Software defined radios are capable of a surprising number of things. After nearly a year of development, we have developed a method of increasing the bladeRF’s spectrum analysis bandwidth up to 124MHz. This software-only change takes advantage of the bladeRF’s advanced hardware design, and requires only a few additional changes to osmocom-sdr, and GQRX. With 96MHz it is possible to monitor the entirety of the 2.4GHz ISM band and not miss any Bluetooth or WiFi frames.
So how does this work? The bladeRF features a few HDL accelerators that allow it to calibrate and tune the underlying RF front-end several thousand times a second. By performing these tasks so quickly, the bladeRF can take in digitize and stitch together up to 200MHz of additional bandwidth.
How do I get this running? You will have to compile and use gr-osmosdr and GQRX from the Nuand branches, https://github.com/Nuand/gr-osmosdr , and https://github.com/Nuand/gqrx .
These instructions and this article only apply to the bladeRF x40 and bladeRF x115. To compile and run gr-osmosdr
$ cd ~/software/gnuradio-build/ $ wget https://nuand.com/downloads/expiremental-gr-osmosdr.git.tar $ tar xfz experimental-gr-osmosdr.git.tar $ cd ~/software/gnuradio-builds/gr-osmosdr $ mkdir build $ cd build $ cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/opt/gnuradio-18.104.22.168 ../ $ make -j8 && sudo make install && sudo ldconfig
To compile and run GQRX
$ cd ~/software/gnuradio-build/ $ wget https://nuand.com/downloads/expiremental-gqrx.git.tar $ tar xfz experimental-gqrx.git.tar $ cd gqrx $ mkdir build $ cd build $ cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/opt/gnuradio-22.214.171.124 ../ $ make -j8 && sudo make install && sudo ldconfig
Monitor the entire 2.4GHz band with one radio.
NB: Screenshots showing 96MHz width represent a configured value below the maximum of 124MHz.