Category Archives: Radio

Legally using a CB or Amateur Radio Whilst Driving


Can you legally use a CB radio whilst driving in the UK?
Yes you can, two way radios such as CB, amateur radio, taxi radio etc are exempt from the mobile phone laws. But be aware that you will be prosecuted if your use of a CB radio results in dangerous driving or an accident. Also, using one will give the police an excuse to pull you over much the same as they pull over vehicles that have blue LED lights which aren’t illegal either. Have a look at the Police National Legal Database and do a search for CB or blue LED’s but remember – the police just need an excuse to check both you and your vehicle.


Airspy – Wideband Receiver


Ok, so i’m still waiting the arrival of my new toy..  The Airspy – Wideband Receiver (available from here).

I will update with a couple of videos when I finally receive it…

What is Airspy?

Airspy is an advanced a very advanced software defined radio receiver capable of sampling 10MHz of spectrum anywhere between 24MHz and 1.8GHz – and even beyond with extensions. It is the only high performance wide band receiver solution in the market that’s yet affordable.

Technical specifications:

  • Continuous 24 – 1800 MHz RX range with no gaps
  • 3.5 dB NF between 42 and 1002 MHz
  • Tracking RF filters
  • 35dBm IIP3 RF front end
  • 12bit ADC @ 20 MSPS (80dB Dynamic Range, 64dB SNR, 10.4 ENOB) – Yeah, size does matter.
  • 10MSPS IQ output
  • Experimental 2.5MSPS IQ output for low power devices (Raspberry Pi, Odroid, etc.)
  • Up to 80 MSPS for custom applications
  • Cortex M4F @ up to 204MHz with Multi Core support (dual M0)
  • 1.5 ppm high precision, low phase noise clock
  • 1 RTC clock (for packet time-stamping)
  • External clock input (10 MHz to 100 MHz via MCX connector) – Ideal for phase coherent radios
  • 10 MHz panoramic spectrum view with 9MHz alias/image free
  • IQ or Real, 16bit fixed or 32bit float output streams
  • No IQ imbalance, DC offset or 1/F noise at the center of the spectrum that plagues all the other SDRs
  • Extension ports: 16 x SGPIO
  • 1 x RF Input (SMA)
  • 1 x RF Output (Loopthrough, U-FL)
  • 2 x High Speed ADC inputs (up to 80 MSPS, U-FL)
  • 4.5v software switched Bias-Tee to power LNA’s and up/down-converters
  • No drivers required! 100% Plug-and-play on Windows Vista, Seven, 8 and 8.1

Possible usages:

  • Radio surveillance,
  • Fast scanner,
  • Spectrum Analyzer,
  • Satellite IF,
  • Direction Finding,
  • Passive Radars,
  • ADS-B,
  • FM Radio,
  • Analog TV,
  • Digital Terrestrial TV,
  • Ham Radio,
  • Radio Astronomy,
  • Satellite base stations,
  • IF Panoramic adapter

Supported Software:

Supported platforms:

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 (XP works but it has been deprecated by Microsoft)
  • Linux
  • *BSD
  • OSX

Minimum hardware requirements:

  • 3rd gen Intel i3 2.4 GHz CPU or equivalent
  • 2GB of RAM (to run your own OS, airspy barely needs 1MB of memory)
  • High speed USB 2.0 controller

Developer API:

  • Open source multi-platform libairspy and airspy host tools at github
  • Open source airspy firmware at github
  • Linux kernel SDR API (by Antti Palosaari) at github