Author Topic: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?  (Read 1770 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 7350
  • Country: 00
SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« on: August 02, 2020, 06:24:42 pm »
What is the current status of SDRPlay hardware for Linux users? Is there an open source driver available? (one without "binary blobs")


EDIT: while I have not answered the above question, I have found out a little bit about the Mirics hardware and its many different modes. Its intended to be an all in one chip for receiving digital TV. So I can see why the interface to it would be very complicated.

Looks pretty interesting.

http://play.fallows.ca/wp/radio/software-defined-radio/mirics-msi3101-chipset-heart-of-sdrplay/
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 12:21:17 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline A.Z.

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 580
  • Country: it
Re: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2020, 11:05:44 am »
What is the current status of SDRPlay hardware for Linux users? Is there an open source driver available? (one without "binary blobs")

I found this http://blog.palosaari.fi/2013/08/mirics-msi3101-sdr-linux-driver.html but some of the links on the page don't seem to work, you may try contacting the author to see if the drivers are still available, also see http://blog.palosaari.fi/2013/10/naked-hardware-13-logitec-ldt-1s310uj.html

Quote
EDIT: while I have not answered the above question, I have found out a little bit about the Mirics hardware and its many different modes. Its intended to be an all in one chip for receiving digital TV. So I can see why the interface to it would be very complicated.

Looks pretty interesting.

http://play.fallows.ca/wp/radio/software-defined-radio/mirics-msi3101-chipset-heart-of-sdrplay/

as for infos about the chipset, here's a post from Mirics https://www.rtl-sdr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31 which details some design choices; all I can say is that the MSi.SDR I got has been serving me well for some months now, and even used for hours and hours it won't heat, at max it's barely warm

 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 7350
  • Country: 00
Re: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 12:11:07 pm »
They should release enough data so that people can build a basic Linux driver.

What is the legal staus of this clone? It seems unknown. I would be surprised if they were happy about that. More likely they would prfer for them to not exist and perhaps even would disable them if they had the opportunity using their driver. It doesnt seem like a good situation. Given the close relationship between Mirics and SDRPlay, ....

So, what happens when you plug it in, what is your dmesg, what does your dongle enumerate as?  Can you watch TV using it? The idea of a global multisystem TV stick that can also do SDR is quite appealing. There arent many TV dongles that work in the US particularly. I watch practically no TV but once in a while I do want to get the news OTA.

Maybe they will eventually release an open source driver? 

I have liked the concept from the beginning and was following it when it first came out. There is a real need for a cheap SDR for the Third World audience, especially in countries that censor their news a lot. A tiny dongle is much easier to hide than a shortwave radio.

I have to say that the idea of a dual diversity receiver for HF is also very appealing to me. All sorts of interesting ideas come to mind. Dual polarization receive in particular.

I am probably going to try to build my own HF hardware - as part of one of the established projects. Not from scratch.

SDRPlay hardware, although price competitive, (but not such an exceptionally good deal that it stands out so much any more) is a little bit too much Windows-centric, (too proprietary) for me to be going and spending so much.

Please let me know if you hear anything more about open source drivers or the legal status of the clone. Especially what the management of SDRPlay and Mirics have to say about it. They have clearly put a lot of work into their hardware - thats obvious.

Its possible that the clone was made from other sources of the chip.. For example, you pointed out this (Japanese only) dongle. Which when it came out was selling for around $20 on ebay. (So in Japan it may have been sold for a typical TV dongle price)

http://blog.palosaari.fi/2013/10/naked-hardware-13-logitec-ldt-1s310uj.html

Mirics should consider selling a basic dongle that utilizes the shortwave functionality at least. Given that their literature says that the target cost for a TV dongle is $5, I think they should make good on that promise, and let the user add the analog filters, etc. that likely bring the price up. Or whatever.

*sigh* 

« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 12:19:30 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline A.Z.

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 580
  • Country: it
Re: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 02:11:13 pm »
So, what happens when you plug it in, what is your dmesg, what does your dongle enumerate as?

Did you read the infos from Paloosari's blog ? Sounds like you didn't.

 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 7350
  • Country: 00
Re: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 03:25:31 pm »
So, what happens when you plug it in, what is your dmesg, what does your dongle enumerate as?

Did you read the infos from Paloosari's blog ? Sounds like you didn't.


Of course I did, but that is ancient. That is not the hardware I am talking about.

I am talking about the SDRPlay factory hardware, (legit) and the clone. It seems its a situation much like the one with the Saelae logic . But perhaps not exactly the same. Still, quite similar. Cypress published a reference design for a logic analyzer and a few companies manufactured it, with minor differences, basically the hardware was generic. The manufacturers did what they were supposed to do, manufacture. As far as manufacturing innovation, there really was not much. Nor did, I think any of them have any kind of excluvity agreement with Cypress.

Anyway, some people still insist that Sigrok etc. is violating the IP of one company, Saelae Logic - when its a completely original ecosystem of software, that ties together all different  kinds of hardware, so ultimately it offers possibilities that no individual manufacturer may.

------

Seems like a similar situation may exist with these clones. We dont know.

If there is no FOSS software to use the clones, one would have to use one company's proprietary drivers to use hardware they had not made.

That I think is morally and perhaps legally questionable. Contrast that with the situation with HackRF where all the software is open source and clones of the HackRF are freely available. And cheap.

-------

Are you able to use your dongle without using a closed source driver?

Could you give me the relevant part of your dmesg, when you plug it in? Also, lsusb, lsmod, etc.

(the "miri.sdr") It seems one does need to install a proprietary closed source driver, one that is basically a script that you have to give execute permissions as superuser to run. At least at the start.

Economically, this is not an optimal situation for any of the players involved. Mirics - once they have designed their hardware, likely would see the most sales and most profit by selling it as an everything dongle. The market for SDRs is relatively small at $150+  Basically geeks, and most geeks cant afford one. The market for SDRs is becoming more crowded every day and most (but not all) of the cutting edge users prefer the Linux platform.

Compare it to US drug companies selling drugs, say a cancer cure, for $10,000 a pill, when somebody has to take it weekly, or daily, for a month.

It later turns out that it costs eleven cents to make that drug, for a months supply. Something similar actually happened with AIDS in the poor countries, resulting in the deaths of 30 million poor people around the world.

SDR could be like prometheus and the gift of information - tiny SDRs could make the position of governments that restrict the flow of knowledge untenable.

But I cant second guess them or tell them what to do.
 
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 04:56:06 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline radiolistener

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2304
  • Country: ua
Re: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 04:12:54 pm »
Please let me know if you hear anything more about open source drivers or the legal status of the clone. Especially what the management of SDRPlay and Mirics have to say about it. They have clearly put a lot of work into their hardware - thats obvious.

This is what SdrPlay said about MSi.SDR device:
Quote
This device is a straight copy of the original RSP1 design and the advert even states that it compatible with the SDRplay RSP1. The product is a result of IP theft and aims to leverage SDRplay software IP in the form of SDRuno and the associated drivers for the RSP1.

So, these MSi.SDR is a Chinese clones which are officially not supported by SdrPlay. Technically your MSi.SDR may stops to work with SDRUno or SdrPlay ExtIO drivers at any time and no one can help you, because MSi.SDR don't have proper software support. In addition MSi.SDR may suffer from hardware issues due to production defects.

Its possible that the clone was made from other sources of the chip..

Yes. MSi.SDR may be produced from factory rejected chips with factory defects. There is even no way to say that MSi.SDR use genuine MSi chips. Because it may use some cloned chips produced in basement production, they can put any marking on the chip.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 04:32:00 pm by radiolistener »
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 7350
  • Country: 00
Re: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 04:34:04 pm »
Also, everybody who wants to use SDRplay must install a closed source driver.  Which is a deal killer for me. And as you said, one can build an SDR with FPGA that can capture much more bandwidth and do it with more bit depth. It would be great to be able to capture 20 Mb of bandwidth like the HackRF but with more bits.

Oh yes, and add transmit capabilities as well.  And FCC type acceptance for Amateur radio.

:)

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline mark03

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 699
  • Country: us
Re: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 07:24:34 pm »
Oh yes, and add transmit capabilities as well.  And FCC type acceptance for Amateur radio.

Unless you intend to sell it, you shouldn't need this.  There has always been a carve-out for hams who build their own radios.
 
The following users thanked this post: cdev

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 7350
  • Country: 00
Re: SDRPlay use on Linux? libmirisdr, libsdrplay, binary blobs?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2020, 08:21:33 pm »
I was just trying to make a joke.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 
The following users thanked this post: mark03


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf

 



Advertise on the EEVblog Forum