HackSpace magazine

Review: CaribouLite RPi HAT vs LimeSDR Mini 2.0

By Marc de Vinck. Posted

Yes, our beloved Raspberry Pi Zero has a HAT to convert it into an affordable dual-channel SDR.

The CaribouLite was specifically designed for the DIY community to allow full control of the FPGA hardware, software, and firmware. The HAT features a dual-channel radio that spans frequency from 30MHz to 6GHz on Channel 1 and Sub 1GHz on Channel 2.

There is a lot more specific information on the website about the frequency ranges as tested, so be sure to head over and look at the details to see if this board will fit into your workflow. And, as with all the boards in this roundup, be sure to understand all the legalities of the way you use your SDR in your specific region.

For such a small and incredibly affordable board, as far as SDRs are concerned, the CaribouLite ($71 - $138) still manages to pack a powerful punch. It makes for a great first SDR, especially if you are familiar with the Raspberry Pi ecosystem and already have one ready to put to work.

Verdict

CaribouLite RPi HAT

10/10

A mini Raspberry Pi-Powered SDR. What’s not to love?!

Screenshot 2022-08-24 at 23.51.18

The latest successor to the extremely popular LimeSDR product range, all of which come from Crowd Supply and have managed to raise more than $5 million collectively, is the LimeSDR Mini 2.0 ($399).

It’s a drop-in replacement for the LimeSDR Mini and, like its predecessors, the board features an FPGA coupled with the Lime Microsystems LMS7002M RF transceiver.

Supply chain issues have crippled many hardware startups – trust me, I know the pain all too well, and the creators of the LimeSDR Mini 2.0 took on those challenges by sticking with the same form factor as the original LimeSDR Mini boards, and many of the same components, but included a new, much more available FPGA. Smart move!

The board features a frequency range of 10MHz to 3.5GHz, a sample depth of 12 bits at a 30.72 MSPS sample rate. It’s fully open-source, and is a great option that is available at a time when many other options are not. And, just like all the boards we reviewed in issue 58 of HackSpace magazine, you really have to head over to the product page for the full details, as there are just too many to list.

Verdict

LimeSDR Mini 2.0

10/10

A great addition to the Lime family.

From HackSpace magazine store

Subscribe