[aprssig] HackRF as SDR for ham use?

John Gorkos jgorkos at gmail.com
Sat Aug 2 22:37:24 EDT 2014

I'm at BlackHat right now, and just finished the first day of classes,
hands on, with Michael Ossmann and the HackRF.  I've barely had any time
with it at all.  It has extremely low transmit power, and is classified
as "test equipment" to avoid all of the FCC legalities for type
certification.  I can tell you I've gotten 20MHz of bandwidth samples
out of it, into a Linux VM on my MacBook pro, and it seems to be pretty
slick.  Tomorrow will be more hands on with the device, and a LOT of
time in GnuRadio.  Obviously, based on the fact that we're at BlackHat,
most of the concentration is on security and penetration.  Things like
finding unknown signal types in a very large chunk of spectrum, then
locating and identifying those signals.

BTW, Michael is a real genius at explaining SDR techniques and the math
behind them.  At the beginning of the class, he passed out little green
plastic slinkys with his company logo on them.  Today, about halfway
through the afternoon session, he used the slinkys to explain how a sine
wave and cosine wave look the same, depending on whether you're looking
at them from the imaginary or real number point of view, and that the
slinky represents the longitudinal axis of time extending out of the
paper, as you plot complex numbers on a two axis system.  Freaking
brilliant.   If you ever get the opportunity to go to one of his
classes, you'd be a fool to decline.

I'll try to provide more info about the device tomorrow.  I'm mentally
and physically drained after a day of complex math.

John Gorkos

On 8/2/14, 6:13 PM, Greg D wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I see there's a new SDR receiver being built for the "hacker"
> community:  http://hakshop.myshopify.com/products/hackrf
> They claim it's compatible with SDR#, so I wonder how well it will work
> for the variety of digital ham radio purposes?  It's a little pricy, but
> claims to cover 10mhz to 6 ghz, so that would cover through our
> 5.65-5.925ghz allocation.  I don't know what the bandwidth is.
> Useful?
> Thanks,
> Greg  KO6TH
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