Commit dc5a9d38 authored by betz's avatar betz

gnuradio workshop description

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alias: [events/byteweek/gnuradio-amateur-radio]
On Thursday, the 31th of January, hsbxl (hackerspace Brussels) will be
hosting a workshop "Using GNURadio for Analog and Digital
Communication". This workshop is part of the "radio-day" of the byteweek
event, a week-long event of presentations, programming-sessions and
workshops held the week before the FOSDEM conference in ULB. (1)
The workshop aims to introduce the participants the possibilities and
use of GNUradio, an open-source framework for SDR (Software Defined
Radio), using examples from amateur-radio.
# SDR: software defined radio
SDR has become a standard part of the amateur radio toolkit:
digimode-software like hamradio-deluxe or fldigi, software for
weak-signal modes like WSPR and FT-8, SDR transceiver-kits like the
limaSDR, the RTL-dongle or funcube to decode signals from amateur-radio
satellites or APRS signals. We use remote listening stations like the
websdr, radios like the flexradio that have a build-in waterfall display
and almost every modern handheld radio is based on a transceiver chip
based on SDR technology.
But what *is* SDR? How does it work? How can you implement a complete
tranceiver in a computer or a radiochip? And how can a SDR radio
implement features in software that are not possible to do using analog
components? And how can you use SDR to implement new features that do
not exist yet?
To answer these question, GNUradio comes in.
# GNU Radio
GNUradio is SDR software of a different kind.
While the examples above use SDR technology, these are all end-user
applications: pieces of software that implement a certain specific
GNU Radio -on the other hand- is not an end-user application. It is a
*framework* to create a Software-Defined Radio inside a computer, a tool
to design SDR-systems.
GNU-radio consists out of three parts:
- processing-blocks:
These pieces of software implement one particular SDR function: a FM
demodulator, a low-pass filter, a mixer, a RTL-dongle input block, a
waterfall visualisation block, etc.
- the "gnuradio companion":
This is a tool that allows users to visually combine processing-blocks
and create a so-called "flow-graph": a description of how signals flow
from one block to another. One example may be: RTL-dongle receiver ->
tuner -> FM demodulator -> low-pass filter -> amplifier -> PC speaker
- The 3th part, the gnuradio back-end is mostly invisible for the users:
This is the engine that does the actual process of transporting
signal-data from one block to another.
# Workshop
For amateur-radio, GNUradio has three main uses:
- as an educational tool to learn more about SDR, .. or just about just
radio-technology itself
- as a tool to use as a receiver or a transmitter
- as a tool to develop new radio-technology that do not yet exist
The "Using GNURadio for Analog and Digital Communication" workshop is
given Derek (MW0LNA) and Marcus Mueller (Karlsruher Institut für
Technologie). Derek and Marcus are two of the main developers of the
GNUradio project.
The main focus of the workshop is to teach people what is GNUradio, what
is can do, and how it can be used to model amateur-radio systems.
This event is -as its name indicates- a workshop, a session where you
are expected to participate actively yourself. As such, you are expected
to bring your own laptop with you to the event. Also, as the goal is to
keep the workshop focused on using and learning GNUradio itself (and not
just installing it), a USB bootable-disk is used that provides you with
a ready-to-use system with all software ready to use. (2)
RTL dongle -used as receiver- are provided by the organisers.
The workshop starts at 8 PM, and will take up to 2 and a half hours (so
up to 10h30 PM).
As already mentioned, it doesn't happen that many times that this kind
of workshop is organised in Belgium. So, if you are interested in really
understanding SDR and how to use it for amateur-radio, this is a special
To keep the workshop manageable, it is limited to 20 places.
Please use this link to register.
Using GNU Radio for Analog and Digital Communications
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