Decoding TETRA with Virtual XuBuntu, RTL-SDR and Telive

Today I finally managed a breakthrough in my attempts at decoding Tetra and heard audio for the first time! YAY ME!

After some “messing around” trying to get everything to work I finally managed to get XuBuntu 32-Bit installed on a Virtual Machine via Virtual Box and then managed to install Telive and all dependencies and requirements. It took some figuring out but I got there in the end. Thankfully there’s an install script for Telive here and it does a good job of installing everything needed as well as covering how to get everything fired up.

 

A couple of things to consider when decoding Tetra via Virtual Box….

1. Remember to select the RTL Dongle from the list of devices so that you make it available for the Virtual Machine to use. At this point the RTL-SDR Dongle will no longer be available for use in Windows.

2. If you have everything set up and running correctly but have no audio then a couple of things to try first would be to check that your audio isn’t muted in Linux and that the volume is all the way up.

And if everything in your audio settings are okay then simply just wait. I thought I had no sound when I first got everything working and spent hours pouring over why I had no audio. There was activity in the channel window but I had no sound. In one of the channels I saw the words OK PLAY appear.

I googled this and found it meant there should be audio so I just waited. Then all of a sudden I heard voices. I checked the channel window and saw OK PLAY and some numbers in white below that so I assume this means these are voice channels or radio IDs or something. So quite often you can think there’s a problem with the audio when there isn’t.

Eventually when you do get everything set up right, you should see something like this:

Decoding Tetra with Telive using RTL-SDR
Decoding Tetra with Telive using RTL-SDR

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