How To Turn A BeagleBone Into A Web Based SDR GPS Radio Receiver!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

If you would like to turn your Beaglebone Black/Green single board computers into an online SDR radio receiver with GPS you can achieve this easily with a solution called KiwiSDR, which is a low cost/open-source software defined radio (SDR) receiver board that uses a LTC 14-bit 65 MHz ADC and Xilinx Artix-7 A35 FPGA.

The KiwiSDR fits between RTL-SDR USB dongle-style, or fixed DDC chip devices ($20 - $400, 8-12 bit ADC, limited bandwidth), and full 16-bit SDRs ($700 - $3500) while offering better wide-band, web-enabled capabilities than the more expensive SDRs.

You can use KiwiSDR to receive radio signals anywhere in the 10 kHz to 30 MHz frequency spectrum. This includes stations in the shortwave and longwave broadcast bands HF amateur radio signals and other utility stations. The reception modes include AM upper and lower sideband and CW (Continuous Wave) with continuously adjustable bandwidths.

The KiwiSDR board is able to be a much cheaper SDR alternative, thanks to direct digital conversions implemented on the FPGA on the board (there is also a software defined GPS receiver on the board).

Frequency calibration of the SDR is automatically obtained from GPS timing information; while the user interface is based on OpenWebRX, which is an SDR controlled-program that is entirely browser-based. You can listen to a public KiwiSDR from any HTML5 compatible browser anywhere in the world (no special software or set up is required). Up to 4 different Internet users can be connected at the same time, each of them being able to listen to a unique station. The audio and waterfall spectrum are independently tuneable (you can be listening to one station while visually searching for another).

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