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flyinglotus1983
357
Aug 4, 2017
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Since neither the description on Massdrop nor the GreatScottGadgets page made any reference to transmit power, I looked at the schematics and this is what I came up with:
- 10 dBm output from the CC1110, which is 10 milliwatts at 50 ohms. - That's passed to a SPF5043Z LNA MMIC, which has a ~18 dB gain - There would be a bit of loss in the SKY13385 switch and the LPF but let's just say they're negligable. - That totals out to a whopping 631 milliwatts of output
tl;dr: This is keyfob territory, not amatuer radio station territory. e.g. within a building or within the range of a car. Being that this radio will happily transmit in amateur radio 70cm band, it could be hooked up to a linear amplifier up to the legal limit (1500W, IIRC) as long as it's within the geographical limitations, e.g. stay the heck away from Canada). You'd need some sort of power-activated PTT but otherwise would work. There are better 70cm radios out there, considering this one only works with a few select data modes (admittedly at 500 kbps which isn't shabby).
Edit: I only briefly looked at this, if anyone comes up with a different number, I'll be happy to edit my post.
Aug 4, 2017
Elsid
641
Aug 4, 2017
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Hi, I'm at a loss on this one. Is there a site that could describe it's function in lay terms. Thanks
Aug 4, 2017
flyinglotus1983
357
Aug 4, 2017
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Here's the product page (also not in Massdrop's description for some dumb reason!): https://greatscottgadgets.com/yardstickone/
The target audience of this product, I'd say, is makers, hackers, possibly small businesses, and ham radio operators. It's basically a reference board for a Texas Instruments all-in-one USB+Radio transceiver chip. It's cool because it works in a few popular bands (radio frequencies) that a lot of consumer electronics happens to work at. So, with some ingenuity, this thing could possibly act as a keyfob, maybe even recording traffic and playing it back. If you google the ISM band, you'll see that the 915 MHz range is used for all sorts of stuff. This device may be able to communicate with a lot of those devices, in ways that a manufacturer probably didn't intend. That's the sort of thing that would be challenging or fun to a hardware hacker, or might even be profitable for a small company. For the ham radio operator, they could use this device with a linear amplifier to send high-speed data back and forth across a few mountaintops with very little effort (would be a weekend project). With line of sight and a pair of yagi antennas, you could probably go across a mountain top without any other equipment.
This particular device is pretty cool because it has a Python library ready to go, and also interfaces to some existing software defined radio applications. Meaning that it's ready to start using in a development environment, rather than just an end-user product.
I'd say that if you're looking for an explanation in lay terms it's probably not worth buying for a 'first' radio project. Something like an RTL-SDR (via Amazon.com or NooElec) would be a better choice.. buy an RTL-SDR and figure that out, then this sort of thing would start making sense.
Hope that helps. I'm not in any way affiliated with Great Scott Gadgets, I'm just a ham radio operator providing my opinion.
Aug 4, 2017
Elsid
641
Aug 4, 2017
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Hey, thanks a lot! Sounds interesting. I'll study up.
Aug 4, 2017
AlphaIOmega
18
Aug 9, 2017
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Why stay away from Canada?
Aug 9, 2017
bearstampede
167
Aug 2, 2018
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Aug 2, 2018
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