100KHz-1.7GHz RTL-SDR USB Tuner Receiver DIY Kit Sells for $33


Software-Defined Radios (SDR) are neat little devices that capture radio signals which are then filtered and decoded by software on your PC or embedded system. The currently used radio spectrum is extremely wide from 3 to 30Hz for submarine communication up to 30 to 300+ GHz or more for applications such as amateur radio or radio astronomy. So the price of hardware needed for SDRs varies greatly depending on the frequency range supported, bandwidth, and other technical parameters. Hobbyists can use “low cost” ($300 – $400) FPGA SDR boards such as bladeRF or HackRF, or go ultra-cheap with $20+ RTL-SDR USB TV tuners. I’ve been informed there’s a development kit sold under the name “100KHz-1.7GHz Full Band UV HF RTL-SDR USB Tuner Receiver DIY Kit” based on the latter, but with extra components, on various sites such as Buyincoins, Ebay, Aliexpress, etc.. for just $33 to $45. The problem with […]

$275 HackRF Open Source Software Defined Radio (SDR) Platform

HackRF is an open source hardware project to build a Software Defined Radio (SDR) supporting a frequency range between 30 MHz and 6GHz in both directions (Tx and Rx, half-duplex) with a maximum bandwidth of 20MHz. Jawbreaker (shown below) is a beta hardware that has been tested by several developers and beta testers, and applications such as Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Bluetooth monitoring, spectrum sensing, wireless microphones, AIS, FM radio, etc.. have already been ported to the platform. In order to lower the cost of the hardware, Michael Ossmann has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund mass production. There seems to be many SDR enthusiasts as the campaign has already reached its funding target ($80,000) and received for over $300,000 in ledges. What is Software Defined Radio (SDR) and What Can it Be Used for? Before providing details about the hardware and software, it may be useful to provide some […]

Embedded Systems Outlook and Trends for 2012

National Instruments has recently published a report entitled “Embedded Systems Outlook 2012 – Key Technologies and Methodologies Impacting the Embedded Systems Market” which lists technology and business trends for the development of embedded systems. Here are the key findings: Technologies & Architectures: Embedded Platforms Technology providers are developing components, modules, or even complete embedded platforms (software + hardware) with higher levels of integration and increased functionality to speed up time to market. System-on-Chip (SoC) and System-on-Module (SoM) benefit from this trend and some also embed a FPGA. Reconfigurable Computing Previously, designers chose between low-cost microcontroller or high performance CPU based on the expected performance needs of the embedded system. As cost decreases and performance increases, low cost devices such as control and monitoring systems now often come with more features thanks to the use of programmable logic. This type of flexibility can be achieved by adding an FPGA to the MCU […]

Epiq Solutions Matchstiq: World’s smallest Software Defined Radio

Epiq Solutions recently announced the Matchstiq, a software defined radio (SDR) combining a broadband RF transceiver with CPU (TI DM3730)/FPGA (Xilinx Spartan-6) processing running Linux 2.6.35. The device offers a complete stand-alone software-defined radio solution with  flexibility at a fraction of the size/weight/power consumption of similar products. Epiq Solutions also provides a library of ready-to-run specialty software applications that allows the Matchstiq platform to be immediately used to solve challenging signal processing requirements. The device can be deployed as stand-alone device in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), as a wireless interface to an (Android) host via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or as wired interface to a PC via USB. The key features include: Integrated CPU (TI DM3730) /FPGA (Xilinx Spartan-6) for signal processing applications Single RF transceiver covering 300 MHz to 3.8 GHz Supports RF channel bandwidths up to 28 MHz Integrated GPS receiver with 1PPS Run-time loadable/executable software applications Full suite of specialty […]

RISC-V laptop, mini PC