Recent posts

Update on next version of OmoSDR

Christian has posted a detailed status update to the osmocom-sdr mailing list, describing his progress with enhancing the sample rate from 500 kS/s to 4 MS/s (at 14 bits ADC). Also, some impedance mismatch between tuner and ADC was fixed.

The benefits of this are not only available to the users/customers of the next generation hardware, but there will be a stacking board to upgrade the existing OsmoSDR units.

The full details can be read in his mailing list post

At this point there is no ETA yet when the new design will be available,

GNSS-SDR officially supports rtl-sdr

The team of developers of the open source project GNSS-SDR proudly announces that the latest version of our GNSS receiver supports the realtime operation using RTL-SDR compatible dongles.

They achieved GPS position fix with what is probability the cheapest GPS receiver ever made. If you have a RTL2832U based compatible DVB-T receiver you can have also a GPS just adding an active GPS antenna and our free GNSS software.

All the details can be found in this article

http://www.gnss-sdr.org/documentation/gnss-sdr-operation-realtek-rtl2832u-usb-dongle-dvb-t-receiver

Visit http://www.gnss-sdr.org for more information about the GNSS-SDR project.

First 16 OsmoSDR boards available for developers

There are something like 16 units of OsmoSDR that we have produce and which are able to sell to interested developers.

However, as there are only 16 units right now, and as the firmware and host software is in a barely usable but incomplete state, we would like to make sure that those 16 units get sold to people who actually have an interest (and expect to have at least some time time!) to fix and improve the current shortcomings.

So if you want to be among the first 16, I suggest you contact me at Harald Welte <laforge@…> and include a short description of who you are (if you are not a Osmocom regular) as well as some incidcation that you are actually going to work on improving the code. If you already know an area that you'd like to work on, please state that, too.

The price will be 180 EUR incl. VAT (that's 151.26 EUR without), i.e. the same price as for the units that will later be sold openly.

I have put together a wiki page with the current status at OsmoSDR/Status to make you aware where we are and what is missing.

Thanks in advance for your willingness to be early users and help us to improve the codebase.

Introducing RTL-SDR

While the OsmoSDR is still not available, some Osmocom team members (notably Steve Markgraf) have been hacking away on an alternative least-cost solution: rtl-sdr.

So what is rtl-sdr? It is a creative form of using consumer-grade DVB-T USB receivers, turning them into fully-fledged software defined radios.

Those DVB-T receivers supported by rtl-sdr are based on the Realtek RTL2832U chipset plus a tuner IC like the Elonics E4000.

The RTL2832U has some undocumented commands/registers, by which it can be placed into a mode where it simply forwards the unprocessed raw baseband samples (up to 2.8 MS/s 8-bit I+Q) via high-speed USB into the PC, where they are routed into gnuradio.

At a street price of about USD 20 to USD 25, they are undoubtedly the most capable low-cost SDR hardware that can be bought. So now there is really no more excuse for anyone to not learn gnuradio. You don't have to buy a USRP, not even a FCDP or an OsmoSDR: A USD 20 device is all that's needed for receiving signals like GSM, GMR, DECT, TETRA, APCO25 and many others.

OsmoSDR hardware verification at 28C3

At 28c3, the OsmoSDR team was busy verifying the hardware design on the first prototypes.

The result can be summarized as:

  • SAM3U is working, enumerates on USB and can be programmed via SAM-BA
  • E4K tuner driver is working
  • Si570 driver is working
  • FPGA can be flashed via JTAG bit-banging from SAM3U
  • FPGA and SAM3U can speak via SPI

However, there are at least two bugs:

  • USB socket footprint pin-out was mirrored
  • clock output level of Si570 doesn't match FPGA clock input specs (amplitude too low)

The issues have been worked around, and firmware + FPGA development has made progress.

About OsmocomSDR

This is the blog of the OsmoSDR project, a small-size, low-cost Software Defined Radio hardware/firmware project.