Category: LimeSDR

Transmitting and Receiving DATV with a LimeSDR and a Modified $20 DVB-S Receiver

Over on YouTube user Corrosive has uploaded a video showing how he can use the recently updated DATV Express software to transmit Digital Amateur TV (DATV) with a LimeSDR Mini, and receive it with a cheap US$20 DVB-S satellite set top box that he's modified with a custom firmware update. Corrosives work is excellent as it allows anyone to get started in DATV amateur radio cheaply. He writes:

Last week I noticed the windows DATV express software for windows had been updated to include several SDR platforms [appears to now support the LimeSDR and LimeSDR Mini, as well as the PlutoSDR] https://www.datv-express.com/CustomPage/Downloads

Using my new LimeSDR Mini I wanted to try this out. I went online and purchased a cheap DVB-S Satellite set top box on eBay branded as a KOQIT K1Mini.

In order to allow the KOQIT K1Mini DVB-S set top box to receive DATV frequencies, Corrosive has released a firmware update on GitHub that removes all satellites listed in the receiver, and replaces it with six DATV channels for amateur television use. He writes:

I decided to split the 3 23cm ATV frequencies into 6 at half the bandwidth for digital.

The receiver with my firmware configures the device to see a 9750LO LNB, by placing a simple antenna on the receiver instead of an LNB the 1.2 ghz amateur frequencies are shifted by 9750mhz and can be scanned as if they were a satellite transponder.

If you don't have a TX capable or DATV Express compatible SDR like the LimeSDR or Pluto, then we note that RPiTX (software that allows a Raspberry Pi to transmit RF without any additional hardware) also has DATV transmit capabilities that could in used in their place.

Digital DVB-S Amateur Television Station With LimeSDR Mini and a Satellite Receiver 23CM 1.2GHz

datv_limesdr_koqit_corrosive
datv_limesdr_koqitdvbs

Transmitting and Receiving DATV with a LimeSDR and a Modified $20 DVB-S Receiver

Over on YouTube user Corrosive has uploaded a video showing how he can use the recently updated DATV Express software to transmit Digital Amateur TV (DATV) with a LimeSDR Mini, and receive it with a cheap US$20 DVB-S satellite set top box that he's modified with a custom firmware update. Corrosives work is excellent as it allows anyone to get started in DATV amateur radio cheaply. He writes:

Last week I noticed the windows DATV express software for windows had been updated to include several SDR platforms [appears to now support the LimeSDR and LimeSDR Mini, as well as the PlutoSDR] https://www.datv-express.com/CustomPage/Downloads

Using my new LimeSDR Mini I wanted to try this out. I went online and purchased a cheap DVB-S Satellite set top box on eBay branded as a KOQIT K1Mini.

In order to allow the KOQIT K1Mini DVB-S set top box to receive DATV frequencies, Corrosive has released a firmware update on GitHub that removes all satellites listed in the receiver, and replaces it with six DATV channels for amateur television use. He writes:

I decided to split the 3 23cm ATV frequencies into 6 at half the bandwidth for digital.

The receiver with my firmware configures the device to see a 9750LO LNB, by placing a simple antenna on the receiver instead of an LNB the 1.2 ghz amateur frequencies are shifted by 9750mhz and can be scanned as if they were a satellite transponder.

If you don't have a TX capable or DATV Express compatible SDR like the LimeSDR or Pluto, then we note that RPiTX (software that allows a Raspberry Pi to transmit RF without any additional hardware) also has DATV transmit capabilities that could in used in their place.

Digital DVB-S Amateur Television Station With LimeSDR Mini and a Satellite Receiver 23CM 1.2GHz

datv_limesdr_koqit_corrosive
datv_limesdr_koqitdvbs

Using a LimeSDR to Implement Software Defined Optoelectronic Systems

Back in January of this year we posted about PhD student Lucas Riobó's work that about about using an RTL-SDR to create a low cost optical "high-speed real-time heterodyne interferometer". In that work he used an RTL-SDR as a data acquisition tool for an optoelectronic front end sensor (opto = visual light). This allowed him to translate optical data into an RF signal, which could be received by the RTL-SDR, and then easily processed in a PC.

In his latest work Lucas has published a paper titled "Software Defined Optoelectronics: Space and Frequency Diversity in Heterodyne Interferometry" in the IEEE Sensors Journal. Note that the paper is behind an IEEE paywall, but Lucas notes that if you're interested in discussing his work that you can contact him at [email protected] The research is similar to the work published in January, but uses a LimeSDR which can take advantage of TX capabilities. Lucas writes:

In this work, a general architecture for the implementation of software-defined optoelectronic systems (SDOs) is described. This concept harnesses the flexibility of software-defined hardware (SDH) to implement optoelectronic systems which can be configured to adapt to multiple high speed optical engineering applications. As an application example, a software-defined optical interferometer (SDOI) using the LimeSDR platform is built. The system is tested by performing high speed optical detection of laser-induced photoacoustic signals in a concentrated dye solution. Using software modifications only, conventional single carrier and also multicarrier heterodyne techniques with space and frequency diversity are performed.

A main difference with the other article described in this post, is that we could also use the transmission path of the LimeSDR to perform many modulation waveforms of the electromagnetic fields which will interfere, to provide a noticeable performance improvement in single-shot interferometric measurements.

PC: Programmable controller, SDH: Software-defined hardware platform,  E/O: Electrical-Optical block, O/E: Optical-Electrical block, OS: Optical System.
PC: Programmable
controller, SDH: Software-defined hardware platform, E/O: Electrical-Optical block, O/E:
Optical-Electrical block, OS: Optical System.
A Software Defined Optical Interferometer
A Software Defined Optical Interferometer

Hackaday’s LimeSDR Mini Review

Over on Hackaday author Jenny List has today posted a review of the LimeSDR Mini. The LimeSDR Mini is a US$139 TX/RX capable SDR that was successfully crowd funded and has recently begun shipping to initial backers. In the review Jenny goes over the specs and differences between the Mini and standard LimeSDR. She then goes on to test it in GQRX, receiving a DAB digital radio signal, and creating a simple replay attack and FM transmitter in GNU Radio.

If you're interested in the differences between an RTL-SDR and a slightly higher level yet still budget friendly SDR then this review is a good overview. If you are interested, we also did a brief unboxing and initial thoughts review of the LimeSDR Mini which is available here.

The LimeSDR Mini
The LimeSDR Mini

LimeSDR now backed by the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) have recently become backers of the LimeSDR Mini project. The LimeSDR Mini is a US$139 TX/RX capable SDR that was successfully crowd funded and has recently begun shipping to initial backers. We have a basic unboxing review of it available here. The ESA update reads:

We are thrilled to announce that the European Space Agency (ESA) have become an official backer of the LimeSDR Mini campaign, in support of developing innovative satellite telecommunications solutions based on Software Defined Radio (SDR), both on ground and in space.

ESA will receive 200 custom LimeSDR Mini packages and we will be working closely with them and Canonical to create an SDR App Store for Satcom. Anticipated applications include satellite connectivity for IoT - for example, Internet-of-Things services via low-cost satellites, such as Cubesats; and also the use of SDR on-board larger satellites.

The move forms part of ESA’s ARTES programme and comes as part of the Space Agency’s drive to speed up satellite communication developments, ensuring that European and Canadian industry remains competitive.

More news on this incredibly exciting partnership to come and stayed tuned for further updates!

Andrew and the LimeSDR Mini Team

In addition to this announcement, the news article on Microwave Journal indicates that 200 LimeSDR Mini units are being created for satcom developers (presumably for free). We hope to see some interesting applications in the near future!

The LimeSDR Mini
The LimeSDR Mini

A Guide to Using SDR-Console V3 for Accessing and Creating Remote Servers

Jon Hudson, head of marketing at SDRplay has recently released a helpful tutorial that shows how to access remote servers in SDR-Console V3, and also how to set up your own server too. As you may already know, SDR-Console V3 provides a remote server platform which allows you to access all sorts of SDR hardware remotely over a network connection or over the internet. Some SDR hardware owners even opt to share their radio hardware publicly over the internet for anyone to access. The video description reads:

This video is a screen-by-screen guide to both accessing, and setting up your own, remote SDR radio using the new (Feb 2018) SDR Console V3 software from SDR-Radio. Although the guide uses an RSP2 from SDRplay, this will work with all the popular SDRs

Please note - you need to have a good internet connection since (unlike in V2), the entire I/Q data is being sent over the internet. This also limits how much visual bandwidth you are can see at any one time.

Links referenced in this video:
www.sdr-radio.com
http://www.sdr-radio.com/Software/Version3/Server
www.sdrplay.com
More videos on https://www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP

SOME IMPORTANT WARNINGS IF YOU ARE ADDING YOUR OWN SDR!
Be careful not to plug multiple SDRs into a single USB2 socket - for multiple SDRs, you may need a powered hub ( like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UGREEN-Adapt... )

Once you are up and running - please go to http://www.sdr-radio.com/Software/Ver... and view your listing - if there is a yellow triangle, then you are not accessible outside your own firewall - attention is needed! Just because you can access it on your own LAN doesn't mean it's accessible via the internet!!!

The RSP family of SDRs from SDRplay cover 1kHz to 2 GHz with no gaps and give up to 10MHz spectrum visibility.

Jon's video first shows how to use SDR-Console V3 to access those publicly shared SDR radios over the internet. The second part of the video demonstrates how to set up your own server that you can use remotely for personal use, or to share over the internet.

The SDR-Console V3 server accepts various kinds of SDR hardware including RTL-SDR, Airspy, SDRplay, HackRF, Elad, LimeSDR and many more SDR units so this is a good way to explore various types of hardware, or simply to explore signals from different areas around the world.

SDR-Console remote access for SDR Radios

LimeSDR Mini Unboxing and Initial Review

The LimeSDR Mini has now started shipping out to backers, and we received our unit just last week. The LimeSDR Mini is the smaller version of the full sized LimeSDR which was released early last year in 2017. The standard LimeSDR has a frequency range of 100 kHz – 3.8 GHz, bandwidth of up to 61.44 MHz, 12-bit ADC and 2 x 2 RX/TX channels. In comparison the new LimeSDR mini has a slightly restricted frequency range of 10 MHz – 3.5 GHz, and half the maximum bandwidth at 30.72 MHz. The mini also only has 1 x 1 TX/RX channels. The price is however much less coming in at US$139 for the mini and US$299 for the standard LimeSDR.
 
In this post we’ll give a brief unboxing and review of the LimeSDR Mini. If you’re interested take a look at our previous unboxing and initial review of the standard LimeSDR as well.

Unboxing

The LimeSDR Mini came in a small black box inside an anti-static bag. No accessories like antennas are included in the package. The PCB comes without any enclosure, but an enclosure can be ordered as an additional extra. The size of the PCB is similar to an RTL-SDR, but a little wider. The RF sensitive components are covered with a shielding can. Removing the can reveals the main Lime System RF chip, the LMS7002M, as well as several RF transformer matching circuits.
 
One end of the PCB has a standard USB-A connector, whilst the other end has two SMA ports, one for receiving and the other for transmitting.
limesdrmini_box2
limesdrmini_box3
limesdrmini_box4

 

Continue reading

Upcoming Book “Inside Radio: An Attack and Defense Guide”

Unicorn team are information security researchers who often also dabble with wireless security research. Recently they have been promoting their upcoming text book titled "Inside Radio: An Attack and Defense Guide".

Judging from the blurb and released contents the book will be an excellent introduction to anyone interested in today's wireless security issues. They cover topics such as RFID, Bluetooh, ZigBee, GSM, LTE and GPS. In regards to SDRs, the book specifically covers SDRs like the RTL-SDR, HackRF, bladeRF and LimeSDR and their role in wireless security research. They also probably reference and show how to use those SDRs in the  chapters about replay attacks, ADS-B security risks, and GSM security.

The book is yet to be released and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon or Springer for US$59.99. The expected release date is May 9, 2018, and copies will also be for sale at the HITB SECCONF 2018 conference during 9 - 13 April in Amsterdam.

The blurb and released contents are pasted below. See their promo page for the full contents list:

This book discusses the security issues in a wide range of wireless devices and systems, such as RFID, Bluetooth, ZigBee, GSM, LTE, and GPS. It collects the findings of recent research by the UnicornTeam at 360 Technology, and reviews the state-of-the-art literature on wireless security. The book also offers detailed case studies and theoretical treatments – specifically it lists numerous laboratory procedures, results, plots, commands and screenshots from real-world experiments. It is a valuable reference guide for practitioners and researchers who want to learn more about the advanced research findings and use the off-the-shelf tools to explore the wireless world.

Authors:
Qing YANG is the founder of UnicornTeam & the head of the Radio Security Research Department at 360 Technology. He has vast experience in information security area. He has presented at Black Hat, DEFCON, CanSecWest, HITB, Ruxcon, POC, XCon, China ISC etc.

Lin HUANG is a senior wireless security researcher and SDR technology expert at 360 Technology. Her interests include security issues in wireless communication, especially cellular network security. She was a speaker at Black Hat, DEFCON, and HITB security conferences. She is 360 Technology’s 3GPP SA3 delegate.

This book is a joint effort by the entire UnicornTeam, including Qiren GU, Jun LI, Haoqi SHAN, Yingtao ZENG, and Wanqiao ZHANG etc.

 

The LimeSDR Mini Grove Starter Kit

LimeSDR have partnered with Seeed Studio to develop a low cost SDR starter kit for learning SDR basics and experimenting with IoT applications. The kit costs US$249 and includes a LimeSDR Mini and the Grove Starter Kit. The Grove kit is simply a set of various sensors such as temperature, sound, light, ultrasonic, touch, rotary as well as interface components like buzzers, an LCD screen, and LEDs. It also includes the GrovePi+ which is a board that allows you to easily interface the Grove sensors with a Raspberry Pi. Adding a LimeSDR Mini as well as the Grove kit to a Raspberry Pi could allow for easy wireless and IoT experimentation. To make it even easier the LimeSDR team have created a ScratchRadio extension that supports the LimeSDR and Grove kit combination. ScratchRadio is a kid friendly visual programming environment.

The kit packages a LimeSDR Mini with antennas optimised for 433/868/915 MHz unlicensed bands, plus a GrovePi+ and selection of incredibly useful Grove sensors and outputs, many of which are supported by a Scratch extension. When combined with our ScratchRadio extension, this will allow the creation of simple and fun applications that integrate SDR capabilities and peripheral I/O.

Of course, use is not limited to Scratch and educational environments, and we’ll also be putting together examples that demonstrate how the kit can be used to develop applications that integrate with existing off-the-shelf systems, such as wireless thermostats and remote controls.

Kit Contents

  • 1 x LimeSDR Mini
  • 2 x Antennas optimised for 433/868/915MHz unlicensed bands use
  • 1 x Acrylic base plate
  • 1 x Short USB extension
  • 1 x GrovePi+
  • 1 x Grove - Ultrasonic Ranger
  • 1 x Grove - Temp&Humi Sensor
  • 1 x Grove - Temperature Sensor
  • 1 x Grove - Rotary Angle Sensor
  • 1 x Grove - Button
  • 1 x Grove - Light Sensor v1.2
  • 1 x Grove - 3-Axis Digital Accelerometer (±1.5 g)
  • 1 x Grove - Relay
  • 1 x Grove - Sound Sensor
  • 1 x Grove - LCD RGB Backlight
  • 1 x Grove - Buzzer
  • 1 x Grove - Red LED
  • 1 x Grove - LED Bar 2.0
  • 1 x Grove - Touch Sensor
  • 1 x Grove - Piezo Vibration Sensor

Just add your own Raspberry Pi, power supply, and microSD card!

The kit costs US$249 and is currently available for preorder on the LimeSDR Mini CrowdSupply page.

The Grove Starter Kit with LimeSDR.
The Grove Starter Kit with LimeSDR.