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Surfin’: Combining Software Defined Radios and Smartphones

05/24/2013

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ checks out a ham who is developing a handheld radio that’s a cross between a smartphone and an SDR.

The Dayton Hamvention® was last weekend and I drove 735 miles to attend the event for the 25th time. I'm thankful that my smart phone and its map apps got me to Hamvention and back without error.

Speaking of smartphones, that technology inspired the most interesting radio I saw at Hamvention. Chris Testa, KD2BMH, is making a new handheld ham radio that is a cross between a smartphone and a software defined radio (SDR). The “Whitebox Software Radio Project” -- a Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR) Open Hardware License (OHL) and Open Software License (OSL) project -- had reached the stage where Chris could display populated printed circuit boards at TAPR’s Hamvention booth. The boards were still warm , as Chris had received them from the board builder only 35 hours earlier!

Chris is on Twitter and the Whitebox project is also on Facebook. You can view Chris’s presentation about practical handheld SDRs from last fall’s ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC) on YouTube.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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