JTK – Notes and Ramblings Things we have found …


Update to LaCrosse weather

Filed under: General,Home Automation,RTL-SDR — taing @ 5:51 pm

While these updates were made a while ago they weren’t documented. In the original post on the LaCrosse Weather station, rtl_433 sends mqtt data to our openhab server. On github we found a simple means to get rtl_433 to run as a service.

The core is to update /etc/rtl_433/rtl_433.conf. There is a sample file at conf/rtl_433.example.conf. Most important is the output mqtt... line for example:

output mqtt://jtk-openhab,devices=rtl_433/garage[/model]

If the Pi has multiple dongles you will also need to confirm the device line. Then create /etc/systemd/system/rtl_433-mqtt.service:

Description=rtl_433 to MQTT publisher

Enable the service with systemctl enable rtl_433-mqtt.service.


Weather radio part 4

Filed under: General,Home Automation,RTL-SDR — taing @ 1:23 pm

Continuing the weather radio development. I found some notes on to try sox instead of lame for the encoding for ezstream. This requires installing the mp3 library for sox with sudo apt-get install libsox-fmt-mp3. This appears to provide for somewhat better sound quality.

This means we replace

lame --bitwidth 16 --signed -s 22050 --lowpass 3500 --abr 64 --scale 8 -r -m m - -


sox -t raw -r 22050 -b 16 -e signed -c 1 -v 7 - -r 22050 -t mp3 -c 1 -C 64 - sinc -3.5k

The final line:

rtl_fm -f 162550000 -s 22050 -p 14 | tee >(sox -t raw -r 22050 -b 16 -e signed -c 1 -v 7 - -r 22050 -t mp3 -c 1 -C 64 - sinc -3.5k |ezstream -c ezstream.xml) | multimon-ng -t raw -a EAS /dev/stdin | python ~/tg-dsame/dsame.py --no-text --mqtt jtk-pi2 --json output.json

Weather Radio Part 3

Filed under: General,Home Automation,RTL-SDR — taing @ 10:19 am

The weather radio scripts from before had issues. The live stream from the SDR was working but the alerts were never being triggered so further work was needed.

There are now at least two other forks of the original dsame project. From nivex we have some reworking of the main dispatch routine. And from bwarden we have a reworking of the parser.

I have cloned bwarden as the new starting point and merged a portion of the nivex changes. A copy of this version of dsame.py can be found here. Or you can look at my fork on github.

Step 1 was to get the output into a json format without the text. Fortunately, this is pretty much built it. For a test using the sample txt file:

python dsame.py --no-text --json /dev/stdout <sample\ alert/WXR-RWT.txt

This has the added bonus of writing to standard out immediately and not waiting/buffering until process end.

With this working lets try to update dsame.py to output to MQTT. I’m working from a machine that already has Mosquito installed along with the Python paho library.

Let’s try adding a bit to the dsame code. The big piece looks like:

            if mqtthost:
                    import paho.mqtt.publish as mqtt
                    import json
                    data=kwdict(ORG=ORG, EEE=EEE, TTTT=TTTT, JJJHHMM=JJJHHMM, STATION=STATION, TYPE=TYPE, LLLLLLLL=LLLLLLLL, COUNTRY=COUNTRY, LANG=lang, event=get_event(EEE), type=get_indicator(EEE), end=fn_dt(alert_end(JJJHHMM,TTTT)), $
                    mqtt.single('raw/weatherAlert',json.dumps(data), hostname=mqtthost)
                except Exception as detail:

Hopefully he output looks something like this(extra linefeeds added for clarity):

{"LANG": "EN", 
 "organization": "National Weather Service", 
 "end": "07:30 PM", 
 "JJJHHMM": "3650000", 
 "COUNTRY": "US", 
 "PSSCCC": "020103-020209-020091-020121-029047-029165-029095-029037", 
 "seconds": 1800, 
 "PSSCCC_list": ["020091", "020103", "020121", "020209", "029037", "029047", "029095", "029165"], 
 "start": "07:00 PM", 
 "length": "30 minutes", 
 "TTTT": "0030", 
 "location": "Pleasant Hill, Missouri", 
 "date": "Thu Apr  2 20:44:27 2020", 
 "type": "T", 
 "EEE": "RWT", 
 "ORG": "WXR", 
 "MESSAGE": null, 
 "TYPE": "NWS", 
 "event": "Required Weekly Test"}

The new command line to stream and send mqtt looks like:

rtl_fm -f 162550000 -s 22050 -p 14 | tee >(lame --bitwidth 16 --signed -s 22050 --lowpass 3500 --abr 64 --scale 8 -r -m m - - |ezstream -c ezstream.xml) | multimon-ng -t raw -a EAS /dev/stdin | python ~/tg-dsame/dsame.py --no-text --mqtt hostname_here --json output.json
  1. receive from the SDR dongle
  2. split stdin – tee redirects to
    1. lame
    2. ezstream
  3. tee pipes to
    1. multimon-ng
    2. dsame script – sends to
      1. mqtt
      2. json appends to output.json file

A different option to multimon-ng might be minimodem. I claims to convert SAME audio to text and back again.


Doorbell and Gas meter

Filed under: Home Automation,RTL-SDR — taing @ 3:51 pm

In looking for the Honeywell doorbell, model RCWL330A, FCC ID HS9-51459SL, which should be at 916.8MHz I found my gas meter (rtl_433 device 149). The output looks like:

time      : 2020-04-02 14:04:27
model     : ERT-SCM      Id        : 5458xxxx
Physical Tamper: 3       ERT Type  : 24            Encoder Tamper: 0         Consumption Data: 525682
Integrity : CRC
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
time      : 2020-04-02 14:05:02
model     : ERT-SCM      Id        : 5600xxxx
Physical Tamper: 0       ERT Type  : 8             Encoder Tamper: 0         Consumption Data: 208204
Integrity : CRC
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
time      : 2020-04-02 14:07:28
model     : ERT-SCM      Id        : 5458xxxx
Physical Tamper: 3       ERT Type  : 24            Encoder Tamper: 0         Consumption Data: 525682
Integrity : CRC
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
time      : 2020-04-02 14:07:55
model     : ERT-SCM      Id        : 5458xxxx
Physical Tamper: 3       ERT Type  : 24            Encoder Tamper: 0         Consumption Data: 525682
Integrity : CRC
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I’ve modified the Id field to but this above shows both my meter and the neighbors. A quick check of wikipedia gives a few more details on the data. Github also has a project targeting these meters – rtlamr. Grid Insite has more detail on the technology and history of these meters.

Now, back to the doorbell. I was hoping this might be a built in device for rtl_433 but further searching reveals it might be different from the predefined devices 115 & 116. Strangley I see nothing from the doorbell but is still rings. Further testing obviously needed.


Updates to flight tracking

Filed under: General,Home Automation,RTL-SDR — taing @ 3:21 pm

After not changing the pi for the outdoor temp/humidity I2C sensor, I decided to use the Pi 3 to replace the older Pi 2 that was doing the ads-b flight tracking and feeding on FlightRadar24. This started with rtl_433 already and installed and working as described in an earlier post. rtl_433 is not required but having installed it I’m sure rtl_sdr is installed and the udev rules for the dongle are already in place. I decided to try readsb instead of dump1090-fa. And dump1090-mutability is now marked as maintained.

I found automated scripts for both dump1090-fa and readsb. The script for readsb seems to have worked. I have the webpage at both http://<host>/radar and http://<host>:8080. Script archived here.

The enhanced tar1090 web interface is installed next. The new interface can be seen at http://<host>/tar1090.

Adding a bit of config info:

Set your location with sudo readsb-set-location 50.12344 10.2342.

sudo pico /etc/default/readsb to edit the main config file.

In the case of more than one RTL-SDR dongle in the Pi you may need to modify the line RECEIVER_OPTIONS="--device 0 --device-type rtlsdr --gain -10 --ppm 0" for the correct device number.

sudo pico /usr/share/readsb/html/script/readsb/defaults.js to edit the default webinterface config.

sudo pico /etc/default/tar1090 to edit the tar1090 web interface configuration. A restart with sudo systemctl restart tar1090 is needed after any changes.

Next we’ll add PiAware so we can feed FlightAware some of our data.

wget https://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/files/packages/pool/piaware/p/piaware-support/piaware-repository_3.8.1_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i piaware-repository_3.8.1_all.deb

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install piaware

sudo piaware-config allow-manual-updates yes

If you are upgrading/replacing and existing site you can use piaware-config feeder-id 12345678-1234-1234-1234-123456789abc to set the site id. You will need to restart the service after making the change.

Confirm your FlightAware feed at https://flightaware.com/adsb/stats. You can make an account and update your position. The service status can be seen with sudo service piaware status.

Next we will add ADSB Exchange feeder:

sudo apt-get install git
sudo rm adsb-exchange -rf
git clone https://github.com/adsbxchange/adsb-exchange.git
cd adsb-exchange
sudo bash setup.sh

If that is successful you should be able to find yourself at https://www.adsbexchange.com/myip/

Now we can add the ADSBX stats package for feeders:

cd /home/pi
git clone https://github.com/adsbxchange/adsbexchange-stats.git
cd adsbexchange-stats
chmod +x install.sh
sudo ./install.sh

Flightradar24 instructions from their forums are not 100%. The contents of the script referenced does not completely match the manual steps. There are alternative but similar instructions in a different forum post.

sudo apt-key adv --recv-key --keyserver pool.sks-keyservers.net C969F07840C430F5
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

then add the following line to the file (/etc/apt/sources.list)

deb http://repo.feed.flightradar24.com flightradar24 raspberrypi-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fr24feed
fr24feed --signup
sudo systemctl restart fr24feed.service

There might be a warning you that there is no dump1090 installed and that one will be installed by fr24feed when it starts. This did not appear to happen.

You can monitor status for the fr24feed with fr24feed-status or at http://<host>:8754.

Next we add graph1090 following the install instructions in the readme. The graphs are then available at http://<host>/graphs1090 or http://<host>/pref.

The graph1090 instructions recommend reducing the number of sd card writes for a pi. Below with reduce the writes to once every 10 minutes.

sudo tee /etc/sysctl.d/07-dirty.conf <<EOF
vm.dirty_ratio = 40
vm.dirty_background_ratio = 30
vm.dirty_expire_centisecs = 60000


Adding Lacrosse Weather to Garage Pi

Filed under: General,Home Automation,RTL-SDR — taing @ 6:54 pm

The sdr stick we are using is the NooElec R820T.

Following the instructions from https://morioh.com/p/fd9b47cbc020 :

# install dependencies
sudo apt-get install libtool libusb-1.0.0-dev librtlsdr-dev rtl-sdr cmake

# clone rtl_433 Git Repository
git clone https://github.com/merbanan/rtl_433.git

# change to directory
cd rtl_433/
# make build folder
mkdir build
cd build/
# compile
cmake ../
# make
# install
sudo make install
# test if rtl_433 was properly installed
rtl_433 -h

After this we copied the udev rules from https://github.com/osmocom/rtl-sdr/raw/master/rtl-sdr.rules to /etc/udev/rules.d/rel-sdr.rules. This resolves the permission issue access the dongle when not root.

A test of rtl_433 then see the LaCrosse Technologies TX145WSDTH remote temp/humidity/wind speed/wind direction sensorthat came with the S81120 base station.

rtl_433 -F mqtt:<host>:1883 is enough to get things going to the mqtt broker on the destination machine.

Sample Output as seen on the destination PC using mosquitto_sub -v -t '#' :

rtl_433/jtk-garage/events {"time":"2020-03-31 16:31:10","model":"LaCrosse-TX141W                                                                                                                                                             ","id":303173,"channel":0,"battery_ok":1,"temperature_C":5.1,"humidity":75,"test                                                                                                                                                             ":0,"mic":"CRC"}
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/time 2020-03-31 16:31:10
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/id 303173
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/channel 0
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/battery_ok 1
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/temperature_C 5.1
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/humidity 75
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/test 0
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/mic CRC
rtl_433/jtk-garage/events {"time":"2020-03-31 16:31:10","model":"LaCrosse-TX141W","id":303173,"channel":0,"battery_ok":1,"wind_avg_km_h":3.5,"wind_dir_deg":351,"test":0,"mic":"CRC"}
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/time 2020-03-31 16:31:10
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/id 303173
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/channel 0
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/battery_ok 1
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/wind_avg_km_h 3.5
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/wind_dir_deg 351
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/test 0
rtl_433/jtk-garage/devices/LaCrosse-TX141W/0/303173/mic CRC

Now we can edit the openhab files to make use of this info…


Weather Radio Part 2

Filed under: General,Home Automation,RTL-SDR — taing @ 8:40 am

Continuing from http://jtkdev.com/wp/2019/01/03/pi-weather-radio-w-same/.

Using the code from http://jtkdev.com/wp/2019/01/03/pi-weather-radio-w-same/ to decode the SAME alerts in the broadcast. The current current script:

rtl_fm -f 162298000 -s 22050 -p 14 | tee >(multimon-ng -t raw -a EAS /dev/stdin | python ~/dsame/dsame.py --text >> alerts.txt) | lame --bitwidth 16 --signed -s 22050 --lowpass 3500 --abr 64 --scale 8 -r -m m - - |ezstream -c ezstream.xml

Notice the sample rate has been reduced to match what is expected by multimon-ng.

It was necessary to download and install multimon-ng. We also installed sox (sudo apt-get install sox) to test the dsame code with the included sample.


Pi Weather Radio w/SAME

Filed under: General,Home Automation,RTL-SDR — taing @ 11:35 pm

So I have been planning to use the SDR dongle as a weather radio for some time. The goal was to stream the audio AND capture the digital SAME messages to signal weather alerts.

I found several useful references online: https://github.com/tim273/weather_radio_scripts, https://github.com/cuppa-joe/dsame, https://www.dynode.nl/streaming-radio-receivers-with-the-raspberry-pi/ and https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=31396.msg314826#msg314826.

I installed rtl-sdr, lame, icecast2 and ezstream.

sudo apt-get install rtl-sdr lame icecast2 ezstream

I created 20.rtlsdr.rules in /etc/udev/rules.d/

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="0bda", ATTRS{idProduct}=="2838", GROUP="adm", MODE="0666", SYMLINK+="rtl_sdr"

I created /etc/modprobe.d/rtlsdr-blacklist.conf

blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu
blacklist rtl2832
blacklist rtl2830

After rebooting I was able to use rtl_test successfully. Using the NOAA website I was able to look up the require frequency for my location. It took a bit of fiddling to get the proper frequency setting for the dongle to actually tune the desired channel. The desired frequency for me is 162.55Mhz. I ended up using 162.298M to truly tune 162.55M.

rtl_fm -f 162298000 -s 48000 -p 14

Piping this to lame results in an MP3 stream.

rtl_fm -f 162298000 -s 48000 -p 14 | lame --bitwidth 16 --signed -s 48000 --lowpass 3500 --abr 64 --scale 8 -r -m m - - > test.mp3

The next step was to create a config XML file to ezstream and test the stream. A little touch-up is required for the sample below.

For streaming from standard input, the default for continuous streaming
is bad. Set <stream_once /> to 1 here to prevent ezstream from spinning
endlessly when the input stream stops:
The following settings are used to describe your stream to the server.
It's up to you to make sure that the bitrate/quality/samplerate/channels
information matches up with your input stream files.
<svrinfoname>Weather test stream</svrinfoname>
<svrinfodescription>Weather test stream</svrinfodescription>
<!-- Turn off YP directory advertising -->
rtl_fm -f 162298000 -s 48000 -p 14 | lame --bitwidth 16 --signed -s 48000 --lowpass 3500 --abr 64 --scale 8 -r -m m - - | ezstream -c ezstream.xml

The test icecast2 stream can be found at http://your-ip:8000/weather. The icecast2 config can be edited at /etc/icecast2/icecast.xml. Documentation for the config file can be found at http://icecast.org/docs/icecast-2.4.1/config-file.html.

Next I’ll be working to integrate the python from https://github.com/cuppa-joe/dsame handle the digital side of the stream. For now we have the stream going to the icecast2 stream and also piping to the next thing.

rtl_fm -f 162298000 -s 48000 -p 14 | lame --bitwidth 16 --signed -s 48000 --lowpass 3500 --abr 64 --scale 8 -r -m m - - |tee >(ezstream -c ezstream.xml) | cat >test1.mp3

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