Tagged: plutosdr

Building a Drone Tracking Radar with the ADALM-PHASER and PlutoSDR

The ADALM-PHASER is a kit designed to provide experience with phased array beamforming and radar concepts. The kit consists of a PlutoSDR, mixers, LO synthesizer, ADAR1000 beamformer chip, LNAs and array of patch antennas. It operates between 10-11 GHz, has 500 MHz BW FMCW chirps, and has 8 receive channels and 2 transmit channels. It is an open source kit that costs US$2800, and it is produced and available from Analog Devices. Currently the kit appears to not be in stock, but they note that they are working on getting more stock in soon.

The ADALM-PHASER a phased array kit for implementing radar and other phased array experiments.
The ADALM-PHASER a phased array kit for implementing radar and other phased array experiments.

Over on YouTube, Jon Kraft who appears to be affiliated with Analog Devices, is working on a series of videos that will ultimately result in a drone tracking radar being built with the ADALM-PHASER. Currently two videos have been released.

The first is an overview of radar concepts, giving an explanation of pulsed vs CW radar, and the various hardware options we have to implement low cost versions of these methods.

The second video covers more radar concepts like range resolution and shows us how to build a CW radar with the ADALM-PHASER system.

The three remaining videos are yet to be released, so keep an eye on his channel for updates.

Build Your Own Drone Tracking Radar: Part 1

Build Your Own Drone Tracking Radar: Part 2 CW Radar

DATV-Red: An Interface for Controlling PlutoSDR in Node-RED

Thank you to Ohan Smit (ZS1SCI) for submitting news that he has published his software called DATV-Red over on GitHub. The software is open source and is design to be an interface for controlling a PlutoSDR in Node-RED.

The PlutoSDR is a low cost RX/TX capable SDR with up to 56 MHz of bandwidth and 70 MHz to 6 GHz frequency range (with mods). Node-RED is a visual programming tool for creating JavaScript functions.

Ohan writes:

I've built an interface for controlling the plutosdr in Node-red.

It works on the latest PlutoDVB firmware.

It is cross platform since it is web based.

Currently the scope is focussed on QO-100 use, yet with the latest addition of the RX spectrum from the Pluto's onboard web socket, the focus would shift to a general spectrum analysis and RF operation with special operational DATV features

[It is] a work in progress.

DATV-Red: An interface for controlling the PlutoSDR in Node-RED

TechMinds: Reviewing the ANTSDR E200

A few days ago we posted about the upcoming crowdfunding campaign of the MicroPhase AntSDR E200, an SDR that is very similar to the PlutoSDR, but with a much larger FPGA and more stable TCXO. One interesting feature is that it can run PlutoSDR or USRP firmware, allowing it to work with software that supports either hardware.

Over on YouTube Matt from the TechMinds YouTube channel has received an early unit and uploaded a video review.

In the video Matt explains the features and specifications of the ANTSDR E200, shows how to set it up with either the PlutoSDR or USRP firmware, and then demonstrates it working in SDR Console and SDR Angel as an emulated PlutoSDR. He goes on to show how to install and run the USRP UHD firmware, where the ANTSDR emulates an USRP b205mini.


ANTSDR E200 set to begin Crowdfunding on CrowdSupply soon

The AntSDR E200 is a software defined radio from Microphase which will come in two flavors. The first is the 'AD9363" version with 2x2 RX/TX and a 325 - 3.8 GHz tuning range, 20 MHz bandwidth and 12-bit ADC. The second is their higher end 'AD9361' version with 2x2 RX/TX, 70 MHz - 6 GHz tuning range, 56 MHz bandwidth and 12-bit ADC.

It is currently in the prelaunch phase on CrowdSupply.

The AntSDR E200 is is based on the AD9363 / AD9361 RF SDR chips which are used in many existing mid-range software defined radios like the PlutoSDR, bladeRF and Ettus USRP's.

The design itself is very similar to the PlutoSDR and Errus B205mini, and in fact the developer has ported firmware from PlutoSDR and the Ettus UHD that allows the device to work just like those devices. It is not yet known if the AD9363 frequency range extension hack available on the PlutoSDR, and the bandwidth overclock hack on the bladeRF will be possible with the AntSDR E200 as well.

Pricing is yet to be displayed on CrowdSupply, however the the AD9363 version appears to already be available for purchase on Aliexpress for US$364.25. Update: Microphase have explained that the units on Aliexpress are not officially authorized units and the Aliexpress price is much higher than what they will charge during the crowdfunding phase.

The AntSDR E200
ANTSDR-E200 demo video

Also, over on YouTube DragonOS creator Aaron has already been testing his AntSDR with srsRAN, which is an open-source program that can create 4G and 5G basestations with compatible SDRs like the USRP. Using the modified UHD firmware, Aaron was able to get up and running with the AntSDR E200 very quickly.

DragonOS FocalX E200 w/ Osmo-Nitb-Scrips, srsRAN, and SDRAngel Preview (ANTSDR, b205mini, R29+)

Using a PlutoSDR as a Monopulse Tracker

Over on YouTube Jon Kraft has been uploading videos explaining some interesting beamforming experiments he's been doing with his PlutoSDR. One experiment shows how to create a DIY monopulse tracker, which is a type of radio direction finding technique.

The PlutoSDR has two RX ports and two TX ports, and in this experiment he uses two directional antennas for the RX and one monopole antenna for the TX. Part 1 of this series explains standard phased array beam forming, and part 2 moves on to explain monopulse with adaptive tracking.

If you were interested in this, check out Jon's other videos on his channel. A recent video explains how time delays work in digital beamforming.

Build Your Own Phased Array Beamformer

Monopulse Tracking with a Low Cost Pluto SDR

Harvey Mudd College Learn SDR Course with RTL-SDR, PlutoSDR and GNU Radio on YouTube

Professor Jason from Harvery Mudd College in California has recently uploaded a 23 lesson video series on software defined radio digital signal processing (DSP) concepts that can be learned with an RTL-SDR, PlutoSDR and GNU Radio.

If you're looking for a University level introduction to DSP this looks like a good hand on approach to learning. It covers concepts from a simple FM radio receove in GNU Radio, to doppler radar with PlutoSDR, to digital modulation, pulse shaping, GPS reception and more.

All the GNU Radio flowgraphs are available on their class GitHub as well.

Playlist: Learn SDR with Prof Jason

TechMinds: Using a LEO Bodnar GPSDO with a PlutoSDR

Over on the TechMinds YouTube channel Matt has been experimenting with using a PlutoSDR for QO-100 amateur radio satellite communications. The PlutoSDR is a low cost RX/TX capable SDR with up to 56 MHz of bandwidth and 70 MHz to 6 GHz frequency range (with mods). The PlutoSDR can suffer from frequency instability, especially when warming up, however on the latest model C/D PlutoSDRs it's possible to inject an external clock signal.

In his video experiment, Matt uses a Leo Bodnar GPSDO as an external clock source. A GPSDO is a "GPS Disciplined Oscillator", as it uses the accurate timing information found in GPS signals to create a high quality clock signal. Matt shows how to set up the GPSDO, and how to tell the PlutoSDR to use the external clock.

He goes on to show the effectiveness of the GPSDO with some transmit experiments.

LEO BODNAR GPSDO With the Adalm Pluto SDR

LimeSDR 2.0 Mini Now Crowdfunding, Standard LimeSDR Discontinued

Back in March we posted about the LimeSDR Mini 1.0 becoming end of life due to component shortages, and a slightly upgraded LimeSDR Mini 2.0 was being planned. The LimeSDR Mini 2.0 has just been released for preorder over on the CrowdSupply crowdfunding website with a price of US$399 + shipping. The first 1000 units are expected to be ready within 14-weeks, with subsequent batches out at 32-weeks.

The new pricing is at quite a premium over the original LimeSDR Mini which released in 2017 for US$139, and the standard LimeSDR which released in 2016 for US$249. However we of course must to take into account the extreme inflation of electronic parts pricing that has occurred over the past few years.

Lime Micro have also noted that the standard LimeSDR has also now been discontinued due to the same supply shortages. The standard LimeSDR had 2x2 RX/TX channels and was capable of a bandwidth of up to 61.44 MHz. In comparison, both versions of the LimeSDR Mini are a 1x1 channel product with 40 MHz of bandwidth.

The LimeSDR Mini 2.0 is almost identical to the LimeSDR Mini 1.0, both still making use of the LMS7002 RF transceiver as the main chip and using the same overall design. The only change is an upgrade to the FPGA, which replaces the Intel MAX 10 16k logic gate FPGA with a significantly more capable Lattice ECP5 44k logic gate FPGA.

Given the new pricing, people on the lookout for a new hacker/research/experimenter SDR in this price range might want to consider this brief comparison to find the best suited SDR for your needs:

  • LimeSDR Mini 2.0 - US$399
    1x1 channels, 40 MHz bandwidth, 10 MHz to 3.5 GHz, 12-bits.
  • HackRF One - US$330 (~$150 clones)
    1x1 channels (half-duplex), 20 MHz bandwidth, 1 MHz to 6 GHz, 8-bits.
  • PlutoSDR - US$229.18
    1x1 channels, 20 MHz bandwidth, 325 MHz to 3.8 GHz, 12-bits.
  • bladeRF 2.0 Micro xA4 - US$540
    2x2 channels, 61.44 MHz bandwidth, 47 MHz to 6 GHz. 12-bits.
The LimeSDR Mini 2.0