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Seeed KiwiSDR Kit 2

Seeed KiwiSDR Kit 2

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(6 reviews)
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i believe a major reason why shipping for this Kiwi takes a long time may have to do with the recently imposed tariffs, i will also be waiting a long time (one month) just to get a Cisco RV340W WLAN Router shipped to me as its not stocked anywhere in the US.
For anyone looking for a nice 5vdc linear power supply (recommended by KiwiSDR) check out eBay and search for "Acopian 5EB150" or "Acopian 5EB200". These are really nice, USA made, industrial AC-to-DC 5vdc linear supplies. They go for well over $100 new but can be found for $30-50 on eBay. A nice alternative to the "audiophile" Chinese-made units that KiwiSDR recommends (granted, there aren't a lot of options, so I see why they do) and actually maybe a little cheaper.
You'll have to hack an extension cord and still locate a 2.1mm plug to wire up to the terminal strips on the supply but otherwise, these things look great.
Is the GPS signal accessible over the network somehow? Wondering if I can use this to make a time server.
j.a.l
Not at the moment. Code would have to be added to make it NTP compatible. A good project for someone! lol
KiwiSDR
Thank you.
Some update on revised shipping date might be nice... What is it the global SMD cap supply issue?
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Was the supply not regulated? I guess not :)
I've got a PowerOne regulated linear supply. Good for 5A at 5V, I see the Kiwi takes a 2.1 mm plug, so assuming I can find one of those in my collection of parts... I should be all set. I ran some tests with a homebrew splitter I made, the loss is as expected, so I think I can live with the KiwiSDR connected to my 670 ft sky loop antenna, and not adversely affect my own use it it (normally it is connected to the netSDR, I run overnight recordings with it). My goal is to try and put a decent SDR online.
43meters
The supply was a home brew (not me) and I think it goes to 30V, at 5V is using a small part of the pot so may have just crept up (internals warmed up or something) not sure, but as most variable bench supplies don't stop at just over 5V I'd prefer to run a crowbar next time. I've a variable 10A Watson Linear (max 15V) that will do 5V with a much more solid control, but again would be nice to know if the voltage pot got knocked the supply to the Kiwi would cut.
I look forward to your Kiwi online, I use mine mainly as a learning tool as the local man-made noise is so variable over the day (powerline networking, DSL and bad power supplies mainly). I've enjoyed using the full HF span of the Kiwi waterfall and spectrum display as a test device for various attempts at noise reduction, much more immediate feedback than other methods and can be done on a phone or tablet at the antenna. I absolutely would have given up on radio (again) at this location without the progress the Kiwi, garden spade, shielded CAT5E, earth rods and LZ1AQ active antennas have afforded me.
I wish I could pay more for Massdrop to use a better shipment method. They will ship in 5 weeks and then I expect to wait for 2 weeks for the package to cross the USA ;=(
It would be nice to have the aluminum case as an add-on. Just ordered it from Seeed Studio with $5 for shipping. Now the big question is will the KiwiSDR be here before the case or will I get the case first :)
Any idea on an ETA on these?
JJT99
Nothing yet ?
I am disappointed by the choice of shipper. It will take 2 weeks for my order to travel from NJ to CA. I wish I could have paid extra for USPS 2nd day or other 'normal' shipment options.
Massdrop send to Brazil? When will we get a good discount? Thankyou! Rick py4aaz
Dumb question time... Does this come with the aluminium enclosure?
Rocky_Rhodes
No, you'd have to purchase that separately from Seeed. The aluminum enclosure was developed after the original Kiwi kit which still ships using the original plastic/metal enclosure.
KiwiSDR
I have ten KiwiSDRs with the Seeed metal case. It is very nice but I think only available directly from Seeed. It would be nice if teh cases could be ordered as options right here on Massdrop but directly from Seeed to the USA works well.
Our first receivers are already being deployed around theCaribbean and South America.
The only thing to watch is to make sure you only put the double-sided foam tape on one side of the fan, not both.
Sorry for being a normie, but what are these devices generally used for? Just curious because it seems interesting.
CottonSwab
Web-enabled shortwave receiver. Have a listen to a few hundred worldwide that Kiwi owners have made available online: sdr.hu
why by this instead of a hackrf one? i am being serious. pros cons and price to performance?
janome
Fair question. In short, the Kiwi is designed to be a plug-and-play, web-accessible "shortwave receiver" SDR that goes from VLF up to 30/32 MHz. You don't have to install any software on your host computer. Just use a browser to connect. You can also make it accessible from the Internet for others to listen (up to 4 simultaneous connections).
HackRF is a more traditional "IQ generator" SDR that's really for the VHF/UHF crowd in my opinion. Very popular with security researchers. It does receive down to 100 kHz. You connect it to a host computer via USB and have to install/use third-party software. But that's not a huge deal. I put together a comparison chart here: http://www.kiwisdr.com/ks/compare.1.1.pdf Of course you can listen to hundreds of KiwiSDRs worldwide on sdr.hu and decide if it meets your needs. Note that the receive performance of individual Kiwis on sdr.hu vary greatly due to the local antenna and noise situations.
Regards, John, ZL/KF6VO, KiwiSDR
janome
I should also mention this comprehensive KiwiSDR review: https://www.rtl-sdr.com/a-review-of-the-kiwisdr-10-khz-30-mhz-wideband-network-sdr/ And of course lots of information on our website: kiwisdr.com
i need to get ten KiwiSDR receivers ASAP but was not able to get my order ptocessed on the last drop. Hopefuuly they will have another drop VERY soon. These are planned for Caribbean and Latin America deployment.
drastic
Drop is active. Hope your able to join this time around.
I'm getting ready to set up a KIWI SDR for testing on sdr.hu in Philadelphia. What's a good low-noise power supply for use in the US? The earlier ones I saw were Europe 220V ones.
robertr64
Hi Robert. Sorry, only saw your message just now. There is a section on the Kiwi website about linear power supplies (http://kiwisdr.com/quickstart/index.html#id-power) I would recommend one of the "audiophile" supplies from China via Ebay. Be sure to specify 115 VAC / 5 VDC to the seller so they can configure the supply before shipping.
KiwiSDR designer here. Thanks Massdrop for offering people a great price. Always nice to see a little capitalism in action (although everyone seems to be making money except me, lol). Happy to answer any questions. Also, please check the "wall of text" at kiwisdr.com and forum at http://valentfx.com/forums/#/categories/kiwisdr-discussion
Regards, John, ZL/KF6VO
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I'm interested in using this unit for ADS-B. Do you know if it'll support tagging incoming frames with the GPS timestamp for MLAT?
shaneshort
I don't know much about ADS-B, but doesn't it operate at 1090 MHz or something? The Kiwi is a "shortwave" SDR with a top frequency of 30 MHz (32 with degraded performance). You could use a downconverter I suppose. But aren't there already complete solutions using an inexpensive RTL-SDR plus a Beagle or R-Pi? I'm not sure what advantage a Kiwi would have for ADS-B.
[edit] I should add that there have been requests for high-resolution tagging of the mono audio stream data and (future) IQ output stream with GPS timestamps. Presumably for use by downstream applications. Applications typically use a program that listens to the audio output of the browser via a "virtual audio cable" adapter of some sort. It is also possible to write "extensions" for KiwiSDR where you can load a small program into the server and/or browser to do custom processing (existing ones are under the "extensions" menu in the user interface). The complete list of all Kiwi bugs and wishes is here: http://kiwisdr.com/bugs/
Oh, if anyone's interested .. I designed an enclosure for the KiwiSDR, with endcaps that can be 3D printed. it utilizes a Hammond 1455 series aluminum extruded case.
If anyone wants the STL files, let me know .. I'll publish them to github or something.
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Hi FL. Great work. I saw your original upload of this to tinkercad.com I've also been prototyping with the 1455. Seeed is working on a metal enclosure but I don't know what the schedule is.
I had best reduction of RFI/EMI by grounding the Beagle to the case via metal standoffs. Consider using star washers to help guarantee electrical connection. Note that the standoff near the Beagle SD card slot needs to be non-conductive nylon because otherwise one of the SD traces/pads might get shorted to ground by the 4.5mm width of the typical standoff. I had much worse SDR noise by grounding the antenna SMAs to the case. Just drill some large (~ 14mm diameter) holes in the end plates and leave the connectors floating. The other reason to do this is because those SMA connectors don't have a lot of mechanical bonding strength to the Kiwi PCB. So you may not want to put possible stress on them by a rigid attachment to the case.
I found that the nice looking anodized finish of these enclosures is actually non-conductive and you may want to grind it off at the mating surfaces for best performance (a good task for that old Dremel tool you got for Xmas 15 years ago and never use).
The final thing I did was add one of those tiny, quiet 3.3V fans inside. You can terminate the fan leads in a Grove compatible connector and plug it right into the BeagleBone Green. Remember that there is 5V at > 1A going into the Kiwi, so that's about 5 watts into a closed box. Not a great thermal situation. Be sure to add some additional airflow slots to the end plates.
KiwiSDR
I didn't upload anything to tinkercad. If you saw the same exact case design on there, it was probably the guy that I sold my KiwiSDR and enclosure to.
Anyone know what the hole size is on the enclosure? I don't like the plastic rivets which came with it and would like to get something nice from McMaster-Carr.
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Sounds like an expensive way to answer the question :)
vbrtrmn
Shhhh I'm tryna scam you :P
Thanks again for joining this drop! We have submitted the group's order with the vendor for the Seeed KiwiSDR Kit and they are working hard to prepare it for shipment.
As soon as the group's order is ready at the vendor's location, they will send the bulk shipment to our warehouse in New Jersey where our warehouse team will break it up into individual orders and ship them. The current estimated ship date from our warehouse is 1/23.
We will keep the group updated throughout the fulfillment process. You can expect an update from us by the end of the day Pacific Time on 1/13.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (http://massdrop.com/helpcenter).
Awaiting delivery! While the group's order is on its way to our warehouse in New Jersey now, we've just learned that a minor clearance delay has prevented the shipment from arriving as early as originally anticipated. Rest assured, we've prioritized this shipment with our receiving team and will work to have individual packages turned around as quickly as possible once delivered.
We understand that the additional wait time is undesirable. If you would prefer to cancel your order, please contact Community Support using the “Contact Support” button in your transactions page (http://massdrop.com/transactions).
You can expect an update from us on 1/5 or sooner if something comes up.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (http://massdrop.com/helpcenter).
I managed to pick one of these up from Seeed Studio before they went out of stock. Here's my comments on it, after a week or two with it:
- The web interface is pretty slick, but that's all you get. No API at the moment, no way to channel raw IQ data anywhere. - There is no hardware gain control, for cost reasons. The frontend can and will overload if you're close to even a single AM broadcast station. And you'll have no choice but to either attenuate the entire signal (not very desirable!), build a selective antenna, or build a notch filter to attenuate just that band. You're on your own if you need to build a filter, it's not documented anywhere on the site, however you'll find a link buried in the support forum. - 12 bit Analog-to-digital converter is MUCH better than the 8-bit ADC's found on RTL-SDR dongles. 16 would be even better, the 12-bit does present a problem when overloaded with broadcast stations. Without a hardware gain control, the entire board is useless, if that overloading signal creates intermod. - The KiwiSDR includes a software GPS that's used for disciplining the main oscillator. Clever! you'd think, because GPS time sources are exceptionally accurate, being that they all have Cesium and Rubidium atomic clocks. He remarks that the GPS frontend was basically free it was so cheap. My problem with this is that his software GPS approach (of demodulating and decoding the GPS navigation data) is not 'free'. The BeagleBone is spending a massive amount of time chewing through that data, as is the FPGA. This isn't nearly as efficient as a dedicated GPS chip would be, nor as simple as a TCXO or other precision clock source. There's no room left for modification, and bandwidth is limited between the FPGA and the BBB because of the software GPS. It's VERY clever, but I'm going to disable mine and make some modifications to the hardware, which will give me more CPU and bandwidth to play with. - The bandwidth is actually pretty deceiving. Yes it will receive 0-30 MHz, but not all at once. It can generate a waterfall across 0-30, but when it actually decodes a signal, it's only using a few KHz of bandwidth, and can only decode a few channels. It's clever, but in reality, it's got less real-time bandwidth than an RTL-SDR dongle. But because it has a full bandwidth waterfall (unlike the RTL-SDR), you won't care. As I mentioned above, more bandwidth is theoretically possible, but would take some work / modification. - The Active MiniWhip type antennas are highly recommended for this or any other high bandwidth SDR. Rather than being resonant at one frequency, they pick up everything. They're small, cheap, and can be placed anywhere outside. Just make sure to install a ground rod at least 8 feet deep and ground it. Otherwise it's useless. You can pick up kits or fully built active MiniWhip antennas on eBay. Mine shipped from Ukraine and costed me $18.00 USD. I had to fabricate an enclosure for the antenna and an enclosure for the power splitter, which probably ran another $20.00. A ground rod will be another $15.00 or more. All in all though, these will actually perform better than a dipole or vertical. It's hard to beat a dipole, but the Active MiniWhip does, hands down. Here's an example of one if you don't believe me: http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ - SDRplay is a better deal all around. Higher bandwidth (1 kHz to 2 GHz vs KiwiSDR's 0-30 MHz). Larger playback bandwidth (10 MHz vs a few KHz x 4), 8 built-in selectable filters which can block out broadcast stations that would otherwise overload the frontend. Sixteen receive channels vs 4. Includes two separate antennas, one of which has a power source for an LNA. Has a hardware RF gain conrol (KiwiSDR does not). Supports more SDR applications and includes an API. MUCH cheaper, at under $200. - That being said, KiwiSDR is fully open source, which has my full respect. I think the creator needs to take a hard look at SDRPlay and implement some of those features. Or hell, maybe I'll fork it and modify it if he won't. I don't buy the 'low cost' argument because somehow the SDRplays are cheaper.
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flyinglotus1983
What mods did you make to disable/replace the SDR GPS?
ExplodingLemur
The software-defined GPS is designed not to impact the SDR much. And it doesn't. You can compile a version of the system with it completely removed from the server and FPGA if you really want to. Heck, I've had some people buy the Kiwi *only* because of the SD-GPS. They couldn't care less about the SDR. They want to tinker with the internals of a real GPS receiver.
The Kiwi is still NOT an "IQ generator" like the RSP2 and most other USB-output style SDRs. That was the entire point of the project. But a lot has changed since flyinglotus' comments nearly a year ago.
There is now an external control API and IQ output, although only at the current 12 kHz "audio" bandwidth. See the "kiwiclient" project on Github for Python code that talks to a Kiwi and can save IQ data to a file. And people are using virtual audio cable (VAC) programs to link Kiwi IQ output to DRM and C-QUAM AM stereo decoders and other external IQ processing programs.


The latest development is that GPS timestamped IQ samples are being used to do crowd-sourced VLF/LF and HF direction finding. See: http://hcab14.blogspot.com and https://github.com/jks-prv/Beagle_SDR_GPS/issues/130 It's early days but this is a very exciting development. And I'm quietly chuckling at all the people that called me an idiot for spending the additional $8 to put an SD-GPS on the board in the first place.
TDoA location solution for German time station DCF77, 77.5 kHz using GPS timestamped IQ data from three cooperating KiwiSDRs. by Christoph Mayer hcab14.blogspot.com
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Bulk order shipped! The vendor informed us that the group's order was picked up and is on its way to our warehouse in New Jersey. Based on the tracking provided, the order is scheduled to arrive on 12/30.
Expect another update from us on 1/2 or sooner if something comes up.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (https://massdrop.com/helpcenter).
The vendor is still working on preparing the order for shipment. This has taken longer than usual due to a high holiday demand. Based on new estimates the order should be shipping to our warehouse early next week. We will make sure to update the group with the estimated arrival date as soon as the order is on its way.
We understand that the additional wait time is undesirable. If you would prefer to cancel your order, please contact Community Support using the “Contact Support” button in your transactions page (http://massdrop.com/transactions).
You can expect an update from us on 12/22 or sooner if something comes up.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (http://massdrop.com/helpcenter).
We have reached out to the vendor. They are currently still working on the bulk shipment. We will make sure to update the group once the order is on the way.
We understand that the additional wait time is undesirable. If you would prefer to cancel your order, please contact Community Support using the “Contact Support” button in your transactions page (http://massdrop.com/transactions).
You can expect an update from us on 12/16 or sooner if something comes up.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (http://massdrop.com/helpcenter).
The vendor is currently working on preparing the bulk order for shipment. Based on current estimates it should be ready for shipment to our warehouse on 12/12. Transition times from the vendor's location to our warehouse are about a week.
Based on this the order will arrive at our warehouse after the expected ship date. We understand that the additional wait time is undesirable. If you would prefer to cancel your order, please contact Community Support using the “Contact Support” button in your transactions page (http://massdrop.com/transactions).
You can expect an update from us on 12/13 or sooner if something comes up.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (http://massdrop.com/helpcenter).
Awaiting confirmation! We are still in contact with the vendor and just awaiting updated shipment estimates from them. We have a call scheduled first thing Monday morning and should get a bit more visibility in regards to when we can expect these in our warehouse.
Expect another update from us on 11/29 or sooner if something comes up.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (https://massdrop.com/helpcenter).
Thanks again for joining this drop! We have submitted the group's order with the vendor for the Seeed KiwiSDR Kit and they are working hard to prepare it for shipment.
As soon as the group's order is ready at the vendor's location, they will send the bulk shipment to our warehouse in New Jersey where our warehouse team will break it up into individual orders and ship them. The current estimated ship date from our warehouse is 12/2.
We will keep the group updated throughout the fulfillment process. You can expect an update from us by the end of the day Pacific Time on 11/23.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (http://massdrop.com/helpcenter).
What kind of numbers would we need to get another price break?
I was asking myself .. is it worth it to me to pay $260 for one of these boards, then I rediscovered http://sdr.hu/ and spent half an hour at work messing around with peoples' radios.
vbrtrmn
yea, sdr.hu is great at work. Listening to election coverage in Asia, Africa, and Europe has been eye-opening as an American. Spoilers: They think we're all batshit crazy that it got so out of hand, and I think they're right.
<3 shortwave radio!
can it be ordered without the beagleboard? I already have a beagleboard black not doing anything?
kb1qzh
Same here, that'd get the price down a bit .. this this is painfully expensive, even though I'm convinced it's superior to the NooElect HamItUp and other upconverters.