Software Defined Radio

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Introduction

Computers and amateur radio have a long history. Computer-controlled radios are ubiquitous and digital modes are becoming more and more a part of RF communication. Software-defined radio is another way computers are intersecting with radio.


Definition

SDRs are devices where software replaces some portion of the signal-processing chain traditionally performed by hardware. One could also say that SDRs perform digital signal processing on radio waveforms.

It is important to differentiate computer-controlled radios from software-defined radios. Most computer-controlled radios are traditional radios that allow the operator to use a computer (rather than inputs on the radio) to select frequency, toggle filters, and perform other actions.


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