Execute the Radio Meteor Observations program on mac os

MeteorLogger Screenshot
MeteorLogger Screenshot

What is it about

Wolfgang Kaufmann wrote an impressive article and even a more impressive software for the hobby radio astronomers. I highly recommend checking out the article and play with the software as there are not so many radio astronomers among the community. His software is written in python with a very clean UI. It directly connects via the computer sound card and grabs the audio signal. I shortly describe here what to install on a Mac OS to get his software up and running.

Where to get it

The software can be downloaded at http://www.ars-electromagnetica.de/robs/download.html. Unfortunately it is not available on any online repo like github but the source code can be downloaded as a zip file.

Preparation

The PyAudio package needs some libraries and direct access to the os sound system. Therefore we need it install this audio package outside of python itself

brew install portaudio

The necessary python libs can be installed via pip. I recommend doing it in a virtual environment

mkdir ms
cd ms
virtualenv -p python3 .
. bin/activate 
pip install cycler matplotlib numpy PyAudio pyparsing \
            python-dateutil pytz scipy six tk-tools   \
            xlrd xlwt

That is all. After installing the python libs the program starts right away

python MeteorLogger_v1.21a.py

 

Setting up SDRplay remote on a raspberry pi

SDRplay
SDRplay

SDRPlay

I recently bought myself a SDRPlay receiver to play with this technology and maybe build a ground station or meteor scatter detector. The original plan is to setup a receiver on the Motionlab roof with an raspberry pi and send the IQ data via network down to a local server and extract the interesting information. One great software to work remotely with an SDR receiver is the Soapy project.

Install the raspberry pi part

Build system

Install the latest raspberry pi lite version from raspberrypi.org

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install cmake g++ libpython-dev python-numpy swig git

Core system

The soapy part consist of 3 parts. The Core system must be installed first.

git clone https://github.com/pothosware/SoapySDR.git
cd SoapySDR
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make -j4
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig

SDRplay

The SDRplay part consist of two parts one are the proprietary binary libraries from SDRplay itself the the other part is the soapy wrapper for SDRplay.

Binary Libraries

The driver can be downloaded from the SDRplay homepage https://www.sdrplay.com/rpi2dl.php

chmod 777 SDRplay_RSP_API-RPi-2.11.1.run
./SDRplay_RSP_API-RPi-2.11.1.run

The SDRplay Soapy wrapper

git clone https://github.com/pothosware/SoapySDRPlay.git
cd SoapySDRPlay
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make -j4
sudo make install

Test the Soapy access

SoapySDRUtil --info

Soapy Server for Remote Access

git clone https://github.com/pothosware/SoapyRemote.git
cd SoapyRemote
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../ # -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug
make -j4
sudo make install

Run the server

SoapySDRServer --bind

If you want to run it as a service have a look here on how to autostart stuff in linux.