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Project Description

PyAirview is a library for the Ubiquiti Airview2 2.4GHz spectrum analyzer, which has an undocumented device API.

PyAirview allows the Airview device to be used by 3rd party applications rather than only with the original Java application.

The library works pretty well for the intended purpose :)

Once I have the basics written and documented I may port it to C for use in other languages and so that there is a common low level library available, but it’s simple enough that even a high level port to Ruby or C# would probably take no more than a day.

Device API documentation

See the DEVICE_API.md file included in this repository

Usage

from __future__ import print_function
from time import sleep

import pyairview

# open the proper serial port
pyairview.connect(port="/dev/ttyACM0")

# retrieve device-specific information like RF frequency range and channel size
device_info = pyairview.get_device_info()
print('Device info: %s', device_info)

"""
    start RSSI scanning in a background thread. callback should take a parameter
    named 'rssi_list', which will be a list of rssi values. Use information
    obtained in device_info to interpret the RSSI values and pair them with
    exact frequencies.

"""
def scan_callback(rssi_list):
    print('Received %d RSSI level readings: %s', len(rssi_list), rssi_list)

pyairview.start_scan(callback=scan_callback)

some_condition = False
while pyairview.is_scanning():
    sleep(0.1) # or do something else, change some_condition, etc
    if some_condition == True:
        pyairview.stop_scan()

Airview2 hardware

The Airview2 devices were very cheap ($29-39) and originally came with a Java app for visualizing usage of that frequency band, for Wi-Fi network planning, discovering rogue hotspots, diagnosing Bluetooth issues, etc.

Inside, the device is basically just a simple microcontroller (A CC2011) with an integrated 2.4GHz radio and a USB interface. It uses the standard USB CDC-ACM serial interface to connect to a PC.

The firmware running on the device is likely custom built by Ubiquiti Networks, I don’t possess a copy of it outside my own Airview2 device, even in dumped binary form, so I don’t know much about it but it seems to be a simple command/response loop coupled with a function to use the native RSSI power level scanning provided by the chip.

Library development and reverse engineering

This library was created after hours and hours of manual testing with gtkterm and screen, guessing the proper commands to use the device API. None of the information used to create this library came from decompiling the device firmware or the original Java application.

DO NOT create github issues containing, or send me the following things:

  • Dumped firmware from the device
  • Decompiled firmware or code derived from it
  • Decompiled versions of the original software or code derived from it
  • API related code of any kind (aside from documented ‘clean room’ efforts)
  • Etc.

I have not seen those things, and I do not want to see them as it would prevent me from being able to write code for this library anymore.

I’m not even sure how to go about using clean room documentation properly, if someone were to provide it to me, so while it would probably help and I would appreciate the help of course, please don’t post or send documentation either without discussing it with me first.

If you want to help, feel free to review the code for flaws, or open a terminal connected to your Airview device and guess some commands as I have done :)

Changelog

Release 0.1a2

  • Single-file Python 2.7 and 3.2+ compatibility

Release 0.1a1

  • Rename libairview module to pyairview to match project name (same for test app)
  • Automatic testing with Travis-CI. Just tests importing the pyairview module for now, but that is enough to discover certain simple bugs. Code to simulate a serial connection to an actual Airview device will be added soon, which is necessary in order to actually test anything in the library itself
  • Make start_scan() command non-blocking, caller is expected to handle managing the library as part of a runloop etc.
  • Add disconnect() command to close the serial port if needed
  • Allow calling code to safely start and stop scanning whenever needed
  • Handle situations where partial responses are left in the serial buffer
  • Add support for newly discovered ‘es’ command to instruct Airview to end the current scan
  • Add automatic parsing of device info from ‘gdi’ command, each element is put into a dictionary with public module constants provided for each key

Release 0.1a0

  • Support for Python 2.7 only for now, 3.2+ is being worked on
  • Initial alpha release
Release History

Release History

0.1a2

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File Name & Checksum SHA256 Checksum Help Version File Type Upload Date
pyairview-0.1a2-py2.py3-none-any.whl (12.9 kB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 py2.py3 Wheel Jan 13, 2015
pyairview-0.1a2.tar.gz (12.6 kB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 Source Jan 13, 2015

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