[TangerineSDR] Question on bandwidth versus sample rate: can they be independently set?

Engelke, Bill bill.engelke at ua.edu
Tue Apr 14 13:16:58 EDT 2020

This question is sort of directed to Scotty, but I am posting it here because I'm sure others will have useful thoughts on this matter.

As you may recall, in TangerineSDR when we collect IQ data for multiple channels, we have to run them all at the same sample rate (at least, for Phase 1). The main reason for this is that Digital RF is optimized for handling data that way, and we need to roll with that rather than struggle against it, so that we can have something ready and tested in the time frame. We can add more complexity later if we want.

I am puzzling over something, however - probably because I still have a lot to learn about digital signal processing.  The frequency precision of an FFT is related to the number of bins (i.e., when I do the FFT with 2048 samples, I get more precision than if I do it with 1024 samples). In several conversations, the sample rate and the bandwidth have been almost interchangeable; however, is that mandatory?

Specifically, let's say that I want to closely watch the carrier frequency of WWV at 10 MHz.   We know that the most it moves due to doppler shift is a fraction of a Hz, so I only want to handle a few Hz of bandwidth - but I want to do it to a precision of 0.01 Hz.  This precision would seem to dictate a very high sample rate, but the bandwidth I want to process is only 2 to 3 Hz.

The QUESTION then is this:  when configuring the channels for the DE to run, is it feasible for me to be able to independently set the sample rate and bandwidth?   If so, is there a major downside to doing this?

-73- Bill AB4EJ
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