LimeSDR for vehicles?


Hello, I want your suggestions on using LímeSDR for Truck connectivity. The Idea behind the project is to compare the performance of a conventional AM/FM/DAB radio with an SDR working on AM/FM/DAB logic. I am interested in knowing whether Lime SDR can be a suitable fit to replace the conventional radios considering its advantages (frequency range, bandwidth, cost, etc.)


@srinath - Srinath,

The issue if the LimeSDR (original design) or the LimeSDR Mini are suitable for use in an automotive application is based on the controller you build for the vehicle. It may be possible to place a small form factor PC (LattePanda, Udoo Card, or equivalent) along with the LimeSDR of choice and make it work with a different user interface than it has now with SDRConsole and SDRAngel - something along the lines of a Java app that was produced for the RTL-SDRs awhile back that was a simple tuning interface that could be adapted to the LimeSDR and also have a screen for the user to punch in the radio frequency and ‘favorites’ tuning buttons. That could all be done with the LimeSDR - it would be an excellent electrical application for it.

The fundamental issue is whether the LimeSDR (original or Mini…or any SDR for that matter) can handle the rigors of vibration, extreme temperatures, and humidity that vehicles encounter. All that would have to be understood before it could be a viable candidate for such a rigorous application. VERY FEW SDRs have the ability to withstand the rigors of an automotive environments just because of the heat (or cold), humidity/rain/frost, and vibration issues - they’ll fall apart unless they are more rigorously reflowed and conformal coated to withstand humidity/frost issues, too. Again, the electronics that go into any vehicle are tested for WEEKS at a time at various transportation vibration levels and undergo wide temperature testing for both extreme hot/cold and thermal shock to be even considered to be installed in any automotive platform. Once an SDR that can handle those conditions can be designed, THEN and ONLY THEN can we have a true SDR automotive radio. There was an SDR device that the automotive community was studying awhile back and the business case to develop it and use it just wasn’t there - conventional designs for automotive entertainment were just far superior because they’d already been subjected to the testing (which isn’t cheap) and proved worthy to be added to cars and trucks.

But on the surface, it’s a great idea - hope this helps.

73 de Marty, KN0CK


Look at the price of the Lime LMS7002M - for example here.

The LMS7002M is far more SDR than you could ever use. There chip used in the Airspy HF+ could be an alternate solution although only a single tuner (LMS7002M has two), it’s a lot cheaper.


People related to are working on the space application
for cube sats based on LMS7002 if they can manage all challenges than automotive
can be too. After all one LimeUSB with RPI have spent nice time working on ISS



@9a4db - Djani,

Granted, anyone that is working spaceflight applications is going to do a more thorough job of manufacturing the LMS7002 module that would work for CubeSats to survive the rigors of that environment. I’m just pointing out that the Lime Mini and the LimeSDR USB have a current manufacturing track record of parts falling off the board, parts missing after manufacturing, LMS7002’s falling off the board after a < 2m drop (cracked balls on the BGAs), and other infant mortality issues. If one was to use the Lime Mini or the LimeSDR USB as-is and place it in an automotive or spaceflight testing qualification test, my guess is that it would fail.

BUT, properly repackaged for mission critical applications the LMS7002 and a repackaged LimeSDR design would be very effective in either application.

73 de Marty, KN0CK


my wild guess is that existing chip package can be used within
custom “space” design within sort of sandwich made of Al clad
and magic blue thermotransfer film. I have one of mine in half
sandwich from bellow. The top is not so easy because of connectors
but it is not impossible.



@srinath - Srinath,

I found the simple Java app called 'Radio Receiver that is used for the RTL-SDR and could (with A LOT of modification) be reworked to operate with the LimeSDR. It was produced about 5 years ago, but gives you a sense of the simple interface for an automotive application using an SDR. It was featured on 5 years ago, too - here is the link:

Have fun with it…73 de Marty, KN0CK