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Hi Derek, I was on the cusp of ordering a B205mini-i when I saw
the "student" offer on the Pluto. Not totally convinced, but one
hell of a saving for some initial experiments and a way to
refamiliarise myself with GNUradio. Notes say some early versions
have a 9364, and can therefore be unlocked to cover up to 6GHz,
but if the later ones have the 9363, that won't be possible I
guess? I note that Analog site says they are on back order, and
Farnell have no stock either. Arrow and Digikey also have none.
At the price, it is worth taking a punt on one just to play with,
even if it won't cover 5.7GHz.
What do you find the real-world noise figure is on the B200mini
receiver? Spec says <8dB, and I've seen 5dB quoted at 2.4GHz.
I had a chance to talk with Analog Devices at GNU
Radio Conference last month where they were, among
many things, showing off the PlutoSDR. It is a simple
but effective transceiver. Anyone using it should add
external band pass filters to improve its performance.
I use the B200mini which uses the same Analog Devices
936x family transceiver chip as the core of my microwave
and VHF/UHF radio work. I tend to use a bandwidth of
about 1 MHz and then use DSP to handle pulling
individual signals out of the passband. I'd be very
happy to talk with anyone interested in using an SDR
like this as part of their setup. My daily work is
building and programming these radios. The Pluto,
LimeSDR, USRPs, and other similar radios are just going
to grow more and more common and it's definitely a
technology we should make more use of.
By the way, the Pluto ships by default with a frequency
range of 325 - 3800 MHz, but some or possibly all can be
upgraded to a range of 70 - 6000 MHz. The effective tuning
accuracy out of the box is sub 1 Hz with a few ppm
accuracy. Unfortunately the PlutoSDR does not have an
external reference feature, but some handy soldering could
replace the reference TCXO...