GNU Radio teaching and research using a clean SDRplay signal source
GNU radio is a popular environment for teachers and developers involved in Digital Signal Processing and exploring new radio architectures. For receiver applications, the low-cost dongle is a popular hardware choice, but if you need reliable, clean, continuous radio signal reception from 1kHz to 2 GHz (without the need for block converters or external filters) then an SDRplay RSP is a useful alternative.
The RSP family of SDRs from SDRplay cover 1kHz to 2GHz with no gaps and gives up to 10MHz spectrum visibility. Unlike low-cost dongles, they have many built-in filters to minimise phantom signals across such a wide operating frequency range.
With help from the GNU radio foundation, SDRplay has now made available a workflow for windows for all its RSP radios. The hardware-specific source blocks maximise the functionality and benefits of the RSP being used. (Please note that at the time of writing the RSPduo is only supported in single tuner mode).
Here's a link to the interactive flow which has clickable links: www.sdrplay.com/docs/gr-sdrplay-workflow.pdf
The flow currently works with GNU Radio version 3.7 and this video is a step by step guide to the set-up process:
Special thanks go to Frank Werner-Krippendorf (HB9FXQ) who did the original SDRplay source block development, and to Geof Nieboer who has developed the Powershell scripts which enable operation on Windows.
RS Components currently stock the following SDRplay RSPs:
RSP1A – 1kHz to 2GHz wideband SDR receiver with one antenna port (150-3954)
RSP2 - 1kHz to 2GHz wideband SDR receiver with multiple antenna ports (124-9619)
RSPduo – 1kHz to 2GHz wideband dual tuner SDR receiver with multiple antenna ports (174-7945)