« Using GNURadio for Analog and Digital Communication » – 31th of January, hsbxl (hackerspace Brussels)

Ci-dessous des informations concernant le Workshop « Using GNURadio for Analog and Digital Communication » du 31/01/2019 au HSBXL.
C’est un Workshop qui ne se déroule normalement que dans certains salons radio-amateurs tels que « hamradio Friedrichshafen », c’est donc exceptionel de pouvoir recevoir cet évènement à Bruxelles.

Le Workshop se déroulera en Anglais uniquement, c’est pourquoi l’annonce n’est que en Anglais.

On Thursday, the 31th of January, hsbxl (hackerspace Brussels) will
be hosting a workshop « Using GNURadio for Analog and Digital
Communication ». This workshop is part of the « radio-day » of the
byteweek event, a week-long event of presentations, programming-sessions
and workshops held the week before the FOSDEM conference in ULB. (1)
The workshop aims to introduce the participants the possibilities and
use of GNUradio, an open-source framework for SDR (Software Defined
Radio), using examples from amateur-radio.

  • SDR: software defined radio

SDR has become a standard part of the amateur radio toolkit:
digimode-software like hamradio-deluxe or fldigi, software for
weak-signal modes like WSPR and FT-8, SDR transceiver-kits like the
limaSDR, the RTL-dongle or funcube to decode signals from amateur-radio
satellites or APRS signals. We use remote listening stations like the
websdr, radios like the flexradio that have a build-in waterfall display
and almost every modern handheld radio is based on a transceiver chip
based on SDR technology.

But what is SDR? How does it work? How can you implement a
complete tranceiver in a computer or a radiochip? And how can a SDR
radio implement features in software that are not possible to do using
analog components? And how can you use SDR to implement new features
that do not exist yet?

To answer these question, GNUradio comes in.

  • GNU Radio

GNUradio is SDR software of a different kind.
While the examples above use SDR technology, these are all end-user
applications: pieces of software that implement a certain specific
GNU Radio -on the other hand- is not an end-user application. It is a framework to create a Software-Defined Radio inside a computer, a tool to design SDR-systems.

GNU-radio consists out of three parts:

  • processing-blocks:
    These pieces of software implement one particular SDR function: a FM
    demodulator, a low-pass filter, a mixer, a RTL-dongle input block, a
    waterfall visualisation block, etc.
  • the « gnuradio companion »:
    This is a tool that allows users to visually combine processing-blocks
    and create a so-called « flow-graph »: a description of how signals flow
    from one block to another. One example may be: RTL-dongle receiver
    -> tuner -> FM demodulator -> low-pass filter -> amplifier
    -> PC speaker output
  • The 3th part, the gnuradio back-end is mostly invisible for the users:
    This is the engine that does the actual process of transporting signal-data from one block to another.
  • Workshop:

For amateur-radio, GNUradio has three main uses:

  • as an educational tool to learn more about SDR, .. or just about just radio-technology itself
  • as a tool to use as a receiver or a transmitter
  • as a tool to develop new radio-technology that do not yet exist

The « Using GNURadio for Analog and Digital Communication » workshop
is given Derek (MW0LNA) and Marcus Mueller (Karlsruher Institut für
Technologie). Derek and Marcus are two of the main developers of the
GNUradio project.

The main focus of the workshop is to teach people what is GNUradio,
what is can do, and how it can be used to model amateur-radio systems.

This event is -as its name indicates- a workshop, a session where you
are expected to participate actively yourself. As such, you are
expected to bring your own laptop with you to the event. Also, as the
goal is to keep the workshop focused on using and learning GNUradio
itself (and not just installing it), a USB bootable-disk is used that
provides you with a ready-to-use system with all software ready to use.

RTL dongle -used as receiver- are provided by the organisers.

The workshop starts at 8 PM, and will take up to 2 and a half hours (so up to 10h30 PM).

As already mentioned, it doesn’t happen that many times that this
kind of workshop is organised in Belgium. So, if you are interested in
really understanding SDR and how to use it for amateur-radio, this is a
special opportunity.

To keep the workshop manageable, it is limited to 20 places.
Please use this link to register.

73 – kristoff – ON1ARF

If there are any questions, feel free to contact me, either via mail

(on1arf {@} uba.be), or via DMR (2060073).

ON1ARF do a presentation « amateur radio for hackers » at 6PM the same day

(1) « byteweek » event: https://hsbxl.be/events/byteweek/2019/

(2) You are asked to -either- bring a 8 GB flash-drive to the work

(2) You are asked to -either- bring a 8 GB flash-drive to the workshop.
If possible, please flash the following ISO image on the drive beforehand:


As another option, a USB flash-drive will be provided at cost. (of
course, you can then keep the USB flash-drive afterwards), but do let us
know beforehand so we know how many flash-drives we need to forsee.

« electronics-Belgium » talkgroup on DMR: 20603
« electronics-Worldwide » talkgroup on DMR: 98008