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  • Checking Chip in RTL Dongle

    Is there any way to check which chip is in my DVB-T Dongle?

    I have a raspberry pi feeding FR24 and that works great.
    I am trying to setup another one for a friend, but am struggling.

    The first DVB-T dongle I bought was a fitipower. My mistake. It was clearly advertised as such.

    I bought another one and confirmed with the seller before purchase that it has a R820T2 chip inside. They assured me it has.

    When I connect it to my Raspberry Pi, and run the command lsusb it reports as:
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0bda:2838 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL2838 DVB-T

    If I look in dmesg I can see
    [ 20.874681] usb 1-1: dvb_usb_v2: 'Realtek RTL2832U reference design' successf ully initialized and connected

    sudo fr24feed-status reports

    [ ok ] FR24 Feeder/Decoder Process: running.
    [ ok ] FR24 Stats Timestamp: 2021-03-30 13:47:28.
    [ ok ] FR24 Link: connected [TCP].
    [ ok ] FR24 Radar: T-xxxxxx.
    [ ok ] FR24 Tracked AC: 0.
    [ ok ] Receiver: connected (0 MSGS/0 SYNC).
    [FAIL] FR24 MLAT: not running ... failed!

    I never pick up any aircraft.

    Now if I swap the dongle for the one that I am using with my own raspberry pi (and known to be good) then suddenly it picks up aircraft with no problem.

    So this makes me think that he chip is a fake and doesn't have the R820T2 chip and probably has the Fitipower chip. But is there anyway to be sure? Is there some command that I can run that will tell me which chip is inside?

    Thanks

  • #2
    I found the answer myself. Posting here in case it helps anyone else trying to figure this out later.

    First I need to stop the fr24 feed so that my raspberry pi can read the dongle.
    sudo systemctl stop fr24feed
    Then I can read the dongle
    dump1090-mutability

    In my case it reported
    Tue Mar 30 14:55:52 2021 IST EB_SOURCE EB_VERSION starting up.
    Using sample converter: UC8, integer/table path
    Found 1 device(s):
    0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001 (currently selected)
    Found Fitipower FC0012 tuner
    Max available gain is: 19.20 dB
    Setting gain to: 19.20 dB
    [FC0012] no valid PLL combination found for 1090000000 Hz!
    Gain reported by device: 19.20 dB
    Allocating 15 zero-copy buffers

    So yes, I have a fake (well at least not as promised to me before purchase).

    To restart your fr24 feed afterwards
    sudo systemctl fr24feed restart

    I hope that helps someone else.
    Last edited by cfarrell; 2021-04-05, 14:40.

    Comment


    • #3
      Very good and easy method, thanks

      Found Fitipower FC0012 tuner

      This dongle wont work for 1090 Mh
      You need RTL chips RTL2832U + R820T2

      Comment


      • #4
        Is is possible to show the actual commands used to read the dongle please, I'm ok with starting and stopping the FR24 service.

        Thanks.

        Feeding FR24 since 11/09/13

        Comment


        • #5
          There should be a sticky thread on this, but anyhow this is the command used:

          rtl_test

          You might need to install the rtl-sdr package.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the quick reply, just tried sudo rtl_test and got an error, I'll look into installing the package.

            Feeding FR24 since 11/09/13

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HikokiOtaku View Post
              Is is possible to show the actual commands used to read the dongle please, I'm ok with starting and stopping the FR24 service.

              Thanks.
              Yes. They are already in the second post on this thread!
              I've now edited that to put the commands in quotes to make it clearer.

              Comment


              • #8
                I thought they were but got an error!

                Hence my comment above, still doesn't work in mine, which is not an issue I was only wondering out of interest the spec of my dongle.

                It's been working fine since 2013 so I'll leave it be, thanks.

                Feeding FR24 since 11/09/13

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wiedehopf View Post
                  There should be a sticky thread on this, but anyhow this is the command used:

                  rtl_test

                  You might need to install the rtl-sdr package.
                  Sure, it may not be in the feeding section. Or cover a lot of broad desc that everyone uses to find. However...

                  Screenshot_20210406_104641.jpg ​​​​​​​
                  Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is in the "Technical matters (hardware)" section.


                    Is My DVB-T RTL SDR Dongle Healthy?

                    OPTION-1:
                    Dongle plugged into Windows Computer.
                    OPTION-2: Dongle plugged into Raspberry Pi.


                    https ://forum.flightradar24.com/forum/radar-forums/technical-matters-hardware/11337-is-my-dvb-t-rtl-sdr-dongle-healthy



                    .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ​​​​​​The method posted by cfarrell is much easier as it does not require installation of package rtl-sdr. Instead it uses existing dump1090-mutability to do tbe job. This is smart & intelligent. Thanks cfarrell.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by abcd567 View Post
                        ​​​​​​The method posted by cfarrell is much easier as it does not require installation of package rtl-sdr. Instead it uses existing dump1090-mutability to do tbe job. This is smart & intelligent. Thanks cfarrell.

                        Yeah. But guessing the other users 'errors' without seeing them, is he has dump1090-fa or similar instead.
                        Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes Oblivian, you are right.
                          If someone has dump1090-fa, then he has to use slightly different command.
                          Also the output of command rtl_test -t is brief and to the point, so debugging is straight-forward.


                          By the way when I originally wrote "Is My DVB-T RTL SDR Dongle Healthy?", the FR24 Windows10 feeder was giving DVB-T driver issue, so I made "DVB-T Plugged into Windows Computer" as OPTION-1, and kept it at top.

                          Now as Windows feeder is deprecated, and RPi feeder is the main T-feeder, few minutes ago I have reversed the order, i.e. now option "DVB-T Plugged into RPi" is OPTION-1, and is on top.

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