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Wenet RX Instructions (Ubuntu Debian)

Mark Jessop edited this page Jul 31, 2019 · 18 revisions

The following assumes you are operating from a stock Ubuntu 18.04.x (or newer) installation, and that everything is being downloaded into your home directory.

Commands that you need to run in a terminal are prefixed with '$' like so:

$ echo "Hello World"

1. Dependencies

1.1 - Hardware

Wenet requires a RTLSDR of some sort to receive the transmitted signal, and of course some sort of antenna suited to the operating band (usually the 70cm amateur radio band). We highly recommend the 'v3' dongles.

To achieve best receive performance, a preamplifier should be used between the RTLSDR and the antenna, ideally as close to the antenna feed-point as possible. Examples of suitable amplifiers include:

1.2 - Software

From a stock Ubuntu 18.04.x installation, the following packages were required:

git subversion cmake bc build-essential python-numpy python-pyqtgraph python-crcmod python-requests python-pip libfftw3-dev libspeexdsp-dev libsamplerate0-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev python-pyqt5

These can be installed using:

$ sudo apt-get install git subversion cmake bc build-essential python-numpy python-pyqtgraph python-crcmod python-requests python-pip python-pyqt5 libfftw3-dev libspeexdsp-dev libsamplerate0-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev

Finally, we need to install a few additional Python packages:

$ sudo pip install flask flask-socketio

2. Downloading This Repository

If you haven't already downloaded this repository, do so using:

$ git clone

3. rtl-sdr

If you don't have a need to use the internal bias-tee option in some of the new RTLSDRs (i.e. you are using a separately powered preamp), then you can just install rtl-sdr from your system package manager using:

$ sudo apt-get install rtl-sdr

However, if you wish to use the bias-tee option in the newer RTL-SDR Blog v3 dongles, we need to use rtlsdrblog's fork of the rtl-sdr libraries to provide the rtl_biast utility. This is even the case with the latest release of rtl-sdr (v6.x) which while supporting the bias-tee in rtl_fm, still doesn't support it in the rtl_sdr capture utility. Go figure. Until this is fixed, we have to compile our own version.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to remove any installations of rtl-sdr already on your system before compiling/installing from source. (i.e. sudo apt-get remove rtl-sdr librtlsdr0 librtlsdr-dev

Once you are sure there are no system rtl-sdr libraries installed, run:

$ git clone
$ cd rtl-sdr
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ sudo make install
$ sudo ldconfig

Confirm you can communicate with your rtl-sdr by running:

$ rtl_test

4. Other Dependencies

The following git repositories need to be cloned, built and installed:

4.1. Building SSDV

$ git clone
$ cd ssdv
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ cd  ~/

4.2. Building CSDR (not always required)

Note: CSDR is not needed if you are using a RTLSDR dongle which does not have a Elonics E4000 tuner. I.e. it is not required with the RTLSDR Blog v3 dongles. If you do have one of these older SDRs, I suggest you upgrade! Otherwise...

$ git clone
$ cd csdr
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ cd  ~/

4.3. Building required FSK demodulation binaries.

cd into the wenet/src directory:

$ cd ~/wenet/src/
$ make

You should see a few gcc commands followed by the message Binaries copied to ../rx/

5. Callsign & Shortcuts Setup

Go back to the main wenet directory:

$ cd ~/wenet/

Edit using your favourite text editor, and change the following:


There are a number of other options that you may want to change in that file, so it's worth having a read through and change options as necessary.

Next, copy the two .desktop files to your desktop by running:

$ cp rx/*.desktop ~/Desktop/

If your username is something other than 'wenet', you will need to edit the Start_SSDV.desktop file, so that the 'Exec='' line contains the correct path to

If the shortcuts don't show up with a 'diamond gears' icon on the desktop, right click on them, and in the permissions tab, click 'Allow executing file as program'

6. Testing

You should now be able to start up the receiving software stack by clicking on the 'Start Wenet RX'.

Three windows should appear:

  • A terminal window with lots of scrolling text (modem status messages)
  • The FSK Demodulator Modem Statistics window, and
  • The SSDV Viewer GUI

You can kill all the RX processes by running the 'Kill RX' shortcut on the desktop.

You can’t perform that action at this time.