The HackRF project has been open source from the very beginning. Even before we started the project, Jared Boone and I wanted to have an open source hardware platform for Software Defined Radio (SDR). Our early prototype designs were published in our repository along with every step of our hardware and software development, and we used open source development tools including KiCad and GCC.
We felt that the world needed an open source hardware design for SDR. GNU Radio had been around for several years, leading a thriving community of open source software development for SDR, but no general purpose SDR hardware designs were available under an open source license. Both Jared and I had started our own businesses devoted to open source hardware development because we felt strongly that open source is simply the right thing to do, and we thought that an SDR peripheral would be an important contribution we could make to the open source hardware and SDR communities.
More than 500 Jawbreakers are being produced right now, and I plan to give nearly all of them away. It is incredibly exciting to be giving people actual hardware in addition to giving away the design! As far as I know, this is the largest beta give-away of any open source hardware project to date. We are thankful for the support of the DARPA Cyber Fast Track program that enabled us not only to develop HackRF in the first place but to produce and distribute so many beta units.
If you would like to participate in the beta program and receive your own Jawbreaker, you can register today. It's free! I distributed beta invitation codes to the attendees of ToorCon 14 and the 2012 GNU Radio Conference last fall. Each of those codes may be used now to register for a spot at the top of the beta list. There are more Jawbreakers than codes, so you can also get on the waiting list for additional units even if you do not have a code. I don't know how many codes will be redeemed, but there is a good chance it will be less than 100%. In order to be fair to the people on the waiting list and to avoid having a large pile of unused Jawbreakers, I established a deadline for the use of invitation codes. The deadline (20 May 2013) is approaching rapidly; if you have any friends who were at ToorCon 14 or the 2012 GNU Radio Conference, this would be a good time to remind them to use their codes!Sick of Beige case design from our friends at Dangerous Prototypes. I will not be shipping enclosures with the beta units, but you can download the design and either order one for yourself or make one on your own laser cutter. Don't have a laser cutter? Maybe it's time to make some new friends at your local hackerspace!