SDRplay has been collaborating with RS Components to put together a demonstrator “laptop radio” with full SDR receive and spectrum display capability. This is a good way to introduce computer-savvy students to the world of Radio Communications and an exploration of the wireless spectrum. We took the popular Raspberry Pi based Pi-Top laptop computer to see if we could easily add an SDRplay RSP1A to it. The PiTop is a modular computer designed for educational and developer use. The RSP1A is a very popular mid-range SDR with good receive performance all the way from 1kHz up to 2GHz.
We wanted the end result to be a powerful and self-contained radio in its own right, but also to show a compact and compelling platform for code developers to create innovative new ways of controlling an SDR.
The Pi-Top has a pull-away panel above the keyboard, under which additional circuit boards can be mounted. We found that the RSP1A circuit board fitted snugly inside as you can see in this picture:
Below is the YouTube 'concept' video showing the potential for such a project (please note this is 'work in progress' at the time of writing!)
As well as being a fun project for schools, the end result was a platform perfect for learning and wireless-based computing projects.
Additional notes and references
The video uses the off-the-shelf SDR package “Cubic SDR” but as can be seen in another recent video from SDRplay, we have additional guides for those using non-windows software in conjunction with an RSP.
This Pi-Top + RSP combination could form the basis for any number of educational or research projects alongside bespoke Raspberry Pi software controlling the full functionality of an RSP.
Find out more about RSP1A at RS Components:
Find out more about Pi-Top at RS Components (UK keyboard version):