DesignSpark Electrical Logolinkedin
Menu Search
Ask a Question

Software Defined Radio

Software Defined Radio

Software-defined radio (SDR) takes components that are typically implemented in hardware and implements them instead in software. For example, mixers, filters, modulators and demodulators.

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

Questions & Answers

Find solutions

Looking for a solution to a design conundrum? Browse our Software Defined Radio questions and find the best answers, as voted for by our community.

Answer questions

You don’t have to be an expert to answer a question, in the DesignSpark community you can offer assistance and answer community questions whatever your skill level.

Ask a question

Looking for answers to those questions you just can’t find an answer too?
Why not ask our community for help?

Latest Activity Stream

Comments
article

Software Defined Radio

August 22, 2018 10:14

Integrating a Pi-Top and an SDR radio as a learning or development project

This article and video demonstrate the concept of integrating a powerful SDR radio receiver into a Raspberry-Pi-based Pi-Top laptop computer for fun, for learning, for portability or as a platform for innovative radio spectrum processing projects.

2 comments
Related Image
question

Help plz

I got my raspberry pi 3 yeastday I order it on gadgets and said it was loaded with game and

news

Software Defined Radio

March 1, 2018 11:45

New budget-priced RSP1A SDR can also do accurate RF Power measurement

SDRplay, makers of SDR receivers with accurate RF field strength measurement capability, recently launched a new RSP1A entry-level product, based on 14-bit ADC technology, with continuous coverage from 1kHz to 2GHz with up to 10MHz visible spectrum

Related Image
article

Software Defined Radio

November 9, 2017 11:33

Using a low-cost SDR for logging accurate RF power and SNR measurements

There's a growing need for low-cost portable equipment for logging accurate RF field strength and SNR data for sub GHz applications. Whether for IoT infrastructure surveying work or monitoring unwanted signals, SDRuno from SDRplay can help.

0 comments
Related Image
article

Software Defined Radio

August 22, 2017 15:53

RSP2 — an affordable high performance SDR receiver

Second generation Radio Spectrum Processor provides low cost solution for receive applications, with improved specifications, new features and multi-platform software support.

0 comments
Related Image
article

Software Defined Radio

June 19, 2017 07:40

High performance SDR radio receiver add-on for Raspberry Pi 3

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.

2 comments
Related Image
article

Software Defined Radio

March 20, 2017 08:56

Highly versatile RF Power measurement using the SDRplay RSP2

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

1 comments
Related Image
news

Software Defined Radio

December 22, 2016 14:33

New SDRplay "RSP2pro" now available from RS

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.

Related Image
article

Software Defined Radio

October 26, 2016 17:26

SDR radio breathes life into a 75 year old Marconi CR100

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

0 comments
Related Image
article

Where are all the new RF engineers? SDR to the rescue

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...

9 comments
Related Image
article

Software Defined Radio

September 26, 2013 12:43

10 Things You Can Do with Software-Defined Radio

A look at just a small selection of the things that can be done using software-defined radio.

2 comments
Related Image
article

Software Defined Radio

August 8, 2013 10:07

Hands on with HackRF

First hands-on experiences with the low cost SDR platform.

2 comments
Related Image