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Re: FW: [Discuss-gnuradio] MicroTune Tuners

From: H. R. Myler (@ MacLULU)
Subject: Re: FW: [Discuss-gnuradio] MicroTune Tuners
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 16:07:56 -0500

At 1:49 PM -0700 4/17/03, address@hidden wrote:
 > Patent-schmatent -- there are a LOT of high-powered IC manufacturers who
 are hitting this silicon-tuner market very quickly, and whatever patents
 > Microtune owns won't keep them from being the only player.

Well...I did preface the patent tidbit with FWIW, evidently not much to you. I just thought it was neat to read the patent # off the module and then pull it up online.

 > What did you get for $55?

Two of the modules, and yes, I really don't expect any support at all. We plan to just use the posted interface for it.

 > I wouldn't expect to get much, if any, apps support from these guys -- an
 apps engineer will have us pegged as a hobbyist (ie, no volume) in about
 30 seconds flat if they're asking the right questions.  Unless there's
 someone there who's personally interested in this GNU SDR, you won't get
 very far.

 On another note, but also hardware-related, I've been trying to put some
 thought into a good general purpose TX for this, and in a recent internal
 presentation the following Maxim modulator was discussed:


 In an nut-shell:
 I/Q modulator, 35MHz BW per channel, RF out from 700MHz to 2300MHz (yes,
 just out of reach of 2.4GHz ISM)...

 and ...(drumroll...)

 a 28-bit frac-N synthesizer for the internal VCO -- complete PLL, just add
 loop filter.  this is sub-1Hz tuning resolution for just about any
 reasonable reference... this is key, folks, because the synth is always
 built around the frequency plan of the radio -- in SDR, we don't know what
 the channel raster, tuning range, settling requirements will be -- a
 high-res frac-N is the only way to accomplish this.

 > Brian

We (gnuradio, SDR, etc.) definitely need more varied HW options. As to hobbyists, I have to confess that my tech got the tuners out of MicroTune as samples. I am guessing that the fifty-five bucks was for FedEx from Singapore. Hobbyists ought to look to old cable tuners and scavenge if they can't convince MicroTune to cough up a module or two.


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