We last posted about Nigun back in January 2017, and at that point the schematic design had just been completed. Nigun is a downconverter which can be used to allow the RTL-SDR and other SDRs to receive frequencies above their typical maximum tuning range, which for the RTL-SDR is about 1.8 GHz. A downconverter works by taking those high frequencies and converting them down into a frequency which the SDR can actually tune to.
Recently “raziele”, the designer of Nigun has completed the PCB design and he aims to order the first batch of units during June. The main specifications of Nigun are pasted below:
- Dynamic LO – LO will be determined by the user and programmed by the MCU
- Almost no filtering – will leave this challenge outside of this project scope
- Power up and programming via micro-usb connector. Should be able to power up from a USB power-pack (but probably not from a computer port)
- Highest RF frequency will be 3GHz
- Product also features a VCO for signal-generation purposes. VCO support should be 200-2700MHz
Previously Outernet had been working on a downconverter design for their 1.5 GHz satellite service, but they decided that it was not economical. So it is good to see an alternative downconverter in the works. More details about Nigun are available on the GitHub page.