Pluto SDR?

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LubeckTech

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I was just reading about this this morning.

PlutoSDR

Has anyone used one and does it actually work?
Looks like it is Linux only at this point and DigiKey has them for $99.00 which is in my price range but I am interested in some input before taking the plunge.
 

trashbag

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Got one a couple of days ago. So far no regrets about the purchase.

One thing you have to know that it's still in its infancy. The software support is currently lacking, but people are working on it (best support currently with GQRX, SDR# support in alpha stage). The full frequency range (70 MHz - 6 GHz) seem to work fine, it can also grab about 56 MHz of spectrum for viewing (with dropped samples, so no demod.), the down side is that currently you can't get any more than 3-4 MS/s without drops, but I'm optimistic that will be somewhat improved (it's probably due to the protocol currently used).

It's a step up from a RTL-SDR definitely, and for a third of the cost of HackRF.
 

WPXS472

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I just ordered one and they have 5 left. I am not a real Linux type of guy, but I am willing to give it a go. I don't really care about the extended band mod, not at this point anyway.
 

PiccoIntegra

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NYG

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Got one a couple of days ago. So far no regrets about the purchase.

One thing you have to know that it's still in its infancy. The software support is currently lacking, but people are working on it (best support currently with GQRX, SDR# support in alpha stage). The full frequency range (70 MHz - 6 GHz) seem to work fine, it can also grab about 56 MHz of spectrum for viewing (with dropped samples, so no demod.), the down side is that currently you can't get any more than 3-4 MS/s without drops, but I'm optimistic that will be somewhat improved (it's probably due to the protocol currently used).

It's a step up from a RTL-SDR definitely, and for a third of the cost of HackRF.

I had one on order over 6 months ago. It was delivered about 2 weeks ago. If you're getting 70MHz - 6Ghz then you got one with the AD9364 and you need to change the config to take advantage of it (Same IC used in the later Ettus B200). My Pluto has the AD9363 - 325 MHz to 3.8 GHz - 20MHz BW. I opened it up to look.

I read that some of the early production had the AD9361.

When I ordered it was $93.00. Can't complain for that price. It's less than the AD chip alone.

Edit: Do these operate outside the 325MHz - 3.8GHz specs with the AD9363 ?
 
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imd

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If you're getting 70MHz - 6Ghz then you got one with the AD9364 and you need to change the config to take advantage of it
Not really, what they are doing is tricking the 9363 to operate as if it's a 9364. That's why YMMV for the mod, based on how 'good' your 9363 works.

I'm not in a hurry to decode FM stations or aircraft, I'm waiting on the mod.
 

PiccoIntegra

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Same, I will not be doing that mod for a while. I certainly won't use the computer's USB controller if I do. I will do the dual core mod though!
 

NYG

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Not really, what they are doing is tricking the 9363 to operate as if it's a 9364. That's why YMMV for the mod, based on how 'good' your 9363 works.

I'm not in a hurry to decode FM stations or aircraft, I'm waiting on the mod.
So it looks like, similar to how intel and others may operate with microprocessors, if the chips meet certain specs they are sold at that higher spec. There may have been something that didn't meet spec for these to be sold as the wider band chip. I made the changes to mine and installed sdrsharp and it will indeed receive broadcast FM. I guess there is nothing to lose by doing it.
 

NYG

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Well, not sure about that one. Someone who knows more about SDR's then all of us point out a few things to consider about the mod here: https://www.reddit.com/user/Adam-9A4QV


On another note, can't wait for a slick ATSC transmitter, or make it into a openSpot.
That's good to know and I'm ok with the mod. This SDR is so cheap for what it can do I think it's well worth tinkering with. Plus, it's just a quick software change that can be undone.

At this point I think the USB 2 interface will be the most limiting factor.
 

imd

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That's good to know and I'm ok with the mod. This SDR is so cheap for what it can do I think it's well worth tinkering with. Plus, it's just a quick software change that can be undone.

At this point I think the USB 2 interface will be the most limiting factor.
I think where he was going with the current consumption for USB etc, was although not stated clearly, you could potentially damage the USB port on your computer. At least that's how I interpreted it.

Me.
 

NYG

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I think where he was going with the current consumption for USB etc, was although not stated clearly, you could potentially damage the USB port on your computer. At least that's how I interpreted it.

Me.
I think he's talking of bandwidths unrealistic with USB 2. Plus you could always use the external power port on the Pluto.
 

trashbag

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The only thing I'm worried about is the extra heat that might be produced when running with higher sample rates.
 

WPXS472

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I got mine yesterday. Haven't had a chance to hook it up just yet. I did open it up and it has the 9363 chip. I don't think I want to fool with the mod. It has useful capabilities as is. Just from looking at it and reading the specs, my first two gripes are the fact that it takes a separate usb power supply, and the stability of the internal reference is 25 ppm. That may be good enough for experimenting, but isn't sufficient for anything serious. I didn't see any way to use an external reference either. I am glad there is actually some Windows software for it. Hopefully, there will be follow on development of applications.
 

trashbag

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You generally don't need the separate power supply. It's useful if you're using the Pluto as a USB OTG host or with some flimsy device which can't deliver enough power through USB.
 

WPXS472

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I thought that might be the case. Had a similar thing with an external DVD drive. I am going to hook it up and measure the current drain. Although the maximum that is supposed to be able to be drawn is 500 ma, I have seen USB hard drives draw almost an amp for a few seconds.
 
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