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Radio | SDR

Radio | SDR

What is RF? What is RF used for?

Electromagnetic fields, radio waves, microwaves, and wireless signals are referred to as radio frequency (RF) energy. RF currents are electric currents that oscillate at radio frequencies and have unique features. RF energy is all around us, and RF is used in various electronics and appliances, which include radio and television broadcasting, cellular telephones, satellite communications, microwave ovens, radars, and industrial heaters and sealers. These are only some examples.

What is software-defined radio (SDR), and what can you do with SDR?

Generally, the processing part of a signal is done in the hardware components themselves. Because of this, if an error happens at the hardware level, troubleshooting is very limited, and in most cases, futile to correct the problem. With software-defined radio (SDR), the RF communication is done using software, which solves the problem of signal processing limitations in the hardware. Instead of having to use mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators, demodulators, and so on, SDR only uses an ADC and DAC along with antennas, without needing many hardware components.

The software for SDR can be used on a personal computer or an embedded system, and it offers a more flexible solution and makes it easy to fix issues. SDR is used in broadcast and amateur radio, radio astronomy, tracking airplanes and building a GSM network, and many more applications. It is a great choice for many cool projects.

RTL-SDR is an affordable USB radio that is used to receive live radio transmissions from a computer. Due to its popularity, users benefit from a wider variety of radio signals that would have cost hundreds or thousands of dollars just a few years ago.

What does Elektor offer?

Elektor offers a variety of RF- and SDR-related kits, such as the Elektor Raspberry Pi RTL-SDR Kit, which enables you to receive radio signals between 500 kHz and 1.75 GHz from stations using different bands including MW/SW/LW broadcast, ISM, CB, ham radio, utility, and more. Moreover, Elektor provides its customers with telescopic antennas and magnetic mount antennas, and many more. Browse through our list to find a solution that meets your needs.

What does the future hold for SDR?

The popularity of SDR solutions has been increasing since the widespread availability of 4G devices. The prospects of upcoming technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and sensor networks promise to boost SDR even more. SDRs are being created with more powerful FPGAs, and these solutions are intended for increasingly complex tasks. As a result, FPGA tools that can manage booming volumes of data and complexity will inevitably gain in popularity.