moRFeus

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$149

moRFeus

A wideband completely field-configurable frequency converter and signal generator with an LCD display and button interface designed for low spurious emissions and enclosed in a precision-milled all-aluminum enclosure.

Details

Funding ends on Apr 26, 2018 at 04:59 PM PDT (11:59 PM UTC)

A field-configurable wideband frequency converter and signal generator

As Featured In

Microwave Journal

"moRFeus was built for hams and hackers, people with a traditional amateur radio background, as well as a makers and researchers that are interested in RF experimentation."

RTL-SDR

"A tool like this is very handy to have in your RF kit."

Geeky Gadgets

"moRFeus Configurable Wideband Frequency Converter Hits Crowd Supply"

MoRFeus is a 30 MHz–6 GHz field-configurable Fractional-N wideband frequency converter and signal generator. Its LCD display and button interface enable dynamic field-level configuration - from switching between signal generator and other modes, to setting the local oscillator frequency and more. It was designed for wideband frequency up- and down-conversion - with an LO frequency range of 85 MHz–5.4 GHz and input/output frequency range of 30 MHz–6 GHz

MoRFeus is small, lightweight, and functional. It was designed for low spurious emissions and is packaged in a precision-milled aluminum enclosure.

7.4 ounces and 3.5 x 2.7 x 1.5 inches

Product development for moRFeus is done, so we’ll be shipping soon. And it’s only $149 if you act fast.

Use cases for moRFeus are many

  • Wideband radios
  • Distributed antenna systems
  • Diversity receivers
  • Software-defined radios
  • Frequency band shifters
  • Point-to-point radios
  • WiMax/LTE infrastructure
  • Satellite communications
  • Wideband jammers
  • Remote radio heads
  • Frequency up/down conversion
  • Automated test equipment (ATE)
  • Wireless communication systems

How it works

MoRFeus integrates into popular RF environments using SMA connectors and is powered using an external micro-USB 5 V supply. The LCD display and button interface provide a dynamic way to program the mixer LO frequency in the field with a step size of 1.5–3 Hz*. Dynamic toggling between mixer and generator modes adds to field-level functionality. An optional bias voltage of 5 V is available via RF choke to the mixer input to supply active antenna systems. The device is also USB HID programmable, enabling automatic operation from a PC running Windows or Linux.

Features

  • RF input frequency: 30 MHz–6 GHz
  • RF output frequency: 30 MHz–6 GHz
  • LO frequency: 85 MHz–5400 MHz
  • Fractional-N synthesizer
  • LO step size: 1.5–3 Hz*
  • USB programmable (Windows or Linux)
  • Generator/mixer function toggle
  • Small, portable form factor
  • Adjustable mixer bias current
  • LCD display With backlight
  • Button control interface

General Specifications

  • Input voltage: 5 V
  • ESD protection (RF IN and OUT ports): IEC 61000-4-2 contact discharge, 8 KV
  • Bias voltage: 5 V
  • Active bias current protection: 425 mA
  • Mixer input/output isolation: see mixer performance
  • Input IP3: +23 dBm
  • RF/IF input absolute maximum power: +15 dBm
  • Operating temperature -40 to +85
  • Storage temperature range -65 to +150
  • Dimensions: 88 mm x 38 mm x 68 mm
  • Weight: 7.4 oz

*Step size is frequency-dependent. Lower step sizes (1-2 Hz) are characteristic of lower frequency domains and higher step sizes (2-3 Hz) of higher domains.

Synthesizer

LO Phase Noise (dBc/Hz) Offset
1 GHz -108 10 kHz
1 GHz -107 100 kHz
1 GHz -135 1 MHz
2 GHz -102 10 kHz
2 GHz -101 100 kHz
2 GHz -130 1 MHz
3 GHz -98 10 kHz
3 GHz -98 100 kHz
3 GHz -125 1 MHz
4 GHz -96 10 kHz
4 GHz -95 100 kHz
4 GHz -124 1 MHz
Mixer Performance
LO Input Power Input Frequency Output Frequency Output Power Conversion Gain
400 2.47 500 100 -8.95 -11.42
400 -1.894 1000 600 -10 -8.106
400 -9.65 1500 1100 -25 -15.35
400 -10.27 2000 1600 -28.1 -17.83
400 -11.112 2500 2900 -28.4 -17.288
850 -.073 900 50 -12.04 -11.31
1500 -10.757 2400 900 -20.24 -9.483
2400 -9.65 1500 900 -25.5 -15.85
4000 -1.894 1000 3000 -21.3 -19.406
4000 -15.4 5400 1400 -37.3 -21.9

Mixer Current

moRFeus offers an optional mixer current control which impacts the linearity of the output signal. The controls are exposed for advanced users to experiment and fine tune mixer performance.

Generator Mode

In generator mode, the output port of moRFeus is set to the LO frequency. It has a range limited by the internal LO which is 85 Mhz to 5.4 GHz (it should be noted that the mixer input handles frequencies up to 6G Hz). Generator mode can be used to generate arbitrary CW signals for testing or mixing purposes.

A plot of Output Power versus Mixer Current Setting

In generator mode, output power changes relative to the mixer current setting. When the mixer current is set to 0, output power is relatively low. For settings 1-7, output power is stronger. This chart plots output power relative to the mixer current setting.

Output Power vs Mixer Current setting (generator mode)

Device Information

Click to view and download the moRFeus Data Sheet

Click to view and download the moRFeus User Guide

Comparisons

Outernet moRFeus Signal Hound VSG25A Vector Signal Generator RF Explorer Signal Generator (RFE8GEN) Mini-circuits ZX05-63H-S+ (Mixer) Windfreak MixNV (Mixer + Signal Generator)
RF Input Frequency Range 30 MHz-6 GHz N/A N/A 750 MHz-6 GHz 1 MHz-6 GHz
RF Output Frequecy Range 30 MHz-6 GHz 100 MHz-2.5 GHz 24 MHz-6 GHz DC-1 GHz 1 MHz-6 GHz
LO Frequency Range 85 MHz-5.4 GHz N/A N/A 750 MHz-6 GHz 85 MHz-5 GHz
Frequency Resolution 1.5–3 Hz¹ < 1 Hz 1 KHz N/A 1 Hz
Phase noise at 1 GHz and 10 kHZ offset -108 dBc/Hz -88 dBc/Hz N/A N/A -108 dBc/Hz
Frequency up/down Converter Yes No No Yes Yes
Signal Generator Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Field-configurable Yes No Somewhat No No
User Interface Button/LCD display and software-programmable Windows PC VSG25A software required LCD Display and RF Explorer for Windows PC client N/A Software-programmable, Windfreak software w/ Labview GUI
Bias Current Available Yes No No No No
RF In/Out Connectors Yes, SMA Out, SMA Out, SMA Yes, SMA Yes, SMA
Power Input Connector micro-USB USB Type B mini-USB N/A mini-USB
Stand-alone Signal Generator Yes ² No ³ Yes No No ³
Stand-alone Frequency Converter Yes No ⁴ No ⁵ No ⁶ No ³
Price $149 $495 $189 $53 $499
Notes: 1. step size is frequency-dependent, see datasheet 2. uncalibrated amplitude, see datasheet 3. requires PC 4. requires PC + mixer 5. requires mixer 6. requires LO and signal generator

To solve our RF testing needs, and yours

Over the past three years, Outernet has designed, developed, and deployed thousands of data radios all over the world to receive multi-media content - from news and emergency alerts to real-time weather data, educational material, audio files, and videos - via our satellite broadcast. No small feat, this required innovations in RF. moRFeus came about because of a need we had to easily up- and down-convert various radios we were experimenting with for Outernet’s Dreamcatcher 3.0.

One of our team members came up with the idea about a year ago. By the summer of 2017, we had our first prototype and working firmware. The design still required some slight tweaking. The current version of moRFeus is the third design iteration. Oddly enough, the last phase of the project, industrial design of the enclosure, ended up being the most time-consuming. We worked with a local designer with decades of experiences as a machinist to come up with a custom-made, all-aluminum enclosure. We are excited to offer the technology to help you with your unique RF project.

moRFeus Video Demonstration

Manufacturing Plan

We are using manufacturing and supply chain partners that we have a working relationship with. Our manufacturing partners have already made 100 units for us and have approved our manufacturing and design files. PCB fabrication and assembly for an additional 900 has been completed and these units have been delivered to our facilities in Chicago for testing, final assembly, and packaging. We will ship units 101 through 1,000 within 30 days of the close of the campaign.

  • Component suppliers - we have components for a total of 1,000 units. We will update our suppliers throughout the campaign should we need to procure additional components.
  • PCB fabrication - We are using the same partner for PBC fabrication as we used for the first 100 functional units
  • PCB assembly - We are using the same partner for PBC assembly as we used for the first 100 functional units
  • CNC milling - We are using the same machinist for the enclosures as we used for the first 100 functional units. Our machinist has a wealth of experience in CNC milling. Our prototype cases were designed and produced by him.

Shipping & Fulfillment

There is no shipping cost to U.S. customers. International shipments will be fulfilled with FedEx to ensure proper insurance and tracking. The shipping fee is $26 USD for all international shipments. This fee does not include any applicable taxes, duties, etc. For more information about ordering, paying, and shipping please review the Crowd Supply Guide.

Timeline

  • Early 2017 - idea was born
  • July 2017 - first prototype and working firmware developed; design iteration
  • September 2017 - second prototype; design iteration; engage CM partners
  • November 2017 - third prototype; final design
  • November 2017 - design files sent to to CM partners; CM approved; procure components
  • December 2017 - industrial design begins
  • January 2018 - custom-made, all-aluminum enclosure designed
  • February 2018 - first shipment of 100 units received from CM; tested and validated 100 units; schematic capture, PCB layout, firmware development, industrial design, and quality assurance processes are all complete
  • February 2018 - prototype enclosure delivered by our machinist
  • March 2018 - 100 enclosures delivered by our machinist
  • March/April 2018 - Crowd Supply campaign
  • April 2018 - begin shipping units; first 100 units ship

Risks & Challenges

All of the design and development for moRFeus has been completed. We have 100 units in stock which will ship out immediately (shipments will begin after week 1 of the campaign). Schematic capture, PCB layout, firmware development, industrial design, and quality assurance processes are all complete. This project has little risk of not shipping. We have a relationship with a contract manufacturer who manufactured the first 100 devices that we have in stock. We have tested the manufacturing process with this CM and have found a repeatable, reliable process. We just received a shipment of an additional 900 units from our CM that we will be testing in early April.

There of course is risk that a problem could arise with this manufacturer beyond the initial 1,000 units. If that happens, we can rely on relationships we have with other manufacturing partners. This is not our first RF product - we have shipped thousands of data radios all over the world. In terms of supplier risk, we have procured components for the additional 900 units. Our CM has these components. There is supplier risk beyond the initial 1,000 units. However, we are monitoring lead time and component obsolescence risk and do not foresee problems.

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Credits

Outernet

Outernet is innovating in RF. Over the past few years, Outernet has designed, developed, and deployed thousands of data radios all over the world and to receive multi-media content - from news and emergency alerts to real-time weather data, educational material, audio files, and videos - via our satellite broadcast. No small feat, this required innovations in RF. moRFeus came about because of a need to easily up- and down-convert various radios during testing.


Syed Karim

Kara Scanlin

Zoltan Doczi

Abhishek

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