Preselector for SDR

Pre-selector for SDR

A software defined radio implements the RF components using high speed digital electronics. The most important element of an SDR is the ADC (analog-to-digital converter). The ADC is used to sample and digitize the RF signal. Hence the upper operating frequency of an SDR is determined primarily by the speed of the ADC. As such, a software defined radio typically operates at UHF band and below. There are techniques to overcome such limitations. One such technique makes use of IF under-sampling. This allows the ADC to digitize an RF signal that is higher in frequency than the sampling frequency. The drawback to this technique is that there will be image foldbacks, wherby the third order harmonics of the sampling frequency may fall in-band. To overcome this, a very sharp RF filter is needed to reject the harmonics of the sampling frequency.

This is why HF-preslector and UHF-preselector are commonly used with SDR.

Preselectors For SDR, And How They Provide Full Interoperability & Efficiency

In the world of professional or amateur radios, as well as other forms of communication equipment and transmitters, filters and “preselectors” perform very crucial tasks. It’s because these two devices sort or arrange frequencies, so they won’t overlap or step on each other, somehow. A preselector is generally used to limit the bandwidth in front of a multiple-receiver system, and they can be customized to protect sensitive receivers from damage brought about by static input as well as overloading signals from other transmitters. Here’s a brief look at what a preselector for SDR systems work.

What’s SDR?

Before discussing the technical specifications of a preselector for SDR systems, let’s first find out what the acronym “SDR” stands for. SDR stands for “software-defined radio”, and it refers to a radio communication system wherein the components or parts which have been typically used in the hardware (such as amplifiers, demodulators, detectors, filters and mixers, etc.) are implemented by means of special software on a personal computer.

A conventional SDR system usually consists of a personal computer, which is equipped with a sound card or analog-to-digital converter, which is precluded by an RF front end. Instead of being done by electronic circuits or special-purpose hardware, most of the signal-processing tasks are done by a general-purpose processor.

This creates a radio which can receive and transmit very different radio “protocols” or waveforms, which is mainly based on the software used. Software-defined radios are widely used in military, specifically for Joint Tactical Radio Systems, which provide interoperable and flexible communications (hand-held, vehicular, airborne, dismounted radios and base stations).

SDR systems consist of two major components – a configurable radio front-end for transmitting and receiving radio waves, and baseband signal processing board that can be programmed.

How SDR Pre-selectors Work

In the world of software-defined radios, preselectors perform critical tasks. For starters, they can significantly improve reception quality, as without pre-selection, amateur ham radios, military radio channels and even mobile phones will be pestered with static, noise and strong vibrations or images from nearby stations which cause strong interference.

SDR preselectors also help reduce the signal strength of mostly unwanted signals, especially those outside the frequency band, and they considerably improve IMD response too.

Contact our sales team to find out more about our SDR pre-selector