We spent most of this week conducting RF calibration and collecting EVM measurements.
The output coming out is a 10MHz occupied bandwidth QPSK signal passed through a root raised cosine filter at 4.8MSPS and a 28MHz reconstruction filter.
The LOs were specifically chosen to be multiples of 38.4MHz (which is the fundamental frequency of the on-board VCTCXO) so that we could test the signal and identify any clock spurs. Fortunately, there don’t appear to be any spurs.
We have gathered enough data and experimented enough to figure out how to best calibrate these devices. Although the current EVM is very good, there still exist many other low hanging fruit that should let us push the EVM even lower.
LO at 384MHz
LO at 576MHz
LO at 768MHz
LO at 1152MHz
LO at 1920MHZ
Last week’s batch of pre-production units functioned well enough for us to feel comfortable about manufacturing the rest of the pre-production units (pictured below); according to our manufacturer some of these boards were assembled as recently as this morning! The boards are programmed and ready to be shipped out as soon as we collect enough data on the variability of some of the RF chain’s parameters. Once we finish running the appropriate tests and gather enough data, we will give the go ahead to mass produce the bladeRF and aim for a general ship date sometime in June.
Our order fulfillment system is now up and running, so if you are a pre-production tier backer and haven’t yet signed up, please check your inbox! We will begin collecting shipping addresses for everyone else within a week or so, please stay tuned!
As a quick side note, our contract manufacturer choice allowed us to design and assemble the bladeRF not only domestically but completely within the city limits of San Francisco!
We just received a few (5) assembled samples of the pre-production boards today. The rest will be here mid to late next week and so we hope to ship everything out by the end of next week and the beginning of the following week. There are several issues we have to work through before we can release our code but we hope to be able to do so by mid next week. We also have to add support for the Si5338 before we can send these units out. Once everything is verified (within 2 weeks or so) we will manufacture the rest of the boards and hopefully start filling orders early next month.
The pre-production boards are still being assembled, they should be completed any week now. We are making good progress on the software and order fulfillment systems we promised, so those should be done just as the boards arrive. Lastly, with the exception of the CYUSB3014 and the Si5338, we now have production quantities of every other component in our possession. This means that once the pre-production units are verified, we will begin the production run. Fortunately for us all, our assembly house tells us that they anticipate the production run will take less time to assemble than the pre-production run.
This past week was rather uneventful. As we continue to wait for the boards to get assembled we’ll update the FPGA, firmware, drivers, and user mode applications. We are also working on finishing up our order fulfillment system so we can start taking your mailing addresses.