21 Nov 2013 – Soft Radio (part 1) by Paul, G8IUG


Members where shown many examples of kits using PICs which are the basic building blocks of Software Defined Radios.

 An internet search revealed that PICs were first introduced by General Instruments in 1975, and in 1985, General Instruments converted their Microelectronics Division to Microchip Technology. For the uninitiated, PIC stands for Peripheral Interface Controller. The General Instruments Company used the acronyms Programmable Interface Controller and Programmable Intelligent Computer for the initial PICs (PIC1640 and PIC1650).  

 In 1993, Microchip Technology launched the 8-bit PIC16C84 with EEPROM which could be programmed using serial programming method. The improved version of PIC16C84 with flash memory (PIC18F84 and PIC18F84A) hit the market in 1998.

 Since 1998, Microchip Technology continuously developed new high performance microcontrollers with new complex architecture and enhanced in-built peripherals.

 At present PIC microcontrollers are widely used for industrial purpose due to its high performance ability at low power consumption. It is also very famous among hobbyists due to moderate cost and easy availability of its supporting software and hardware tools like compilers, simulators, debuggers,and, of course, Software Defined Radios!

 Paul also explained that all of the software he uses to display the output of the SDR is freely available on the internet. Part 2 of Paul’s talk will be on the 5th of December.