Monday, October 01, 2012

HackRF Jawbreaker

Last week at the GNU Radio Conference I showed off Jawbreaker, the first unified HackRF board. I had assembled it just prior to leaving for the conference. It is completely built (including a couple of minor corrections), and I am about three-quarters of the way through validating the design.

Jawbreaker integrates three separate designs into a single circuit board, making it smaller and easier to handle. Since my previous post, I tested multiple wideband front-end designs, eventually settling on one called Licorice. Jawbreaker is a combination of Licorice, Lemondrop, and Jellybean into a single USB-powered software radio transceiver peripheral designed to operate from 30 MHz to 6 GHz.

This week I plan to finish validating the design and ordering PCBs of the next (likely final) revision. While I validate and revise the hardware design, Jared is hard at work on a USB driver for the LPC43xx microcontroller on the board. Prior to combining the three boards into Jawbreaker, I successfully tested both transmit and receive paths from the antenna all the way to the microcontroller, but the "last mile" USB communication from the microcontroller to the host computer was still incomplete.

I had planned to bring a finished Jawbreaker for everyone attending my software radio workshop at ToorCon San Diego later this month, but unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll have enough working units by then. Instead I will provide alternative hardware that will fully enable everyone to participate in the workshop exercises, and I will send Jawbreakers to the attendees when they are finished later. (There are still a couple of seats open in the workshop, by the way.)

A puzzling feature you might have noticed on Jawbreaker is the integration of a PCB trace antenna for the 900 MHz band. Although the board is designed for operation over a much wider frequency range, this antenna allows people to start experimenting with the board in the 900 MHz band immediately without any antennas, connectors, or anything at all other than a USB cable and computer. I want it to be easy for people to get started with the device because Jawbreaker is intended as the beta test platform for the HackRF project. We plan to assemble quite a few Jawbreakers and will distribute them to beta testers in the coming weeks. Beta hardware availability will be announced at ToorCon.


MrSm1th said...

Ok, this is cool. I want one!

Anonymous said...

Great work man! How can I get in on the beta test?

Anonymous said...

Oh so cool! I want one too!

gradient_dissent said...

Great work!!! Come on tricorder....

Unknown said...

I would like one too.This is so cool.
can you get in touch with @r3dsm0k3 on twitter?

Unknown said...

I am an Amateur Radio Operator. Iam very intered in this. I already use SDR (FlexRadio 5000A Dual and a FunCube). This project really peaks my interest! I for one will be in line to fork over my money for one of these.

Michael Ossmann said...

For those interested in the beta program and subsequent availability, see: Announcing the HackRF Beta

Anonymous said...

i'll take two please.

Anonymous said...

Hello hello hello! I want two of these as well

Anonymous said...

I want, I want, I want.

Anonymous said...

This remarkable achievement puts you in the hall of the same few people who will be remembered here for 100 years!


Genecyber said...

Ever since I saw incorrectly encoded characters on my car stereo via meta data coming from the radio station, I've wanted to experiment with extracting the data from an rf transmission, attempt injection, make my stereo say funky things, embed messages, look for other data, etc.

Anonymous said...

What will be required to connect an external antenna to the card?

Michael Ossmann said...

Any external antenna with an SMA connector (or adapter) can be used with Jawbreaker.

Unknown said...

OK I'll beta test one for you.
I have been playing with the RTL dongles and Funcube pro for about a year or more.
Also a licenced HAM KB1UIF and
G6JVS. have many antenna's both comercial and home brew.
I have all the sma adapters required also.

Unknown said...

how can i order the Hack rf jawbreaker?


Michael Ossmann said...

Simon: HackRF will be available for purchase after the Kickstarter rewards ship. Watch for the latest information about availability.

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