Ettus B200

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kmoneil

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I'm looking to buy the Ettus USRP B200 to use a spectrum analyzer. Just wanted some input from others if they've used this board for this.

I need to do a 500 mhz span scan to draw out the spectrum. How long do you think this will take to scan?

I asked Ettus and they said it would be possible, but didn't give any information on how long it would take.
 

jdobbs2001

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I am using a B200 right now with SDRsharp on windows 8.1 the noise floor is significantly lower than the sdr dongles and it is good for weak signals. Does nicely for airband also.

It definitely belongs in the radio room, I use it along side my 996xt trunktracker and two sdr dongles as well.
B200 is a very powerful platform, it has two rf inputs so I can switch between antennas.

Now the real power is unlocked if you run Linux and mess with gnuradio.
 

kmoneil

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Have you've done a spectrum scan?

How long does it take to do a 250mhz or 500mhz scan?
 

jdobbs2001

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No I am monitoring a specific segment and grabbing signals using frequency scanner plug in. What software do you plan on using to run it as a spectrum scanner? Is it for TSCM purposes?
 

kmoneil

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Probably have to write software to do the scanning in Linux, if there isn't anything available.

I actually want to take the signal coming off my Satellite Dish and us it as my spectrum analyzer. I've used some really expensive hardware in the past, but looking to find something that is more cost effective.

So I want to take 950mhz to 1450mhz and plot that, really simple. The USB dongles work but it take 40seconds to scan which is way to long.

I need something that close to real time, my satellite analyzer will do 500 MHz span, 1 MHz RBW 200 ms.

Any suggestions?
 

kmoneil

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Anyone? Nothing at all?

I've been search around for information on these boards and can't find really anything useful. I downloaded all the software Ettus had installed GnuRadio. I would have to say that I got more use out of my $15 SDR usb dongle..

Anyone done a command line radio scan?
 

NYG

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Jun 9, 2006
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I am using a B200 right now with SDRsharp on windows 8.1 the noise floor is significantly lower than the sdr dongles and it is good for weak signals. Does nicely for airband also.

It definitely belongs in the radio room, I use it along side my 996xt trunktracker and two sdr dongles as well.
B200 is a very powerful platform, it has two rf inputs so I can switch between antennas.

Now the real power is unlocked if you run Linux and mess with gnuradio.
I've had a B200 for about a week now. I've been happy in the past with the hardware from Ettus and the B200 continues that trend. Add a small up-converter and you've got an impressive performing DC-6Ghz system.

It was a bit of a pain to hand machine the enclosure for the B200 but its worth the time when done.

So far I'm loving it.
 

Merovingian

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I've had a B200 for about a week now. I've been happy in the past with the hardware from Ettus and the B200 continues that trend. Add a small up-converter and you've got an impressive performing DC-6Ghz system.

It was a bit of a pain to hand machine the enclosure for the B200 but its worth the time when done.

So far I'm loving it.
I was thinking of trying out SDR for the first time and was looking at the B200. I would like to have a DC to 6GHz system as well with no frequency gaps. I see the B200 has a range of 70MHz-6GHz. Are you using a Ham It Up converter board to get the XkHz-6GHz? I was looking for an enclosure for the B200, do you have any photos of your enclosure? I was also curious if you put the B200 and the converter in the same box? I am interested in learning about people's real world opinions of this board.

Thanks for your time.
 

NYG

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I was thinking of trying out SDR for the first time and was looking at the B200. I would like to have a DC to 6GHz system as well with no frequency gaps. I see the B200 has a range of 70MHz-6GHz. Are you using a Ham It Up converter board to get the XkHz-6GHz? I was looking for an enclosure for the B200, do you have any photos of your enclosure? I was also curious if you put the B200 and the converter in the same box? I am interested in learning about people's real world opinions of this board.

Thanks for your time.
I'll take a few photos tomorrow and post them here for you. I used a Hammond enclosure that is the correct width, but I needed to trim down the length a number of mm for proper fit. I also bought the light pipes that snap onto the B200 for the LEDs and drilled those out into the face plates of the enclosure. I'll post the part numbers of the enclosure and light pipes for reference just in case there is interest from you or anyone else that wants to duplicate it.

The enclosure that I used only houses the B200. The hamitup converter is in it's own enclosure.
 
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Merovingian

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I'll take a few photos tomorrow and post them here for you. I used a Hammond enclosure that is the correct width, but I needed to trim down the length a number of mm for proper fit. I also bought the light pipes that snap onto the B200 and drilled those out into the face plates of the enclosure. I'll post the part numbers of the enclosure and light pipes for reference just in case there is interest from you or anyone else that wants to duplicate it.

The enclosure that I used only houses the B200. The hamitup converter is in it's own enclosure.
Great, thanks. That sounds interesting, I look forward to it.

What frequency range can you receive using the Ham It Up and the B200? I've read others using those USB tuner SDRs talk about receiving 1MHz-30MHz. Are you able to receive anything below 1MHz and up through 70MHz? Or is the Ham It Up only capable of 1-30MHz?

Thanks again
 

NYG

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If I set this link up correctly it should lead to a few pictures of the B200:
https://www.dropbox.com/sc/e3k31cze4rxcdxw/AACu7ASg_Lg8dVB1DFLFBA97a

I haven't tested the range of the converter, but I also believe the B200 is useable below 70Mhz. In one of the photos I did a quick test to show that it all works well below 1Mhz. I had a 710Khz AM broadcast station tuned in. I noticed afterwards that I had the gain of the B200 set to "0", but the AM broadcast band booms in quite easily, especially with an active outdoor antenna.

The Parts (from Digikey):
DigiKey Part number: 67-1847-ND Manufacturer Part Number: LPF-C011304S (Light Pipes)
DigiKey Part Number: HM896-ND Manufacturer Part Number: 1455L1601 (Hammond Case)
 
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Merovingian

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Thanks for the photos, that is a very nice box you made, it looks like the light pipes are working well. It must have been a pain to get the holes drilled in exactly the right locations. Thank you also for the part numbers.

I've never used an SDR radio before but your user interface looks awesome, all radios should be like that. I really like the spectrum display.

I'm glad to hear frequencies in the kHz can be tuned, if I do get one I'm going to see if it is capable of tuning below 1kHz, just because. It would be nice if Ettus would sell a case for these boards like their N200.

Do you have any problems with noise from your computer or the B200's power supply? I saw a post on another site comparing a few methods of powering a SDR radio, obviously battery power gave the most noise free reception and using a wall wart type supply was the most noisy.
 

NYG

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Jun 9, 2006
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Thanks for the photos, that is a very nice box you made, it looks like the light pipes are working well. It must have been a pain to get the holes drilled in exactly the right locations. Thank you also for the part numbers.

I've never used an SDR radio before but your user interface looks awesome, all radios should be like that. I really like the spectrum display.

I'm glad to hear frequencies in the kHz can be tuned, if I do get one I'm going to see if it is capable of tuning below 1kHz, just because. It would be nice if Ettus would sell a case for these boards like their N200.

Do you have any problems with noise from your computer or the B200's power supply? I saw a post on another site comparing a few methods of powering a SDR radio, obviously battery power gave the most noise free reception and using a wall wart type supply was the most noisy.
I have no problem at all with noise. As far as power the B200 is powered directly from the USB port. As long as your computer supplies enough juice additional power is needed. None of my computers have had a problem powering the B200.
 

Merovingian

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Okay, that's good to hear. I saw what looked like a port for an AC adapter on your box, I thought maybe you were powering it via an AC adapter.
 

OldDrunk

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Aug 28, 2008
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Driver for Ettus B200

I am using a B200 right now with SDRsharp on windows 8.1 the noise floor is significantly lower than the sdr dongles and it is good for weak signals. Does nicely for airband also.

It definitely belongs in the radio room, I use it along side my 996xt trunktracker and two sdr dongles as well.
B200 is a very powerful platform, it has two rf inputs so I can switch between antennas.

Now the real power is unlocked if you run Linux and mess with gnuradio.
I am interested in purchasing the Ettus B200, but I am not sure if it will be easy to set up for use with SDRsharp. Can you please point me to where I can download the necessary drivers? I checked the Ettus website but can't seem to find a clear answer.
 

vince48

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I'll take a few photos tomorrow and post them here for you. I used a Hammond enclosure that is the correct width, but I needed to trim down the length a number of mm for proper fit. I also bought the light pipes that snap onto the B200 for the LEDs and drilled those out into the face plates of the enclosure. I'll post the part numbers of the enclosure and light pipes for reference just in case there is interest from you or anyone else that wants to duplicate it.

The enclosure that I used only houses the B200. The hamitup converter is in it's own enclosure.
NYG,
I too have the B200 and the Digi-Key enclosure. Do you have the template for the panels? The Ettus is a great board. I use all 6 VFO's in Simon's SDR Console when monitoring DMR and NXDN.

vince48
 
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