and guess what, it works... didn't expect that...

That's mine. Just bought it for DAB+

Bus 001 Device 007: ID 0bda:2838 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL2838 DVB-T

Next step should be to perform a scan, save scanned stations. Maybe bluewave could kick right in this as this seems to be a better way then namatek dongles.
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#6
(02-28-2020, 10:59 AM)Vitalic Wrote: So I started testing my 10 bucks ebay dongle and guess what, it works... didn't expect that...

That's mine. Just bought it for DAB+

Bus 001 Device 007: ID 0bda:2838 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL2838 DVB-T

Next step should be to perform a scan, save scanned stations. Maybe bluewave could kick right in this as this seems to be a better way then namatek dongles.

Cool. Can you provide a link to the specific dongle? A lot of them will show that identification.
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#7
https://www.ebay.de/itm/USB-2-0-DVB-T-DA...Sw5EpcNEBe
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#8
(02-28-2020, 10:59 AM)Vitalic Wrote: Next step should be to perform a scan, save scanned stations. Maybe bluewave could kick right in this as this seems to be a better way then namatek dongles.

Main problem with SDR dongles is the poor signal reception in motion. All SDR dongles we have tested had problems with reception in the car. That is the main reason why we rejected radio features based on the SDR dongles. Another disadvantage is resource consuming. FM signal demodulation takes 50-70% of RPI 3B CPU time (please note that RPI 3B is still supported by OpenAuto Pro). RDS demodulation takes another 20-30% of CPU time.

Regarding Namatek dongles - according to the information provided by Namatek, there is no way to build a receiver software without using they proprietary software. Driver does not have API to control the device and receive audio stream which makes integration with OpenAuto Pro impossible. That is sad because device itself and its capabilities was really promising.

Ideal way to handle Radio features (FM, DAB+, RDS) would be dedicated hardware decoder with API/Driver that allows full controlling of the device (both setting desired frequency and receiving digital audio stream). According to our research, the best devices widely available would be chips manufactured by Silicon Labs (Si47XX) however they provide only analog audio stream.
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#9
(02-28-2020, 06:04 AM)djgala Wrote: Very nice! What donlge do you use?

Hi, this is the one I got off of Amazon though it's not available anymore.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H830YQ6/

If I were to buy again I would likely get the RTL-SDR Blog V3


(02-28-2020, 06:53 AM)Vitalic Wrote: Can you scan stations and save them to a stationlist? Is any RTL2832U dongle able to play FM?

At the moment no, we would need a function to perform a scan.

I think most RTL2832U dongles should work but do your research before buying. I'm not sure how up to date this is >

https://www.reddit.com/r/RTLSDR/wiki/compatibility

(02-28-2020, 10:52 AM)ktb Wrote: Nice work, divingmule.

I may play around with your code. I'd like to add scanning up/down buttons, saving favorite stations which can quickly be selected with buttons and probably configurable volume commands (so that those buttons can be set to trigger OAP's volume up/down hotkeys) and/or the ability to simply hide the volume buttons for use inside OAP. RDS support could also be added to show broadcast information.

I would also like to know which dongle you are using and how well it is working for you

Thanks for sharing.

Thanks! Feel free to play around it's OSS.

I like your ideas, I've thought of some of those myself. Was kind of reserving screen space for possible RDS support.

I've been able to receive all the major stations in my area that I'm interested in, some better than others. It's acceptable IMO.

I spliced the antenna from the dongle with an old auto cable extension I had laying around so that I could plug it into my existing antenna lead. Don't know if it's an improvement or not but it works.
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#10
I ordered the Nooelec NESDR SMArt v4 SDR - Premium RTL-SDR. I'll report back.
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