Technical FAQ

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How do I get started?

For the UHD Getting Started documentation please refer to: UHD Manual.

For the GNU Radio Getting Started documentation please refer to:

Do you have antennas to match your daughterboards?

Yes, we have antennas for nearly every daughterboard which we sell. Please see the ordering page for pictures and specifications.

What operating systems are supported?

The UHD (USRP Hardware Driver) supports all Ettus Research hardware on the following operating systems:

  • Linux (2.6 kernel, any distribution)
  • Mac OSX (PPC and Intel)
  • Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000
  • NetBSD and FreeBSD

Primary development is done on Linux.

Are design files available with the boards that may aid in further prototyping?

Yes. Schematics for select USRP devices and daughterboards are available. You can find them here:

Are there any license requirement for the transmit or transceive daughterboards?

The USRP hardware is sold as test equipment. If you choose to use your USRP hardware and daughterboards to transmit using an antenna, it is your responsibility to make sure you are in compliance with all laws for the country, frequency and power levels in which the device is used. Additionally, some countries regulate reception in certain frequency bands. Again, it is the responsibility of the user to maintain compliance with all local laws and regulations.

Will the power supply work in country X? Is it approved in country X? What are the power requirements?

All current USRP software defined radios require 6V at 3A. The USRP power supply shipped with all USRP software defined radios has the following specifications:

  • Input: 90-264 Vac at 50 to 60Hz
  • Output: 6Vdc at 3A
  • Interchangeable input plugs provided: NA, EU, UK, AU
  • Safety Approvals: UL/cUL, GS, CE, FCC, RCM
  • EMC/EMI: FCC class B, CE, VCCI class II

The DC plug is a 2.1mm center conductor, 9.5mm barrel, 5.5mm outer diameter standard plug.

The USRP power supplies accept 90-264Vac at 50 or 60Hz, and come with interchangeable plugs that allow use in most parts of the world.

What USRP models are compatible with the GPSDO kit?

The GPSDO kit is compatible with a specific set of USRP models and revisions. Compatibility is determined by hardware characteristics, and therefore incompatible models cannot be upgraded to be made compatible. Before purchasing a GPSDO kit please verify whether it will be compatible with the USRP device you intend to use with it. The compatible models and revisions are:

USRP N200/N210

  • USRP N200 Rev 2.0
  • USRP N200 Rev 3.0
  • USRP N200 Rev 4.0
  • USRP N210 Rev 2.0
  • USRP N210 Rev 3.0
  • USRP N210 Rev 4.0

USRP E100/E110

  • USRP E100 Rev 4.0
  • USRP E110 Rev 4.0

Please note the USRP hardware revision is on the label on the back of the unit.

The GPSDO kit is not compatible with the USRP1, USRP2, USRP B100 and any revision of the USRP N200/210 and E100/110 series not listed above.

What driver is required by new daughterboards?

All new hardware designed or updated after the release of the UHD (USRP Hardware Driver) will only be supported by UHD.

Currently the following daughterboards require the UHD driver:

  • TVRX2, Dual 50-860 MHz receiver
  • DBSRX2, 800-2400 MHz receiver
  • SBX, 400 MHz to 4.4 GHz Transceiver

Are all daughterboards compatible with all USRP motherboards?

All daughterboards are compatible with all USRP models except for the first 500 USRP1 software defined radios manufactured in 2005. At that time all daughterboards had an onboard local oscillator so the USRP1 did not provide a clock signal required by most of the current daughterboards. The only daughterboards currently compatible with the first 500 USRP1 are the BasicRX, BasicTX, LFRX and LFTX as they do not require a clock signal.

To identify if you have one of the first 500 USRP1 devices, please refer to the serial number as it will be between 1 and 500.

Although unsupported, a workaround exists and can be accessed on the following page: USRP Serial Below 500 on GNU Radio.

Can I create a radio system with just a USRP motherboard and BasicTX/BasicRX, but no RF frontend?

The most direct and easy way to create a complete radio system is to use one of our complete RF frontend daughterboards including the TVRX2, DBSRX2, WBX, SBX, RFX-series and XCVR2450.

However, you can use the BasicRX and BasicTX with your own external RF hardware. For reception, a gain and filtering must be added in the front of the BasicRX daughterboard. This can be done pretty easily with Mini-Circuits® parts, or the 10.7 MHz IF output of common scanners and receivers. The BasicRX board handles signals up to around 300MHz directly. For higher frequencies downconverting is needed.

With the BasicTX can I transmit basic FM and AM, without additional hardware?

Yes, the BasicTX will put out about 1mW up to about 50 MHz. A simple connectorized amplifier (Mini-Circuits®, for example) will achieve a greater range. You may also want to add some filtering.