Software Defined Radio
While SDR has been around for some time, it was originally the reserve of more advanced radio communication systems, such as cellular, satellite and military. However, it is proving increasingly popular, thanks to the ever higher performance, reduced size and cost of computer systems, coupled with the advent of RF devices that integrate multiple functions (e.g. ADC, DAC, LNA & PA).
In an ideal world you would simply connect an antenna to an ADC or DAC for receive or transmit. However, in practice low noise amplifiers (LNA) and power amplifiers (PA) tend to be required, in addition to filtering in the analogue RF front-end for certain applications. Many systems also make use of FPGAs located between digital converters and the host computer, to implement particularly computationally intensive tasks — such as digital up/down-conversion — in hardware.
SDR brings with it many benefits, including the possibility to:
- Future proof hardware platforms by enabling upgrade via software
- Consolidate hardware via systems that support multiple carriers (multi-TRX)
- Support multiple different wireless systems via a single hardware platform
- Expedite the development of new wireless systems
- Develop “cognitive radio” systems that can adapt to their environment
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Latest Activity Stream
3 months agoAgreed :-)
3 months agoMay I suggest use of correct abbreviations, such as for frequencies, i.e., Hz, kHz, MHz, and GHz in all applications and documentation. KHz, for example, represents a nonsensical combination of units (Kelvin-Hertz),...
6 months agoHi Jon,
I'm interested to buy RSP2 and use it as spectrum analyzer. It' possible testing RF filter? How?
1 year agoMcchalum makes some good points, especially about the recent attempts to engage youngsters which the ARRL and RSGB and others are driving. Perhaps I should have referred to 'short wave listeners' rather...
1 year agoRumors about the Ham Radio Hobby being moribund are simply not true. The number of new HAM licenses issued each year more than replaces the occurrence of Silent Keys for a net growth in the number of active...
August 22, 2017 15:53
Second generation Radio Spectrum Processor provides low cost solution for receive applications, with improved specifications, new features and multi-platform software support.
June 19, 2017 07:40
SDRplay, makers of high performance Software Defined Radio Receivers, have now created an SD Card image to enable an RPi to become a general coverage receiver and more. In this article Jon suggests it's time to let your RPi see more of the spectrum.
March 20, 2017 08:56
The USB-powered RSP2 from SDRplay is capable of making accurate RF power measurements over a selectable bandwidth at any frequency from 1 kHz up to 2 GHz
December 22, 2016 14:33
The RSP2 from SDRplay, is a powerful wideband SDR receiver which covers all frequencies from 1 kHz up to 2 GHz. This enhanced version of the popular RSP1 provides three software selectable antenna inputs, & new stability and clocking features.
October 26, 2016 17:26
How we made the controls of a 75 year old short wave receiver operate a modern PC-based SDR radio - without the need for keyboard and mouse! Using shaft-encoders and an an Arduino-based control system, the SDRplay RSP1 makes for a fun retro-gadget
July 4, 2016 11:09
Fifty years ago, amateur radio (a.k.a. ham radio) was a very popular entry point for youngsters to discover the magic of electronics. The evolution of technology has meant that a generation has missed out and those who really understand RF...
September 26, 2013 12:43
A look at just a small selection of the things that can be done using software-defined radio.
August 8, 2013 10:07
First hands-on experiences with the low cost SDR platform.
December 28, 2012 11:59
This post takes a look at some of the software that can be used with the SoftRock SDR hardware that is designed for amateur radio use.
December 20, 2012 09:37
This is the first of two posts which take a look at the relatively simple and easy to construct SoftRock software-defined radio (SDR) that is designed for HF amateur radio use.
July 10, 2012 09:15
In this post we look at how USB DVB-T hardware can be used with software-defined radio (SDR) to create a low cost aviation Mode S receiver.