“Revolution” is a term that is discarded with much less care than it probably should be, especially in areas such as electronics. It is understandable, however, that the changes in society that result from the “Transistor Revolution” or the “Computer Revolution,” or rather, the “AI Revolution,” are transformative, often for the good and sometimes for the sick. The common thread, however, is that after these revolutions came, nothing was the same afterwards.
This is the case with software-defined radio (SDR) and digital signal processing (DSP). These two connected fields may not seem as transformative as some other electronic revolutions, but when you think about it, they have really transformed the world of radio communications. SDR means that complex radio transmitters and receivers no longer have to be strictly applied to hardware such as a collection of filters, mixers, detectors and amplifiers; instead, they can be reduced to a series of algorithms running on a computer.
Along with the DSP, SDR has led to huge changes in the radio frequency field, with powerful high-bandwidth radio links built into devices almost as a follow-up thought. But the concepts can be hard to wrap your head around, at least when you’re digging beyond the basics and really trying to learn how SDR and DSP work. Fortunately, Dr. Mark Lichtman, an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, literally wrote the book on the subject. “PySDR: A Guide to SDR and DSP using Python” is a fantastic introduction to SDR and DSP, aimed at those who want to learn how to use SDR and DSP to work in practical systems. Dr. Lichtman will stop by Hack Chat to talk about his textbook, answer your questions about how best to learn about SDR and DSP, and discuss the next steps once you’ve mastered the basics.
Our Hack Chats are live community events at Hackaday.io Hack Chat group messages. This week we will sit on Wednesday, November 11 at 12:00 Pacific time. If time zones bother you as much as we do, we have convenient time zone converter.
Click on the bubble on the right and you will be taken directly to the Hack Chat group on Hackaday.io. You don’t have to wait until Wednesday; join whenever you want and you can see what the community is talking about.