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Any tricks for SDR on a Netbook?


TN.Frank
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I have a little Acer Aspire One ZG5 Netbook that I put Kali Linux 1.0.6 on last night so I can try out SDR on it. I'd been running Point Linux 2.2(Debian 7 Stable with MATE DE) so Kali isn't any heavier with it's GNOME 3 Classic Mode DE, anyway, I digress. I'm running SDR with the Kali install on my HP/Compaq nc6400 no problems at all but the little Netbook seems to stutter quite a bit when I try to run SDR. Are there any tips or tricks to get it working right or is that little N270 1.6GHz Atom, even with HyperThreading just not enough to work with SDR? Thanks in advance.

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I have the same version of Linux on both my laptop and my Netbook and I set up Gqrx the same for both but the Netbook audio isn't on track with the freq. where the actual radio station should be and is all choppy sounding. I'm sure it's just a configuration tweak more then anything. My little Netbook should have enough "umph" to decode radio since it works fine with Clementine and streaming radio over the web. I just hope I can get it sorted out. Thanks for the reply.

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you could try using a more light-weight window manger. e.g. Pi uses LXDE, or openbox.

You can also try to 'renice' the process in linx to change its priority example:

sudo renice -n -20 -p 85309

command breakdown

renice -n <number> -p <process>

negative numbers have higher priority, therefore highest -20, lowest priority 20, with 0 = base / normal

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Currently I'm only using around 155MB of RAM to run this DE so it is pretty light weight IMHO.

Sounds like what happens when my laptop has the Freq. Correction off, kind of skippy or choppy. I'm not a programer so I have no real clue as to what you're talking about changing the priority although I do understand that process on a computer get dibs on the CPU and if I do understand what you're saying it's to make Gqrx more important then other processes so it'll get the CPU time first.

Just like to get this figured out so when I'm out and about I can listen to radio on my Netbook if I get the urge.

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Ok, found a tutorial on-line about how to set priorities and set Gqrx to -20 but it's still skippy. Even set Plusaudio to -19 to see if that would help but no dice. I guess this little Netbook just doesn't have the "umph" it takes to run Gqrx and SDR. Probably just stick Point Linux back onto it and use it for "normal" stuff and look around for a small laptop to use for a take-a-long SDR box. Thanks for the help guys.

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Now I'm starting to second guess myself and think that maybe I should have tweaked the Freq. Offset a bit more. One guy that I saw on the interweb had his set to 17ppm, didn't think that some computers would need that much to correct the freq. with the dongle that they had. Oh well, not going to sweat it, I still have my laptop to play with SDR on.

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Ok, figured out a HUGE solution. Buy an acutal laptop with a dual core processor and a bigger screen so you can see all of Gqrx when it's running. The 12.1" HP/Compaq NC4400 took to Gqrx like a duck to water. Still smaller then my 14.1" laptops but it is a bit larger then the 8.9" Netbook. Still, it's working where the Netbook didn't so that's a huge plus right there for the little extra size and weight.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried SDR# last night on my netbook running Arch on my eeepc 1005ha, and it bogged down and stuttered. I think the issue was touched on in the last episode when Darren mentioned the processor gets overworked with no modulation. I tried pentoo on the same netbook with GRC, using the same hardcoded radio they created, and it ran no fine, with no stuttering.

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