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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Re: Low cost hardware option

From: Marcus D. Leech
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Re: Low cost hardware option
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 08:49:40 -0500
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On 01/15/2011 07:45 AM, Patrick Strasser wrote:
>  o direct (embedded)
> Any chance to transfer via eSATA? Quite common nowadays.
Maybe.  Don't know much about eSATA.
> First, price is one constraint, or one of the features, that would make
> such a device attractive to a wide audience. Others would be
> flexibility, simpleness, that is fitness for home building,
> capabilities: lowest/highest frequency, dynamic range, simultaneous
> bandwidth, DDC, filtering, FPGA; RX only vs.s RX and TX; interface and
> others.
> For price: I'd say 200$-300$ for a tunable frontend, 16bit resolution,
I think $200.00 is a reasonable target for a RF front-end with
  a digitized interface.  Not sure about 16-bits, but certainly

> I see the target for such at above all the soundcard solutions and below
> the USRP1. USRP1 can do 8MHz Bandwidth complex at 14bit/sample RX, which
> is more than enough for hobbyists. What would be interesting for
> university teaching and research? What would be interesting for other
> potential users, like hams? Did I miss some?
Small-scale radio astronomy (and other scientific radio applications)
  bandwidth--lots of bandwidth, since radiometric sensitivity scales with
  sqrt(bandwidth).  The large institutions have "in house" engineering
  who build all their own FPGA/ASIC "stuff" at staggeringly high bandwidths.
  (The Casper group is working on 3Gsps samplers).  But smaller endeavours,
  down to the amateur level, don't have the luxury or budget for that. 
  radio astronomy is conducted all over the spectrum, having as wide a
  range, to accommodate different bits of "science" is a benefit.
> USB3.0 is common at new high end PCs and Laptops, ExressCard at Laptops.
> Of course every PC with PCIe is ubgradable to both of them, but it's
> extra money to spend and extra hassle to get it started. I do not see
> urgent need for such extreme data rates. This could be a second step.
20Msps can be done over USB-2.0, with suitable choice of data formats
  "on the wire", and you could probably do 40Msps over GiGe with
  suitable choice of data formats.

Principal Investigator
Shirleys Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium

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