Tag Archives: Portable SDR

London Shortwave’s innovative PocketCHIP-powered field portable SDR

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, London Shortwave, who recently shared his latest SDR project: a field-portable, ultra-compact, SDR spectrum recording system based on the PocketCHIP computer.

London Shortwave has built this system from the ground up and notes that it works well but is currently limited to the FunCube Dongle Pro+ at 192 kHz bandwidth. There is no real-time monitoring of what’s being recorded, but it works efficiently and effectively–making spectrum captures from the field effortless. The following is a video London Shortwave shared via Twitter:

Click here to view via Twitter.

The PocketCHIP–the device his system is built around–is a $69 (US) handheld computer with color display:

Click here to view the PocketCHIP website.

I think this field portable SDR system is absolutely brilliant!

Homegrown innovation

London Shortwave has done all of the coding to make the FunCube Dongle Pro + work with the PocketChip computer. Even though live spectrum can’t be monitored in the field, the fact that it’s making such a clean spectrum recording is all that really matters.

All London Shortwave has to do is head to a park with his kit, deploy it, sit on a bench, read a good book, eat a sandwich, then pack it all up. Once home, he transfers the recording and enjoys tuning through relatively RFI-free radio.

A very clever way to escape the noise.

The kit is so incredibly portable, it would make DXing from any location a breeze. You could easily pack this in a carry-on item, backpack or briefcase, then take it to a park, a national forest, a lake, a remote beach–anywhere.

What I really love about this? He didn’t wait for something to be designed for him, he simply made it himself.

Thanks again, London Shortwave. We look forward to reading about your radio adventures with this cool field SDR!

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London Shortwave’s portable “spectrum capture lab”

SWLing Post contributor, London Shortwave, just posted a photo of his portable SDR setup on Twitter and noted:

LondonShortwave-Portable-SDR

“Portable spectrum capture lab back in operation. Grabbing the grey line hour on the 49 mb. Listening to Radio Fana!”

Wow!  I love this go kit!

Looks like London Shortwave is running an AirSpy with Spyverter via SDR# on his Windows tablet.

Having played a lot of radio in the field, I think what’s great about this setup is the fact it’s all contained and properly laid-out inside the padded case. Simply open the case, deploy an antenna, and you’re in business! With all components inside the case, there’s much less chance a connector, battery, cable or SDR will be left in the field accidently. Quick deployment and quick pack-up time; that’s what it’s all about!

Great job, London Shortwave! I’m happy to see you’re back in the park capturing spectrum and logging DX!

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Video: SDR Touch demo on Android device using SDRplay RSP

Fullscreen capture 4242016 10946 PM

(Source: SDRplay via YouTube)

Click here to view on YouTube.

This demonstrates turning an Android Tablet (or Android Phone) into a highly portable comms receiver or spectrum analyzer operating from Long Wave to Microwave (10kHz to 2GHz) – using SDR Touch and the SDRplay RSP www.sdrplay.com

To be a beta tester simply go to https://play.google.com/apps/testing/ and follow the instructions – the SDR Touch author welcomes feedback on https://www.facebook.com/SdrTouch/ – your chance to influence the way this amazing software can get better and better.

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The Siru Innovatios SDR20 adds new features

Siru-Innovations-SDR20-1

Many thanks to Jarkko Mäkivaara with Siru Innovations who writes with the following update:

We have added some new features to our SDR20 portable radio!

Please see the video [below] for a demonstration of the following features:
* Smooth zoom in FFT/waterfall view
* Adaptive menu
* Frequency memory with snapshot pictures of signals
* Sliding effect between views
* Keyboard beep
* FM broadcast receiver
* Example of Ham radio transceiver with Narrow-FM mode
You also might got the email sent out Today where this is in HTML format.

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LondonShortwave: “Scanning the skies”

Fullscreen capture 7302015 124403 PMMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, LondonShortwave, who shared (via Twitter) this video with recordings made with his portable SDR in a London park:

Brilliant recordings, LS, and amazingly QRM-free!

You can follow LondonShortwave on his blog and via Twitter.

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The Siru Innovatios SDR20 multi-touch portable SDR

Siru-Innovations-SDR20-4

A few weeks ago, at the Four Days In May conference (held alongside the Dayton Hamvention) I met Jarkko Mäkivaara from the Finnish company Siru.

Jarkko was demonstrating the SDR20: a radio that immediately grabbed my attention from across the room. The SDR20 is a fully portable, robust, multi-touch portable SDR transceiver.

Siru-Innovations-SDR20-5

The screen on the SDR20 is as responsive as an iPad and fully developed around SDR functionality. While Jarkko didn’t have an HF signal of any sort inside the hotel convention room, I was able to play with the interface a bit, which I found rather intuitive.

(Source: Siru)

(Source: Siru)

The SDR20’s product brochure lists some of its features:

  • 2-channel transceiver operation
  • Two methodologies for implementation: IQ Mod / Demod and Direct Down and Direct Up (DDC, DUC) conversion
  • Up to 200MHz bandwidth per channel
  • 100mW transmit power. Higly efficient 1kW exciter available separately.
  • Frequency range covers DC to 2.5 GHz
  • State of the art Altera Cyclone SOC-FPGA (Including dual-ARM9 Cortex)
  • Graphics Prosessor accelerated Multi-Touch screen with a slick user interface
  • GNURadio, C++ API/Python, VHDL/Verilog/High Level Synthesis sandbox
  • High-speed ethernet interface for computer connection
  • Internal clock 20 PPS
  • Coherent operation with external clock source (GPS, Rubidium etc.)
  • Rugged and stylish enclosure / Rack mount

Of course, the SDR20 is truly designed for industrial and government/military applications, thus it carries a price tag reflective of those markets: €3,395.00 (about $3,800 USD).

Siru-Innovations-SDR20-1

Still, seeing the SDR20 gives me hope that multi-touch, portable SDRs will become more commonplace as capacitive screens, processors, DSP chips and solid state storage continue to decline in price.  Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if Siru is able to lower the price on future iterations of their portable SDR line.

If you would like to take a look at some of the SDR20’s specifications, check out this PDF product sheet and the video embedded below.  Of course, you’ll find even more information and updates on Siru’s website. The SDR20 has shipped to Beta testers and should begin full production in the fall.

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