Radenso Video: What is a SDR and why does it matter for Radenso Theia?

Jon at Radenso

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CobawLT2010

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Which is what everyone from Radenso has been saying, it will be expensive, for months. No surprise there.



Yeah, that's it, so to speak.
:bang::bang::bang:
I was merely pointing out I think it may end up being more than my initial price guesstimate. No need to attack here. I think I put it at $700-$750. Now I may be thinking it will be $999.99.
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Well, that's basically what a SDR is. The concept of a "radar detector" doesn't really apply anymore other than what it's being used for. It could also be a wifi detector, for example.

We have built an extremely high performance communications radio with flexible, modular DSP and attached a linux computer to it. Then we put a purpose built RF microwave receiver onto the front of it. We will be using it for a radar detector and there are aspects of the Digitizer SDR that are specifically customized to increase radar performance vs something like Wifi (for example, the passband chosen for the filters). But it doesn't have to be used as a radar detector.
Yeah I was regurgitating the information from the video for people who don’t want to watch it. We’ve had this discussion plenty before.

When I worked with Intel on Puma 6 this went horribly wrong. Hope it goes well for us here. Thank God I wasn’t the person running the show...

There are many differences though that have me optimistic.
 
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Jon at Radenso

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GTO_04

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And, it has to be one of those fancy "zero ohm" resistors. I'm trying to recall the color code for that.
Black with a 0.............................if it's surface mount.

GTO_04
 

SquirrelMaster

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I believe our FPGA engineer uses Vivado and Vitis for most of the development. I am sure we used Labview for something though.
Finally something not built with LabVIEW or simulink.

Vivado has some pretty neat tools for creating DSP slices. I think they even integrated some of them with vitis. I just switched over to vitis from the 2019.1 sdk so still have yet to explore it.
 

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Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and enable notifications so you get instant alerts anytime a new video is uploaded!

--

Jon discusses what is a software defined radio (SDR) and why it matters for the Radenso Theia.

Want to be the first to pre-order Theia? Sign up for the mailing list here: https://radenso.com/products/radenso-theia

YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/radensoradar
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Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/radensoradar
Radenso Podcast - http://podcast.radenso.com

Could you tell us how this adventure started , since this is an original idea , unique , what was the spark that ignited the concept ...in short the genesis of Theia ?
What made you think the idea would work ?
@4.50

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wirelessandy

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And, it has to be one of those fancy "zero ohm" resistors. I'm trying to recall the color code for that.
Solder colored
 

aim4squirrels

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Well, that's basically what a SDR is. The concept of a "radar detector" doesn't really apply anymore other than what it's being used for. It could also be a wifi detector, for example.

We have built an extremely high performance communications radio with flexible, modular DSP and attached a linux computer to it. Then we put a purpose built RF microwave receiver onto the front of it. We will be using it for a radar detector and there are aspects of the Digitizer SDR that are specifically customized to increase radar performance vs something like Wifi (for example, the passband chosen for the filters). But it doesn't have to be used as a radar detector.
Jon,

Does the size, style or dimensions of the horn integrated in Theia lend itself to favoring some bandwidths of signals over others, or does it perform equally in most areas of the spectrum? Meaning the whole spectrum, not just police radar units...
 

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Could you tell us how this adventure started , since this is an original idea , unique , what was the spark that ignited the concept ...in short the genesis of Theia ?
What made you think the idea would work ?
@4.50

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Watch Jon’s question and answer video where he answers this and many other questions.
 

RedRocket

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Could you tell us how this adventure started , since this is an original idea , unique , what was the spark that ignited the concept ...in short the genesis of Theia ?
What made you think the idea would work ?
It started when the EE's laughed at Jon when he presented them w/ his primitive legacy RD & asked if it could be improved upon to filter out BSM & ACC false alerts. The spark came from the laughing EE's who informed Jon that there were much improved & far superior communication platforms (SDR) available for the last 10+ years.
 

Token

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You’re more or less designing a communications radio and lobbing detector features on it than building a detector so to speak...
Keep in mind I am not a radar detector guy, so the below is how I see it as an RF guy looking in from the outside. I have no specific detector background or knowledge other than as a consumer. My background is a totally different radar world than the detector realm. If I have made a bad assumption feel free to beat me over the head with it, I can learn...eventually.

A receiver is a receiver is a receiver. Once you pick from one of several basic concepts (TRF, superhet, direct conversion, etc) you optimize the front end for the bands of interest and you optimize the displays / detectors / data presentation system for the signals of interest. A communications receiver and a radar receiver typically have the same basic blocks in them, with tailored capabilities. Remember that for later.

For the majority of the recent radar detector life cycle a superhetrodyne receiver appears to have been the norm. The RF is converted to IF and some kind of detection of the desired signals are done at the IF level. 20 years ago that detection was done with dedicated hardware circuits. In recent years some kind of DSP may have been applied to the IF or possibly the detected video. It could be argued that since that time detectors have been using “SDR”, although much less capable than Theia appears to be. This description and progression also applies to almost all receivers, not just radar detectors. For quite a while now, DSPs of one type or another have been replacing traditional hardware detectors or discriminators at the IF or AF level.

SDR comes in many flavors. Of them there are two common forms, you can have direct digital conversion (DDC), the ADC samples the RF directly and there are no traditional receiver sections, or you can have hybrid, a combination of traditional receiver techniques combined with SDR techniques. DDC tends to be the more expensive route, while hybrid brings good performance at more modest price points.

At frequencies up to low/mid UHF DDC is the hot ticket. Put some band pass filtering in the front end, throw some RF amplification at it all, and directly digital sample the signals of interest. Have your way with them in software. DDC at microwave frequencies, such as X, K, or Ka bands, is not practical yet. So there must be a “traditional” RF front end and at least one stage that downconverts to the IF stage or baseband. The ADC can be used at IF to handle all the tasks that were formerly handled by dedicated hardware circuits.

Remember what I said before? “A communications receiver and a radar receiver typically have the same basic blocks in them, with tailored capabilities.” In the past those tailored capabilities took the form of dedicated hardware circuits in the final stages, the IF or after. Today those tailored capabilities are in the software of the digitizer / processor instead of unchanging hardware. Outside the software receivers can start to look very similar, in fact they can be identical and you can change the function by changing the software.

Greatly simplified, I would not say they are “designing a communications radio and lobbing detector features on it”, as much as I might say they are designing a fairly standard modern receiver architecture, not done this way before in this specific market segment, optimized for the bands of interest (as all receiver designs are). And then they are applying some very unique signal identification techniques to the otherwise unremarkably processed signal.

Or, not trying to minimize the efforts here, just breaking it down into basic chunks, they are shifting radar detector hardware into the 21st century, using apparently high end but not particularly unique (outside the detector world) hardware, and then getting nicely creative with how the resulting signals are manipulated and identified.

T!
 

CobawLT2010

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Keep in mind I am not a radar detector guy, so the below is how I see it as an RF guy looking in from the outside. I have no specific detector background or knowledge other than as a consumer. My background is a totally different radar world than the detector realm. If I have made a bad assumption feel free to beat me over the head with it, I can learn...eventually.

A receiver is a receiver is a receiver. Once you pick from one of several basic concepts (TRF, superhet, direct conversion, etc) you optimize the front end for the bands of interest and you optimize the displays / detectors / data presentation system for the signals of interest. A communications receiver and a radar receiver typically have the same basic blocks in them, with tailored capabilities. Remember that for later.

For the majority of the recent radar detector life cycle a superhetrodyne receiver appears to have been the norm. The RF is converted to IF and some kind of detection of the desired signals are done at the IF level. 20 years ago that detection was done with dedicated hardware circuits. In recent years some kind of DSP may have been applied to the IF or possibly the detected video. It could be argued that since that time detectors have been using “SDR”, although much less capable than Theia appears to be. This description and progression also applies to almost all receivers, not just radar detectors. For quite a while now, DSPs of one type or another have been replacing traditional hardware detectors or discriminators at the IF or AF level.

SDR comes in many flavors. Of them there are two common forms, you can have direct digital conversion (DDC), the ADC samples the RF directly and there are no traditional receiver sections, or you can have hybrid, a combination of traditional receiver techniques combined with SDR techniques. DDC tends to be the more expensive route, while hybrid brings good performance at more modest price points.

At frequencies up to low/mid UHF DDC is the hot ticket. Put some band pass filtering in the front end, throw some RF amplification at it all, and directly digital sample the signals of interest. Have your way with them in software. DDC at microwave frequencies, such as X, K, or Ka bands, is not practical yet. So there must be a “traditional” RF front end and at least one stage that downconverts to the IF stage or baseband. The ADC can be used at IF to handle all the tasks that were formerly handled by dedicated hardware circuits.

Remember what I said before? “A communications receiver and a radar receiver typically have the same basic blocks in them, with tailored capabilities.” In the past those tailored capabilities took the form of dedicated hardware circuits in the final stages, the IF or after. Today those tailored capabilities are in the software of the digitizer / processor instead of unchanging hardware. Outside the software receivers can start to look very similar, in fact they can be identical and you can change the function by changing the software.

Greatly simplified, I would not say they are “designing a communications radio and lobbing detector features on it”, as much as I might say they are designing a fairly standard modern receiver architecture, not done this way before in this specific market segment, optimized for the bands of interest (as all receiver designs are). And then they are applying some very unique signal identification techniques to the otherwise unremarkably processed signal.

Or, not trying to minimize the efforts here, just breaking it down into basic chunks, they are shifting radar detector hardware into the 21st century, using apparently high end but not particularly unique (outside the detector world) hardware, and then getting nicely creative with how the resulting signals are manipulated and identified.

T!
I beg to differ since Theia can transmit as well and from the sounds of it transmit where and when it wants to. Not to mention take a signal and analyze it by looking at quadrature.

Current detectors cannot pickup signals beyond radar bands. Theia can... and can be purposed for other things... I cannot use a V1G2 for anything else other than a detector.

Theia can also ingest or view all of the spectrum it is programmed to all at once and no other detector can do that as well.
 
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