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New Custom Firmware for the PlutoSDR with Several Linux SDR Programs Pre-Installed

January 08, 2019 admin

The PlutoSDR is an Analog Devices $99 - $149 RX/TX capable SDR with 20 MHz of bandwidth and a 325 MHz to 3.8 GHz frequency range that is software hackable to 56 Mhz of bandwidth and a 70 MHz to 6000 MHz frequency. It has an on board Xilinx Zynq Z-7010 FPGA, which has a built in dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor as well. This processor is capable of running Linux and Linux SDR software on the PlutoSDR itself. PlutoSDR's can be purchased directly from Analog Devices, or via ArrowDigiKey or Mouser.

Recently "Lama Bleu" has been working on a custom firmware image for the PlutoSDR. Installing custom firmware allows you to load up a pre-configured Linux system which already has a bunch of useful software installed. He writes that his version is not designed to have a nice GUI, but rather focuses on scripting and data acquisition software. A list of software pre-installed to the image is shown below:

To access these tools you simply connect to the PlutoSDR via a network connection and SSH. With some of the tools installed it is possible to do things on board the PlutoSDR like recording signals, demodulating signals, transmitting CW, stream demodulated audio over a network, plot the spectrum on the terminal, create an online SDR with OpenWebRX, do a long spectrum scan and transmit DATV. 

An alternative custom firmware is PlutoWeb which we posted about in the past. This image is designed for creating a web interface GUI, and for running streaming software such as OpenWebRX.

A spectrum scan completed on board a PlutoSDR running Lama Bleu's custom firmware.
A spectrum scan completed on board a PlutoSDR with rx_tools, running Lama Bleu's custom firmware.
GNU Plot running on the PlutoSDR with Lama Bleu's custom firmware.
GNU Plot running on the PlutoSDR with Lama Bleu's custom firmware.