HPSDRwiki:Community Portal

From HPSDRwiki
Revision as of 09:38, 14 February 2007 by WikiSysop (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

HDSDR Project Overview

For an interesting audio-visual overview, see our website at http://hpsdr.org for links to download KK7P's Dayton Talk!

Introduction -- What's It All About?

The HPSDR is an open source (GNU type) hardware and software project intended as a "next generation" Software Defined Radio (SDR) for use by Radio Amateurs ("hams") and Short Wave Listeners (SWLs). It is being designed and developed by a group of SDR enthusiasts with representation from interested experimenters worldwide. The discussion list membership currently stands at over 500 and includes such SDR enthusiasts as Ray Anderson WB6TPU, Steve Bible N7HPR, Phil Covington N8VB [1], Rick Hambly W2GPS, Phil Harman VK6APH, Lyle Johnson KK7P, Ulrich Rohde N1UL, and Bill Tracey KD5TFD to name a few.

The rationale behind the project is to break the overall design up into a number of modules. Each module is designed by an individual or group and connects to other modules using a pre-defined and common bus -- rather like plugging boards into a PC motherboard.

This modular approach enables users to incorporate just the modules that interest them as well as designing their own variants if desired. The approach also enables new ideas and circuits to be tested by replacing an existing module. Since the majority of modules will be retained, such experimentation can be done with minimum disruption to an existing working system.

The modules vary in complexity from simple bandpass filters and input/output interfaces, to full blown DSP functions. Such variety enables experimenters with varying degrees of experience to contribute. For example, members with PCB layout skills are highly sought after at the moment! If you wish to contribute your skills to this project, the best way is to advise your availability on the discussion list and communicate with project leaders.

The modules have each been named for easier identification when talking or writing about them. On this wiki, each module has its own page, as noted by the links below. Some of the modules are being designed so that they can be either used in conjunction with others or stand-alone. Each module board size (except the backplane) will be 100 mm by 120-220 mm and use either a 64 pin or 96 pin DIN41612 type connector.

Block Diagram

Here is a block diagram showing the Janus, Ozy, Mercury and Sasquatch modules and their functions. HPSDR Block 10 Dec 2006.jpg

Future Modules

In order to provide a complete SDR transceiver other modules will be required. These include bandpass filters, a narrow band I/Q down converter to supplement the Mercury A/D converter, and low power transmitter functions etc.

There is still much to be done in bringing the HPSDR project to fruition. For those experimentally minded Amateurs this may turn out to be the golden age of (software defined) radio!

Open source design

Brief definition of Open Source

In a "nutshell", open source is a term that is applied to a philosophy, in that the production and organization of a project or system is created through open and cooperative efforts.

Open source software refers to computer software available with its source code and under an "open source license" to study, change and improve its design and functionality.

There are many "Open source software" licenses, the most prominent being the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL), originally written by Richard Stallman. The GPL grants the recipients of a computer program the following rights, or freedoms:

   * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
* The freedom to study how the program works, and modify it.
* The freedom to redistribute copies.
* The freedom to improve the program, and release the improvements to the public.

The users are treated like co-developers, are encouraged to submit additions to the software, code fixes, bug reports, documentation etc. Having more co-developers increases the rate at which the software evolves. Furthermore, each end user's machine provides an additional testing environment. This new testing environment offers the ability to find and fix a new bug quickly.

This GPL philosophy extends to the hardware for this HPSDR cooperative project. In "Open Source" we are referring to the "source" as being the "instructions" of how to construct the various boards for the HPSDR project. The "source" or "instructions" includes the schematics, PCB layout, gerber files, firmware, software, drawings, and documentation. At the present time, TAPR is attempting to formulate an "Open Hardware License" along the lines of GPL.

[Note: this definition does not go into the various obligations and legalities and is intended to be brief and non-exhaustive. The original was supplied by Kevin, M0KHZ and a few words "Americanized" by the WikiSysOp.]

TAPR Affiliation

In early June (2006) it was announced that agreement had been reached with TAPR http://tapr.org for TAPR to provide assistance and a "storefront" for the "products" of the HPSDR group. TAPR has a long history of supporting various digital amateur radio related ventures. We would encourage our members to become TAPR members, not only to support a worthy organization, but also to receive a member discount (usually around 10%) on their HPSDR and other purchases from them.

Starting with the Atlas backplane board and its parts kit, TAPR will be most likely the only source for HPSDR boards. (This does not preclude individuals having their own PCB boards made in keeping with our open-source philosophy.)

Visit the TAPR ordering and information page (listed under HPSDR) for current news and offerings.

AMSAT Affiliation

In July (2006) the following announcement was made by Rick Hambly W2GPS, AMSAT President:

AMSAT will immediately initiate support for The High Performance Software Defined Radio (HPSDR) project, an independent team that is dedicated to bringing high performance software defined radio devices within the reach of amateurs in terms of access to the hardware and software and at manageable prices.

This is a rare opportunity for AMSAT to easily join a major technological development and have a positive impact on both that development and AMSAT's own primary interests. The High Performance Software Defined Radio (HPSDR) project is a completely open source software (GNU Public License) and open hardware design. It has an extremely capable group of core designers, many of whom are also key AMSAT design team members, supported by a cast of hundreds.

AMSAT will support HPSDR with a modest amount of financial, personnel and other resources. Financial resources will be under AMSAT control and will be used to support activities such as joint HPSDR and Eagle design meetings. AMSAT's Engineering team will submit a 2007 budget for the AMSAT Board's approval at the annual meeting in October. The modest resources that are needed in 2006 can be provided by the Eagle team project.


Please be aware that we have a website with pages devoted to each sub-project plus other information and resources. The website will not necessarily contain the latest information (that's the reason we have this wiki) but is a good starting place for a little less technical overview of the project and its parts. The website is at http://hpsdr.org

For the very latest scoop, join the HPSDR discussion list (reflector). You'll find information on the http://hpsdr.org/reflector.html webpage on how to subscribe to this email list.

To contact the webmaster/wikisysop/list-administrator, email ae5k at hpsdr dot com.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

This is a new section started to allow asking and hopefully answering questions about HPSDR.

Individual Project Wiki Pages

Click on the NAME of the project to get to its page!

ATLAS - Backplane

The Atlas is a passive backplane that all other modules plug into.


The Janus module is a very high performance, dual, full duplex, A/D and D/A converter board.

OZY - HPSDR Host Interface & Control

The OZY module is an FPGA based interface controller card that provides the input and output connections to the real world.

MERCURY - 0-30MHz Direct Sampling Receiver

Perhaps the most exciting of all the modules, the Mercury board will enable direct sampling of the 0-65MHz spectrum.

PENELOPE - Companion Transmitter to Mercury

SASQUATCH - DSP back-end

The Sasquatch board is a hardware DSP back-end intended for use by constructors who would like to operate the HPSDR stand-alone rather than attached to a PC.

GIBRALTAR - GPS-disciplined Frequency Standard

GIBRALTAR is a GPS-disciplined frequency standard board.

PROTEUS - Prototyping Board

This is the planned prototyping board.

HORTON - Receiver Module

A receiver module integrating the Janus ADC with a QSD on a board for a version of the HPSDR RX board.

PINOCCHIO - Extender Card

Pinocchio is an extender card to allow measurements and troubleshooting of an active card in an ATLAS backplane.

PHOENIX - QSD/QSE Receiver/Transmitter Module

QSD based HF Receiver, a QSE based HF Exciter and a supporting synthesizer.

ODYSSEY - Low Power Handheld SDR

Odyssey includes a low power SDR based on the QSD, QSE, and a dsPIC33 as the basic radio core.

EPIMETHEUS - General Purpose I/O

Epi is a general purpose I/O board for the Atlas bus and includes relays, open collectors, IF switching, etc.

ANCILLARY - A Catch-all page for ancillary stuff of interest to HPSDR

EXPERIMENTERS-CORNER - Ideas not yet projects

ADMINISTRATION-NEWS - Messages about HPSDR web, wiki, discussion list