OP25 Raspberry Pi Streaming Part 2

So I finally figured out OP25 and I have this brand new Raspberry Pi 3 B + laying around doing nothing.  In this segment we’ll install OP25 on Raspberry Pi and then take our police scanner feed and send it to the internet on Broadcastify.

As someone pointed out to me yesterday, “There’s an app for that” they are indeed correct.  You can get Police Scanner Apps for IOS and Android.   Guess where the feeds in those apps comes from?  If you said Broadcastify you’d be correct.  So if no one is feeding your municipality   then there will be no feed in the app.  We will be that feed.

So the assumption is that you have a Pi with Raspbian installed and you kind of know how to use it.

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OP25 For Dummies – Or how to build a police scanner for $30 (Part 1)

OP25 is a program that decodes P25 Phase 1 and Phase 2 digital radio.  Some municipal areas are upgrading to P25 Phase 2 so almost gone are the days that you can track them with a police scanner since P25 is a Trunked Radio system and not just a lone frequency to monitor.   The only things that do Phase 2 are hardware scanners and hardware radios and OP25 for software radios.  Bear in mind Phase 2 could be encrypted and nothing you can do will decode it.

OP25 is HARD.  I’m a geek and I messed with it on and off for a year or more and it whipped me more than once.  Now that I have it working I find that it is REMARKABLY easy and I’m mad at all the geeks out there who never made a simple tutorial.  There are tutorials out there, some good but everybody leaves out the good stuff or the stuff they took for granted.

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Othernet

We all know what the Internet is but what in the world is the Othernet?  (It used to be called Outernet).  The Othernet is unofficially dubbed “The Internet in Space” or “The Encyclopedia in Space” and it’s mission is to provide internet type information to the poor or to areas on earth which don’t have active internet.

I kind of view it as a back up to the internet and one more source of information in a SHTF scenario.  When the grid goes down as long as you have an othernet receiver and a generator or some batteries and a laptop the satellite in space will probably still be working fine.

The project is housed here.  Before you jump into the Othernet fire for the first time, know this. When you buy Othernet hardware, that’s all you get.  No manual, no instructions.  Nothing.  That being said one of the users over there made an amazing guide to setting up the Othernet.

If you start digging into this guy a bit he’s highly credentialed and you can better believe this hobbyist believes everything he has to say in this paper.  So it’s really all good.

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DOD CAC Card on Ubuntu Linux

So, you are a government employee AND a Linux geek.  Join the club.  It is possible to use your smart card to access DOD CAC Card enabled sites.   A must do project for the Linux geek in you.

 

I’m doing this with an IOGEAR GSR202 and it will work with a lot of other CAC Card readers as well.  Also I’m using Ubuntu 18.04

First of all the information is taken from this excellent website.  While almost perfect there are a few minor issues that could foul a fella up.  I seek to clarify those here.

First lets download the Certs for your browser.  They also come from the page I have linked above (MilitaryCAC.com).  Download here.  Hold tight.  We’ll get back to them.

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Saving Old Stereo Gear From Craigslist – Pioneer SX-650

Without a doubt the old Silver faced Pioneer Receivers from the 70’s and 80’s was some of the most epic stereo gear ever designed.   Sadly with the advent of cell phones and tablets everybody listens to their music on cheap earbuds while streaming low res music from some far away server.

Well not everybody does that.  But most.  And that means all those old boat anchor sized amps are in the back of the closet, the garage, in the attic and turn up at the estate sale from time to time.

Stupid old guys like me who are trying to relive their childhood will pay top dollar for an old amp that realistically time forgot.   So these days it becomes the challenge of the old audiophile (audiophool) to find one cheap and bring it back to it’s once epic status.

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Bad Storms and Emergency Radios

Bad, bad storm last night.  I seldom have a chance to give any emergency gear a good workout but I sure got the chance last night.

About 6:30 or 7 last night a wicked Thunderstorm with low and frequent lightning was hitting us hard.  There was some nearby property damage although I was lucky. No trouble at Castle Hagensieker.

 

Even though we all have cell phones, internet, TV whatever…….the best resource for weather is YOUR LOCAL NOAA WEATHER STATION.  They transmit weather data 24/7 however they transmit it on a frequency that you probably can’t get on any radio you own.  You either need a real life EMERGENCY RADIO like you can buy at Lowes or maybe Walmart or you need a USB Software Defined Radio hooked to a computer.   NOAA stations start I believe at 162.40 MHz.  Also NOAA has the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

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Panasonic RF-2200 Telescopic Antenna Restoration

Well I picked up one of the all time great long distance Medium Wave (MW) aka AM Radios, the Panasonic RF-2200.

 

Sadly all but the last two of the 7 section telescopic antenna were broken off.   No problem right?  Quickly, to the internet, GeekMan.

Download the Service Manual.  Check.  Find antenna part number. Check.  Hit eBay.  Epic Fail.  No such part on eBay.  Dr. Google probably knows.   He didn’t.

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DeOxIt – What is it? What ISN’T it?

Started messing around with “vintage” audio again.  Drug a couple stereos out of the attic and picked up a new stereo or two (or three).   I’ve been heavily involved in vintage audio since around 2001 or so on and off and one thing that any old stereo guy will tell you is that DeOxIt spray is a miracle solution for audio.  Spray it on and rust falls off, light bulbs glow brighter and the gravitational force of the moon gets stronger if you accidentally spray some on the moon.

Bullshit.

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Adding LED Lights to Vintage Receiver – Pioneer SX-780

So I have this SWEET Pioneer SX-780 that I bought off of eBay a while back and I like everything about it but the lights are kind of yellowish and I keep seeing pics of Pioneers with Bright White or even Blue tints.   What gives?

So first of all this is an easy modification.  The old Pioneer incandescent lamps are 8V lamps and over time they get a little smokey looking and tinted.   All you really have to do is replace them with an LED lamp.  The lamp fixture in the amp is the same one in a lot of modern automobiles today.  So what you need is a T10 5 watt lamp such as this one.

So this is where it gets dicey.  People will tell you on the internet that this is a 12 volt lamp and the Pioneer wants 8 volts therefore it will be dim.  NOT TRUE.  Almost any modern T10 LED has a voltage regulator inside of it which means it will work GREAT at any voltage between say 5 and 15 volts.

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