Suggestions for newbies?


#1

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


#2

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