How to set up automatic recording of WebSDR

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hrng
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Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:29 am

So there's quite a few ways to set up auto recording of WebSDR, and probably a lot nicer ways than this, but since I had a few of the components sitting around already, this is the way I've done it. Haven't hit the end of the 30 day trial of RecAll yet, but will most likely buy the full version when it expires as it's been super useful. If anyone knows of similar alternatives, I'm all ears. :)

What you will need:
  • RecAll-PRO or similar software
  • VB-Audio Cable or Virtual Audio Cable
  • A spare PC/laptop/virtual machine that won't be doing other sounds (to avoid recording the other things playing, system sounds etc.)
Setting it all up:
  • Install the above software, if not already installed.
  • Once installed, you should see a second playback and recording device in your sound settings (note, this is Windows 10, may be different for different version).
    Image
  • Select the cable input, and make it your default playback device through the button on the same screen, this will make any sound going through the default, such as your web browser, go via the virtual audio cable. Think of it like plugging a 3.5mm cable into your headphone port.
  • Switch to the recording tab and select the cable output device that should now be present. Under the "listen" tab should be a checkbox to listen to the device. Tick that, then select your speakers as the playback device. You should now be able to hear anything going through that virtual cable.
    Image
  • You'll now want to jump into the RecAll-PRO software and configure it to your preference. These are the settings I've found work well. (Note: I chose wave for recording, mp3 or ogg would be better if you're short on disk space though.)
  • Set it to listen at start-up, saves clicking an extra button:
    Image
  • The file tab is where you'll set up the automatic file name creation. I've set mine up with a timestamp as the filename, however it's worth noting that the time stamp will be the time the file is created, rather than the exact time of transmission. For exact times, look at the file modification date in explorer or via command line.
    Image
  • Record tab decides how to split the files - I went for a 10 second gap, seems to be a good balance.
    Image
  • Vox tab defines when to start/stop recording, as well as whether to get rid of any short unnecessary files. I left this pretty much at default, but am considering telling it to discard small files as I seem to collect quite a few.
    Image
  • Driver tab is where you set your inputs, you'll want to set the input to the virtual cable you set up earlier, and output as your speakers.
    Image
  • Once all set up, you should have something similar to this. Note that I've set the volume quite low to ensure it's capturing everything - I'll let WebSDR take care of the squelch.
    Image
You'll need to set up a scheduled task to delete older files, or just do it manually once every few days, as they can grow pretty quick. You might also want to set up the folder as a shared drive that you can access from other PCs, for quick access to the recordings.

Hope this helps someone out there. If anyone has any questions on setting it up feel free to ask. :)

Worldwatcher
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Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:39 am

That's fantastic!
Is there a way to automatically upload this to a website? Kind of like a "today's recordings" type way, so they can be stored, sorted and listened to by those who don't want to miss anything.
"There's a cold war coming,
On the radio I heard
Baby it's a violent world"

- Coldplay, Life In Technicolor II

IrisFigg
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Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:50 am

I wonder if there's a way to track how many messages an hour are going out and put them on a graph to pick up increaces in traffic and such...

this could quickly become a lot of data :lol:

hrng
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Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:51 am

Worldwatcher wrote:That's fantastic!
Is there a way to automatically upload this to a website? Kind of like a "today's recordings" type way, so they can be stored, sorted and listened to by those who don't want to miss anything.
I've been mulling over that for a while now. I can think of a few ways to do it - could set up a remote Windows server that does it all and runs IIS to serve the files, but that has the downside of costing real money, and it means that I'd have to remote in to change frequency or fix it when it stops running.

You could have it pop the files in a Dropbox folder, but bandwidth costs would be high as it would be constantly uploading things.

The other ways would be to set up a standalone linux box for it and have it encode and sync the files, but that has similar problems to the Windows server option.

There'd be a few other ways but not many that provide reliable connectivity and don't hit the pocket too much... I may have an opportunity for some free AWS EC2 instances coming up, if so then I'll probably set something up for it. :)

Worldwatcher
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Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:25 am

Another question.
What frequency on the webSDR are you using?
"There's a cold war coming,
On the radio I heard
Baby it's a violent world"

- Coldplay, Life In Technicolor II

JohnStone
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Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:52 am

Great tutorial! First word was that new tech would put an end to radio, but to the contrary, they've come to work well together. Pisses off the big business that wants control over the ham channels. As long as there will be a use, there will be a need.

hrng
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Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:33 am

Worldwatcher wrote:Another question.
What frequency on the webSDR are you using?
I float around between them as they seem to change in quality throughout the day. Can get a lot of interference coming through that ends up spawning a tonne of files, so have to switch whenever it gets too noisy. Usually sitting on 11175 or 6739.
JohnStone wrote:Great tutorial! First word was that new tech would put an end to radio, but to the contrary, they've come to work well together. Pisses off the big business that wants control over the ham channels. As long as there will be a use, there will be a need.
Thanks :)

Spot on, and the whole ultracheap SDR revolution a few years back has really made the tech world pay attention to radio once again. It amazes me to see the software that's coming out these days, especially when it comes to decoding things that were never meant to be decoded by us plebs ;)

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