Thursday, February 21, 2013

Radio hacking: Baofeng UV-5R edition
This rather industrious individual has been working on replacing the main CPU in his Baofeng UV-5R transceiver. These are cheap radios of course, but one of the neatest things is that they are cheap partly because they have a lot of functionality integrated. If I understand it correctly, there's a chip that basically handles everything for the radio functionality and then you have a CPU that controls the whole shebang over an SPI interface. The radio chip is an RDA1846.
The RDA1846 is a highly integrated single-chip transceiver for Walkie Talkie applications. It totally realizes the translation from RF carrier to voice in the RX path and from voice to RF carrier in the TX path, requiring only one micro controller.

The RDA1846 has a powerful digital signal processor, which makes it have optimum voice quality, flexible function options, and robust performance under varying reception conditions.
 Cut the power to the main mpu and that frees up the bus to communicate with the radio chip. In Lior's case, the SPI connection became damaged so he was able to enable I2C mode. He is using an Arduino so it actually works out to be easier to interface.

One neat thing he's already discovered is the ability to direct the RDA chip to produce sinewaves at any audio frequency and here his is demonstrating that by transmitting his callsign in morse code. According to him, 1200 baud FSK is even possible. That's just cool.

He has a page available here:
This has more information and he may also work on the Baofeng UV3R at some point.

Incidentally in the discussion somehow a link to a bluetooth module was posted: It'd be really neat to integrate a bluetooth module into something like this in order to use a cellphone bluetooth headset on a radio, but this one seems to be specifically for stereo bluetooth speakers. I wish someone would make a more universal module that could provide one or two or no serial profiles, one or two or no headset profiles, stereo profile, so on and then you could use whatever you needed in the project.

1 comment:

  1. Do you mean like these?