The HackRF PortaPack

The HackRF is our top SDR pick for many reasons. We love the accessibility, the community and the open source philosophy around this product. With a frequency range of 6 GHz and both transmit and receive functions, the HackRF can be used for so many different applications including: analyzing signals such as ADS-B and 4G/LTE, prototyping communication systems, research and development and spectrum analysis.

Most users of the HackRF use it connected a laptop or a PC. But what if you want to take the HackRF on an outdoor field trip? What if you want to measure signals on the go? That’s where the PortaPack comes in.

The PortaPack is our favorite HackRF accessory. It is a must-have for portable applications – small, lightweight and no computer required for operation. The PortaPack has a built-in screen and a dial + button. Using this you can easily and quickly tune into frequencies and use the waterfall plot to check signals around you. The PortaPack is powered with an external USB battery pack and the firmware runs on the fast ARM processors in your HackRF.

Here is a video that shows some amazing signal processing examples including wideband FM, AM double sideband, Tire pressure monitoring and more.

Summary

The PortaPack allows you to turn a best-in-class SDR – the HackRF, into a useful and very powerful portable tool. With this configuration you can measure wireless signals in the field, detect and visualize unknown signals and more!

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