Low cost entry point - SDR

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Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby nickoppen » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:20 am

Hi,

I came across this project via the raspberry pi community.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/a-40-softwaredefined-radio

Given that he got it running on a pi, I would think that a parallella would have no problem keeping up - and adding some additional number crunching on top.

In a related vein this project http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/coffeecan-radar is a quick write-up of a Synthetic Aperture Radar project from MIT Open Courseware (http://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-ll-003-build-a-small-radar-system-capable-of-sensing-range-doppler-and-synthetic-aperture-radar-imaging-january-iap-2011/index.htm).

Enough there to get the imagination flowing... I can't wait to get my hands on a parallella.

nick
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby nickoppen » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:03 am

Spot one then the pop up everywhere.

Here's another: http://greatscottgadgets.com/hackrf/ and a bunch of articles about it here: http://dangerousprototypes.com/?s=hackrf

The developer spoke at Toorcon recently which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g070WBv1ly0. The presentation is quite long but it gives a good background on the design goals and SDR in general.
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby 9600 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:17 am

nickoppen wrote:Hi,

I came across this project via the raspberry pi community.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/a-40-softwaredefined-radio

Given that he got it running on a pi, I would think that a parallella would have no problem keeping up - and adding some additional number crunching on top.


The rtl-sdr breakthrough was huge! Simply amazing what can be done with cheap, commodity DVB-T hardware. However, I think in this case the Pi was just being used to create a remote RF "head end", with samples being streamed to a more capable machine which then implemented the demodulation etc. That latter part can be quite compute intensive, and while there will be SDR apps that can be supported by the Pi, they generally tend to be fairly low bandwidth.

This is why I get very excited about the potential applications enabled by Parallella + SDR hardware, e.g. pocket-sized and solar powered mobile and TV white space base stations, open source radar and so on.

HackRF is a really great project, too — can't wait to see what people do with the combination of it and Parallella. Other noteworthy hardware includes Myriad-RF (which Sylvain/tnt is working with right now!) and BladeRF. There's an ever growing list of SDR hardware options available, each with their own particular benefits.

Low power, high performance computing plus low cost, high-bandwidth digital radio hardware plus open source has the potential to change everything when it comes to spectrum innovation (and access). Exciting times ahead!

Cheers,

Andrew
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby Gravis » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:26 pm

9600 wrote: the Pi was just being used to create a remote RF "head end", with samples being streamed to a more capable machine which then implemented the demodulation etc. That latter part can be quite compute intensive

i was thinking, since you can have a huge amount of computational power, would it be possible use a "large" section of the spectrum in order to get a much higher throughput via wireless transmission? it seems like something you would want to pipeline with several FPGAs/ASICs but i figured i'd ask anyway.
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby 9600 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:43 pm

Gravis wrote:
9600 wrote: the Pi was just being used to create a remote RF "head end", with samples being streamed to a more capable machine which then implemented the demodulation etc. That latter part can be quite compute intensive

i was thinking, since you can have a huge amount of computational power, would it be possible use a "large" section of the spectrum in order to get a much higher throughput via wireless transmission? it seems like something you would want to pipeline with several FPGAs/ASICs but i figured i'd ask anyway.


Well, yes, provided you or a network operator has a licence to use all that spectrum. But more interesting to me is the idea that you can have one set of hardware which can support many current and future wireless systems, easily change between them, and maybe support more than one at once. Not to mention the fact that this all becomes a software problem and can be tackled by open source, instead of requiring ASICs with a high MOQ and documentation under NDA etc. Then there are all the cognitive radio possibilities when raw chunks of spectrum are being sensed and wrangled by software.

FPGAs are frequently used with SDR for specific common parts of the chain, e.g. right after the ADC for digital down-conversion.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby nickoppen » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:15 am

Hi Andrew,

Yes, the Pi would be heavily taxed to do all the crunching. Everything I've seen so far has the Pi as a server and something else running the application.

I hope that Adapteva sells 1,000,000 Parallellas. Then there'll be some great innovation happening.

nick
Last edited by nickoppen on Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby Gravis » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:25 am

nickoppen wrote:I hope that Adapteva sells 1,000,000 Parallellas. Then there'll be some great innovation happening.

or at least the 64 core version i wanted. :P
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby MarcoFreeman » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:55 am

9600 wrote:
nickoppen wrote:Hi,

I came across this project via the raspberry pi community.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/a-40-softwaredefined-radio

Given that he got it running on a pi, I would think that a parallella would have no problem keeping up - and adding some additional number crunching on top.


The rtl-sdr breakthrough was huge! Simply amazing what can be done with cheap, commodity DVB-T hardware. However, I think in this case the Pi was just being used to create a remote RF "head end", with samples being streamed to a more capable machine which then implemented the demodulation etc. That latter part can be quite compute intensive, and while there will be SDR apps that can be supported by the Pi, they generally tend to be fairly low bandwidth.

This is why I get very excited about the potential applications enabled by Parallella + SDR hardware, e.g. pocket-sized and solar panel powered mobile and TV white space base stations, open source radar and so on.

HackRF is a really great project, too — can't wait to see what people do with the combination of it and Parallella. Other noteworthy hardware includes Myriad-RF (which Sylvain/tnt is working with right now!) and BladeRF. There's an ever growing list of SDR hardware options available, each with their own particular benefits.

Low power, high performance computing plus low cost, high-bandwidth digital radio hardware plus open source has the potential to change everything when it comes to spectrum innovation (and access). Exciting times ahead!

Cheers,


Andrew


It is awesome project indeed.. I have not followed it for a long time so when will it be launched to full extent.
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby Bikeman » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:53 pm

nickoppen wrote:Hi Andrew,

Yes, the Pi would be heavily taxed to do all the crunching. Everything I've seen so far has the Pi as a server and something else running the application.

I hope that Adapteva sells 1,000,000 Parallellas. Then there'll be some great innovation happening.

nick


Is there anyone still active on SDR via DVB-T dongle on the Parallella?

Even on the Raspberry Pi, there are now some simple applications that go beyond just streaming the raw data, e.g. "dump1090" receives, demodulates and decodes data from ADS-B aircraft transponders on 1090 MHz in real time on the Raspi's not-so-fast ARMv6 CPU, tracking dozens of planes at the same tiem (depending on range, of course). Pretty impressive, this should work even better on the faster Parallella board, and there might be nice SDR projects with Epiphany acceleration opportunities for certain subtasks, maybe?

From my experience using dump1090 on a Raspi model A, those DVB-T sticks can consume quite a bit of power (mine actually gets pretty hot) so I guess a (certified :-) ) powered USB hub should be used for experiements like this.

Cheers
HB
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Re: Low cost entry point - SDR

Postby Cyberman.ff » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:16 am

Bikeman wrote:
nickoppen wrote:Hi Andrew,

Yes, the Pi would be heavily taxed to do all the crunching. Everything I've seen so far has the Pi as a server and something else running the application.

I hope that Adapteva sells 1,000,000 Parallellas. Then there'll be some great innovation happening.

nick


Is there anyone still active on SDR via DVB-T dongle on the Parallella?

Even on the Raspberry Pi, there are now some simple applications that go beyond just streaming the raw data, e.g. "dump1090" receives, demodulates and decodes data from ADS-B aircraft transponders on 1090 MHz in real time on the Raspi's not-so-fast ARMv6 CPU, tracking dozens of planes at the same tiem (depending on range, of course). Pretty impressive, this should work even better on the faster Parallella board, and there might be nice SDR projects with Epiphany acceleration opportunities for certain subtasks, maybe?

From my experience using dump1090 on a Raspi model A, those DVB-T sticks can consume quite a bit of power (mine actually gets pretty hot) so I guess a (certified :-) ) powered USB hub should be used for experiements like this.

Cheers
HB

  1. GNU radio is your friend
  2. Their are several different modules that include everything from Ship transponders to aircraft transponders available for G radio
  3. G radio has support for the RTL beast and several other SDR toys you can get realitvely cheap.
  4. The RTL SDR has a variety of IF IC's used for tuning this determines the frequency range you can use. It varies by would produced the USB dongle and what IF tuning IC they used to work with the RTL device. Most devices are supported by G radio.
  5. Gnu Radio also allows you to construct your own radio system.
  6. Please pay attention to your local ordenances for RF. This is a serious warning, you are responsible for what you do, do not consider playing with RF until you do. Receiving is probably safe, transmitting is guarenteed not. Know what you are doing, also you may be required to get a license in order to experiment with transmitting, their are tons of HAM sites on the internet they can clue you in on your local ordanances. Consider this the same as learning to fly a plane, thier are lots of stipulations about transmission ESPECIALLY in Europe and Asia (Japan in particular). Every country is different Europe is more standardized but still lots of things you need to be aware of.
    Anyhow G radio is pretty nifty. You might be able to build an ATSC or DVB-T/DVB-S receiver in it if you have the knowledge (a lot of the tools are already provided glue tape and apply). Decoding the video stream is another matter (another core for the MPEG transport stream?)
  7. For video streams you might consider Mplayer, which also supports sub titles and multiple substreams.
  8. Also note some DVB /ATSC broadcasts have multiple streams (as many as 16) notice how much bandwidth each channel has to get an idea.
Anyhow it is always best to consider consequences before you do anything.

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