Tagged: pinetab

Adding an RTL-SDR Antenna Port to a Pinetab Linux Tablet

The Pinetab is a US$99.99 open source Ubuntu Linux Tablet based on a low power Pine64 singe board computer. The Pinetab can optionally support an internal RTL-SDR, which is essentially just a standard RTL-SDR PCB connected to the single board computer inside the tablet enclosure.

Over on YouTube channel Privacy & Tech Tips has uploaded a video where he takes the Pinetab apart and adds an external antenna port, allowing for external antennas to be connected. In the video we get a good look at the internals of the Pinetab, and after installing the external antenna port he shows us the Pinetab receiving a LoRa signal.

Opening Pinetab (Linux Tablet) back cover (+show tips for safer opening) on video and show how you can add an external threaded antenna port for your internal SDR. It makes for an amazingly compact SDR kit and smaller antennas like LoRa fit right inside the keyboard/tablet/laptop stand. Larger antennas such as a dipole, the antenna cord fits along the case/stand perfectly.

I show how to open the Pinetab safely, and install an external threaded antenna port. After this I take a Heltec LoRa ESP32 I have had laying around and use it to demo GQRX on the screen. I show LoRa packets coming over the radio waves at 915MHz. Series on SDR using Pinetab/Pinephone/Pine64 hardware. Linux makes for an amazing platform where the tools at hand leave the limits to what you can do to the power of your imagination.

Opening Pinetab + Add SDR Modification!

PineTab Linux Tablet will have an Optional RTL-SDR Expansion Module

The PineTab is an upcoming $100 open source Ubuntu Linux Tablet being created by PINE who are known for their low cost Pine64 single board computers, Pinebook Laptop and Linux based PinePhone. The PineTab is not yet for sale, and they have just announced their intention to begin taking pre-orders in late May, and that the first production run will be a limited quantity pilot production intended only for early adopters.

What's interesting about the PineTab is that they are advertising that they are working on expansion options, with one expansion module being an RTL-SDR. It seems that the expansion module will allow cards to be inserted internally, keeping everything tidy on the outside. Apart from the RTL-SDR, they will also offer LoRa, LTE (with GPS) and sata SSD add on cards.

The standard specs of the PineTab are shown below:

  • Allwinner A64 Quad Core SOC with Mali 400 MP2 GPU
  • 10″ MiPi 720p Capacitive LCD
  • Bootable Micro SD Slot
  • 64GB of eMMC
  • microHDMI port for external HD output
  • USB 2.0 A host
  • Micro USB 2.0 OTG
  • 2Mpx front-facing camera
  • 5Mpx rear camera
  • Optional M.2 slot
  • Speakers and Microphone
  • Volume rocker and ‘home’ button
  • Magnetically attached keyboard (optional)
  • 6000mAh battery 
  • 3.5″ Barrel Power (5V 3A) Port
  • Multiple expansion boards for LTE, LoRa and SATA SSD