Software-defined radio (SDR) is a radio communication system where components that have been traditionally implemented in hardware (e.g. mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators/demodulators, detectors, etc.) are instead implemented by means of software on a personal computer or embedded system.
A basic SDR system may consist of a personal computer running SDR software that interfaces with analog-to-digital converter over USB or ethernet, preceded by some form of RF front end with RF amplifiers, filters and attenuators.
What are the benefits of SDR?
The ability to receive and transmit various modulation methods using a common set of hardware
The ability to alter functionality by downloading and running new software at will.
The possibility of adaptively choosing an operating frequency and a mode best suited for prevailing conditions.
The opportunity to recognize and avoid interference with other communications channels;
Elimination of analog hardware and its cost, resulting in simplification of radio architectures and improved performance;
The chance for new experimentation (e.g. development of new protocols)
How can you build your own SDR transceiver?
If you want to build your own SDR transceiver, you can do that easily with Red Pitaya's STEMlab. With its 62,5 MHz of frequency range and 16 bits of resolution it represents a powerful&affordable core of your SDR transceiver. The on board ADC 122.88 MS/s sampling frequency, 16-bit resolution) digitizes the RF signal from the antenna. The data coming from the ADC is processed by a in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) digital down-converter (DDC) running on the Red Pitaya’s FPGA.The I/Q data is transmitted via TCP to the SDR programs such as SDR# and HDSDR. Add an all bands filter and amplifier module, connect an antenna and you are ready to start your SDR adventure!
If you'd like an even more advanced tool to build your own SDR transceiver, then Red Pitaya's SDRlab is the perfect choice for you! SDRlab is tailored for HF band + 6 meter band SDR and RF applications that require DAQ systems with higher precision.
For more information on tools for radio amateurs, click here.