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Submission + - Startup kick-starting a high-bandwidth Software Defined Radio (SDR) peripheral 2

TwineLogic writes: Many Slashdot readers have been enjoying the availability of $20 USB radios which can tune in the range of 50MHz-2GHz. These devices, while cheap, have limited bandwidth (about 2MHz) and minimal resolution (8-bit).

Nuand, a new start-up from Santa Clara, wants to improve on that. Their Kickstarter proposal for bladeRF, a Software Defined Radio transceiver, will support 20MHz bandwidth and 12-bit samples. The frequency range to be covered is planned as 300MHz-3.6Ghz. In addition to the extended spectrum coverage, higher bandwidth, and increased resolution, the bladeRF will have an on-board FPGA capable of performing signal processing and an Altera processor as well.

SDR hobbyists have been using the inexpensive receivers to decode airplane data transmission giving locations and mechanical condition, GPS signals, and many other digital signals travelling through the air around us. This new device would extend the range of inexpensive SDRs beyond the spectrum of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. In addition, the peripheral includes a low-power transmitter which the experimenter can use without needing a "Ham" license.

Comment Re:Low-tech solution (Score 1) 754

My bet is that like the rest of the world's diesels, that particular vehicle is facing the "OMG thick black smoke" laws passed in this country. Our emissions requirements are tighter on the types of particular matter that come with diesels, yet less strict with CO2. If only the world could agree to one emissions standard..... make the environment better, end the JDM crap, and bring some decent diesel cars to the US.

Comment Re:STOP (Score 1) 754

I understand the typical driver, and thats the problem. We should fix the drivers. Train them better, and take their licenses away for needlessly making poor choices that endanger the lives of others. I believe the new Porsche Panamera (the most unappealing Porsche, or dare I say car {priuses/prii are excluded, as they are golf carts}) has such a feature. It's really a really cool idea, though I think it'd be incredibly difficult to integrate that into a car with 3 pedals....

Comment Re:STOP (Score 1) 754

And I acknowledge that there are some things that have definitely been a benefit (airbags, seatbelts, etc.) But 292? That number isn't the number of people killed when the driver couldn't see them out the window, or with the mirror. It includes all of the times the person never looked (if they aren't even looking at the mirror, why would they look at a screen), it includes all of the people who were impaired and shouldn't have been driving anyway. The problem isn't (mostly) that you can't see behind your car, the problem is that people don't look.

It's not just the drivers either. Jogging down the sidewalk, listening to your music while reading your e-mail on your phone? Get hit by a car? You're part of the problem.

Comment STOP (Score 5, Insightful) 754

Stop mandating this crap. I don't want traction control in my car, I don't want more screens, I don't want want my car to drive itself, and I don't want my car to disable cellphones.

I enjoy driving, and I drive a lot. My car is comfortable, gets good fuel economy (45-48MPG), has a manual transmission and drives like a car (not a golf cart). There are no screens (aside from the 1"x2" LCD clock and Odometer) and my speedometer and odometer have needles (so you can see how fast you're going out of your peripheral vision (is the needle straight up? I'm good)).

I agree, there are some safety features that should be in all cars... Seat belts, and airbags are important. But back up cameras? 292 fatalities a year. This is insignificant, seeing as how there are about 40,000 automobile fatalities per year, 0.7%? More people likely die from just being poor drivers. Why doesn't the government require better driver education before issuing licenses? Why don't we require retesting at certain ages? (Do you really think that all of the people out there driving in their late 80s drive just as well as they did when they were 19?) I'm betting fixing these problems would save a lot more lives than making us have more crap in our car.

If these cameras are mandatory, will they be included in states "safety" inspections? Will I be required to fix it if it breaks? If I swap out the stereo in my car for a different one, will I be required to reattach the camera?

Comment Re:Ass (Score 1) 215

Nope. As per another post in this thread, there was an article on /. a few months ago about a Mexican high school doing this. Here are some of our pics, courtesy of my friend Theo, however, he seems to be missing some of the pictures from apogee. (The really cool pics :/)

Comment Re:Pissed Off (Score 2, Interesting) 215

The first time we launched our radios failed. It landed about 17 miles from where we predicted (We use software whose name escapes me at the moment which can predict the location based on current wind patterns) and someone else found it and called us. The second time, our radios gave us its coordinates to within a couple of meters. We had been following it for its entire flight (unfortunately, the balloon had been under-filled, so it landed a few hundred miles south of where we planned... We followed it for 13 hours). As far as landing in places where you won't be able to get it... you don't launch anywhere near any? You should plan your launch such that you are nowhere near any large bodies of water, as they are the primary thing that makes it unreachable. You can climb tress and etc. Desolate areas are better, because landing on the highway will cause issues. (We chose to launch in New Hampshire, with our ballon intended to land in Central MA. The first shot was pretty close, the second shot landed in southern CT, hopefully our third shot will land in Central MA, but we haven't gotten that far yet)

Comment Pissed Off (Score 1) 215

This article actually pissed me off enough to log in and make a post. This is nothing new. A group of us did this a few years ago and have a set of similar pictures. We actually intend to launch another balloon in a few weeks, with revised radio gear. See.... we don't use cellphones for that, and we use a GPS unit that will actually give us a correct altitude and speed that high up. Ham Radio / APRS FTW....

Comment Re:The price ! (Score 1) 232

I'm even more surprised by the fact that they gave links to Newegg for all there parts, and if I build a similar system swapping out their PSU choice for a 1300W one from newegg (the one newegg had with the most PCIe connectors, as they didn't have the PSU they used) it costs a only $3,400 US, or as per google, about 2,200 EUR. Granted prices may have dropped since they did this, but I doubt they've been cut in half.

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