Running SparkSDR headless as a skimmer?

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Apr 13, 2024, 2:49:39 PMApr 13
to SparkSDR
Is it possible to run SparkSDR headless with Hermes as a skimmer?

Josh Logan

Apr 13, 2024, 11:55:38 PMApr 13
to VE7PPE, SparkSDR

I have not tried headless, but I have used VNC under LInux and you do not need a monitor.

Once you have a VNC server running on the host, you use a VNC client (like TightVNC) from another computer or phone/tablet to connect.  There is usually a Window Manager running so you can start programs and interact with the system.  Once you have SparkSDR running you disconnect the VNC session, and everything keeps working.  You can reconnect if needed to make changes.

I would not expose VNC to the internet, but it's a great LAN protocol, you can also tunnel it over ssh.

73, KD7HGL

On Sat, Apr 13, 2024 at 11:49 AM VE7PPE <> wrote:
Is it possible to run SparkSDR headless with Hermes as a skimmer?

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Roger David Powers

Apr 16, 2024, 9:20:12 AMApr 16
to SparkSDR, VE7PPE
I would say OpenWebRX is a better choice for headless skimming.

They have a background scheduler mode that lets you do things like change bands at sunset.

The concept is to use time periods when no one is connecting via their web UI to do background skimming, but since I don't open my web UI to anyone it becomes 24x7 skimming.

It can be driven by systemd services so it restarts after power loss, etc.

I've been gathering FT8 spots on 8 bands using HL2 and OpenWebRx using a Pi 5 for weeks if not months and it's been very reliable.

On Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 02:49:42 PM EDT, VE7PPE <> wrote:

Is it possible to run SparkSDR headless with Hermes as a skimmer?


Apr 16, 2024, 12:50:16 PMApr 16
to SparkSDR
Might be clearer if explained my need:

I currently run SparkSDR 24/7 on 40/30/20/17 FT8 and report to PSK Reporter using Debian with Xfce desktop, but want to move to a leaner headless install in a podman container  The aim is to support POTA/SOTA activations through SOTAmat 24/7 via a pod.  No need for direct viewing, I can open SparkSDR on my workstation/laptop if interested.

Looking for lean install to a Fedora base image if that is possible.  Would manually configure via a config file or ??


Apr 16, 2024, 12:52:28 PMApr 16
to SparkSDR
Thanks, that"s just the information I needed. 

Fernando Castellani

Apr 17, 2024, 9:56:42 AMApr 17
to SparkSDR
I don't know if the information is useful, but I'm running my SparkSDR on a remote site. 
It's running on an i7 laptop with 4 cores/8threads, windows 7 64bits. It is using an original SDRPlay on 12m/15m/17m, decoding WSPR and FT8 and reporting only to PSKReporter (I use another system to report to WSPRnet). I had no problems with this setup. 
The computer automatically restarts every day at 06:00 UTC. I monitor how things are working sometimes using RealVNC. 
I bought a Chinese USB dongle, probably an SDRPlay clone, and I'm planning to use both dongles on the same laptop, but I don't know if I will have any performance problems, like when WSPR and FT8 are decoding simultaneously, the system uses all 8 threads of available for 5 to 10 seconds (99%), and they remain at 35% for the remaining time until the next WSPR/FT8 simultaneous decode cycle. 
PT2FHC SparkSDR.jpg
Fernando - PT2FHC

Apr 19, 2024, 2:01:44 AMApr 19
to SparkSDR
I'm not sure what happens if you try to run it truly headless.  You can pass a profile name on the command line so no interaction is needed to skim.  I have an experimental version that runs without an X server and uses a basic frame buffer directly.
73 Alan M0NNB
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