We have been collaborating with RS Components to put together a demonstrator “laptop radio” with full SDR receive and display capability. This is a good way to introduce newcomers to the world of Radio Communications and an exploration of the wireless spectrum. We took the popular Raspberry Pi based Pi-Top laptop computer to see if we could easily add an SDRplay RSP to it (see https://pi-top.com/products/pi-top to find out more about the Raspberry-Pi based modular computer designed for educational and developer use).
The Pi-Top has a pull-away panel above the keyboard under which additional circuit boards can be mounted. We found that the RSP1A circuit board fitted snugly inside as you can see in this picture:
We also added an additional rotary shaft encoder to act as a tuning knob, and an external SMA coax socket for the antenna. This “concept video” shows the resulting unit which becomes a powerful compact “all in one” SDR radio with keypboard and display. The purpose of the video is to show the kind of educational project which can encourage computer lovers to explore the radio spectrum: https://youtu.be/C4U1r-lF-YI
The video uses the off-the-shelf SDR package “Cubic SDR” but as can be seen in another other recent video from SDRplay, we have additional guides for those using non-windows software in conjunction with an RSP: https://youtu.be/ekFgShByK20
This Pi-Top + RSP combination could form the basis for any number of educational or research projects alongside bespoke Raspberry Pi software controlling the full functionality of an RSP.
RS Components reference page: RSP1A: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/radio-frequency-development-kits/1503954/
RS Components reference page: Pi Top (UK keyboard version): https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/9176213/
Cubic SDR software site: https://cubicsdr.com/