Author Topic: LimeSDR versus HackRF one?  (Read 2006 times)

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Offline Bondguy

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LimeSDR versus HackRF one?
« on: January 05, 2018, 09:38:04 pm »
Is anyone capable of comparing LimeSDR versus HackRF one?
I thought about buying HackRF but read that  LimeSDR could have a brighter future.

Offline xaxaxa

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Re: LimeSDR versus HackRF one?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 01:25:37 am »
the limesdr is superior in almost all aspects:
* higher IIP3 (4dBm simultaneously with 3.5dB noise figure, compared to -11dBm for the hackRF at gain settings with similar noise figure, bottlenecked by the MAX2837)
* a bank of selectable baseband lowpass filters, which lets you pass only your desired signal into the adc (so that nearby interferers don't saturate your adc)
* 12 bit adc (compared to 8 bit for the hackrf); this gives you better in-band dynamic range (if you wish to receive multiple signals at once)

Offline Jane

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Re: LimeSDR versus HackRF one?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 01:48:46 am »
LimeSDR uses ( probably) better ( latest) technology but I read that it has /had some problems, e.g heating a lot, also being "deaf" and not being mature yet.( comments from 2017).Has it been  already changed?
Any comment?

Offline Bicurico

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Re: LimeSDR versus HackRF one?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 02:51:52 am »
I responded to the General Chat HackRF topic, but would like to leave one thought here, as well:

While I don't own the LimeSDR, I do own the HackRF.

This is open source hardware and open source software. Sounds great, right?

What it means: the source code is not exploited commercially, so it has bugs but no commitment to fix them!
Sure, you can fix them yourself, but good luck with that! It took me hours just to get them compiled...

The HackRF is still a great device and has a huge user base. But I doubt that the LimeSDR will have much better support.

Do consider PlutoSDR from Analog Devices, as well. At least it comes from a known big company. Unfortuately, they don't seem to be able to fulfill the huge demand... Completely sold out and long backorder times.

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Offline c5e3

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Re: LimeSDR versus HackRF one?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 03:31:53 pm »
as I have both devices and a PlutoSDR, this is what I can tell you:

- easy to use & great support on every OS
- has some switchable filters
- frequency range, 1-6000 MHz
- great community

- 8 bit ADC & DAC
- USB 2.0 (therefore max. bandwith ~20 MHz)
- half duplex

- 12 bit ADC & DAC
- frequency range, 100 kHz - 3.2 GHz
- full duplex 2x2 MIMO
- USB 3.0 / PCIe (bandwidth 61.44 MHz)
- good sensitivity

- some users experience heat issues
- mirror images due to missing filters (signals get mixed with harmonics of the clock)
- updates sometimes completly mess up the libraries (even on ubuntu)
- installation pain in a** on other OSs than windows or ubuntu

- 12 bit ADC & DAC
- frequency range, 325 MHz - 3.2 GHz (within specs), 70-6000 MHz (with software modification & performs better than HackRF above 2 GHz, at least for me)
- full duplex
- linux running on FPGA
- can run standalone with software on FPGA
- networking capable (with usb otg adapter for wifi or ethernet)
- good sensitivity
- cheap

- usb connection sometimes unstable (don't know why yet)
- mirror images due to missing filters (signals get mixed with harmonics of the clock)
- USB 2.0 (though only 4 MHz of usable bw, viewing a spectrum with 61.44 MHz is possible though with huge sample loss)
- can't be used clock synced with other devices out of the box
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 03:35:55 pm by c5e3 »

Offline radiogeek381

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Re: LimeSDR versus HackRF one?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 12:40:22 pm »
I have not used the HackRF, have tried the LimeSDR, so no basis for head-to-head comparison here. But you might consider a third option: one of the USRP devices from Ettus.

I've really enjoyed working with the USRP family from Ettus Research (NI). I have an N200 with a UBX module, and a B210. 

The N200/UBX combination is a substantial investment, (tunes from 10MHz to 6GHz, 100 MS/s, 14 bit ADC, 1Gbit ethernet to the host; about $2800 US) but Ettus sells the B200mini in a case for $765. The specs are 70MHz to 6GHz, ~60MS/s max sample rate, 12 bit ADC, USB3 connection to the host.

The Ettus radios are all well supported by GNU Radio.  Ettus also supports a "low level" library (libuhd) for folks who want more direct control.  The library is well maintained and provided with many examples.  The quality of the software is quite good, and the user community is well supported. (There's a user forum at Support on Linux is great.  The library is supported on Linux, Windows and MacOS X.  Ettus provides binaries and a source repo. The library code is released under the GNU General Public License.

The GNURadio support is very good.  Ettus (the company and the guy) are major contributors to the GNU Radio effort.

All TX/RX configurations of USRPs are full duplex, which is handy for a thousand and one things around the house. There is a range of Ettus configurations in their catalog ranging in cost from $765 to over $8500. But all of them use the same support library and are compatible with GNU Radio.

I've written a lot of code for the USRP.  I'm the author/maintainer of SoDaRadio, ( an all mode ham transceiver for the USRP platform. It uses the libuhd library from Ettus.


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