Setting up the SDR Hardware

When you received your Pi-Radio SDR transceiver kits (and mechanical mounting plates), you should have also received an instruction booklet on how to integrate it with your RFSoC-based ZCU111 FPGA boards. Write us if you have any questions, and we will be more than happy to help with setup.

Once you have properly setup the hardware, the next step is to download the FPGA images. The link for the Pi-Radio v1 SDR Rev. A and Rev. B SD-card images are provided. You can download the MATLAB-based drivers here (these are common for Rev. A and Rev. B). If you don't know which version of the board you have, the Rev. A board has the RFICs exposed; the Rev. B board has a metallic shield around the RFICs, and has an SMA port on the top edge of the board. Download and extract the ZIP file to a preferred location.

For every SDR node (i.e., for every RFSoC board), copy the contents of the aforementioned directory into an SD card. Open the file, and edit it to give each SDR node its own unique MAC address and IP address (make sure that the IP address is on the same subnet as your computer's Ethernet connection). Specifically, you will need to edit the following two entries.

ifconfig eth0 hw ether 22:22:22:22:22:01

ifconfig eth0

The values that you need to change are shown above in bold face. Remember that the images that you use are specific to whether the board is Rev. A or Rev. B. Place the SD card into the RFSoC board, and boot it up. Make sure that switch SW6 on the ZCU111 is set to 1000, configuring it to boot from the SD card. Power on the Pi-Radio transceiver board and the ZCU111. The simplest way to connect your computer to the SDR nodes is through a gigabit Ethernet switch. After powering on the ZCU111, it will take about 30 seconds for PetaLinux to load, and for the daemon processes that run on it to initialize. Make sure you have the "Instrument Control Toolbox" installed in MATLAB. The next step is to run a first example on the real hardware; alternatively, you can choose to read a little more about the software and device drivers that control the SDR.