Software-defined radio (SDR) is a radio communication system where components that have been traditionally implemented in hardware (e.g. mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators/demodulators, detectors, etc.) are instead implemented by means of software on a personal computer or embedded system.
A basic SDR system may consist of a personal computer running SDR software that interfaces with analog-to-digital converter over USB or ethernet, preceded by some form of RF front end with RF amplifiers, filters and attenuators.
What are the benefits of SDR?
How can you build your own SDR transceiver?
If you want to build your own SDR transceiver, you can do that easily with Red Pitaya's STEMlab. With its 62,5 MHz of frequency range and 14 bits of resolution it represents a powerful&affordable core of your SDR transceiver. The on board ADC 125 MS/s sampling frequency, 14-bit resolution) digitizes the RF signal from the antenna. The data coming from the ADC is processed by a in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) digital down-converter (DDC) running on the Red Pitaya’s FPGA.The I/Q data is transmitted via TCP to the SDR programs such as SDR# and HDSDR. Add an all bands filter and amplifier module, connect an antenna and you are ready to start your SDR adventure!
If you'd like an even more advanced tool to build your own SDR transceiver, then Red Pitaya's SDRlab is the perfect choice for you! SDRlab is tailored for HF+50MHz SDR and RF applications that require DAQ systems with higher precision.
SDRlab 122.88-16 comes with two 16 bit ADCs, 50 ohm inputs and 14 bit DACs, 50 ohm outputs. It uses the dual core ARM Cortex A9 offering massively better performance, the Xilinx Zynq 7020 FPGA for more real-time processing capabilities plus an ultra-low phase noise 122.88MHz clock which makes new the latest-generation STEMlab more hardware-compatible with HPSDR. 1Gbit Ethernet connectivity has been retained, and RF inputs have been improved in terms of distortion, noise and crosstalk which significantly improves reception and broadens the choice of antenna. SDRlab 122.88-16 retains the original STEMlab form factor so it directly replaces the current platform.
For more information on tools for radio amateurs, click here.