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Old 05-02-2014, 1:21 PM
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Default front end cutting edge: HackRF One Vs Airspy

Hi.

Would you care to compare one to the other?

Is there a third front end?

Thanks
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Old 05-02-2014, 2:42 PM
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I'd love to compare both of them side by side, but as far as I know only early adopters who funded the Kickstarter campaign have a HackRF (when WILL it be released to the masses? I want one!) and the Airspy is also not yet publicly available (unless I missed it's release which is entirely possible).

So right now the only comparison I can give you is that both of them sound cool and I'd love to see each in action.

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Old 05-02-2014, 2:47 PM
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I posted here about the release of HackRF (I ordered one):

HackRF SDR available for pre-order

HackRF SDR available for pre-order

Last I heard, the Airspy was supposed to be available very soon, like within a matter of weeks, unless something has changed.

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Old 05-02-2014, 2:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markb View Post
I posted here about the release of HackRF (I ordered one):

HackRF SDR available for pre-order - The RadioReference.com Forums

HackRF SDR available for pre-order

Last I heard, the Airspy was supposed to be available very soon, like within a matter of weeks, unless something has changed.

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Oh hell yeah... I missed this one, so thanks for letting me know!

Now to scrape together the $$$... might take me a while. It still hasn't been enough cooling off time from my last radio purchase to float another one past my better half who is also our financial manager. But the upcoming June release is great news! I'll probably get mine around October, that's when I usually am allowed to get myself a pricey new gadget to celebrate getting another year older....

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Old 05-02-2014, 3:27 PM
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Thanks.

These are the basic features for a prospective buyer (like myself):

HackRF price: ~ $300

source: https://github.com/mossmann/hackrf/wiki/HackRF-One

HackRF One is an open source hardware platform that can be used as a USB peripheral or programmed for stand-alone operation.

half-duplex transceiver
operating freq: 10 MHz to 6 GHz
supported sample rates: 8 Msps to 20 Msps (quadrature)
resolution: 8 bits
interface: High Speed USB (with USB Micro-B connector)
power supply: USB bus power
software-controlled antenna port power (max 50 mA at 3.3 V)
SMA female antenna connector
SMA female clock input and output for synchronization
convenient buttons for programming
pin headers for expansion
portable
open source
supposedly ~50mW TX output

AirSpy price: ~$100

source: airspy.com | A tiny and efficient software defined radio

Airspy is a very tiny (53 cm) software defined radio receiver capable of sampling 10MHz of spectrum anywhere between 24MHz and 1.7GHz.

24 – 1750 MHz RX range
3.5 dB NF between 42 and 1002 MHz
12bit ADC @ 20 MSPS (80dB SFDR, 64dB SNR, 10.4 ENOB)
Cortex M4F @ 200 MHz and up to 204MHz with Multi Core MCU (dual M0)
1.5 ppm clock
1 RTC clock
External clock input (10 MHz to 100 MHz)
10 MHz panoramic spectrum view with 8MHz alias/image free
IQ or Real, 16bit fixed or 32bit float output streams
No IQ imbalance, DC offset or 1/F noise at the center of the spectrum
Extension ports: SGPIO, 2 x ADC channels, 2 x programmable clocks
supposedly temperature-frequency stable


Wouldn't the HackRF benefit from a metal enclosure (instead of plastic)?
What are the practical uses of the extension ports (both units)?
What uses are in the GHz frequencies?

Last edited by orte; 05-02-2014 at 3:33 PM..
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Old 05-02-2014, 3:37 PM
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I wonder what difference 8/12 bits makes

I think i'm getting the HackRF because of the ability to transmit. I'd love that feature. Hopefully someone can come out with Windows software that can do TX
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Last edited by tylerwatt12; 05-02-2014 at 3:38 PM.. Reason: forgot a word
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Old 05-02-2014, 3:41 PM
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I would think the difference of the bits is in the quality (resolution). 12 bits would have more definition.

HDSDR (Windows) can do TX (but you have to enable the button). I tried with the RTL2832 dongle but I got a DLL error.
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Old 05-02-2014, 5:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerwatt12 View Post
I wonder what difference 8/12 bits makes

I think i'm getting the HackRF because of the ability to transmit. I'd love that feature. Hopefully someone can come out with Windows software that can do TX
dynamic range.

12db is the minimum if you want decent receive.

The Airspy definitely sounds like it will be a better receiver.
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Old 05-04-2014, 9:11 AM
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for those with some time to spare, here is a youtube presentation of the HachRF (57:27):

Episode 124 from the DCC: HackRF - A Low Cost SDR Platform - YouTube
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:49 AM
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The problem with the hack rf is it is an 8 bit sdr like the 20 dollar dongles. The vaporware airspy is 12 bits which puts it on par with the ettus b200 sdr.
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Old 05-05-2014, 4:13 PM
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From what I gather, the difference between the 8 bits and the 12 bits on the devices is just in the dynamic range/potential noise floor. I would look at both devices and figure they're designed for completely different purposes in the long run even in spite of sharing a lot of similarities: they're both SDR hardware, obviously, but the HackRF is far more capable across the board and it can transmit as well so for radio enthusiasts and testers, that'll be the device to get.

I certainly would get one if I could afford it, in a second flat, because there's a lot of "stuff" out there I'm interested in exploring and the increased potential of the HackRF - especially that incredible wideband reception/transmission capability (I think the specs call for the TX to be about 50mW so it's not like you can really blast it out or anything) - would make it a must-buy for many people (and I can imagine the pre-order amounts are way up there).

If the Airspy comes in at a (reasonable for me) price then yep, I'll get it, certainly. 10 MHz bandwidth is still fantastic compared to what I/we have with the traditional "cheap USB TV tuners" using the Rafael Micro tuner R820T - that's what powers the Airspy as well - but the controller chip is a newer model that allows for the wider bandwidth over the ~2.5 MHz window we're used to with the other devices.

But I'll still keep tabs on both devices to see how things progress. The HackRF and its 20 MHz bandwidth would be awesome, obviously, and $300 really isn't that much considering what's possible with it, I suppose.
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Last edited by br0adband; 05-05-2014 at 4:18 PM..
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Old 05-18-2014, 7:04 PM
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Default Re: front end cutting edge: HackRF One Vs Airspy

I'm going to pull the trigger on Hack RF - will use it primarily for SW/UTE listening.

Q: in order to receive the full HF spectrum, I understand I'll need the ham it up converter? With the converter running will I still be able to access the full 20mhz that the hack includes?

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Old 05-18-2014, 7:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airforceflyr View Post
I'm going to pull the trigger on Hack RF - will use it primarily for SW/UTE listening.

Q: in order to receive the full HF spectrum, I understand I'll need the ham it up converter? With the converter running will I still be able to access the full 20mhz that the hack includes?

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk 2
The hamitup upconverter converts the entire HF spectrum at once. It doesn't know what freq the tuner is listening on, so the answer is yes.
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Old 05-19-2014, 5:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airforceflyr View Post
I'm going to pull the trigger on Hack RF - will use it primarily for SW/UTE listening.

Q: in order to receive the full HF spectrum, I understand I'll need the ham it up converter? With the converter running will I still be able to access the full 20mhz that the hack includes?

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk 2
The problem with 8bit is like using a tabletop receiver for listening in on shortwave. You really want a minimum of 12-14bits for HF listening.

8bit is good enough to start but you wont be happy with the performance on HF. The moment you stick a decent antenna on anything that only has an 8bit ADC your gonna get issues.

The other problem I see with Hack RF for HF is since its a 10Mhz - UHF is there a bandstop filter for 30mhz and below? Not having one and 8bit ADC = issues.


14bit is the standard for most HF SDRs like the Perseus etc.. (999 USD)

16bit is on the more advanced SDRs for HF use. ie Q1SR (899 USD) and FDM-S2 (525 USD)


You are better off just getting the Hamitup converter and a 20 dollar SDR dongle and stay under 70 bucks, than paying 300 dollars for an 8bit SDR if your gonna use it primarily for HF listening.

Because the performance between 300 bucks and 70 bucks wont be much different.
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Old 05-19-2014, 5:40 PM
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How about 8bit for VHF, UHF, etc?
I'm more interested one of these for VHF+. That the HackRF goes to 6 GHz interests me.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderknight View Post
How about 8bit for VHF, UHF, etc?
I'm more interested one of these for VHF+. That the HackRF goes to 6 GHz interests me.
There is nothing interesting going up there. Most of the action is in the 800-900Mhz band for commercial/public service

and the 108-172Mhz range
and the 200-500Mhz range.

The Airspy is the best deal. 12bit SDR and better receive specs than the 300 dollar hackrf at 1/3rd the price.

OR just get the 20 dollar 8bit dongles which is a good starting point to learn about SDR.
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Old 05-22-2014, 7:00 AM
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Default Re: front end cutting edge: HackRF One Vs Airspy

I saw you're YouTube vids of the Elad and really like what I see. I may reconsider and go that route! Look forward you're full review and others.


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Old 05-22-2014, 8:09 AM
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FYI, this came across my desk...

Invalid Request
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Old 05-22-2014, 9:08 AM
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thanks! that chip has a tag of $174 without the board. Maybe that's similar to what the ELAD DUO uses. The prototyping board looks very interesting (but $433)



RF 1 1 transceiver with integrated 12-bit DACs and ADCs
Band: 70 MHz to 6.0 GHz

If there is demand for stuff like this, maybe the big manufacturers will jump on it like with arduino. From the manufacturer website:

http://www.analog.com/en/evaluation/...s4-ebz/eb.html

"The AD-FMCOMMS4-EBZ provides software developers and system architect with a single 1 x 1 transceiver platform that can be software-configured for wideband tuning as well as narrowband RF performance.

In the wideband configuration, the AD-FMCOMMS4-EBZ will operate over the full 70 MHz to 6 GHz tuning range of the AD9364, however, the RF performance expectations of this configuration must be tempered with the very wide band front end. It will meet the AD9364 datasheet specifications at 2.4 GHz, but does not over the entire RF tuning range that the board can support. Typical performance data for the platform’s entire tuning range is published within the board documentation. This configuration is primarily intended for system investigation and bringing up various waveforms from a software team before custom hardware is complete. The objective being for designers to see waveforms, but not being concerned about the last 1dB or 1% EVM of performance.

The AD-FMCOMMS4-EBZ can also be user-configured for optimum performance in the 2400 – 2500 MHz band. In this configuration it may exhibit diminished RF performance on tuned frequencies or programmed configurations, outside of this band. This configuration is primarily intended to provide RF engineers with the ability to connect the AD9364 to an RF test bench (Vector Signal Analyzer, Signal generator, etc.) and achieve its optimum performance. The AD-FMCOMMS4-EBZ is a high-speed 1 x 1 agile RF transceiver analog FMC module software-tunable over the 56 MHz to 6 GHz band. "

Manual with Linux software, schematics, and gerbers files:

http://wiki.analog.com/resources/eva...d-fmcomms4-ebz

Last edited by orte; 05-22-2014 at 9:28 AM..
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Old 05-22-2014, 2:48 PM
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The AD9364 (1x1) looks to be the little brother of the AD9361 (2x2) that's on the Ettus Research B200 and B210 USRP boards.

Last edited by NYG; 05-22-2014 at 3:52 PM..
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