I have had some time to hack on the GQRX receiver – my experimental AM/FM/SSB receiver implemented in Python (GNU Radio) and qith Qt GUI. Most notably, I have implemented audio recording, playback and squelch.
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.
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.
New update of the simple receiver – version 0.6 – with the following changes:
- Added frequency entry widget to change USRP frequency
- Also created AM and narrow FM versions
Few days ago I wrote about how I upgraded the simple double side band receiver implemented in the GNU Radio Companion to a simple single side band receiver. This initial implementation used some default values for the AGC attack and decay rates. These values were acceptable; however, I wanted to spend some time trying to find better values that would correspond to Fast, Medium and Slow AGC – just as we are used to in commercial radios.
The simple SSB software defined radio receiver is now functional!
Few days ago I wrote about how to upgrade the simple double side band receiver to single side band. The modification was supposed to be very simple and involved changing the band pass filter from using real taps to use complex taps. The upgrade wasn’t quite as easy, though.
When I presented the Simple CW Receiver few weeks ago I also mentioned and demonstrated that it is actually a double side band receiver (it’s around 2:35 in the video). This is good for AM and FM, but can be very inconvenient for receiving CW and SSB (single side band). If the station we are trying to receive is surrounded by other stations on the neighbouring channels, these will interfere via the opposite side band. Therefore, it was time to look into single side band reception.
This video shows my first on-the-air tests with the WBX transceiver using the USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) and GNU Radio.
The receiver was tested using wide band FM broadcast, APT signal from NOAA 17 satellite and Copenhagen VOLMET. I have also performed some tests using DVB-T signal and wireless sensor signals but I wanted to keep the video short so these were not included. I can post them in separate videos if there is interest.