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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] re: Low cost hardware option, the "total GNUsolut


From: Patrik Tast
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] re: Low cost hardware option, the "total GNUsolution"
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 16:19:39 +0200

Hi All,

I've been following the (lowcost) GNU SDR HW development in progress since it started. I sure do not oppose to what you are doing and hope you succeed, but is it practical today?

Some questions about the product that you are developing:
1: Will a prebuilt and tuned GNU SDR board (+ daughters) be available?
2: If the board is avaiable on a web-page as kit (components listed), what instruments are required to make it work and the cost of these instruments?
3: How many "starving" user do you think will dare to build that board?

We use USRP commersially, we help in anyway we can GNU Radio to go forward using it as a lowcost Remote Imaging Receiver. We publish GR code (for our purpose + other SW) to http://noaaport.poes-weather.com:8081/viewvc
for ground station use (all is GPL v3).

In most cases, it will take months (perhaps years) and $10k spent on instruments for verification to get the unit to work.

A comment from Jerry Martes,
"HAM amateurs spend lots more $$ than the cost of a USRP just to get things a
monkey could build.   From what I have observed, there are thousands more
amateurs who buy components that those who are willing to build them.
Money seems to be unimportant in the equation amateurs use to finance their
hobbies."

We can get an USRPx < $1.5k with daugther boards that works as is

Please do not stop your development, these are only my thoughts,
Patrik

----- Original Message ----- From: "Moeller" <address@hidden>
Cc: <address@hidden>
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 13:16
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] re: Low cost hardware option, the "total GNUsolution"


On 15.01.2011 15:46, Marcus D. Leech wrote:
It would be really cool to create a "total GNU" solution for the GNURADIO.
GNU EDA tools, GNU-like Hardware (open-source community license),
GNU FPGA-code, GNU ┬ÁC-Code, GNU signal processing (the existing Gnuradio),
GNU operating system, GNU postprocessing (GNU Octave), GNU visualization
(gnuplot) ...

My most recent paid-work project was both a hardware and software
project, and
  the RF front-end was done entirely in Kicad, which is an open-source
environment.
  It produces professional-quality schematics, BOMs, PCB layouts, gerber
and drill
  files, etc, etc.

It's not called "GNU", but at least Kicad has a GPL license, so it will
not break the "GNU toolchain".

I downloaded and played around with KiCad a bit.
From the first impression, it's more intuitive than gEDA.
It has an autorouter, but also external routing programs can do the job.
There are lots of component libraries, all Eagle libs converted and much more in
http://kicadlib.org/

Does anybody have experiences with both tools, gEDA and KiCad?
Which one is more comfortable, which one more powerful, better
suited for a Gnuradio?

The advantage of KiCad is that it runs on Windows and Unix.
I'm using Linux only for server- and number crunching jobs,
but not as a desktop. gEDA on Windows is really a pain.

With gEDA I like that spice and verilog simulations can be integrated,
signal visualization with wave and wcalc EM analysis. KiCad has no
simulation capabilities. It might be a critical aspect for RF circuits.


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