RTLSDR Scanner Installer

Al's picture

The RTLScanner now has an installer for Windows x32/x64 which will now download the program as well as it dependencies.  This should make the installation process fair easier.

The first time you run it, just accept all the default options and it will install all the software you need.  If you want to update the scanner (for example when I push some new code) just run it again and un-tick  'Dependencies',  the new code will be downloaded from GitHub and installed on your machine.

Just a word of warning, the installer updates your system PATH variable with the location of Python that it installs, this can cause problems with existing Python installs.




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Hi - the software looks just what I'm looking for - tried SDR# but not got on with it.
The installer seemed to work - I accepted all the default questions and it installed lots of packages.

The first time I tried to run it it asked where Python was - so I pointed it to C:\Python\Python.exe where this installer set it up. Now when I try to run it I just get a DOS window that says:

Import error: matplotlib requires dateutil

Error importing libraries
Press [Return] to exit

Any ideas how to get it working?

I'm on Windows 7

Ta, Glyn

Al's picture

Hi Glyn,

It might be worth trying the installer again, the location of Python is actually where it will install a new copy Python 2.7.5. If you've specified a location of an existing install this my cause problems, both with the existing install and the new one. If in doubt just use the default settings.

Open cmd
Go to "C:\Python27\Scripts"
Execute "easy_install pyparsing"

Source: http://pyparsing.wikispaces.com/Download+and+Installation

Fixed my Windows 8.1 "matplotlib requires pyparsing" problem

Al's picture

Hi Jens,
Thanks for that, I'll add an answer to the FAQ with some details.

The installer seemed to work - I accepted all the default questions and it installed lots of packages.

The first time I tried to run it said: "Import error: matplotlib requires pyparsing
Error importing libraries"

Tried the installer again, both, repairing python or new install, but the same error.
Please, please me.

Al's picture

Hi Adrian,

Just a couple of quick questions:

Firstly during the full install did the pyparsing installer start?
Secondly is Python installed to a location without spaces in the path (for example C:\Python27)?

same results as AL. Removed existing python, cleaned registry. Ran installer as administrator, taking all defaults. directory is c:\python27 no spaces. "Import error: matplotlib requires pyparsing Error importing libraries.

Al's picture

Sorry for the delay, I've got my hands on a Windows 8 machine but have had no luck replicating your problem. There have been some fixes with the latest installer if you haven't tried it.

1 - Downloaded installer rtlsdr_scanner-setup-win32.exe from SourceForge
2 - Ran. No obvious problems.
3 - Executed rtlsdr_scan.py. "Import error: matplotlib requires pyparsing Error importing libraries"
4 - OK, I can deal with this. Obtained pyparsing. Tried to install. No good, needs Python 2.6 (not 2.7)
5 - Grrr. Obtained and installed Python 2.6. No obvious problems.
6 - Executed rtlsdr_scan.py. "Import error: No module named matplotlib Error importing libraries"
7 - Found what appears to be a pre-built binary, rtlsdr_scan-windows-32bit.exe. Obtained.
8 - Ran this. It works, I think, but is missing half the features (probably a very old version).

Question : How can I really, really get this program working on Windows? Given the mess I'm in now. It doesn't have to be easy, it just has to work. Preferably leaving less of a mess (like should I uninstall everything I've installed and how).


Al's picture

Hi Graham,

The software won't work with Python 2.6 so uninstall this along with the version of pyparsing you installed.

Then run the scanner setup again (selecting the full install), hopefully this will bring you back to the error at 3).

To get pyparsing to work install the MSVC 2010 runtime, which in turn should make the scanner run without problems.

Please get in touch again if you have any more problems.

To cut a long story short, your suggestion did not work, but, with another three hours of effort, I figured out and fixed the problem, so now I have the latest version of RTLSDR Scanner running in a Python environment. Whew!

From the comments above, I think others might be having the same problem, so here are details. After a lot of fiddling with various versions of the 2010 runtime, I decamped from my main computer and installed on an eeePC netbook. Scanner came up! During the install, I saw pyparsing, which I didn't recall from earlier. Sure enough, using the "Add or Remove Programs" thing, I found that the netbook had pyparsing-2.0.1 but my main computer didn't. So, I downloaded pyparsing-2.0.1.win32-py2.7.exe and tried to install that. I received an error "This application has failed to start because MSVCR71.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem." Maybe that's why the RTLSDR Scanner installer failed to install pyparsing? I found msvcr71.dll in C:\WINDOWS\System32 of the netbook and copied it over (the only similar file that was there was msvcr100.dll). I then could install pyparsing-2.0.1. RTLSDR Scanner now runs. There was a registry error on the first execution, but not on the second. Maybe something in there depends on a specific version of some run-time library (7.1) and I only have the latest version (10.0)?

I encountered another problem you should know about. The RTLSDR Scanner installer looks for a newer version of itself and finds one, but when I obediently download it I find that it's the same as the one I was using and around we go again. Is the installer you are pointing your users to, in fact, out of date?


Al's picture

Glad to hear it's working now. The installed now includes the Visua C/C++ runtime to fix the pyparsing problem.

The problem with downloading the up to date installer was a problem with SourceForge but I think I've fixed it now.

Hi. I did the installation, and it all worked (I had a previous installation, uninstalled it and choose "full install").
Ran it:

RTLSDR Scanner

Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "rtlsdr_scan.py", line 109, in
frame = FrameMain("RTLSDR Scanner", pool)
File "C:\Programmi\RTLSDR Scanner\main_window.py", line 171, in __init__
File "C:\Programmi\RTLSDR Scanner\main_window.py", line 262, in __create_widge
File "C:\Programmi\RTLSDR Scanner\main_window.py", line 1045, in __set_control
ValueError: 0.008 is not in list

Can you help me?

Sorry, I resolved by myself: in the previous installation I added the value "8 ms" in costants.py to make the scan quicker.
I added it again in the new installation and it works.

Al's picture

I'll add an 8ms dwell time in the next few days.

Running Windows 7 on a i7 processor. I acquired the R820T SDR.

Ran the windows installer which I downloaded today 6/15/2014, All appeared to run correctly.

Python installed in C:\Python27 as advertised.

The scanner software installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\RTLSDR Scanner as advertised.

When I try to run the scanner application all I get is a very brief command prompt window with "RTLSDR Scanner " across the top of the command prompt window.

Where did I go wrong?


Al's picture


Can you try running a full install again? One of the modules doesn't include all the files it needs so my installer tries to add them, it doesn't always work without a reboot and then another full install.

Hi Al

I install the new version today, (up date and full), and appear a error at the final, and when I run the software, appear this message :

RTLSDR Scanner

Found Elonics E4000 tuner
Found Elonics E4000 tuner
Found Elonics E4000 tuner
Exact sample rate is: 2000000.052982 Hz
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\backends\backend_wx.py", line 1
093, in _onIdle
FigureCanvasBase.idle_event(self, guiEvent=evt)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\backend_bases.py", line 1873, i
n idle_event
self.callbacks.process(s, event)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\cbook.py", line 527, in process

proxy(*args, **kwargs)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\cbook.py", line 405, in __call_
return mtd(*args, **kwargs)
File "C:\RTLSDR Scanner\panels.py", line 144, in __on_idle
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\backends\backend_wxagg.py", lin
e 44, in draw
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\backends\backend_agg.py", line
451, in draw
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\artist.py", line 55, in draw_wr
draw(artist, renderer, *args, **kwargs)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\figure.py", line 1034, in draw
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\artist.py", line 55, in draw_wr
draw(artist, renderer, *args, **kwargs)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\axes.py", line 2086, in draw
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\artist.py", line 55, in draw_wr
draw(artist, renderer, *args, **kwargs)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\collections.py", line 252, in d
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\collections.py", line 636, in u
self._edgecolors = self.to_rgba(self._A, self._alpha)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\cm.py", line 260, in to_rgba
x = self.norm(x)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\matplotlib\colors.py", line 907, in __call
raise ValueError("minvalue must be less than or equal to maxvalue")
ValueError: minvalue must be less than or equal to maxvalue

Coud you help me?



Hi Al
I unsintall ando try to install, but apear wrong

command line option syntax error. Type Command/?for Help

Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable pakage (x86)

Execute : vcredist_X86.exe/quiet/norestart

I try to click ok, but the instalation stop

Could you help me again!



Al's picture

Hello, do you get this error when you start the program or do you get it whilst scanning?

Hi All

This erros appear during instalation.

Al's picture

Very strange, have you tried running it but not selecting 'MSVC 2010 Runtime'?

Can anyone help?
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
usb_claim_interface error -12
I can start scanning

Al's picture

This can happen if another driver is already using the device.

If you are using Windows try following the instructions from step 3 (using Zadig).

With Linux try:

sudo rmmod dvb_usb_rtl28xxu
sudo su
echo blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu > /etc/modprobe.d/rtlsdr.conf

I installed RTLscanner using the Windows installer and the installation generated no error messages. However when I try to run RTLSDR scanner, I get a Windows error message "python.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. In more detail it shows:

AppName: python.exe AppVer: ModName: wxbase30u_vc90.dll
ModVer: Offset: 000988e3

Python itself seems to be fine since it runs test scripts OK. This is the first installation of Python on this machine which is running Windows XP Media Center Edition version 2002 Service Pack 3. Is there some incompatibility with wxbase30u_vc90.dll here? Any idea how to go about fixing this issue? I know XP MCE isn't a very common version of XP, but I have had no other problems with it. I believe the version I have is based on XP Home.

Al's picture

You might be running into a bit of a problem with a bug in wxPython on XP, try uninstalling the current version and installing wxPython instead.

Thanks Al. That did seem to be the problem. With everything seems to be working fine. Very nice piece of software. Many thanks for making it available.

Al's picture

Thanks, glad it worked

I have been trying to do an install of RTLSDR Scanner in a Toshiba laptop with XP operating system.And not having much luck. I used the install programs as mentioned, and I get the same results-
RTLSDL Scanner download failed: SendRequest Error
pyrtlsdr download failed: SendRequest Error
What does that mean?I can run the SDR using SDR# with no problems on same machine.
I am not a software programmer so some of the commands I have seen I would not know how to do.

Al's picture

Could your firewall software be blocking it? Both of these downloads come from GitHub, can you open this site in a browser to see if it's blocked?

Forget that, it seems to be a problem with the installer on Windows XP, I'll see if I can fix it.

Al's picture

It looks like GitHub have stopped using an insecure protocol that Windows XP uses, unfortunately I don't have a fix for this at the moment.



install errors
Failed to install setuptools
Failed to install python-dateutil
Failed to install Pillow
Failed to install pyparsing
Failed to install pyserial
Failed to install visvis
please help tnx

Al's picture

Are you using Windows XP, there's a problem with the installer on XP at the moment which I'm trying to fix.

Dissable antivirus while installing Installer on Win XP, and the program works very nice.

Thanks Al.

Al's picture

Thanks Zamiel, which antivirus software are you using?

C:\Program Files (x86)\RTLSDR Scanner>rtlsdr_scan.py
RTLSDR Scanner

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:\Program Files (x86)\RTLSDR Scanner\rtlsdr_scan.py", line 129, in frame = FrameMain(APP_NAME)
File "C:\Program Files (x86)\RTLSDR Scanner\main_window.py", line 177, in __init__ self.__create_toolbars()
File "C:\Program Files (x86)\RTLSDR Scanner\main_window.py", line 201, in __create_toolbars self.remoteControl)
File "C:\Program Files (x86)\RTLSDR Scanner\panels.py", line 105, in __init__ self.toolbar.Realize()
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\wx-2.8-msw-unicode\wx\_controls.py", line 3875, in Realize
return _controls_.ToolBarBase_Realize(*args, **kwargs)
wx._core.PyAssertionError: C++ assertion "wxAssertFailure" failed at ..\..\src\msw\tbar95.cpp(726) in wxToolBar::Realize(): invalid tool button bitmap

Nevermind, resolved it myself, the res folder was missing from my C:\Program Files (x86)\RTLSDR Scanner folder.


I'm getting the following when attempting this install on Windows 8 x64
Import error: Error loading librtlsdr. Make sure librtlsdr (and all of its depen
dencies) are in your path

Error importing libraries
Press [Return] to exit

Python 2.7.13 (64bit) is installed and in the path (C:\Python27). Python is working, so not sure why the libraries are not working.

Al's picture


You need to make sure the RTLSDR drivers are installed and their location is in your PATH so the application can find them.
As the stand alone application is 64 bit you should make sure that you use the drivers in the 'x64' directory.

Another option is to copy both 'rtlsdr_scan-windows-64bit.exe' and the contents of the 'x6' directory to the same folder and run it from there.

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