Linked by the_randymon on Wed 9th Jan 2013 23:37 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Anyone who has turned on a shortwave radio in the past decade knows it's a wasteland out there, to the chagrin of nostalgic old geeks like me. But this technology sector is also one poised to explode with innovation thanks to software-defined radio. From H-Online: "Software-defined radio promises to [make] the complexity in radio systems a software problem. The principle is simple and, in the ideal setup, an antenna is connected directly to analogue-to-digital converters for receiving signals and digital-to-analogue converters for transmitting them, with software running on an attached processor taking care of everything else." Your computer is about to become more useful than ever.
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RE: DSP radio
by the_randymon on Thu 10th Jan 2013 13:44 UTC in reply to "DSP radio"
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Howdy: original submitter here. Out of the normal coverage for OSN? It's at the limit, certainly, but I think these days there's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the tech world that implicates OS but doesn't qualify as strictly OS stuff. Anyway, I thought it would interest this crowd.

One big place where this technology is hitting the airwaves is digital radio mondiale. Check out (the world's worst acronym, given the whole RIAA thing). The idea is you use the old shortwave radio frequencies to broadcast a radio signal that's basically digital (if I don't have this quite right, it's because I only partially understand it myself). Then consumers buy radios that have computer technology inside - probably something no more complicated than a little Android stick - that receives the signal and interprets it. The result is a digital-quality radio broadcast transmitted over the airwaves. There are prototype radio receivers out there, and an organization that's getting government and authority support to dedicate those frequencies. Several stations (BBC is one) are experimenting with the technology, and the initial results are apparently very promising.

Shortwave frequencies allow transmissions to be beamed around the world. In the old radio days, the signal quality was poor. This would fix that problem. Yes, there's internet radio, but scumbags like the ones I discuss at have made it too clear that they can cut the internet whenever they want to. That means internet radio can be controlled and even monitored. Digital Radio Mondiale can be broadcast like the old days, and governments can't monitor who is listening to the signal. It's a bold move for freedom fighters.

That's really cool, and this is the tech that's at the heart of it. As an old shortwave geek, this would bring all the coolness of radio technology to the modern generation now that the internet has shown its weaknesses.

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