I was reading about the probability density function when I suddenly realised what the histogram sink in GNU Radio can be used for. I knew very well what a histogram is and how it used in e.g. physics, I just didn’t quite know what to use it for in a software radio.
I went to OZ7SAT today to do some measurements on the receiver boards. I wanted to see how the sensitivities compare to that of the WBX receiver that I have measured earlier using a CW signal and SSB receiver. The criteria was again to find the weakest signal that I could both hear and see on the spectrum scope and that I would be able to decode if it was a Morse code transmission. The limiting parameter is actually the spectrum scope, because I can hear tones much weaker than what is visible on the 512 channel FFT scope.
There are several ways to generate a single side band signal in a software radio and I am slowly exploring each and every one of them. For this first attempt I have decided to try using a basic amplitude modulation followed by a bandpass filter with complex taps that can select either the upper or the lower side bands.
This weekend I have been playing with a full duplex transceiver version of the simple DVB setup that allows to use only one computer and one USRP as a transmitter and receiver. By using separate daughterboards I can use one side to transmit and the other side to receive. Using two sets and two frequencies the transceiver can be used for two-way video conferencing over the air 🙂
I have had this idea of using my webcam for digital video transmission for quite some time now. Capturing and processing video from UVC webcams has been a routine for a long time and I have had great success with Logitech webcams (the 9000 series) that have great UVC support. I still had a problem though with finding a good way to interface the GNU Radio transmitter and receiver to the video processing pipeline implemented in Gstreamer.
In my experiment with receiving packet radio from the ISS I used a named pipe to create a real time interface between the GNU Radio receiver and the packet decoder multimon. I decided to try this trick for sending video in to and out of GNU Radio and it works! The following experiments were implemented and executed on the 27th and 28th of July with some minimal preparation on the 26th.
On Saturday 10 July 2010, I have recorded this pass of VO-52. It is the linear transponder downlink between 145.875 and 145.925 MHz. I really don’t understand why people get so crowded in the middle of the passband when there is 50 kHz to play with.
On July 10, 2010, I was listening to the linear transponder downlink of VO-52 when I suddenly noticed a very strong peak about 50 kHz below. I checked Gpredict and found out that it was the APRS downlink from the International Space Station RS0ISS on 145.825 MHz. Thanks to the flexible GNU Radio framework and the USRP, I could easily receive both satellites at the same time as shown on the video below.
You may have noticed the weird construction I used in the SSB/CW receiver V0.7 implemented in the GNU Radio companion. It was using three AGC2 blocks with different decay rates, running in parallel and selecting one of them using a selector. The reason why I didn’t just use one block and set the decay rate of the block using an option menu or a slider was that this method didn’t work! Today I decided to dig deeper into the code and see how to fix this.