Saturday, 9 November 2013

BladeRF on Haswell i5 running Windows 8 with SDR-Console at 935 MHz 20 MHz bandwidth

BladeRF on Haswell i5 running Windows 8 with SDR-Console at 935 MHz 20 MHz bandwidth

Screen shot of BladeRF running on Windows 8 with i5 Haswell processor.



The BladeRF windows installer uses an unsigned driver. With the extra security of Windows 8 it will not normally even give you the option of installing unsigned drivers, Windows 7 does. However Windows 8 has a special restart where the unsigned driver block can be disabled. I think I described it in earlier blogs.

Using the earlier beta of SDR-console V2 per earlier blogs, the bandwidth is 20 MHz rather than 30. I think the narrower bandwidth is more appropriate re Nyquist, about half the 38.5 MHz bandwidth of the BladeRF. At 20 MHz, the CPU is barely busy at about 4 % versus 10 times that of screen shots at 30 MHz in earlier blogs. Simon Brown, the author of SDR-Console said in his Yahoo forum that the FFT runs at 30 MHz too. Dropping the bandwidth to 20 MHz seems to calm everything down.

   Screen shot of BladeRF running on Windows 8 with i5 Haswell CPU showing CPU load



My computer uses an ITX motherboard but is capable of running a (cheap) 27" 4K monitor (same LCD panel as Apple, Dell etc.) through its Displayport using Intel integrated graphics, while it is doing all of this. It gets a bit warm, but is in a tiny case. A HDMI camera input PCIe uses the one expansion slot. 4K monitors are very good for a number of reasons, but I will discuss that in another post.

Screen shot of BladeRF running on Windows 8 with i5 Haswell CPU showing system components and temperatures.


Screen shot of BladeRF running on Windows 8 with i5 Haswell CPU showing detailed core parameters


Summary: BladeRF runs on Windows 8 using SDR-Console at 20 MHz bandwidth with no issues.

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