Tag Archives: hackrf

Setting up HackRF in Windows with SDR#



*** UPDATE ***

With the latest releases of SDR# and everyone getting their HackRF One’s from kickstarter, it appears this article is out of date.  I haven’t tested it but some chatter on the HackRF mailing list say that you should still grab the SDR# Nightly build, but there is no need to download the hackrf dll’s or editing the config file.  It should just work after that.  So it’s a little simpler now.

/*** UPDATE ***

I already got my HackRF working in linux with GNU Radio, but I dual boot my laptop into windows too and sometimes its nice to have access to other programs anyway.  Besides, I can’t seem to get it working inside a linux VM while in windows (Keep getting libusb IO errors, puuuh!).   So on with it.

USB Driver

zadigFirst thing we need is a driver.  Grab the latest Zadig, I’m using  Un-7zip the file, run the installer and select your HackRF device to install the usb driver.




Grab the latest _DEV_ version of SDR# here.  As of writing this I’m using 1135.

Unzip SDR# to your drive under your favorite naming convention (i.e.  c:\sdrsharp)



Next grab a copy of the HackRF plugin from Zefie’s site.  Here is a link to v1.3 which is what I used.

Extract the HackRF plugin to your sdrsharp directory (i.e. c:\sdrsharp)

Open up SDRSharp.exe.Config and find the line “<frontendPlugins>”, and add

<add key="HackRF / USB" value="SDRSharp.HackRF.HackRFIO,SDRSharp.HackRF" />

sdrsharpeditpreferably directly after “<frontendPlugins>”

Save and close SDRSharp.exe.Config.



 Last few bits

Grab a copy of hackrf-tools for windows here generously compiled by Zefie again.  Extract this somewhere, you might need this.  How about c:\sdrsharp\hackrf-tools.  Copy libhackrf.dll and pthreadVC2.dll from hackrf-tools 32 bit dir to the sdrsharp directory.

Finally you may need the Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable package.  I didn’t because I already had it, but in case you don’t have it you can grab it here.

That should be all you need to get up and running.  I did notice some issues like my feed would stop every once in awhile, I just did a stop then start in SDR# and it got going again.  This is probably due to the fact everything is beta :)

Happy SDRing.

A little upgrade for the hackRF

2013-06-21 20.09.03There’s actually a nice svg template located in the git repo which follows the ‘sick of beige‘ mantra.  Cut time was only about 6 minutes with some thin acrylic… I used nuts as spacers seeing how the board was designed generously and there’s nothing near the corners.  Turned out pretty well, the screw heads on the bottom provide a good footing.  I was tempted to put rubber feet on on it but the screws were good enough for me.  Now I don’t feel odd with a bare circuit board flopping around.


Playing around with the HackRF SDR

2013-06-19 20.51.18

Lucky me! I was selected for the HackRF beta program and received my board from Michael Ossmann / Great Scott Gadgets.  If you don’t know what the HackRF is, its an SDR (or Software Defined Radio), read more here.

I’m running Mint 14, I already had a previous install of gnu radio I was using with a rtl-sdr. I was able to get things up and running pretty easily. First I grabbed the hackrf firmware release package, and the hackrf host tools.  Then I built the host tools and updated the firmware.  At this point I thought I would be good, but it appeared that I had to update my rtl-sdr package as the hackrf source wasn’t present.  After that I was pretty golden and was able to get a FM demod sketch running pretty quickly.

2013-06-19 23.03.16By default the Jawbreaker is tied to an internal pcb trace that acts like an antenna, it’s just that antenna is pretty horrible.  Luckily I already ordered some parts from amazon.  A 2.4ghz +10db gain antenna, and a SMA to RP-SMA adapter.  The HackRF uses SMA, where as most wifi antennas are RP-SMA.  After cutting the trace to disconnect the antenna (R44), putting the adapter and my massive antenna on it… I was getting a good feed of data.


2013-06-19 23.20.00

I used a sketch that someone had made from the HackRF mailing list, it worked pretty good.  I already made my own FM demod using the RTL-SDR so I understand how it works, except this one was more elaborate.  I’ll investigate this more as I learn gnu radio a little better.  For now I at least got things up and running.