Alternates to USRP

Hi All,
I have always loved working with USRP’s by having two of them
in
college( USRP N210). Now that i am leaving college, I want to know if
there’s any cheap sdr receiver working on gnuradio that i can work on at
home because i can’t afford an USRP. I checked online and found these
two.

http://www.amazon.com/DVB-T-Receiver-Low-Cost-Software-Defined/dp/B008XFDHWW/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1358639740&sr=8-4&keywords=rtl+sdr

http://www.amazon.com/Newsky-Receiver-Low-Cost-Software-Defined/dp/B008DCBS94/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358639740&sr=8-2&keywords=rtl+sdr

Are these good enough. can any one in the group suggest better
alternatives
to work on?

for rtl sdr, there is the list in reddit.

http://www.reddit.com/r/RTLSDR/comments/s6ddo/rtlsdr_compatibility_list_v2_work_in_progress/
http://www.reddit.com/r/RTLSDR/comments/rpq5w/list_of_online_sources_for_tuners_work_in/


[]s Fosforo

“Se eu tiver oito horas pra cortar uma arvore, passarei seis afiando
meu machado.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Hi Karan,

I recommend reading this page:

http://gnuradio.org/redmine/projects/gnuradio/wiki/Hardware

On Sat, Jan 19, 2013 at 07:10:31PM -0500, Karan T. wrote:

Hi All,
I have always loved working with USRP’s by having two of them in
college( USRP N210). Now that i am leaving college, I want to know if there’s
any cheap sdr receiver working on gnuradio that i can work on at home because i
can’t afford an USRP. I checked online […]

Are these good enough. can any one in the group suggest better alternatives to
work on?

That question is impossible to answer, because “good enough” is a
relative term.

RTLSDRs are unbeatable when it comes to their price tag, so you can
hardly go wrong buying one of them. They might be “good enough” for you.

However, in terms of frequency range (and any other figure of merit),
they can’t keep up with USRPs. Also, no Tx. You have to decide for
yourself if that’s good enough for you.

Note that many people on this list, myself included, have biases towards
specific hardware (and vendors). So be specific when asking for advice;
if you don’t know which noise figures (or whatever) you need, it helps
if you specify which type of project you’re working on.

MB


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Communications Engineering Lab (CEL)

Dipl.-Ing. Martin B.
Research Associate

Kaiserstraße 12
Building 05.01
76131 Karlsruhe

Phone: +49 721 608-43790
Fax: +49 721 608-46071
www.cel.kit.edu

KIT – University of the State of Baden-Württemberg and
National Laboratory of the Helmholtz Association

On 01/20/2013 10:49 AM, Michael O. wrote:

I have heard that the FC0013 has somewhat better receive sensitivity
than the E4000, but I have not verified that. The E4000 has a wider
operating frequency range.


Discuss-gnuradio mailing list
[email protected]
https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss-gnuradio

Something to note about FC0013 based dongles is that while the FC0013
has an L-band input, it’s typically NOT CONNECTED on any of the
dongles out there.

The E4000 is great tuner, but out of production now, due to the company
who made it going out of business. The up and coming
logical replacement in the market for the E4000 is the R820T, which
covers a continuous frequency range of 24Mhz to about 1.5GHz, with
sensitivity falling off precipitously above 1.3GHz, but overall a
very nice tuner. Again, eBay has them in two different physical
formats.

But these things aren’t, in any sense, comparable to a USRP in many
dimensions. The maximum no-samples-dropped sample rate is
only 2.4Msps (even though you can ask for 3.2Msps, the hardware
starts dropping samples above 2.4Msps). They have an 8-bit
ADC, so maximum dynamic range is 48dB. The decimator inside the
RTL2832U chip isn’t very good, and only really works properly at
2Msps–alias suppression at other sample rates isn’t nearly as good.
Isolation between the digital side and RF receiver side is poor,
which means more spurs and higher noise floor than devices that are
more “purpose built”.

But for $10.00 apiece in some cases (patiently waiting for the ebb and
flow of market-economics on eBay to drive the price down can allow
you to pick them up for as little as $10.00 apiece), they’re a good
value for cheap experiments.


Marcus L.
Principal Investigator
Shirleys Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium
http://www.sbrac.org

On Sat, Jan 19, 2013 at 07:10:31PM -0500, Karan T. wrote:

http://www.amazon.com/DVB-T-Receiver-Low-Cost-Software-Defined/dp/B008XFDHWW/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1358639740&sr=8-4&keywords=rtl+sdr

http://www.amazon.com/Newsky-Receiver-Low-Cost-Software-Defined/dp/B008DCBS94/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358639740&sr=8-2&keywords=rtl+sdr

Either one of those is fine. NooElec is a reputable seller.

You can see the difference in operating frequency range for the E4000
vs. FC0013 here:

http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr

I have heard that the FC0013 has somewhat better receive sensitivity
than the E4000, but I have not verified that. The E4000 has a wider
operating frequency range.

Hi All,
Thank you all for replying…

@Fosforo I will check the reddit…

@Martin I checked the gnuradio site. I understand the quality issues
and
limitations of a usb dongle of sdr. But my main intention is to not
leave
working on gnuradio.So I was looking for alternatives to work and learn
on
my own. I have no specific project in mind right now. I feel that if you
leave working on this platform for a few months, you will take a long
time
to get back again because of the rate at which changes happen. So just
wanted to be in touch with it.

@Ossman Thanks. I will buy one of these two and try.

@Marcus Thanks for a detailed explanation on the performance limits and
limitations for usb based sdr’s. I understand it better now.

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