28 January 2013

SDR on a netbook

Since sdr# runs fine on the 2004 laptop (Centrino CPU), I wanted to test the RTLSDR hardware on the eeePC 901 with a dual-core Atom N270 processor. That is not an hyperfast processor, but the netbook is small and it has a solid-state drive (SSD, as opposed to "spinning" hard disk or higher capacity).

First test involved using ADSBsharp to upload data to the common hub. This piece of software runs the RTLSDR dongle at 2048 Msamples/sec, and the machine was coping with the load, delivering as high as 120 decoded packets per second.

Then I tried latest sdr# development release and, despite the additional load for the display, the eeePC 901 behaved exactly as the older laptop. At 250 ksamples/s (total bandwidth of 250 kHz) there is CPU to spare.

Sure, the screen is tiny, but for a portable operation the netbook is small and solid. Note: I forced the "Super performance" mode, which apparently consists in a 5% overclock. With a reduced sample rate the CPU can be slowed down (to be tested).