Back in March of this year we posted about Nexmon SDR which is code that you can use to turn a Broadcom BCM4339 802.11ac WiFi chip into a TX capable SDR that is capable of transmitting any arbitrary signal from IQ data within the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi bands. In commercial devices the BCM4339 was most commonly found in the Nexus 5 smartphone.
Recently Nexmon have tweeted that their code now supports the BCM43455c0 which is the WiFi chip used in the recently released Raspberry Pi 3B+. They write that the previous Raspberry Pi 3B (non-plus) cannot be used with Nexmon as it only has 802.11n, but since the 3B+ has 802.11ac Nexmon is compatible.
Combined with RPiTX which is a Raspberry Pi tool for transmitting arbitrary RF signals using a GPIO pin between 5 kHz to 1500 MHz, the Raspberry Pi 3B+ may end up becoming a versatile low cost TX SDR just on it’s own.[…]
I immediately navigated to my favorite Raspberry Pi source–AdaFruit–and requested a notification when the new units were available to purchase. A few weeks later, I got the notification and placed an order within minutes (you see, when the Pi 3 B was first released, I hesitated a day and had to wait a few weeks for the second shipment!).
I received my RPi 3 B+ a few days ago:
I immediately attempted to put this unit into service but learned that it requires the latest firmware which was only released a week or so ago. If you have have an RPi 3 B+, here’s where to fetch the latest firmware:
After receiving this latest Pi, I quickly realized I’ve bought a number of Raspberry Pi models over the years and currently have them in service for a variety ofc projects. Here’s a list of all of my current Pi-powered applications:
Two RACHEL-PI systems (English and French) I’m evaluating for use with ETOW (Thanks for the tip, Mark Phillips!)
And, inspired by Tudor, I plan to build a portable SDR station around my AirSpy HF+ and SDRplay RSP1A
That’s a total of seven RPi projects that are in service at time of posting!
As I mentioned earlier, I try to buy most of my Pi equipment from the amazing AdaFruit retailer–I like supporting what they do even if I pay a small premium.
But AdaFruit seems to rarely have stock in some of my favorite Pi bundle packages. If I’m buying a Raspberry Pi for a new application, I look for a package with at least a case, a 2.5 amp power supply, a 32 or 64GB MicroSD card, and two heat sinks (though I’m not certain the B+ needs a heatsink). I tend to grab this one or this one from Amazon (affiliate links).
Post readers: Have you ever used a Raspberry Pi? If so, in what sort of applications? How many do you own? Please comment!
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