Tagged: hackrf blue

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 Blue Shipped and HackRF One Updates

Back in December of last year we posted about the Indiegogo campaign for the HackRF Blue, a lower cost clone of the HackRF One software defined radio. They were able to achieve a lower cost by better component sourcing and manufacturing choices, thus reducing the cost from $299 to $200. The HackRF Blue Indiegogo campaign was successful and most of the HackRF Blue’s have now been shipped and delivered to backers. If you need help getting started with the HackRF Blue see http://hackrfblue.com/getting-started/. To get started on Windows, simply use Zadig like with the RTL-SDR, and use SDR# which has built in HackRF support.

The specs of the official HackRF One (and by extension the HackRF Blue) have also recently been changed. They now officially acknowledge that the HackRF One is capable of operating at a frequency down to about 1 MHz. They write:

Now that we’ve seen consistent low frequency performance across multiple manufacturing runs, we’re comfortable changing the official specification: HackRF One operates from 1 MHz to 6 GHz. Try attaching a long wire antenna to listen to shortwave radio!

Recently some people have been considering which mid priced SDR to upgrade to from their RTL-SDR. Our opinion is this: The HackRF has pretty poor RX performance, probably the same as, or even worse than the RTL-SDR, so we suggest you buy it only if you want TX capabilities or need operation above 1.7 – 2 GHz. If you only need RX then we suggest you choose the Airspy or SDRPlay as they have much better RX performance. See our list of SDRs for more possible options. 

The HackRF Blue.
The HackRF Blue.

HackRF Blue: A Lower Cost HackRF

Earlier in the year the HackRF One was released by Micheal Ossmann. It is a transmit and receive capable software defined radio with a 10 MHz to 6 GHz range which currently sells for around $300 USD. Since the HackRF is open source hardware, anyone can make changes to the design and build and sell their own version.

The HackRF Blue is a HackRF clone that aims to sell at a lower cost. By sourcing lower cost parts that still work well in the HackRF circuit, the team behind the HackRF Blue were able to reduce the price of the HackRF down to $200 USD. They claim that the HackRF Blue has the same performance as the HackRF One and is fully compatible with the HackRF software. They are currently seeking funding through an IndieGoGo campaign.

Their main goal through the funding is to help provide underprivileged hackerspaces with a free HackRF.

The HackRF Blue
The HackRF Blue