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LimeSDR Mini is a $135 Open Source Hardware, Full Duplex USB SDR Board (Crowdfunding)

September 18th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments
Orange Pi Development Boards

LimeSDR open source hardware software defined radio was launched last year with the promise of integration with Ubuntu Snap Store allowing to easily download and install various radio implementations such as LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, etc… It was offered for $200 and up as part of a crowdfunding campaign, but Lime Microsystems is back on CrowdSupply with a cheaper and low end version aptly called LimeSDR Mini.LimeSDR mini specifications:

  • FPGA – Intel Altera Max 10 (10M16SAU169C8G) with 16K Logic gates, 549 KB M9K memory, 2,368 KB user flash memory
  • Storage –  4 MB flash memory for data; 2x128KB EEPROM for RF transceiver MCU firmware and data
  • RF
    • Lime Microsystems LMS7002M RF transceiver
    • Tx & Rx SMA connectors
    • Frequency range – 10 MHz to 3.5 GHz
    • RF bandwidth – 30.72 Mhz
    • Sample Rate – 30.72 MSps with 12-bit sample depth
    • Power Output (CW): up to 10 dBm
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port via FTDI FT601 controller chip
  • Expansion – 8-pin FPGA GPIO header
  • Misc – 2x  dual color LEDs, JTAG
  • Power – USB or external power supply
  • Dimensions – 69 mm x 31.4 mm

The company also put together a table to compare LimeSDR to LimeSDR Mini and other product on the markers from the dirty cheap RTL-SDR stick to more expensive and advanced solutions like Ettus B210.

The new LimeSDR Mini board will support the same development tools such as LimeSuite, and Snappy Ubuntu Core apps as its old brother, although I’m not quite sure about the status about the app store, as they did not provide that many details. The board will also be open source hardware, with hardware design files that should be released on MyriadRF’s Github account shortly before or after shipping. The company will also offer some accessories for the board such as an acrylic enclosure, and three SMA antennas optimized for 800-960 MHz, 1710-2170 MHz, and 2400-2700 MHz.

LimeSDR Mini Prototype (no SMA connectors) in Acrylic Case

The goal is to raise at least $100,000 for mass production, and after a few days they’re off to a good start with over $76,000 pledged. All 500 $99 early bird rewards are gone, but you can still pledge $139 for the board with delivery planned for December 31, 2017. Shipping is free to the US, and $10 to the rest of the world.

  1. willmore
    September 18th, 2017 at 19:40 | #1

    FWIW, the ppm frequency accuracy of the RTLSDR is around 100.

  2. bria
    September 18th, 2017 at 21:45 | #2

    not necessarily
    https://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/ sell rtl-sdr stick with 1ppm tcxo for example.

  3. willmore
    September 19th, 2017 at 18:18 | #3

    While I appreciate that someone went all Tim Taylor on an RTL dongle, that’s not the device the above table is refering to. See the price field which says $10? That’s the direct from China price. rtp-dsr wants twice that for their more stable version–if they have any in stock.

  4. 2mike
    September 19th, 2017 at 22:02 | #4

    12bit ? in 2017year : LOL

    16bit SDR was in 2007.

  5. bria
    September 19th, 2017 at 22:56 | #5

    I don’t understand the reference to Tim Taylors.

    Concerning the price field, it must be taken with a grain of salt : the limesdr mini isn’t (anymore) at 99$.

    However, my comment is more for the new users interested in sdr and saying that you could still found cheap and stable version of such stick.
    No need to buy something at 150$ if one at 30$ is enough for your need, isn’t it ?

    16 bit sdr between 50Mhz & 2ghz, at less than 200bucks in 2007 ? Where ?

  6. Nobody of Import
    September 19th, 2017 at 23:51 | #6

    @willmore @bria

    The problem there is that those are RECEIVE only. These are transceivers, much like LimeSDR original is.

  7. Nobody of Import
    September 19th, 2017 at 23:52 | #7


    How much are you shelling out for 16-bit? I’ve been pricing my own little expedition into the space and that little jump costs a bit more.

  8. Nobody of Import
    September 19th, 2017 at 23:54 | #8


    As for the more stable version…$20 is probably a reasonable price for that.

  9. dgp
    September 20th, 2017 at 00:21 | #9

    rtp-dsr wants twice that for their more stable version–if they have any in stock.

    $20 is still very cheap. I’ve bought 3 or 4 of them recently and they have them listed on their ebay store so they don’t seem all that hard to get hold of.

  10. willmore
    September 20th, 2017 at 22:07 | #10

    I agree that $20 for the stabilized version is a good price and that it’s RX only.


  11. willmore
    September 21st, 2017 at 01:43 | #11

    @Nobody of Import
    I think I know why you spelled out Received instead of using the standard abbreviation. Seems my reply is awaiting moderation. LOL. Lesson learned.

  12. September 21st, 2017 at 09:25 | #12

    Moderation is probably because of the Tim Taylor link, although I don’t understand why since normally moderation kicks in for 2 links or more, and for (some) new commenters.

  13. willmore
    September 21st, 2017 at 17:27 | #13

    I assumed it was because I used the abbreviation for receive–which looks like a pharama spam term and then a link. I can see how that would make it suspicious.

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