Forum: GNU Radio Suggestions for newbies?

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James Longstreet (Guest)
on 2006-05-29 00:43
(Received via mailing list)
Hello,

I recently started reading about Gnu Radio, and I think it would make
a great project for my university's ACM chapter.  My EE/radio
experience is pretty much limited to RadioShack kits and building a
shortwave receiver, but I have lots of programming experience.  I'm
confident that I can wrap my head around the concepts at least enough
to make things work.

 From everything I've read, it seems that the USRP is the way to go
for hardware - relatively inexpensive, designed to work with Gnu
Radio, and general enough to allow for just about anything.  What can
I hope to accomplish with a USRP - AM/FM radio? TV? HDTV?

Also, what kind of timeframe would be reasonable for playing around
with this?  Should I expect to be able to receive FM radio the day I
take my USRP out of the box, or will I have to fiddle with things for
a few weeks/months?  I don't mind spending time with it, but I'd like
to know what I'm getting myself into before I spend $700 on it.

What reading should I do to get up to speed on concepts I'm going to
be running into?  I understand radio at a conceptual level, but DSP
and things like that are foreign to me.

Thank you,

James Longstreet
System A.
Association for Computing Machinery
University of Illinois at Chicago
Eric B. (Guest)
on 2006-05-29 01:35
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, May 28, 2006 at 03:40:39PM -0500, James Longstreet wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I recently started reading about Gnu Radio, and I think it would make
> a great project for my university's ACM chapter.  My EE/radio
> experience is pretty much limited to RadioShack kits and building a
> shortwave receiver, but I have lots of programming experience.  I'm
> confident that I can wrap my head around the concepts at least enough
> to make things work.

Good.  I don't think you'll find it overly challenging.

> From everything I've read, it seems that the USRP is the way to go
> for hardware - relatively inexpensive, designed to work with Gnu
> Radio, and general enough to allow for just about anything.  What can
> I hope to accomplish with a USRP - AM/FM radio? TV? HDTV?

If you get a USRP with the "TV Rx" daughterboard, FM will work out of
the box.

> Also, what kind of timeframe would be reasonable for playing around
> with this?  Should I expect to be able to receive FM radio the day I
> take my USRP out of the box,

Yes.

> or will I have to fiddle with things for a few weeks/months?  I
> don't mind spending time with it, but I'd like to know what I'm
> getting myself into before I spend $700 on it.

> What reading should I do to get up to speed on concepts I'm going to
> be running into?  I understand radio at a conceptual level, but DSP
> and things like that are foreign to me.

Check out http://comsec.com/wiki?SuggestedReading for pointers to good
info.  If you're interested in getting up to speed on DSP, Richard
Lyons' book is a good place to start.

> Thank you,
>
> James Longstreet
> System A.
> Association for Computing Machinery
> University of Illinois at Chicago

Eric
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