N300/N310 Getting Started Guides

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Kit Contents


  • USRP N300/N310
  • DC Power Supply (12V, 7A)
  • 1 RJ45 – SFP+ Adapter
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet Cat-5e Cable (3m)
  • USB-A to Micro USB-B Cable (1m)
  • Getting Started Guide
  • Ettus Research Sticker
n310 kit.png

Verify the Contents of Your Kit

Ensure that your kit contains all the items listed above. If any items are missing, please contact sales@ettus.com​ immediately.

You Will Need

  • For Network Mode: A host computer with an available 1 or 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface for sample streaming.
  • For Stand-Alone Embedded Mode: A host computer with an available 1 Gigabit Ethernet port or a USB 2.0 port to remotely access the embedded Linux operating system running on ARM CPU.

Proper Care and Handling

All Ettus Research products are individually tested before shipment. The USRP is guaranteed to be functional at the time it is received by the customer. Improper use or handling of the USRP can cause the device to become non-functional. Take the following precautions to prevent damage to the unit.

  • Never allow metal objects to touch the circuit board while powered.
  • Always properly terminate the transmit port with an antenna or 50Ω load.
  • Always handle the board with proper anti-static methods.
  • Never allow the board to directly or indirectly come into contact with any voltage spikes.
  • Never allow any water or condensing moisture to come into contact with the device.
  • Always use caution with FPGA, firmware, or software modifications.
Never apply more than -15 dBm of power into any RF input.
Always use at least 30dB attenuation if operating in loopback configuration

Install and Setup the Software Tools on Your Host Computer

In order to use your Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP™), you must have the software tools correctly installed and configured on your host computer. A step-by-step guide for doing this is available at the Building and Installing the USRP Open-Source Toolchain (UHD and GNU Radio) on Linux, OS X and Windows Application Notes. See the Hardware Specifications section of the USRP N300 Series Hardware Resources page for additional details on which version of the USRP Hardware Driver, UHD, is required. It is recommended to use the latest stable version of UHD that is available.

If you have a USB stick with the Live SDR Environment installed on it, then you may boot your host computer from that. The LiveUSB SDR Environment does not require anything to be installed on your host computer, and contains a Linux-based environment with the UHD software and the GNU Radio framework already installed. More information about the Live SDR Environment is available at the Live SDR Environment Getting Started Guides page.

The USRP N300/N310 requires UHD version or later. Ettus recommends using the latest stable version of UHD. Please consult the UHD Manual at ​[1] for more details on device-specific software features.

Connecting the Device

Powering on for the First Time

You can connect the device to your host computer in the following ways:

  • Using the on-board serial-to-USB connector.
  • Using the RJ-45 Ethernet port and an SSH client on your host computer.

To power on the device for the first time, connect the host computer to the device using the USB cable. This setup allows you to review and modify the network configuration of the device and interact with the bootloader in case of problems during the boot process.

Setting up a Serial Connection

On a Linux or macOS system, the serial connection can be established using a terminal emulator such as screen​, as shown below:

   sudo screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

The exact device node ​/dev/ttyUSB0​ depends on your operating system's driver and which other USB devices are already connected. It can usually be found by looking through the output of ​dmesg​ or journalctl​ after connecting the device to your host computer. A​ ​dmesg​ output for the serial-to-USB converter could appear as follows:

   [924.102764] usb 1-1: FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB0

On Microsoft Windows, the serial connection can be established using a tool such as ​Putty​.

Select a baud rate of ​115200​ and the corresponding serial port for the serial-to-USB converter.

Boot messages will appear and update rapidly after you power on the device. Once the boot process successfully completes, a login prompt like the following should appear:

   ni-3xx-<motherboard serial #>:

Enter the username ​root​ and leave the password field blank.

You should be presented with a shell like the following:

   root@ni-n3xx-<motherboard serial #>:~#

Configuring an SSH Connection

The device relies on the DHCP protocol to automatically obtain an IP address when connected over the RJ45 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. If your network setup does not include a DHCP server, refer to the ​Serial Connection​ section above or configure a DHCP server on the network to provide an IP address to the device.

After the device has obtained an IP address, you can remotely log into it from a Linux or macOS system with SSH, as shown below:

   $ ssh root@

NOTE: The IP address may vary depending on your network setup.

On Microsoft Windows, the connection can be established using ​Putty​. Enter the IP address of the device and the username ​root. The password field should be left blank.

You should be presented with a shell like the following:

   root@nni-n3xx-<motherboard serial #>:~#

Find more details on network configuration here: https://files.ettus.com/manual/page_usrp_n3xx.html#n3xx_network_configuration

Setting Up a Streaming Connection

The device supports multiple, high-speed, low-latency interfaces on the SFP+ ports for streaming samples to the host computer. Complete the steps below to set up a streaming connection over the 1 Gigabit Ethernet interface on the SFP+ port.

1. Configure your Host's Ethernet adapter as shown below:

   IP Address:
   Subnet Mask:

2. Insert the ​ RJ45 – SFP+ adapter ​into​ SFP Port 0​ .

3. Connect the adapter to a host computer using the Ethernet cable.

The ​ Green LED​ above ​SFP Port 0​ should illuminate.

4. To test the connection,​ ​ping​ the device at address​ from the host, as shown below:

   $ ping

For more details on Network Setup and Configuration, please see the “Interfaces and Connectivity” section on the N300/N310 hardware resources page located within the Ettus Research Knowledge Base at ​https://kb.ettus.com/N300/N310​ .

Verifying Device Operation

Once the UHD driver is installed on the host computer, verify the correct operation of the device by running the various utility programs included in the driver. Refer to the Application Note Verifying the Operation of the USRP Using UHD and GNU Radio.

Upgrading to 10 Gigabit Ethernet

The device also supports dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections. To use these interfaces, we recommend our 10 Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity kit. For more information on this accessory, visit https://www.ettus.com/product/details/10GIGE-KIT​. For more information on using the 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface, refer to N300/N310 Hardware Resources Page.

Updating the Filesystem

Before operating the device, reimage the microSD card with the latest version of Embedded Linux Filesystem and the FPGA image. For a detailed step-by-step guide to updating the File System and FPGA image, refer to N300/N310 Hardware Resources Page.

Turning the Device Off/On

To avoid damaging the file system and causing any corruption, do not turn the device off with the power button without first shutting down the system. Use this command to cleanly and properly shut the system down:

   shutdown ­-h now

Network Connectivity

By default, the N310 USRP will be configured as a DHCP client on the 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. Assuming your network resolves hostnames (depends on your routers / switches), if you connect the device to your network, you should see it appear with the hostname ni-n3xx-<motherboard serial #>.​ You can then access the device over SSH.

If the hostname does not resolve, you can discover the IP address by logging into the device over the serial connection, or checking your network’s DHCP tables.

Once you have logged in to the device, you can reconfigure the network settings (e.g., you could configure it for a static IP address, if you wish).

Logging In

When you first log in to the device, the user is ‘root’ and the password is empty (no password).

Example Programs

The UHD driver includes several example programs, which may serve as test programs or the basis for your application program. These example programs are already installed on the N300/N310 USRP, and the source code can be obtained from the UHD repository on GitHub at: https://github.com/EttusResearch/uhd/tree/master/host/examples

Test and Verify the Operation of the USRP

You can quickly verify the operation of your USRP N300/N310 by running the rx_ascii_art_dft UHD example program. The rx_ascii_art_dft utility is a simple console ­based, real­time FFT display tool. It is not graphical in nature, so it can be easily run over an SSH connection within a terminal window, and does not need any graphical capability, such as X Windows, to be installed. It can also be run over a serial console connection, although this is not recommended, as the formatting may not render correctly.

You can run a simple test of the N300/N310 USRP by connecting an antenna and observing the spectrum of a commercial FM radio station in real­time. Please follow the steps listed below.

1. Attach an antenna to the RX2­ antenna port of the N310.

2. Log into the N310 from an external host computer over Ethernet using an SSH client.

3. At a terminal prompt running on the N310, run:

   /usr/lib/uhd/examples/rx_ascii_art_dft ­­--freq 88.1e6 ­­--rate 400e3 ­­--gain 30 ­­--ref­-lvl ­-30

4. Modify the command­line argument freq ​above to specify a tuning frequency for a strong local FM radio station.

5. You should see a real­time FFT display of 400 KHz of spectrum, centered at the specified tuning frequency.

6. Type "Q" or Ctrl­-C to stop the program and to return to the Linux command line.

7. You can adjust the size of your terminal window and then re­run the command to enlarge or shrink the FFT display.

8. You can run with the "​­­help"​option to see a description of all available command­line options.

Additional information is available at the Verifying the Operation of the USRP Using UHD and GNU Radio Application Note.

Technical Support and Community Knowledge Base

Technical support for USRP hardware is available through email only. If the product arrived in a non­functional state or you require technical assistance, please contact support@ettus.com. Please allow 24 to 48 hours for response by email, depending on holidays and weekends, although we are often able to reply more quickly than that.

We also recommend that you subscribe to the community mailing lists. The mailing lists have a responsive and knowledgeable community of hundreds of developers and technical users who are located around the world. When you join the community, you will be connected to this group of people who can help you learn about SDR and respond to your technical and specific questions. Often your question can be answered quickly on the mailing lists. Each mailing list also provides an archive of all past conversations and discussions going back many years. Your question or problem may have already been addressed before, and a relevant or helpful solution may already exist in the archive.

Discussions involving the USRP hardware and the UHD software itself are best addressed through the u​srp­-users ​mailing list at http://usrp-users.ettus.com.

Discussions involving the use of GNU Radio with USRP hardware and UHD software are best addressed through the d​iscuss­-gnuradio​ mailing list at https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss­gnuradio​.

Discussions involving the use of OpenBTS® with USRP hardware and UHD software are best addressed through the o​penbts­-discuss​ mailing list at https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/openbts­discuss​.​

The support page on our website is located at https://www.ettus.com/support​. The Knowledge Base is located at ​https://kb.ettus.com​.

Legal Considerations

Every country has laws governing the transmission and reception of radio signals. Users are solely responsible for insuring they use their USRP system in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Before attempting to transmit and/or receive on any frequency, we recommend that you determine what licenses may be required and what restrictions may apply.

  • NOTE: This USRP product is a piece of test equipment.

Sales and Ordering Support

If you have any non­-technical questions related to your order, then please contact us by email at orders@ettus.com​, or by phone at +1­408­610­6399 (Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM, Pacific Time). Please be sure to include your order number and the serial number of your USRP.

Terms and Conditions of Sale

Terms and conditions of sale can be accessed online at the following link: http://www.ettus.com/legal/terms-and-conditions-of-sale