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The Red Pitaya HAMlab SDR transceiver is a fully functional amateur radio SDR transceiver capable of providing a high level of performance on the ham radio bands between 160 metres and 10 metres.
The Red Pitaya HAMlab SDR transceiver is based around the STEMlab FPGA development board, but obviously with additional circuitry added to provide the receiver pre-amplification, RF filters, RF power output and the various other interfaces needed.
Red Pitaya SDR transceiver overview.
The HAMlab SDR transceiver is a dual receiver and dual transmitter with a 10 watt output that covers the amateur radio bands between 160 metres right up to 6 metres, i.e. HF + 6 metres.
One of the core elements of the SDR transceiver is the digital conversion which is achieved using an LTC2145-14 125Msps 14-bit ADC. This ADC provides performance that is comparable with the top flight amateur radio HF transceivers and therefore this ensures optimum performance.
Receiver coverage is 0-60MHz and +15dB preamp and -6 / 12 / 18dB attenuators are available for different levels of frontend gain settings.
The HAMLab transmitter currently provides a 10 watt output, although this can obviously be increased by the use of an external amplifier. The 10 watt output is ideal for many amplifiers, enabling the output to be increased to 100 watts or even more. [A 100 watt version is in development].
Internal filters are provided for the main amateur radio bands between 160 and 10 metres, but it is also possible to use the HAMlab SDR transceiver on the 472 and 137 kHz bands by adding filters for these bands.
To operate the SDR transceiver, it is necessary to utilise a computer - this is connected via an Ethernet interface for fast communications. It is also possible to use an external physical controller with knobs for easier operation, but the computer is still required for display, processing and advanced control functions.
For those wanting to experiment with different SDR software, the HAMlab transceiver is compatible with various SDR software packages including PowerSDR, HDSDR, Gqrx, GNU Radio, GNU Radio Companion and Pothos.
It is worth remembering that even though there are two transmitters available, one on each of the signal generator outputs of the STEMlab development board, it is assumed that only one will be used at one time with the output power amplifier.
In addition to the SDR transceiver functionality, the system is also able to provide the capability for a dual-channel 50MHz oscilloscope, a dual-channel 62MHz bandwidth spectrum analyzer with 80dB dynamic range and an 8-channel logic analyzer. It can also be easily turned into an LCR meter, a Vector Network Analyzer, VNA, - with an additional VNA adaptor kit, and even more as a result of the use of the Red Pitaya STEMlab FPGA board. This all makes the Red Pitaya HAMlab a particularly useful SDR transceiver with a whole lot more functionality than most other SDR transceivers and makes this a very useful equipment in any shack.
SDR transceiver kit includes
The following accessories and materials are included with your HAMlab kit. Carefully remove the HAMlab device and accessories from its shipping package and identify the items listed below.
- DC power cord with Anderson Power Pole connector
- Ethernet cable
- USB 2.0 Cable - A-Male to Mini-B (only for HAMlab 80-10 10W)
- Rx filters bypass BNC cable