BladeRF quick guide

Intro

BladeRF is SDR device capable to transmit in range 47-6000Mhz and receive in range 70-6000Mhz. With samplerate 0.52-61Mhz and max bandwidth 0.2-56MHz. As it capable to RX/TX on quite wide range there is infinite possibilities what can be done with it.

Quick test

Run

bladeRF-cli -p

Output will show if any BladeRF device is connected

Running GQRX

Lunch any of command below to start graphical SDR

gqrx
gqrx-alsa //if first one fails with some pulse audio error

Choose device selection dialog and add to Device string

bladerf=0,fpga=/usr/share/bladerf/fpga/hostedxA4.rbf

This will set to first bladerf and load FPGA bitstream, find path to bitstream on your PC from distro package. Now GQRX will ready to go

Enable biastee

If there are attached LNA or LNB to BladeRF SMA ports you can enable biastee by adding to GQRX Device string with comma separation between parameters

biastee=rx

Running from command line

To start interactive commandline point to fpga bitstream, can be found in distro package.

bladeRF-cli -i -l /usr/share/bladerf/fpga/hostedxA4.rbf

Receive

Set frequency to AA Megaherz with sample rate BB bandwidth CC and write to file DD in signed complex 16 bit, with 20M entries

set frequency rx  AAM
set samplerate rx BBM
set bandwidth rx CCM
rx config file=DD.sc16q11 format=bin n=20M
rx start
rx wait
rx

Transmit

Set frequency to AA Megaherz with sample rate BB bandwidth CC and read from file DD in signed complex 16 bit

set frequency tx AAM
set samplerate tx BBM
set bandwidth tx CCM
tx config file=DDsc16q11 format=bin
tx start
tx wait
tx

Enable biastee

To enable/disable biastee set channel RX1/RX2/TX1/TX2 to 0/false to disable and 1/true to enable biastee on particular channel

set biastee RX1 true

Gnuradio

Gnuradio is opensource tool that allows you to utilize DSP blocks and create processing pipeline. It works like a block diagrams drawing tool, except the block are DSP processing steps and as output you get processed signal. Here is example how to create FM radio listening design and as result you can hear to your local radio stations.

BladerRF fm radio block diagram

Links

https://www.nuand.com/bladerf-2-0-micro/
https://gqrx.dk/
https://www.nuand.com/product/bt-100/
https://www.nuand.com/product/bt-200/
https://github.com/Nuand/bladeRF/wiki/bladeRF-CLI-Tips-and-Tricks
https://sites.google.com/site/sdrbladerf/home/bladerf-getting-started
https://www.gnuradio.org/