Author Topic: Advice for setting up AIS rx station with RTL-SDR+embedded Linux?  (Read 3919 times)

Araner1

  • New User
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Hello,
  I am new to the AIS world though I have plenty of experience with Open Source Hardware and embedded Linux platforms (e.g Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, OpenWRT, UDOO, Arduino etc...)
     I am very interested in joining the AIShub community but I don't want to apply until I can actually get my AIS station up and running.  So before I send in my application I wanted to see if I could get any advice in setting up an AIS receiver using an RTL-SDR dongle and a Raspberry Pi.
 I have an unused RTL-SDR dongle that I've been trying to put to work and I've been interested in setting it up as an AIS receiver since I live right on the coast and should get a good signal. There have been various tutorials for setting up the RTL-SDR with the Raspberry Pi but most of them only explain as far as running GNURadio without specifically mentioning how to configure it for receiving and forwarding AIS messages.  Likewise, there are other tutorials that explain how to use an RTL-SDR as an AIS receiver but only on Windows or other standard PC hardware. Can anyone suggest the most recent and relevant tutorials that could help me get started with my specific hardware setup?  Alternately, if no single piece of documentation fitting this description has been written yet, it could also be a great help if someone could help put different tutorials, covering different steps of the process, into context.

  Thank You Very Much!
 
   P.S- As I hinted at earlier, I also have access to many other embedded linux platforms beyond the Raspberry Pi that I would be happy to use as test beds for various open source AIS apps.  Options range from the more lightweight, OpenWRT-based Arduino Yun, Dragino etc... to the more powerful UDOO board or Intel Galileo. 

lucienve

  • Ensign
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for setting up AIS rx station with RTL-SDR+embedded Linux?
« Reply #1 on: 27 May, 2015, 07:58:47 pm »
You may want to consider this: https://www.tindie.com/products/astuder/daisy-ais-receiver/ - which should integrate well with an arduino/pi.

Araner1

  • New User
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for setting up AIS rx station with RTL-SDR+embedded Linux?
« Reply #2 on: 31 May, 2015, 07:41:27 pm »
You may want to consider this: https://www.tindie.com/products/astuder/daisy-ais-receiver/ - which should integrate well with an arduino/pi.

  Thats a very interesting device and for $50 may well be worth checking out once its back in stock but is there any reason I would need something like this if I already have an RTL-SDR?  Is it intended to complement an SDR or serve the same purpose with more purpose built specs?

Araner1

  • New User
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for setting up AIS rx station with RTL-SDR+embedded Linux?
« Reply #3 on: 31 May, 2015, 07:49:58 pm »
UPDATE-
  I was able to get my RTL-SDR running by following the original workflow posted on http://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-tutorial-cheap-ais-ship-tracking/.  I was able to pick up signals using the tiny default antenna sitting right in my living room, so thats a very good sign. 
  Now that I've got a better idea of the various pieces involved (SDR decoder+audio piping method+position plotter) it shouldn't be quite as difficult to follow the Linux equivalent of the workflow.  I'll first try it on my 64bit PC running Ubuntu MATE, and hopefully an RPi/ARM version later.
  In the meantime, I'll be trying out various low-cost antenna setups.