Wednesday, 16 July 2014

BladeRF transverter with SDR# on Windows

BladeRF XB-200 transverter working with SDR# on Windows

Software to support the BladeRF XB-200 transverter is beginning to emerge, however, the information is spread across a number of sources. In this post I have amalgamated the various bits of information to get the devices working on Windows 8.1.

Connecting the cables

It is not entirely obvious how the various connectors are used. The information is provided in the BladeRF GitHub:   https://github.com/Nuand/bladeRF/wiki/Getting-Started:-XB200-Transverter-Board

For RX only:


Windows SDR# software for BladeRF 

SDR# software to support the BladeRF and Transverter is available at the time of writing at: http://www.scan-ne.net/bladerf/sdrsharp.zip, per http://nuand.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3600. However to create the latest version of SDR# and the BladeRF plugin from Jean-Michel at https://github.com/jmichelp/sdrsharp-bladerf and install as described. Download the latest version of SDR# at http://sdrsharp.com/ It is worth following the discussion at  https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SDRSharp/conversations/topics/14986 .

The software currently only supports USB2. It is ok to use the blue USB3 connector for USB2. Plug in BladeRF, with transverter, and run NUAND installer: http://nuand.com/downloads/bladerf_win_installer.exe.

Start SDR#, there should be no error messages and BladeRF should be the selected SDR. The setup allows the loading of the FPGA. The sampling rate needs to be restricted due to USB2; it stutters otherwise. 5 MSPS seems to work ok. The transverter filters can be used, although "auto" seems to use the appropriate filter for the set frequency. The transverter can be bypassed to allow the BladeRF to access its native frequency range.

The setup panel in front of SDR# and BladeRF on a portion of the local FM band.

The future

Very good to see the BladeRF working with its transverter on SDR#. It is early days for SDR software to support the full capabilities. Simon Brown, the author of SDR-Console, anticipates a beta for RX in the coming weeks; and TX a little further. It is worth following the NUAND forum, the Yahoo SDRSharp group and the BladeRF GitHub.

Edited 17 July 2014 re SDR# and BladeRF plugin per help from Scott on Nuand forum.




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