Grant: TangerineSDR Test Fixtures

Grant Date: August 2021
Amount: $97,000

Efforts led by TAPR have produced a modular, direct-sampling HF Software Defined Radio called the TangerineSDR. Education, experimentation, advancing the digital radio art, cloud-based networking, as well as heliospheric, ionospheric, magnetospheric and space weather research are all target use cases for the hardware. Thanks to the July 8, 2020 ARDC grant to TAPR, complete parts kits for the CKM and RFM prototypes have been purchased. Due to worldwide shortages of silicon chips, the FPGA chips for the DE are backordered until May of 2022, precluding the completion the DE build until then. TAPR is ready to assemble the CKM and RFM, but without the DE, there is no way to test them.

To get the project moving forward again before May 2022, with the grant funds TAPR can now build an RFM adapter board, a CKM carrier board and a set of DE loopback test boards. The RFM adapter will allow the existing TangerineSDR RFM boards to plug into an available off-the-shelf MAX10 FPGA development board without modification. This will permit RFM design verification, DE FPGA firmware development and system software development before we have actual DE hardware. The CKM carrier will allow all the features of the CKM to be tested without a DE board. It will serve a second purpose, by transforming the CKM into a more general-purpose GPS-disciplined oscillator test instrument useable by scientists, academics, and amateurs. This solution will allow TAPR to proceed with development despite the shortages, and hopefully allow the shortages to be resolved before the project goes to production later in 2022.