HackRF Sensitivity

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rdoetjes

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Well same here!

I actually got mine in yesterday and I already had a ported Dump1090 with HackRF support in it.
And when I run this I got only half of the planes than my el-cheepo RTL dongle.

I did some measurements with qgrx and I noticed that the signal to noise ratio is appalling.
So I tried playing with vga and lna gain levels but you can't do that on gqrx (or I have not yet found out) but the signal is weaker and the noise levels far higher.

Not happy about that to be honest especially since you confirm it too ;)
Well maybe I will send it back and dish out an extra 300 euros of a URSP B200.


Hi All,

Could someone please if you have a HackRF and RTL Dongle please do a test for me, i have linked in a screenshot comparison of what i am getting, and my results are showing an average of 10db worse on the HackRF compared to a RTL Dongle.

Thanks

https://mega.co.nz/#!MwUxVIZS!JWhfoou7LcwI6HeHVU5jxsfsamFpADulwez6Wz6oNEk
 

vince48

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I too am very dissatisfied with my HackRf. it is one of the worst purchases I made. I have had mine close to a year now and most likely cannot send back for a refund. The HackRf is just nota a good receiver. Unless you are a Linux user forget about trying anything to get them most out of your HackRF.
I have the ETTUS B200. It is night and day compared to the HackRf.
 

rdoetjes

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I was just sending an email to the vendor on how to return it. It's utterly useless in the reception department, transmitting is very decent I have to say.
So I will invest the other 395 dollars to get a B200. I should have done that from the get go, but hey I am a cheap Dutch man ;)
 

mancow

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Interesting, I was one of the kickstarter purchasers so I've had one for quite a while. It works well for me. I pick up plenty of things with it connected to external antennas.
 

vince48

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Mancow
I to have had the HackRf connected a Diamond dipole. I too pickup plenty, but a lot is noise with the signal. The HackRf might have a chance to survive if there was more Windows support.
The purchase funds use could have gone to a better cause..at least in my case. If it works well for you, great.
 

rdoetjes

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That is the same issue as I have and since I mainly focus on digital communication (especially reverse engineering protocols for security checks) therefore I need a very nice signal to noise ratio.

And I was rather sad to see that a 300+ euro Hack RF is outdone by a realtek dongle and my spectrum analyzer; which is not even officially designed for demondulation and hence the drift is horrible but despite the drift I am able to decode more and get far better signals out of it.

And here I thought HACK RF is exactly designed for that purpose, so it should be superior but I am not impressed with it.
The oscillator though is rock solid but the lna okay but vga is a white noise generator :D and the pre-amp is like standing under a waterfall.

And I already miss the B200 that I rented for a job.

Mancow
I to have had the HackRf connected a Diamond dipole. I too pickup plenty, but a lot is noise with the signal. The HackRf might have a chance to survive if there was more Windows support.
The purchase funds use could have gone to a better cause..at least in my case. If it works well for you, great.
 

vsboost

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Jul 14, 2015
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I actually got mine in yesterday and I already had a ported Dump1090 with HackRF support in it.
And when I run this I got only half of the planes than my el-cheepo RTL dongle.

I did some measurements with qgrx and I noticed that the signal to noise ratio is appalling.
So I tried playing with vga and lna gain levels but you can't do that on gqrx (or I have not yet found out) but the signal is weaker and the noise levels far higher.

Not happy about that to be honest especially since you confirm it too ;)
Well maybe I will send it back and dish out an extra 300 euros of a URSP B200.
You should see some gain controls similar to these in gqrx.

https://camo.githubusercontent.com/a4ff3bbf4da314a18c3e0c17b19ebe861c664de3/68747470733a2f2f662e636c6f75642e6769746875622e636f6d2f6173736574732f3533333139322f313832303731332f38313631396331302d373130312d313165332d396566632d3366653961636538613730622e706e67

the first one "RF Gain" when that hits 14 it switches the LNA on
 

hoof

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Jan 26, 2015
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+1 for me, I purchased the Hack RF about four months ago. I like the videos Mike did for promoting SDR in general. I tarted out the the twenty dollar dongle and was quite impressed. I "Upgraded" to the HackRF and thoght it was something that I was doing wrong. Well this thread confirms its not me. Thank you all

Hoof (Ray)
 

prc117f

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Jul 22, 2009
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People who bought the HackRF and are dissapointed, bought the wrong product. The HackRF is more for people who want to experiment with transmitters etc.. ie building custom RF emitters/prototyping them.

HackRF sucks as a receiver, its not meant to be one.

Airspy is a better product if you just want a receiver since it was designed as one from the beginning.


I would not recommend the B200, it is not officially supported under windows and it uses a hack to operate under windows but it has suboptimal performance due to the use of an unsupported hack. It is a GnuRadio product and it is for prototyping RF emitters.
 

prc117f

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+1 for me, I purchased the Hack RF about four months ago. I like the videos Mike did for promoting SDR in general. I tarted out the the twenty dollar dongle and was quite impressed. I "Upgraded" to the HackRF and thoght it was something that I was doing wrong. Well this thread confirms its not me. Thank you all

Hoof (Ray)
Just because something costs more does not mean it is a better product. Always read the specs and reviews and see if the product fits your requirements.

HackRF is a niche use product.
 

foxtail

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I put my hackrf into a Hammond cast alum. box wrapped usb cord with choke/ferrit and have seen a big improvement. And with a discone ant. Just need to play with more when I'm not busy...
 
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