TechMinds: Performing the Frequency Expansion and CPU Core Mod on the PlutoSDR

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. It is typically priced at US$149. By default the PlutoSDR ships with a tuning range of  325 – 3800 MHz and bandwidth of 20 MHz. However a simple software hack allows you to expand this tuning range to 70 MHz to 6 GHz with a maximum bandwidth of 56 MHz.

The reason this is possible is possibly because the AD9363 SDR transceiver chip used in the PlutoSDR is nearly identical to more expensive AD9364 which has the higher specs. The software hack tricks the PlutoSDR firmware into believing that the AD9393 is a AD9364. Mileage may vary as we speculate that the AD9363 might be produced on lower grade silicon or could be failed AD9364 chips with lower performance at the edge frequencies. But so far most users have reported acceptable performance.

TechMinds' video shows how to apply the hack, which is a simple matter of opening a terminal connection to the SDR and running a few commands. He also shows how to enable an extra CPU core on the processor. Finally he demonstrates that it's possible to transmit in the extended tuning range via SDRangel.

ADALM PLUTO Frequency Expansion Modification Plus CPU Cores

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You only need to install the Satsagen spectrum analyzer/tracking generator software and it will do the hack for you automatically. Plus you get some very useful software.