I recently authored a book entitled Software Radio for Experimenters with GNU Radio, Octave and Python. The book covers the topics Software Defined Radio and Cognitive Radio, from a technical perspective. For a limited time, all book chapters are open access and can be viewed at http://people.scs.carleton.ca/~barbeau/SDRBook/.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 24,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals
I tested the installation of GNU Radio (3.5.1) on Fedora 15 and 16 (32 and 64 bits) and Ubuntu 11.10 32-bit (the most recent distribution at this time). Using the build-gnuradio script, I found that Ubuntu is the system on which things are the easiest. The process runs entirely automatic, whereas certain things need to be fixed manually on Fedora during the installation.
Before starting the execution of the script, make sure that the current user has sudo privileges. On Ubuntu, the root account must be enabled with the Linux command sudo passwd. Afterwards, all users (on version 11.10) get the sudo execution privilege.
On my system, I have an USRP2 radio connected to the Ethernet port. The IP address of the radio is 192.168.10.2. Here is the matching Ubuntu network configuration:
The commands ping, uhd_find_devices and uhd_usrp_probe can be used to test and verify connectivity between the Ubuntu system and USRP2 radio (see the post How to setup your own development environment for GNU Radio?).
I run all of this above Oracle VM VirtualBox. You may wish to start by importing my virtual machine in your system (3.24 G file). It has a complete working installation of GNU Radio 3.5.1. The password, for the user liveuser and root, is password in both cases (I recommend changing it).
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
This post discusses the setup of a development environment for GNU Radio. I will outline the installation process assuming a Fedora 15 (64 bits) Linux system.
On Fedora-Linux, I found that the approach that works best is to use the build-gnuradio script. It installs the latest version of GNU Radio. It is likely that you will encounter problems during the installation (I did!). Taken one-by-one, they are all solvable.
With the most recent versions, the use of SDRs from the USRP family requires installation of the USRP Hardware Driver (UHD). For a USRP2 unit, new firmware must be loaded into the SD card (follow the installation instructions). At boot time, the USRP2 loads its software from the inserted SD card. A correct installation is confirmed visually by the LEDs that blink according to a certain pattern:
The front panel LEDs A, C and E are synchronously blinking. LEDs D (firmware loaded) and F (CPLD loaded) remain solid. LEDs of the Ethernet connector are blinking and confirming data transfer.
When a SDR software is executed in the receive mode, LED C (receiving) on the USRP2 front panel should also be on:
This option is the easiest. I will install a complete working development environment, but not with the latest version of GNU Radio. Apparently, after version 3.2.2 GNU Radio is not updated in the repositories used to build the distributions of Linux.
However, an up-to-date Linux system is recommended. In particular, the list of available (RPM) software packages needs to be up-to-date otherwise some of the software packages may not be visible. Use the tool Software Update, available under the Applications/System Tools menu, to update your system.
A few software packages need to be installed. The best is to use the Add/Remove Software tool, available under the Applications/System Tools menu.
Launch a Find using the keyword gnuradio. A list of GNU Radio packages will be returned. Check each of them and click on the button Apply.
If you wish to use GNU Radio in combination with the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) family of radios, you must also install the related software packages. They can be obtained with a Find on the keyword usrp.
This post goes through the installation of the High Performance Software Defined Radio (HPSDR) specific version of PowerSDR on Windows (XP is assumed).
Preliminaries: The Windows Environment
First, it is important to ensure that your Windows system is up-to-date. If it isn’t, then it is safer to go through a system update before doing anything to avoid problems latter in the installation. On Windows XP, if you are not certain about the state of your system, then from the Start menu pick Help and Support, then under Pick a task, select Keep your computer up-to-date with Windows Update.
Several iterations may be required before your system is entirely up-to-date.
Next, you need to install the Microsoft .NET Framework version 1.1 (you may use this version, for Windows XP, or download it directly from Microsoft). After, the installation of Microsoft .NET, I highly recommend running cycles of Windows Update again. All these updates may take from few minutes to several hours, but they are worth the investment and prevent problems latter in the installation process. Microsoft .NET specific updates are likely to be applicable. Several iterations may also be needed for that. Upon completion, Windows is all set for the installation of PowerSDR.
Assumed Hardware Configuration
The unit I used to build this post includes a Metis Ethernet interface, a Mercury receive module, a Penelope transmitter module (the first three vertical cards), the Alex RF bandpass filters (grey module placed right), an Excalibur reference oscillator and a PennyWhistle power amplifier (placed behind the vertical cards).
It is recommended installing the HPSDR version of PowerSDR in the subdirectory:
C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems\HPSDR\
The subdirectory FlexRadio Systems needs to be created under C:\Program Files. The subdirectory HPSDR with PowerSDR can be created by expanding this file, under the subdirectory C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems. The official distribution of the HPSDR version of PowerSDR is available here.
The PowerSDR distribution is not complete. To complete the installation, a Skins directory needs to be created. Hereafter, I’m assuming that the user name is Administrator (it needs to be changed with the actual username your are using for your installation). Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the subdirectory c:\Administrator. Right click of the icon representing the directory. The menu Administrator Properties will pop up. Uncheck the box for the Attribute Hidden. The Confirm Attribute Changes menu will pop up. Select Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files and click OK. Under c:\Administrator, the directory Application Data will be listed. Under the subdirectory Application Data, create the branch FlexRadio Systems\PowerSDR. Expand this Skins file under that branch.
Next, a USB driver needs to be installed. Download and run the USB driver file.
On the desktop, create a shortcut to PowerSDR. The path should be like C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems\HPSDR\PowerSDR.exe.
PowerSDR is now ready to run. Start by clicking on the PowerSDR shortcut. The first time you run it, the PowerSDR Setup Wizard will pop up. In the first panel, HPSDR needs to be selected among the radio models supported by HPSDR.
On the next panel, for my specific hardware configuration, the Mercury, Penelope and Alex boxes need to be checked.
Finally, when PowerSDR is loaded enter the PowerSDR Setup menu. Under the Hardware Config panel, check the Alex box, listed under HPSDR Hardware Present, and Metis, under Connection type.
If everything went well, then PowerSDR should look like the following when started.
Visit the link PowerSDR page of the openSDR wiki for more details and information related to other HPSDR hardware configurations.
See the related post Digital Communications with the High Performance Software Defined Radio (HPSDR).
The High Performance Software Defined Radio (HPSDR) is a great platform for experimenting with the software defined radio concept and digital modes in general. The following is a picture of the HPSDR unit I used to build this post.
PowerSDR is the PC-based software used to control the HPSDR unit and process incoming and outgoing signals. Digital Master (DM) 780 together with Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) are applications supporting several different modes of digital communications. This post reviews a configuration of HPSDR-PowerSDR, DM 780 and HRD that makes them work together. Following the installation of PowerSDR, HRD and DM 780, the main issue is the creation of three software serial communications lines. Hereafter, we assume that PowerSDR (the HPSDR specific version), HRD and DM 780 have been installed.
One virtual serial line is used to control PowerSDR (and HPSDR) from HRD. A software is required to create the serial line. The null-modem emulator com0com is recommended. After downloading and installing the software, the following configuration needs to be done (accessible through the setup program):.
The pair of virtual ports COM7 and COM17 need to be created and are used to communicate the HRD to PowerSDR control commands.
Two additional virtual lines are needed for the data flow between DM 780 and PowerSDR. A second software needs to be installed to create the two virtual lines. The Virtual Audio Cable software is recommended. Following the download and installation of the software, two virtual lines must be created as follows.
Note that the cable 2 may have to be created explicitly and that the SR range needs to be set to the values as indicated above.
Enter the CAT Control panel of the Setup menu of PowerSDR. The CAT Control must be configured as follows to enable control from the HRD software.
The Enable CAT box is checked together with port COM7 and Baud 9600 selected.
Enter the VAC subpanel of the Audio panel within the Setup menu of PowerSDR.
The Enable VAC box must be checked together with Input Virtual Cable 1 and Output Virtual Cable 2 selected. The Auto Enable box must be checked also to activate the virtual lines only when PowerSDR is in digital mode. PowerSDR is ready to operate in digital mode with HRD and DM 780. On 40M, PowerSDR may look like the following.
A connection between HRD and PowerSDR must be setup within HRD. This can be done at HRD startup (or through the Connect menu item). The parameters of the connection should be as follows.
The displayed frequency matching the one on which PowerSDR is tuned is a positive feedback.
The last step is the configuration of DM 780. Enter the Soundcard section under the Tools menu item of DM 780.
The Input Device Virtual Cable 2 must be selected. Likewise, the Output Device Virtual Cable 1 must be selected. Just the reverse of what we did under PowerSDR. The DM 780 is now ready to operate. In the Phase Shift Keying (PSK) 31 mode, it should look like the following.