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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

 

Software-defined Radio on a Shoestring

Software-defined Radio on a Shoestring!

Software-defined radio (SDR) holds incredible promise for the future of communications: from reducing the bill of materials and enabling software upgrade of equipment, to cognitive radio systems.

Andrew Back

 

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article
jonhudson

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.

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jonhudson

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

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jonhudson

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.

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jonhudson

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

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jonhudson

Software Defined Radio

July 4, 2016 11:09

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...

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Andrew Back

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.

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Andrew Back

Software Defined Radio

August 8, 2013 10:07

Hands on with HackRF

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

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Andrew Back

Software Defined Radio

December 28, 2012 11:59

Software for the SoftRock SDR

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.

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Andrew Back

Software Defined Radio

December 20, 2012 09:37

Building the SoftRock SDR

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.

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Andrew Back

Software Defined Radio

July 10, 2012 09:15

Watching planes with software-defined radio

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.

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Andrew Back

Software Defined Radio

May 22, 2012 08:54

Software-defined Radio on a Shoestring

Software-defined radio (SDR) holds incredible promise for the future of communications: from reducing the bill of materials and enabling software upgrade of equipment, to cognitive radio systems.

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article
Andrew Back

Software Defined Radio

November 13, 2010 14:57

Software-defined Radio (SDR)

Last month the Open Source Hardware User Group (OSHUG) were treated to a presentation on the High Performance Software Defined Radio from John Melton.

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