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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] USRP vs alternatives

From: Frank Brickle
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] USRP vs alternatives
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 13:42:42 -0400

On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 12:57 PM, Chris Albertson <address@hidden> wrote:
Many people are using other software with softrock hardware.  However
I think most of that "other" software is Dttsp based rather then
gnuradio based. The
hardware is designed to be connected to a sound card and outputs
I and Q over a pair of analog outputs.  So what ever software you use
it would not have to "talk" to the softrock, it would talk to your
computer's audio subsystem.  Connections to the SR are all

Most of the "other" software definitely uses DttSP, either bare (on Linux or OS X) or inside PowerSDR (Windows). It does the job pretty well, if I say so myself, speaking as one of the authors, along with Bob McGwier, N4HY. But messing around on the inside is not for the faint-hearted and the learning curve is steep. The design is determined overwhelmingly by the need for minimal latency in full-duplex, together with tight asynchronous control of the lowest-level parameters. It isn't and wasn't ever meant for experimentation. You need to have a pretty clear idea of where you're going before you ever lift the hood to change something.

If what you want is to get your fingers into the software, assemble your own soft radios, you definitely, positively, absolutely want to use GNU Radio as the software backend. That's one of the things it's for and it does the job wonderfully. Once you get the hang you can put together a new application in minutes. I myself am right now in the process of developing some new features for DttSP and am prototyping them all in GNU Radio first.

A decent soundcard is a must, though.


The kit costs only $8 for the
receiver and even with it's use of SMD is not hard to build.

On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 6:55 AM, Paul Miller <address@hidden> wrote:
> Because of the very high cost of the USRP, I'm looking for
> alternatives.  I found this gadget and I wondered if GNUradio is setup
> to use devices like this:
> http://www.amqrp.org/kits/softrock40/
> It appears to have its own software, but I'd rather get it to work
> with gnuradio if it's possible to do so.  Am I better of adapting the
> software they provide?  Am I better of trying to find the money for a
> USRP?  I don't know enough to even know how to approach these
> questions.  It seems like everything I read in SDR turns into a very
> deep rabbit hole.
> --
> If riding in an airplane is flying, then riding in a boat is swimming.
> 107 jumps, 43.5 minutes of freefall, 83.4 freefall miles.
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-gnuradio mailing list
> address@hidden
> http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss-gnuradio

Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

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