PortaPack for HackRF One, Kit
Add a PortaPack H1 to your HackRF One software-defined radio, and leave your laptop behind! The PortaPack H1 attaches to your HackRF and adds a touchscreen LCD, navigation controls, headphone jack, real-time clock, micro SD card slot, and custom aluminum case.
Just add a USB battery, and you're ready to explore radio spectrum wherever you are. The PortaPack firmware runs on the fast ARM processors in your HackRF. No computer is necessary (except for reprogramming firmware).
Here's a quick run-through of the current firmware features as of 2016 February 22:
Some features demonstrated in 2016 February 22 firmware video:
- SSB, AM, narrowband FM, wideband FM audio reception, with spectrum waterfall. [Details]
- Wideband (18MHz) spectrum analysis and waterfall.
- Monitoring of boat (AIS), automobile (TPMS), and utility meter transponders (ITRON ERT). [Details]
- HackRF mode runs HackRF firmware for use with host computer SDR software.
- PPM calibration for more accurate tuning.
- Sleep mode saves power by turning off just the display.
- 2.4 inch, 240 x 320 RGB LCD with resistive touch panel.
- Four-way arrow keys, rotary jog wheel, and select button.
- Headphone/microphone jack, compatible with recent Samsung and Apple mobile headsets (possibly others).
- Coin battery for preserving settings and date/time.
- Micro SD card slot for data and code storage.
- Custom milled aluminum case, anodized black.
The Fine Print
Some assembly is required. The PortaPack comes with a "spudger" (guitar pick) you can use to remove your HackRF One from its case. Bolts, washers, spacers and a wrench are included to install the two boards into the aluminum case. The assembly steps are documented in the support wiki and videos.
PortaPack H1 does not include a HackRF One. You can buy a HackRF One from the Great Scott Gadgets retailers. Or you may buy both the PortaPack kit and HackRF One from Hacker Warehouse, or an assembled unit on Amazon.
Your HackRF will continue to function with computer-based SDR software, when you put the PortaPack into "HackRF Mode".
PortaPack H1 is compatible only with the HackRF One. It is not compatible with the earlier HackRF Jawbreaker design. If you have an RF shield installed on your HackRF, the PortaPack should fit just fine. Compatibility with the HackRF Blue is experimental. One Blue owner has reported good results with minor mechanical interference between the PortaPack audio capacitors and the baseband header. If your HackRF Blue does not have a baseband header installed, you should have no mechanical problems.
PortaPack H1 requires an external battery. Any USB-connected battery should work, though they vary widely in quality and poorly-designed batteries may inject voltage regulator noise into the radio.
The PortaPack H1 and HackRF One will not replace your handheld ham radio receiver. Receive sensitivity varies from band to band, but will not perform as well as a true ham radio receiver.