rtl-wmbus: software defined receiver for Wireless-M-Bus with RTL-SDR
 
 
 
 
 
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Xael South f2a89a0a1b
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README.md

rtl-wmbus: software defined receiver for Wireless-M-Bus with RTL-SDR

rtl-wmbus is a software defined receiver for Wireless-M-Bus. It is written in plain C and uses RTL-SDR (https://github.com/osmocom/rtl-sdr) to interface with RTL2832-based hardware.

It can also use LimeSDR or other SDR receiver as backend through rx_sdr (see https://github.com/rxseger/rx_tools), which in turn is using SoapySDR to interface with underlying hardware in a vendor-neutral way.

Wireless-M-Bus is the wireless version of M-Bus ("Meter-Bus", http://www.m-bus.com), which is an European standard for remote reading of smart meters.

The primary purpose of rtl-wmbus is experimenting with digital signal processing and software radio. rtl-wmbus can be used on resource constrained devices such Raspberry Pi Zero or Raspberry PI B+ overclocked to 1GHz. Any Android based tablet will do the same too.

rtl-wmbus provides:

  • filtering
  • FSK demodulating
  • clock recovering
  • mode T1 and mode C1 packet decoding
  • mode S1 packet decoding

rtl-wmbus requires:

For the latest version, see https://github.com/xaelsouth/rtl-wmbus

Installing

The Osmocom RTL-SDR library must be installed before you can build rtl-wmbus. See http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr for more information. RTL-SDR library for Android would be installed via Google Play.

To install rtl-wmbus, download, unpack the source code and go to the top level directory. Then use one of these three options:

  • make debug # (no optimization, with all debug options on)

  • make release # (-O3 optimized version, without any debugging options)

  • make pi1 # (Raspberry Pi optimized version, without any debugging options, will build on RasPi1) only

Before building Android version the SDK and NDK have to be installed. See androidbuild.bat for how to build and install.

For Windows users:

  • Download and install https://downloads.myriadrf.org/builds/PothosSDR/PothosSDR-2021.02.28-vc16-x64.exe

  • Compile rtl-wmbus with MSYS2-MinGW just by executing make in MSYS2-MinGW-Console...

  • Or use precompiled binary from the build directory

  • Start in the console: "c:\Program Files\PothosSDR\bin\rtl_sdr" -f 868.95M -s 1600000 - 2>NUL | build\rtl_wmbus_x64.exe

  • Optionally replace the path to rtl_sdr with that where you have PothosSDR installed

    Usage

To save an I/Q-stream on disk and decode that off-line:

  • rtl_sdr samples.bin -f 868.95M -s 1600000
  • cat samples.bin | build/rtl_wmbus

To save an I/Q-stream and decode this immediately to see what's going on right now:

  • rtl_sdr -f 868.95M -s 1600000 - 2>/dev/null | tee samples.bin | build/rtl_wmbus

To run continuously without saving anything on disk:

  • rtl_sdr -f 868.95M -s 1600000 - 2>/dev/null | build/rtl_wmbus

To run continuously with rx_sdr (or even with a higher sampling and decimation rate)

  • rx_sdr -f 868.95M -s 1600000 - 2>/dev/null | build/rtl_wmbus
  • rx_sdr -f 868.95M -s 4000000 - 2>/dev/null | build/rtl_wmbus -d 5

Notice "-d 5" in the last line: it's a multiple of 800kHz resulting from the sample rate of 4MHz.

To count "good" (no 3 out of 6 errors, no checksum errors) packets:

  • cat samples.bin | build/rtl_wmbus 2>/dev/null | grep "[T,C,S]1;1;1" | wc -l

Carrier-frequency given at "-f" must be set properly. With my DVB-T-Receiver I had to choose carrier 50kHz under the standard of 868.95MHz. Sample rate at 1.6Ms/s should be used or use a multiple of 800kHz. RTL-SDR supports sampling rate up to 3.2 MSamples, so you can choose 1.6 MSamples, 2.4 MSamples or 3.2 MSamples.

See samples/samples2.bin for a live example with two T1 mode devices inside.

On Android the driver must be started first with options given above. I/Q-data goes to a port which is to be set in the driver settings. Use get_net to get I/Q-data into rtl_wmbus.

The output data is semicolon separated and the meaning of the columns are:

MODE;CRC_OK;3OUTOF6OK;TIMESTAMP;PACKET_RSSI;CURRENT_RSSI;LINK_LAYER_IDENT_NO;DATAGRAM_WITHOUT_CRC_BYTES.

3OUTOF6OK is only relevant for T1 and can be ignored for C1 and S1 (always set to 1).

Bugfixing

Mode C1 datagram type B is supported now - thanks to Fredrik Öhrström for spotting this and for providing raw datagram samples. An another thanks goes to Kjell Braden (afflux) and to carlos62 for the idea how to implement this.

Redefining CFLAGS and OUTPUT directory is allowed now (patch sent by dwrobel).

L(ength) field from C1 mode B datagrams does not include CRC bytes anymore: L field will now be printed as if the datagram would be received from a T1 or C1 mode A meter.

Significantly improved C1 receiver quality. Sad, but in the low-pass-filter was a bug: the stopband edge frequency was specified as 10kHz instead of 110kHz. I have changed the latter to 160kHz and recalculated filter coefficients.

Packet rssi value fixed for S1 mode (was always 0): thanks to alalons.

Improvements

A new method for picking datagrams out of the bit stream that could probably better perform in C1 mode has been implemented. I called that "run length algorithm". I don't know if any similar term already exists in the literature. The new method is very sensitive to bit glitches, which have to be filtered out of the bit stream with an asymmetrical deglitch filter. The deglitch filter must be implemented asymmetrical in this case, because RTL-SDR produces more "0" bits than "1" bits on it's output. The latter seems more to be a hardware feature rather than a bug.

Run length algorithm is running in parallel (and is fully independant) to the time2 method. You will eventually get two identical datagrams, where each has been decoded by its own methods. If you really want avoiding duplicates, then start rtl_wmbus with "-r 0" or "-t 0" argument to prevent executing of run length or time2 method respectively. You can play with arguments and check which method performs better for you. Please note, that both methods are active by default.

The advantage of the run length algorithm is that it works without IIR filter (which are needed only for clock recovery by time2 method). Therefore the run length algorithm can be applied to all RF ICs providing raw demodulated signal without clock in the "transparent serial mode" like TI CC1125 (swru295e.pdf, 8.7.2) does.

An additional method introduces more calculation steps, so I'm not sure if Raspberry Pi 1 will still work with that.

Run length algorithm works well with a few mode C1 devices I had around me, but can still be improved with your help.

S1 mode datagrams can now be received! You have to start rtl_wmbus at 868.3MHz with

  • rtl_sdr -f 868.3M -s 1600000 - 2>/dev/null | build/rtl_wmbus

Last but not least, you can try to receive all datagrams (S1, T1, C1) simultaneously:

  • rtl_sdr -f 868.625M -s 1600000 - 2>/dev/null | build/rtl_wmbus -s

Notice in the last line:

  • "-s": which is needed to inform rtl_wmbus about required frequency translation
  • "868.625M": the new frequency to receive at

rtl_wmbus will then shift all frequencies

  • by +325kHz to new center frequency at 868.95Mhz (T1 and C1)
  • by -325kHz to new center frequency at 868.3Mhz (S1)

I have tested this so far and can confirm that it works for T1/C1 and S1. Thanks to alalons for providing me with bitstreams!

Optimization on frequencies translation by rearranging compute steps implemented as proposed by alalons.

Alalons (have I thanked you already?!) proposed a speed optimized arctan function. Performance gain is notable (factor ~2) but could reduce sensitivity slightly. I have seen that on receiving C1 mode datagrams - that's why the speed optimized version is not in use by default. A speed optimized arctan version can be activated by "-a" in the program options.

License

Copyright (c) 2021 xael.south@yandex.com

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

  2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.