Osmocom TETRA MAC/PHY layer experimentation code

This code aims to implement the sending and receiving part of the

If you read the ETSI EN 300 392-2 (TETRA V+D Air Interface), you will
find this code implementing the parts between the MAC-blocks (called
type-1 bits) and the bits that go to the DQPSK-modulator (type-5 bits).

It is most useful to look at Figure 8.5, 8.6, 9.3 and 19.12 of the
abovementioned specification in conjunction with this program.

Big picture

Source Code

The source code is available via read-only git access at

git clone git://

You can also browse the source code at

You will need libosmocore to link.

Mailing List

There is a public mailing list regarding development of this project, you can
visit the subscription page at

This list is for discussion between software developers who intend to improve the
Osmocom TETRA software. It is not a forum for individuals asking how they can tap
into police radio (which is encrypted anyway).

Please make sure to read the MailingListRules before posting.


We now have a FAQ (Frequently asked Questions) page!


  • contains a gnuradio based pi4/DQPSK demodulator, courtesy of KA1RBI
  • call demodulator on a 'cfile' containing complex baseband samples
  • use demodulator in realtime with a USRP1 SDR
  • use demodulator in realtime with a USRP2 SDR
  • use demodulator in realtime with a Funcube_Dongle. Please use the qthid application to tune the dongle and adjust its gain/filter parameters for best reception result. This demodulator may also be used with other Softrock-type receivers by downconverting the intermediate frequency of a radio scanner to the complex baseband.

The output of the demodulator is a file containing one float value for each symbol,
containing the phase shift (in units of pi/4) relative to the previous symbol.

You can use the float_to_bits program to convert the float values to unpacked bits, i.e. 1-bit-per-byte

PHY/MAC layer

library code

Specifically, it implements:

  • CRC16-CCITT (currently defunct/broken as we need it for non-octet-aligned bitfields)
  • 16-state Rate-Compatible Punctured Convolutional (RCPC) coder
  • Block interleaving (over a single block only)
  • (30, 14) Reed-Muller code for the ACCH (broadcast block of each downlink burst)
  • Scrambling
  • Convolutional decoder for signalling and voice channels
  • Routines to encode continuous normal and sync bursts

Receiver Program

The main receiver program tetra-rx expects an input file containing a stream of unpacked bits, i.e. 1-bit-per-byte.

Transmitter Program

The main program conv_enc_test.c generates a single continuous downlink sync burst (SB), containing:
  • a SYNC-PDU as block 1
  • a ACCESS-ASSIGN PDU as broadcast block
  • a SYSINFO-PDU as block 2

Scrambling is set to 0 (no scrambling) for all elements of the burst.

It does not actually modulate and/or transmit yet.

Quick example

assuming you have generated a file samples.cfile at a sample rate of 195.312kHz (100MHz/512 == USRP2 at decimation 512)

./src/demod/python/ -i /tmp/samples.cfile -o /tmp/out.float -s 195312 -c 0
./src/float_to_bits /tmp/out.float /tmp/out.bits
./src/tetra-rx /tmp/out.bits

Also, you may use pipes to glue the three programs running in different terminals together to achieve real time operation.

mkfifo /tmp/out.float
mkfifo /tmp/out.bits
./src/demod/python/ -D hw:1,0 -o /tmp/out.float

The most user friendly way is the script which is based on gr-osmosdr and supports various radio hardware (OsmoSDR, RTLSDR, FCD, UHD) as well as IQ file input.

  • Adjust the center frequency (-f) and gain (-g) according to your needs.
  • Use left click in Wideband Spectrum window to roughly select a TETRA carrier.
  • In Wideband Spectrum you may also tune by 1/4 of the bandwidth at once by clicking on the rightmost/leftmost spectrum side.
  • Use left click in Channel Spectrum window to fine tune the carrier by clicking on the left or right side of the spectrum.

For live capture call:

src$ ./demod/python/ -o /dev/stdout | ./float_to_bits /dev/stdin /dev/stdout | ./tetra-rx /dev/stdin

You may specify gr-osmosdr device arguments by using the --args commandline option.

To use a gnuradio .cfile as input:

src$ ./demod/python/ -a "file=/path/to/tetra_sps1024e3.cfile,rate=1024e3,repeat=true,throttle=true" -o /dev/stdout | ./float_to_bits /dev/stdin /dev/stdout | ./tetra-rx /dev/stdin

Note the mandatory rate argument and optional repeat & throttle arguments.

tetramod.png - Tetra carrier as produced by the modulator (42.9 KB) laforge, 06/01/2011 06:03 PM

osmotetrafcdp.png - TETRA carrier received with the FCDP (50.2 KB) horiz0n, 06/12/2011 08:46 PM

osmo-tetra-demod.png (61.7 KB) horiz0n, 06/07/2012 02:09 PM