I made an enclosure for my bladeRF board from laser-cut acrylic (also known as “Perspex”). This is the first time I experimented with custom laser cutting. The laser cutting service is provided by SeeedStudio. I’m very pleased with the result, see photos below.
The acrylic used is 2.55 mm thick. The PCB is mounted to the bottom plate using eight M2.5 hex spacers. The top plate and the bottom plate are held together by four M4 hex posts.
Laser-cut acrylic is good for making a prototype enclosure. It is quick and easy to design. It requires no effort in producing them. It also has a nice distinctive look.
In this entry I’ve provided instructions on how you can run this software on your own BeagleBone. I’ve released the software – ViewRF – under the GPL license. You can download the source code hosted on GitHub.
The hardware you need (other than the BeagleBone itself) is the RTL2832U based DVB-T (digital TV) USB dongle. See RTL-SDR wiki for a list of supported hardware. I’ve tested the software with dongles based on the Elonics E4000 tuner and also the Rafael Micro R820T tuner. These dongles are available from various online shops.
The software has been designed to run on a 800×480 resolution screen, ie the resolution of the 7 inch LCD cape.
Set the following environment variables: export OE_QMAKE_CXX=/usr/bin/gcc
Download, compile and install QWT: wget http://jaist.dl.sourceforge.net/project/qwt/qwt/6.1.0/qwt-6.1.0.tar.bz2
tar -xjvf qwt-6.1.0.tar.bz2
Edit qwtconfig.pri, remove QwtOpenGL, QwtDesigner
Edit ./src/src.pro, change TARGET to: TARGET = $$qwtLibraryTarget(qwt$$QT_LIBINFIX)
Continue with the compilation process: qmake
Download, compile and install RTL-SDR library: cd
git clone git://git.osmocom.org/rtl-sdr.git
Edit /etc/profile, add the line: export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib:/usr/local/qwt-6.1.0/lib
Edit /etc/profile.d/qte.sh, if using touchscreen add the line: export QWS_MOUSE_PROTO=LinuxInput:/dev/input/touchscreen0
or if using a mouse, add the line: export QWS_MOUSE_PROTO=MouseMan:/dev/psaux
Logout, then log back in again.
Download and run ViewRF software cd
git clone git://github.com/stephenong/ViewRF.git
To run the pre-built binary (don’t run the git checkout command if you are building from source) git checkout 9b4d425331
I hope this software is useful to you. Let me know what you do with it. Feel free to donate :), link on the sidebar.
A demonstration of my Spectrum Analyzer project built using the Beaglebone Black and a USB DVB-T digital television receiver. The receiver is based on Realtek RTL2832U accessed using RTL-SDR library. The demonstration shows the RF spectrum of various sources.
I had difficulty justifying the purchase of this oscilloscope, as I had doubts on its usefulness and performance. However, the unit has such cool form factor that I just had to have it. The oscilloscope is modestly priced at USD $89. I justified buying it because, if for some reason the oscilloscope is not usable, then I still can use it as an ARM STM32 development board (Hey, this is the same CPU that powers Hexi’s locomotion engine).