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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Re: A Humble Request.... - "Open-Hardware"

From: Marcus D. Leech
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Re: A Humble Request.... - "Open-Hardware"
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2011 19:35:05 -0500
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On 01/09/2011 06:44 PM, J.D. Bakker wrote:

The SSRP doesn't look too bad. Another option is the OpenHPSDR (http://openhpsdr.org/); I believe people are working on GNUradio drivers.
Actually, I'd forgotten about OpenHPSDR. Would make a passable option indeed.

When I designed the LART (a decade-old software radio experimentation platform), it took me two revisions of the six-layer PCB prototype (at >$500 per revision) to get the board working. A few months later it turned out that the voltage regulator chips I'd used were suddenly impossible to get, so I had to do two more board re-spins. The proto boards were assembled at a professional facility for >$1000, until I got a reasonable yield soldering 0.5mm pitch LQFP packages myself (destroying several PCBs and $150 processor chips in the process). To test the boards I needed access to several tens of thousands of $ worth in logic analyzers, signal generators and spectrum analyzers. And then there was the global tantalum capacitor shortage...
This sounds incredibly familiar. Trying to bring a *simple* low-noise amplifier to market specifically for 21cm observations in small-scale radio astronomy. Most expensive part is $14.00. But at the scale that I'm selling them, I can't justify the cost of an in-house 2-port vector network analyser and noise figure meter, so I have to rely on willing friends in the industry to get 'em tested. If I were to do this in the conventional way, with all my own capital outlay, those $150.00 LNA boards would have to sell for about 5 times that in order for me to defray the costs of suitable lab equipment, rented, or owned!

I'm looking forward to reviewing your schematics and/or layout. If you want to do the work, I'll gladly assist. If you're trying to get other people to do the heavy lifting, I would respectfully ask you to grow up.

Hey, I look forward to it, as well!

Marcus Leech
Principal Investigator
Shirleys Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium

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