Design Con 2015

Self-contained RF recording system weighs less than 10lbs

-March 01, 2013

For less than $60,000, it is now possible to record and playback RF signals to evaluate radio signals all over the world. The impressive thing is that no longer do you need a technician and a van stocked with rack-mounted equipment to collect data. Now, if there is a problem with interference or dropped calls, the carrier can send out one of QRC’s wide band transcorders (WBTs), and evaluate the signals in the lab. I recently spoke with QRC Technologies QRC's CTO, Tom Callahan about this new product. He explained that although he’s wanted to create a WBT for years, the “technology finally allows us to do this for less than $60k, weighing less than 10lbs, and with a touch screen interface.”


RF recording and playback system aids interference and quality of service (QoS)
 identification and resolution


Another notable feature is that the WBT uses an open file format to record the data. “So you can collect signals off the air, and run the data through MATLAB. (This is great for universities). Other tools have their own file format that only works on their equipment,” notes Callahan. “We have always been good at making things simple. This product is intentionally designed it to be friendly to whoever might want to use it.”

The WBT can record 2x25MHz blocks of spectrum between 50MHz and 4.4GHz. It is physically stackable with other WBTs, to enable simultaneous recording/playback oflarger chunks of spectrum. The top unit can remotely control the other WBTs.

Other features:
  • 84 dB instantaneous dynamic range
  • Power consumption: 60W Typical, 25W Idle
  • No external receiver or transmitter needed
  • Online upgrade (1st year of upgrades included)
  • Open file format (VRT)
  • Power match record/playback
  • Playback at any frequency
  • Measures 18.7” x 12.4” x 3.1”
  • One-button record/playback interface

In addition, it contains an embedded GPS disciplined oscillator (GPSDO), Gigabit Ethernet and eSATAp ports, removable CFAST flash card and two bays that use 2.5” solid-state disk drives for continuous recording. An optional lightweight power pack enables more than two hours of use.
Pricing for the WBT begins at $59,995 and is available for order immediately for July shipping. For more information visit WBT.QrcTech.com or contact 540.446.2270.

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