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scannerpi is a collection of scripts and configuration files that you can use to assist in setting up a RaspBerry Pi for streaming scanner audio to websites such as

Step 1: RaspberryPi Pre-Configuration Steps

  • These instructions assume you have installed Raspbian Buster on your Pi

Audio set-up

  • With your USB sound stick installed, in a terminal on the RasPi run the command
arecord –l

and note the output. You should see something like this:

**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
card 1: Device [Generic USB Audio Device], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
  • This indicates that the capture (recording) device is card one. The numbering starts at zero and the on-board audio on the RasPi is card 0 (but it does not have a capture device). In ALSA configuration it is referred to by device and sub-device thusly: “hw:1,0”.

Next connect speakers to the audio jack on the RasPi (not the USB output) and a microphone or other audio input to the USB sound stick. A scanner tuned to NOAA weather with continuous output works well. Adjust the volume to mid level if using a scanner, etc. Then enter:

arecord -D plughw:1,0 temp.wav 
  • In this case we use the plug-in called "plug" to handle format conversion. Otherwise you could use “arecord –D hw:1,0 somefile.wav but you would need to explicitly set the format to match your sound stick. Using “plughw:1,0” makes life easier.

If using a microphone, speak into it for about ten seconds. Then type “ctl-c” to stop recording. If you hear the audio when you enter the command,

aplay temp.wav

then the recording on the RasPi and USB device is working. If you don’t hear anything using “aplay temp.wav”, or if it is too soft or distorted, try using the command:

sudo alsamixer

(along with the volume control on the radio) to balance the recording level. After entering “alsamixer” press “F6” and select the sound card (maybe called generic USB device), then “F5” to display all controls for that device.

Using one scanner I had to turn the scanner up quite loud, then using alsamixer turn on Auto Gain (arrow over to auto gain and press “m” until “00” is displayed). Using a different scanner I had to keep it rather low and turn auto gain off (mute) while keeping the capture level at + 9 dB - it’s fair to say “your mileage may vary.”

If despite all this you cannot get decent quality audio then you should suspect a problem with the attached audio hardware, audio cable, etc.

Once you have a feed running with good audio level you can save the alsamixer settings between reboots by issuing command:

sudo alsactl store

Updates the Pi's Catalog, Kernel, & Firmware

Run these commands is successive order

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2: Install Darkice & its Dependencies

This installs the Darkice package and its dependencies for file trimming and processing

sudo apt-get install darkice -y

Install the SoX (Sound Exchange) & id3v2 Tag Packages

This command installs the sox package required for mp3 encoding

sudo apt-get install sox libsox-fmt-mp3 id3v2 -y

Step 3: Configure & Install Support Scripts

This step will focus on installing and configuring DarkIce & Radioplay

Folder Creation for Radioplay

sudo mkdir /etc/radioplay
sudo mkdir /var/lib/radioplay
sudo mkdir scanneraudio

Download all Configurations Files

curl "" -o darkice.service && curl "" -o darkice.cfg && curl "" -o radioplay && curl "" -o radioplay.conf

OR clone the repo

git clone
  • Update the darkice.cfg and radioplay.conf configuration files using vi or nano to conform it to your settings
  • You may also need to modify the radioplay script at the trim area to customize the feed mnemonic

Edit Permission & Ownership

sudo chown root:root darkice darkice.cfg radioplay radioplay.conf
sudo chmod 755 radioplay darkice.service
sudo chmod 644 radioplay.conf darkice.cfg

Move Files to Destination Folders

sudo mv radioplay /usr/local/bin/radioplay
sudo mv radioplay.conf /etc/radioplay/radioplay.conf
sudo mv darkice.service /etc/systemd/system/darkice.service
sudo mv darkice.cfg /etc/darkice.cfg

Step 4: Test and Final Cleanup

Test DarkIce without archiving

sudo /usr/bin/darkice

Listen to the feed and adjust the levels as needed. If all works as expected then “ctl-c” to stop DarkIce. If you see this error when running DarkIce, “…lame lib opening underlying sink error…” then DarkIce was unable to connect to the server. Check “/etc/darkice.cfg” for the proper entries and make sure the RasPi can access the internet.

Finalize the Installation

Update the root's crontab

sudo crontab -e

...and add the following lines

00 * * * *   [ -x /usr/local/bin/radioplay ] && /usr/local/bin/radioplay cron > /dev/null

Enable the DarkIce startup service to run at boot & start DarkIce

sudo systemctl enable darkice.service
sudo systemctl start darkice.service


There is a live working feed accessible here

Step 5: (OPTIONAL)

Dropbox Uploader (third-party download)

Dropbox Uploader is a BASH script which can be used to upload, download, delete, list files (and more!) from Dropbox, an online file sharing, synchronization and backup service.

It's written in BASH scripting language and only needs cURL.

Why use this script?

Portable: It's written in BASH scripting and only needs cURL (curl is a tool to transfer data from or to a server, available for all operating systems and installed by default in many linux distributions). Secure: It's not required to provide your username/password to this script, because it uses the official Dropbox API for the authentication process. Please refer to the ( for tips and additional information about this project. The Wiki is also the place where you can share your scripts and examples related to Dropbox Uploader.

Dropbox Purge (dbpurge)

Dropbox purge (dbpurge) is an independent script that allows the user to purge their Dropbox app folder of the oldest archive recording. The script runs as a cron job (user-defined scheduling) and periodically deletes the oldest file using the Dropbox

Install GAWK Dependency

Ensure that you have the gawk package installed on your OS (apt-get install gawk)

sudo apt-get install gawk -y

Folder Creation for dbpurge

sudo mkdir /home/pi/dbpurge
sudo mkdir /etc/dbpurge

Copy files to Destination Folders (from the scannerpi repo folder)

sudo cp dbpurge /usr/local/bin/dbpurge
sudo cp dbpurge.conf /etc/dbpurge/dbpurge.conf   

Edit Permission & Ownership

sudo chmod 755 dbpurge
sudo chmod 644 dbpurge.conf

Finalize the Installation

Update the Pi's crontab

crontab -e

...and add the following lines

*/x * * * * /usr/local/bin/dbpurge > /home/pi/dbpurge/dbpurge.log 2>&1