Budget HackRF: A $150 HackRF Clone

Back in December 2014 the HackRF Blue came out via a crowd funded Indiegogo campaign as a HackRF board that was $100 cheaper than the official version ($199 vs $299 USD). The HackRF is a 8-bit receive and transmit capable SDR with operating range of between 0.1 – 6000 MHz and a bandwidth of up to 20 MHz. As its hardware specifications are released as open source, it is very easy for clones of the official version to be produced. While the HackRF Blue Indiegogo campaign was successful, the product is now out of stock as they seemed to stop production after the campaign.

Now a new budget HackRF is in the works and it is aptly called the “Budget HackRF”. This one aims to be even cheaper than the HackRF Blue coming in at a price of only $150 USD. The people behind the project write:

We are a PCB and SMT assembly factory founded in the year 2001, located in Shenzhen, China. We are a professional EMS/OEM company; provide one-stop contract electronic manufacturing service for PCB&PCBA. Now we want to make small market devices and sell directly to customers.

Some of the part on HackRF is End Of Life and very difficult to find now. We have enough of these part for ~300 HackRF only. You can find some HackRF on Alibaba right now, but they used cheap parts and the manufacture does not test them (they do not install any firmware).

We are trying to find some more of the EOL part first and will make the Kickstarter campaign soon. If we can’t find any more of these part, we will only make ~300pcs. Please register first, when we activate the campaign we will tell you by email. The first 10 people who buy from the Kickstarter will have a heavy discount, only pay $75!

Of note, is that the HackRF Blue also intends to make a comeback in April. Their website contains a registration form to register interest.

hackrf_budget

14 comments

  1. Bob

    I suspect some lies have been made up about an unmentioned EOL component.

    I saw this on IRC today from the creator of the Genuine HackRF One “HackRF One is not EOL. We have 5k units in production right now.”

    • Heshan

      Just curious, why would they lie about that? I was toying with the idea of building one myself last year and couldn’t get hold of some of the parts because they were impossible to find unless you were buying like 5000 of them, maybe they just can’t get small quantities?

      • eas

        Why would they lie about that? To create a false sense of scarcity and urgency in order to discourage critical thinking.

  2. Marty Wittrock

    If there are EOL parts on the HackRF, then it’s REALLY time to shelve it and move onto Red Pitaya…At least that’s a multipurpose test instrument, doubles as an SDR, and has software applications that support the SDR that work as well as an Apache Labs rig could do.

    • Bob

      The problem with 16 bits is that you could run into an ITAR limit, and then your SDR is classified as a Munitions export controlled item. And since all of the high end ADC are from US companies, complying fully with ITAR’s nonproliferation requirements requires documents signed by people who want to buy your SDR before you can sell it to them. Although I think the limits appear to be higher than they were the last time I checked.

      ITAR, CATEGORY 3 covers ADC’s and DAC’s.
      “a.5.a.5. A resolution of more than 14 bit with an output rate greater than 20 million words per second” – September 25, 2015

      • Todor

        Wow I never knew that,but it makes sence,these are so capable that they are dangerous in a way. LZ2ТТТ
        14 bit is the regulation and right now there is 12 bit which is probably held at that level on purpose by manufacturers.
        P.s. But is cool to ve able to see more and more bandwith of the spextrum and to understand it.

    • Alyx McCown

      What i would love to see is a 12 bit 40MSPS USB 3 implementation

      With modern low cost FPGAs and USB 3.0 FIFOs this would be not all that difficult

      i would also like to see some GPIO on the front panel to make creation of switched frontend filters easier (or implement it inside ,,,)

      also a unit with input protection and no transmit would be a nice addition

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