Startup Step-By-Step Version 3

As one of its main new features, QIRX V3 allows to run more than one receiver simultaneously. This instruction assumes you wish to run each of its three pre-defined receivers with a RTL-SDR dongle, driven by rtl_tcp.exe via TCP/IP on the localhost.
Remark: You may run these instructions equally well with only one or two instead of three receivers, with any rtl-sdr compatible dongle, or other supported hardware (currently sdrplays RSP devices and Airspy's Airspy Mini and R2 devices). For a different or more advanced setup than the one described here, please refer to the Setup page.
  • Step 1: Download QIRX V3, containing a zip file with the Setup_qirx_3.msi inside. Doubleclick on it. In the installer, you might select a directory of your choice to install the necessary executables. QIRX V3 and V2 can exist side-by-side without interference, of course each using its own hardware. To run the V3, it is NOT necessary to first un-install the V2 of QIRX.
  • Step 2: During the installation, check "Create Desktop Icon".



  • Step 3: Make sure that your audio output (speakers or phone jack) is enabled.
  • Step 4: Start qirx.exe from your desktop by double-clicking on its icon. If not already existing, the data directory structure has been created in the usual application data folder, like e.g.
    C:\Users\<your user name>\AppData\Local\qirx3\.
    The following should happen: A message box, asking if the missing config file is to be created. Click Yes.



    In case you want to continue to work with your old qirx3.config, this is possible, but not recommended. You will be asked by the installer whether you wish to have your old qirx3.config to be deleted or not. If you decide to NOT have your old config file deleted you must ensure by yourself that possible new configuration entries are present in your new config file as well, to avoid errors and undefined behaviour.

    Next a Command-line window should be created (minimized), showing text similar like this, produced by qirx_audio.exe:

    This qirx_audio.exe is necessary only for DAB, as it contains the decoder for the AAC-coded sound. If you cannot receive DAB stations or if you are simply not interested in it, you might well close this window. If it remains open, it won't hurt, but be of no use either.

    And the QIRX window, looking similar like this:


    The picture shows how QIRX has been pre-configured for the first use. In this configuration, the following is assumed:
    • All three receivers (possible in this configuration) are visible on the screen. They are numbered 1,2,3, the numbers written at the left side.
    • All three receivers use some RTL-SDR kind of hardware, like one with a R820T tuner, or one with the E4000 tuner for instance. We selected this as default because they are the most widely used ones.
      They all are driven from the rtl_tcp.exe program, having been installed automatically.
      Possible other hardware to be used are the family of sdrplay's devices like the RSP1A, or one of the Airspy devices, like the Airspy Mini. How to configure one of those will be explained in a separate part on this website.
  • Step 5: Hardware Setup
    To be able to continue successfully and use three locally connected receivers, you need three hardware devices connected via USB. In case you don't have sufficient USB ports available on your PC, you might use a USB hub.
    A particularly useful hardware for such a multi-RX configuration is the "Kerberos" device available from rtl-sdr.com via Othernet. It contains four R820T2 equipped dongles in one metal case, has a connector for an additional 5V power supply being absolutely necessary for three devices, and a built-in USB hub.
    But please note that QIRX is not able to exploit the coherence features possible with Kerberos. This remains a future project. The next pictue shows my setup, able to drive the configuration shown above:



    Of course, three individually housed hardware devices were possible also, but please provide for sufficient power to the devices, as otherwise strange errors may appear. Therefore the "Kerberos" features a separate Micro USB port for a standard 5V supply, which you MUST use if using Kerberos with more than two devices.
    In my case, the USB output of this hardware is connected to a standard USB 2 input on the notebook PC.
  • Step 6: Start it
    To start a receiver, you click on the blue triangle in its top bar. Doing so for Rx1 results in something like the following picture:



    After starting the ADS-B decoder on Rx 2, the following message box pops up:


    Please don't be confused by this message. Usually you should click "No". It is intended as a warning in cases where you need only one receiver and another instance of rtl_tcp might not have been closed. You might appreciate this message after being more familiar with QIRX.
    The screen will immediately show some entries in the Aircrafts table, perhaps similar to the following picture:



    In case you see nothing, either there are no aircrafts around (Corona), or something is wrong with your configuration, which should not be the case after a fresh installation.

    By scrolling down, the part of Rx #3 becomes visible again, and the DAB receiver can be started. After again having confirmed that you do NOT want to delete the two running instances of rtl_tcp:


    As this is a lot of information for the small notebook screen, I change to the larger one, and after some rearrangement of the different screen parts I get the following:


    The map appears after clicking the map symbol on the top bar, the Rx1 shows the FM broadcast station with its spectrum and the waterfall, the Rx2 shows the ADS-B with the Aircrafts table, and Rx3 shows the DAB.
    In both Rx2 and Rx3, the "Frontend" part of the GUI showing the spectrum and the waterfall has been collapsed.
  • Step 8: Check it
    When you see the above pictures, you know all went well. If not, you might wish to have a look at each of the three instances of rtl_tcp, being minimized in the Windows Start Bar. They should somehow look like in the following pictures.

            

    Remark: These procedures show an example how to get three receivers running simultaneously, with three different demodulators/decoders.
    However, particularly for aviation enthusiasts, it might not be a too realistic scenario. A more realistic one would have been:
    • Rx1: AM demodulator, for listening to the pilot-ATC communication. But beware! This is not allowed in some countries like the one where I am living. Therefore, the FM broadcast demodulator was chosen for this startup demo.
    • Rx2: ADS-B, as shown.
    • Rx3: A second AM demodulator to listen to another ATC frequency in use.
    How to configure QIRX for other scenarios is described here.
  • Finished

This describes the startup procedure for the Windows "DAB-Only" version starting with V2 (Database Integration starts with V.2.1.1.2) The Operating System used is Windows 10, 64-Bit. Higher versions should behave in the same or very similar way.




Database Driver Installation (For the DAB Database)


Initial Remark: This installation instruction is also contained in the file README_IMPORTANT.txt, residing in the "Database" folder of the distribution. In this file also a German Version of this instruction can be found. Please note that this driver is only necessary for the DAB database. It is NOT necessary for the Aircraft Database.
  • Step 1: Get the "Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable" file AccessDatabaseEngine_X64.exe. You can either get it from the distribution, or you can download it here from Microsoft.
    Important: Make sure you download the 64-bit version, showing the _X64 suffix. The 32-bit version - without the _X64 suffix - will NOT work.
  • Step 2: Install the Driver by double-clicking on the exe and following the instructions. In case an error message pops up telling you that your Excel is out of date, ignore it and install by adding /passive as commandline parameter, like so:
    <your directory>\AccessDatabaseEngine_X64.exe /passive
    As an alternative, you might double-click on the provided install.bat file, doing the same. With the /passive parameter, the installer will not report success or failure.
  • Step 3: Check the success of the installation.
    • Start the "Powershell" program. In case you don't know how to do it: Google is your friend.
    • On the Powershell command line, enter the following line (without the quotes):
    • "(New-Object system.data.oledb.oledbenumerator).GetElements() | select SOURCES_NAME, SOURCES_DESCRIPTION"
    • With a successful installation, the Powershell output should contain the following line:
    • Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0 Microsoft Office 12.0 Access Database Engine OLE DB Provider
    • If this line does not show up, the driver has NOT been installed, and the QIRX map integration will not work as intended.
  • Step 4 (NOT necessary for V.2.1.1.7 and higher): After successful installation, copy the file qirxDAB.xlsx to the Database folder written in the qirx.config file (default is: C:\tmp\Database).
  • Step 5 Uninstallation (when it becomes necessary): In the Windows10 Settings, App & features, it is listed as "Microsoft Access database engine 2010".
    You can unistall it in the usual way by clicking on it and selecting "Uninstall".

Startup Step-By-Step Version 2.1.1.7 and greater

  • Step 1: Download QIRX "DAB-Only" V2.1.1.7, containing a zip file with the Setup_qirx_2.1.1.7.msi inside. Doubleclick on it. In the installer, you might select a directory of your choice to install the necessary executables.
  • Step 2: In Windows Explorer, select the directory containing the qirx.exe, as used by the installer.
  • Step 3: Make sure that your audio output (speakers or phone jack) is enabled.
  • Step 4: Make sure that your RTL-SDR compatible dongle is plugged-in.
  • Step 5: In Windows Explorer, start qirx.exe by double-clicking it. If not already existing, the data directory structure is created in the usual application data folder, like e.g.
    C:\Users\<your user name>\AppData\Local\qirx\. The following should happen:
    A message box, asking if the missing config file is to be created. Click Yes.


    In case you want to continue to work with your old qirx.config, this is possible, but not recommended. In this case you must check and ensure yourself that possible new entries are present in your old config file as well, to avoid errors and undefined behaviour.

    Next a Command-line window should be created (minimized), showing text similar like this, produced by qirx_audio.exe:


    And the QIRX window, looking similar like this:


    The small red dot indicates your own position (no GNSS) at some arbitarily selected point. You might catch it with the mouse and drag it to your real position on the map. If you happen to have a GNSS sensor connected, the dot will become green as soon as a fix can be achieved and placed at the position of your location.
    Remark: For the map to appear after the very first download, you must have an active internet connection. The tiles of the map are automatically loaded from Openstreetmap, as you work with the map. Successively, the cache builds up, residing (per default) in the subdirectory "MapCache". After some time almost only the cache is used, and the internet almost never needed any more. You are strongly advised to only let the cache grow, not delete it from time to time. This is a policy instruction by Opensteetmap. Please note that the mentioned application subdirectories are not deleted on uninstallating qirx, and as a consequence need not re-built on a new installation.
    Due to policy restrictions on the map server, the loading of the map tiles sometimes is rather slow.
  • Step 6: In QIRX, click the small blue triangle on the top row. The command-line window should show text similar to this (Important entry: "client accepted"):


    The QIRX window, looking similar like this (after some rearrangement of the different window parts):


    If the selected mux can be decoded, you should see the service list and be able to select a service. The audio should play.
    On the map, icons with the location of the received transmitters should show up, if they are recognized by the TII decoder and contained in the database.
    Remark: The transmitter database provided by the installer might not be the latest one. Thus it is strongly recommended to run a database update after the very first installation. On subsequent installs, the existing database is not overwritten. The database update is started from the "Options" tab. A live connection with an active ensemble is necessary.,
  • Finished

What could be done if Step 6 above does not give the desired result.

First of all, you must be sure that the Zadig driver is working properly. As mentioned elsewhere, Zadig is NOT part of the QIRX distribution. However, there are many places in the web describing the installation procedure. Now follow the procedure below and see if it results in success. And - for the following tests - stop your firewall in case you are using one.

  • Try all USB ports on your machine. Often not all of them work with Zadig. This might depend on the configuration of the PC. No general rule applies.
  • A common problem is the index of the USB port. You might have to select e.g. an index of 1 instead of zero in the "Settings" dialog of QIRX under "Device Index". Give it a try.
  • If still no success, set the Device Index back to zero, and in the "Settings" dialog, uncheck "Autostart" and "Autostop". Now start rtl_tcp.exe manually before clicking the blue triangle in QIRX. In this case the rtl_tcp commandline window does not close when not succeeding. I assume here that you know how to start rtl_tcp.exe manually by a double-click in the Windows Explorer. rtl_tcp.exe resides in the same directory where you installed QIRX.
  • Look what you observe in the commandline window of rtl_tcp.exe when clicking the blue triangle in QIRX. Take a screenshot.
  • Usually one of the described measures results in success. If not, send us an email with a description of your actions and screenshots and we'll try to help you.

The following section describes the startup procedure for the Windows version of QIRX V0.9.5 and the "DAB-Only" V1.0.0.4. The Operating System used is Windows 10, 64-Bit. Higher versions (V1.x) should behave in the same or very similar way.

Startup Step-By-Step Version 1.x

  • Step 1: Download the Binary. Unpack into an arbitrary - writeable - directory on your machine. "Writeable" is important because the qirx.config file is written during program run and on termination. In case you want to have the software in the usual protected "Program Files" directory structure, you must ensure that qirx.config can be written by the software, by applying suitable security properties. Other files are not modified.

    Remark: The following paragraph about building the software is valid for QIRX versions 1.x. From Version 2 on, the sources are no longer distributed.

    In case you do NOT want to build from the sources, continue now directly with Step 2. Otherwise, continue with the rest of Step 1 here.
    To build one of the two possible versions, you should first build the qirx_Common Solution, to be found in the qirx_Common subdirectory. After having loaded the solution into Visual Studio 2015, first change in Visual Studio to Release Mode. Debug Mode might be not fast enough to run the software, and is not intended to build and run the software. However, debugging should be possible in Release mode as well. For the subsequent builds of the versions 0.9.5 or 1.0.0.4, the relative directory structure with respect to qirx_Common should be maintained. Otherwise, the dll references might not be resolved properly.
    To debug, please rename the dll dabTII.dll to e.g. dabTII.dll.sav or something similar. This dll will possibly inhibit the debugging when present during debugging, due to the applied obfuscation of this dll. Without debugger, it should work in the normal way. The software should run also without this dll.
  • Step 2: In Windows Explorer, select the directory containing the qirx.exe of Version 0.9.5 you are going to run. You find it together with all necessary DLLs in [Your base directory]\V0.9.5_qirx\Release. Of course, the qirx.exe of the Version 1.0.0.4 can also be used, but it behaves slightly different (rtl_tcp.exe command line window showing up at a later time).
  • Step 3: Make sure that your audio output (speakers or phone jack) is enabled.
  • Step 4: Make sure that your RTL-SDR compatible dongle is plugged-in.
  • Step 5: In Windows Explorer, start qirx.exe by double-clicking it. The following should happen:
    An "Error" message box, informing about a missing configuration file. At this point, this is normal behaviour, because the config file is - per default - not distributed. Click OK.


    Another message box, asking if the missing config file is to be created. Click Yes.


    In case you want to continue to work with your old qirx.config, this is well possible. You must ensure, however, that possible new entries are present in your old config file as well, to avoid errors and exceptions. To compare, you could use the excellent WinMerge software. Another possibility (xml human friendly) would be using the XMLNotepad editor.

    Next a Command-line window should show up, showing text similar like this, produced by rtl_tcp.exe:


    The QIRX window, looking similar like this:

  • Step 6: In QIRX, select the menu item “Start”, “TCP/IP”. The command-line window should show text similar to this (Important entry: "client accepted"):


    The QIRX window, looking similar like this:

  • Finished

In case you have difficulties performing the steps without errors, please consult the "Troubleshooting" section in the pdf-Version of this guide, contained in the documentation, or download it directly here.


  • Cookies helfen uns bei der Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch die Nutzung unserer Dienste erklären Sie sich damit einverstanden, dass wir Cookies setzen. Weitere Informationen