[USRP-users] Improving Sensitivity of the Radio.

Kyeong Su Shin ksshin at uw.edu
Tue Nov 14 22:00:43 EST 2017

Hello Everyone:

We are using USRPs for spectrum sensing (on pretty much any frequencies).
Before asking my faculty to order a TwinRX daughterboard, however, I would
like to see if there are any ways to improve the sensitivity of the
hardware that we currently own (UBX/SBX/CBX/WBX).

Our USRP + UBX configuration works well, except that we cannot really
increase the gain level much without putting the RF frontend into the
nonlinear region. Because of this, the noise figure of our data is about
~30dB in the worst case. I believe that the main problem is that we are
using a wideband outdoor discone antenna for this - dumping quite a lot of
RF energy to the RF frontend.

In this case, what could I try to improve the sensitivity of the radio? I
think one option could be adding additional filters to the chain (when we
know that we are only looking at a certain frequencies), but I wonder if
there are anything else that I can try.

Also, I wonder what differences we can expect if we switch our
daughterboard to a TwinRX. Would it be worth it? What noise figures did
people experience when a wideband outdoor antenna was connected to the

Kyeong Su Shin
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