The recent RSGB Convention included a training session by GNU Radio foundation officers Heather Lomond and Derek Kozel who ran a GNU training class at which Andy from SDRplay demonstrated a GNU radio FM receiver with the RSP2 as the hardware module. The class was aimed at people who want to create their own SDR Applications and go beyond just installing standard SDR software and hardware. All the SDRplay RSP radios are supported, including the phase coherent dual tuner “RSPduo” – note this is currently only available in single tune mode – we plan to release the coherent version in November 2018 – so the noise cancelling and other diversity applications being written by the GNU radio community for multiple phase locked SDRs, will then be applicable to the RSPduo)
Above: Derek Kozel from the GNU Radio Foundation with Andy from SDRplay
GNU Radio is a free & open-source software development toolkit that provides signal processing blocks to implement software radios. It can be used with readily-available low-cost external RF hardware to create software-defined radios, or without hardware in a simulation-like environment. It is widely used in hobbyist, academic and commercial environments to support both wireless communications research and real-world radio systems.
The Linux-based GNU Radio set-up flow for SDRplay SDRs is now much simpler and is summarised here:
The above simplified flow is thanks to the excellent GNU radio source blocks created by Frank Werner-Krippendorf (HB9FXQ) for the SDRplay RSP family.
Clicking on the document will enable links to the source blocks.
Above: An RSP2-based FM receiver using the new SDRplay source block within GNU radio
Also demonstrated at the RSGB Convention was how easy it is to put an RSP receiver into a pi-top computer. The pi-top is (quoting from the pi-top website www.pi-top.com ) “a modular laptop that gives you the tools to complete amazing DIY projects and bring your inventions to life. It’s the perfect tool to help you learn to code, create awesome devices, and take your knowledge to the next level”. The objective was to create a highly portable and self-contained Raspberry Pi/Linux platform capable of exploring the radio spectrum (e.g. using Cubic SDR) and new radio architectures (e.g. using GNU Radio).
Above: The Pi-Top Laptop with RSP1A board inserted, running Cubic SDR