DIY CTT Dongle

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Dan Groebner

Dec 11, 2023, 2:08:03 PM12/11/23
to Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Thank you for making a work around for the absence of  CTT dongles to be used in SensorGnome stations at 

However, I had a problem extracting the correct file from the zipped download.
On the "CTT Motus receiver dongles for 434 MHz (dual-mode) capability on SensorGnome" page:

I can find a "Feather32u4Programmer.exe.config"  and a "Feather32u4Programmer.pdb" but no "Feather32u4Programmer.exe"

after extracting  the "" download. Changing file names doesn't work, like removing the ".config".  I found an ".exe" file once when doing a new extraction but it wouldn't run the programmer and crashed.  I am using a PC.

I realize the web page instructions are under construction, so you probably noticed that there are 2 steps "number two" on this page.

I am part of a HAM radio club that wants to build the CTT dongles along with the Raspberry Py SensorGnomes for use in east central Arizona.

Looking forward to contributing to the Project!!  Thanks again!

Thorsten von Eicken

Dec 11, 2023, 3:25:26 PM12/11/23
to Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Dan, under the hood the programming of the dongle happens with a program called avrdude, which is included in the archive. It wants a config file, which is the .config file at the top level of the archive, I believe. The command line for avrdude is pretty long, your best bet is to search for adafruit feather 32u4 cli programming instructions. The adafruit web site tells you to install the whole arduino IDE, which is most likely not what you want... I don't deal with arduino much and if so on linux, so I can't be more specific.

Note that you also need to add a jumper from the radio's DIO3 to the board's pin 10 for the firmware to work. I posted that info and photos in the sensorgnomads group on dec 1st. (That group is probablyu more pertinent to CTT dongle issues.)


Adam Smith

Dec 12, 2023, 5:07:15 PM12/12/23
to Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Hi Dan,

That's odd. When I download the '' file and extract it, the .exe file is in there. You will have to actually extract all the files before they will work though, not simply run them from within the .zip file.

So try this on your PC:
1) Download a fresh copy of the zip file
2) Open the zip file by double clicking on it
3) Select the 'CTT_dongle_Feather_programmer_w_firmware' folder the appears when you open the zip file
4) Copy and paste that entire folder to a new location on your PC. It doesn't really matter where so long as you have admin priveleges wherever you put it.
5) Navigate to this folder and find the .exe file in question and double-click it to run it. Windows may try to prevent it from running, but you should be able to choose "Run anyway" or something similar. Then the instructions on the SensorGnome docs should apply.

NOTE: the current firmware available in that downloadable zip file is the last commercially-available version of the CTT dongle firmware. It does NOT require the jumper Thorsten indicated to work. That applies only to the newest version of the firmware which is not yet available for download in the SensorGnome docs until I can do a bit more testing of it.

Let me know how you get on.


Dan Groebner

Dec 19, 2023, 8:22:46 AM12/19/23
to Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Thanks for help Thorsten and Adam!
The file would not unzip correctly after numerous tries on a Windows 11 Home machine but worked the first time on a Windows 10 Enterprise computer.  That might not be the only difference in computers though.  
It worked and I was able to program the hex file into the Adafruit Feather (updated file? It had a different name than webpage instructions) that appears to be working!!  The new DIY CTT dongle shows up in my receiver's (SG-D660RPI46D64) Port Mapping window in the receiver's "Radio" tab and flashes it's LED amber intermittently.  There is also a CTT Tag Detection window appearing below.  
I need to add the new radio to the station's metadata yet, but I've been in the field or out of town lately.  I also need to acquire a couple of test tags I can hang from my drone and give it a real test.  Attempting to purchase through state red tape.  Is that the best way to verify function of a new DIY CTT dongle?  
Thanks again!!!
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