Since the days of Alan Turing, the promise of a digital computer has been that of a universal machine, one that can be a word processor one minute and a robot brain the next. So why are radios, a technology even older than computers, still designed stubbornly to do one thing-like 3G, Wifi, FM, or GPS-for their entire lives?In fact, the era of the single-purpose radio is over, says Michael Ossmann, the founder of an Evergreen, Colorado company called Great Scott Gadgets. And he believes he's built the one cheap, hacker-friendly radio to rule them all...."Pretty much any wireless device that you can think of would be in the frequency range covered by HackRF," says Ossmann."Just from observing [a signal] over the air, you can reverse engineer it completely to figure out the information transmitted over the network, and potentially inject your own transmissions onto that network. All of that can be done with one HackRF device and a laptop."With HackRF in the hands of hackers or security researchers, in other words, no wireless signal would remain secure just by virtue of using a unique, unfamiliar frequency. Ossmann says that tools like HackRF mean wireless communications will need to evolve beyond the "security through obscurity" model of protecting communications that has long been considered outmoded in the wired computing world....
I am going to supply my first reply here. Are there any radio / data conversion experts out there? Here is what he gives as HackRF project goals:•transmit and receive•operating frequency: 100 MHz to 6 GHz•maximum sample rate: 20 Msps•resolution: 8 bits•interface: High Speed USB•power supply: USB bus power•portable•open source hardware and software•low costOK, it all makes sense to me. But one question, how can a 20Msps 8 bit ADC/DAC be sufficient when working at these frequencies? That's all it takes? I wonder if you could do more with some of the (admittedly more expensive) faster high resolution ADCs on the market. There are 16 bit ADCs now with 100msps data conversion rates or faster and obviously far faster 8 bid ADCs. How can this be enough? Thanks.
Ah, it makes sense. If the IF frequency is reasonable enough then the ADC can be a mid-power one and not one of those non-exportable weapons grade ones. I don't know a lot about how front ends change RF to IF but since they obviously do it well enough this finally makes sense.What do you think of this radio? $100,000 has become $1200 has become $300 and soon probably $17.97 at WalMart.
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