if not HackRF, a compatible model?

Talk about other SDR products like the FunCube, HackRF, BladeRF etc.
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xglr69ee
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Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:59 am

if not HackRF, a compatible model?

Post by xglr69ee » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:28 am

recently got the "Field Expedient SDR Vol 1: introduction to Software Define Radio"

in it they recommend the HackRF. but i see a few threads that the HackRF has low RX issues and ppl trying to find ways to boost that.

i put up a jetstream discone on my house roof to use with my two dongles, RTL-SDR v3 & NESDR Smartee & upconverter about a year ago. both dongles work on a skywave ubuntu install just fine for my novice usage. so I have that setup.

want to ask, if one didn't get the HackRF what would be a really good comparable SDR to use with this book and subsequent vols, any of the following or will the HackRF do just fine? the ettus is out of my price range but I list it as I could save up for it.

AirSpy
SDRPlay's
HackRF
BladeRF
LimeSDR mini
Ettus B200mini

tia

rtlsdrblog
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Re: if not HackRF, a compatible model?

Post by rtlsdrblog » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:15 am

It really depends what you're looking to use your SDR for. Random RF experiments, DXing, transmitting?

The HackRF has wide bandwidth, can TX but is only an okay receiver. It's a good multipurpose tool that can do it all, but not great at any one thing. So it's more for general experimentation.

Something like the Airspy can't transmit, but is a much better receiver. Great for DXing.

Eagle72
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Re: if not HackRF, a compatible model?

Post by Eagle72 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:54 am

Me as an beginner buyed hackrf for its wide spectrum 1-6ghz and for Tx-possibility , but the more i use and learn about it the more i see i really don't need such a high spectrum because i mostly do experiments in 400-1200 mhz!

433 i do tx with my light remotes and car keys, one of experiments is bruteforcing /jamming and replaying my rolling car key which infact also can be done by cheaper devices such as rasberry pi 3, and 800-960mhz i can see live gsm traffic of my phone or nearby , at 2400band i can follow my wifi, one of experiments is to see and try figure out which is mine and also can be used to search for hidden wifi devices... mostly of the times transmitting is just for 433.

i don't know what u can do with above 2400mhz and transmitting is not that strong at least when i try transmitt fm radio i get bad quality and all my remote controlls are stronger. But im happy for that since its forbidden and can get one in very big trouble if u transmitt to srong and in danger bandwiths!


Bladerf is in my view much better but depends what u gonna do with it, its fullduplex and have wider bandwith 80mhz agance 20mhz for hackrf , and all i know u can do with it is to transmitt and recieve in same time to setup ur own 2g-gsm network u can also see more freqs in same times since its have 80mhz bandwith!

I personally use rtlsdr with gqrx to record signals i want to transmitt and then replay them with hackrf using gnuradio... My goal is to learn about gnuradio and also to learn about rf signals with i found is very intresting thing.

As rtlsdrblog says it depends all waht u really want to do, i suggest u to think about what your main goal is with it and make decission after that before u rise to much money on soem more expensive stuffs that maby much cheaper can do for you!

xglr69ee
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:59 am

Re: if not HackRF, a compatible model?

Post by xglr69ee » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:24 am

rtlsdrblog wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:15 am
It really depends what you're looking to use your SDR for. Random RF experiments, DXing, transmitting?

The HackRF has wide bandwidth, can TX but is only an okay receiver. It's a good multipurpose tool that can do it all, but not great at any one thing. So it's more for general experimentation.

Something like the Airspy can't transmit, but is a much better receiver. Great for DXing.
i won't be Tx'ing as i'm still studying for ham lic. the HackRF is suggested in the vol 1 of the book i mentioned. so for that i guess more use for local experimentation. the wide bandwidth i was "thinking" would be relatively good when its connected to the roof top discone, say, vs a simple antenna inside house, but i could be mistaken. i didn't want to spend 150-300usd on the HackRF and have it be disappointing on the Rx side of things.

i'll be using it more for the experiments in the book(s).

xglr69ee
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:59 am

Re: if not HackRF, a compatible model?

Post by xglr69ee » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:03 am

Eagle72 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:54 am
Me as an beginner buyed hackrf for its wide spectrum 1-6ghz and for Tx-possibility , but the more i use and learn about it the more i see i really don't need such a high spectrum because i mostly do experiments in 400-1200 mhz!

433 i do tx with my light remotes and car keys, one of experiments is bruteforcing /jamming and replaying my rolling car key which infact also can be done by cheaper devices such as rasberry pi 3, and 800-960mhz i can see live gsm traffic of my phone or nearby , at 2400band i can follow my wifi, one of experiments is to see and try figure out which is mine and also can be used to search for hidden wifi devices... mostly of the times transmitting is just for 433.

i don't know what u can do with above 2400mhz and transmitting is not that strong at least when i try transmitt fm radio i get bad quality and all my remote controlls are stronger. But im happy for that since its forbidden and can get one in very big trouble if u transmitt to srong and in danger bandwiths!


Bladerf is in my view much better but depends what u gonna do with it, its fullduplex and have wider bandwith 80mhz agance 20mhz for hackrf , and all i know u can do with it is to transmitt and recieve in same time to setup ur own 2g-gsm network u can also see more freqs in same times since its have 80mhz bandwith!

I personally use rtlsdr with gqrx to record signals i want to transmitt and then replay them with hackrf using gnuradio... My goal is to learn about gnuradio and also to learn about rf signals with i found is very intresting thing.

As rtlsdrblog says it depends all waht u really want to do, i suggest u to think about what your main goal is with it and make decission after that before u rise to much money on soem more expensive stuffs that maby much cheaper can do for you!
i'm too new to sdr to even explicitly let you and #rtlsdrblog know my specific needs. but we're on the same page a bit regarding the the freq's, gsm, and wifi experiments. i'm hoping i can use it to see the xbee traffic i have pinging about my house. the book i got on sdr says it can. i too want to know more about using gqrx & gnuradio as i have a VM of ubuntu/skywave running that my rtl-sdr's are connected to and they work. but the experiments in the books will help me learn more of what one can do with these than local fm.

i see on adafruit a kit pi rtl-sdr scanner, are you using anything like that? if you got a link to setting up a "..rasberry pi 3, and 800-960mhz i can see live gsm traffic..." i would be interested. i have a couple pi3's setting about needing something to do. speaking of pi's/linux awhile back i did get the "salamandra spy microphone detection tool" at github.com/eldraco/Salamandra working. that's when i realized i really need to up my education of sdr & radio if i'm going to understand what i'm seeing and how to work with it. which lead me to these sdr tools, a few books, and what hw to buy to start experimenting.

the current new BladeRF xA4 cost is pushing my wallet a bit but less than the Ettus B200mini. you confirm one can do more with the BladeRF for experimenting and stuff more than the HackRF, in your use. the BladeRF xA4 it won't be avail until Spring 2019 nuand website states. that gives me time to save up for the xA4 and time to tweak the skywave distro for the upcoming experiments.

thanks to both of you for your reply's and help!!.

rtlsdrblog
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Re: if not HackRF, a compatible model?

Post by rtlsdrblog » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:03 am

If you're just using it to see signals you're transmitting locally, the HackRF should be more than good enough. It's only when you get into high performance receiving, like DXers who try to receive far away signals as a sport that you need the higher end SDRs. Or if you're getting into more cutting edge experimental work, then things like the USRPs become useful.

For the experiments described in the book, the HackRF is more than good enough, and probably the one you'd want to use since all the code and settings from the book will be set for the HackRF's parameters.

xglr69ee
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:59 am

Re: if not HackRF, a compatible model?

Post by xglr69ee » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:54 pm

rtlsdrblog wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:03 am
If you're just using it to see signals you're transmitting locally, the HackRF should be more than good enough. It's only when you get into high performance receiving, like DXers who try to receive far away signals as a sport that you need the higher end SDRs. Or if you're getting into more cutting edge experimental work, then things like the USRPs become useful.

For the experiments described in the book, the HackRF is more than good enough, and probably the one you'd want to use since all the code and settings from the book will be set for the HackRF's parameters.
appreciate the reply. i ordered the HackRF and saving up for the BladeRF. by then i should have a few of those books under my belt. thanks.

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