libhackRF API

This document describes the functions, data structures and constants that libHackRF provides. It should be used as a reference for using libHackRF and the HackRF hardware.

If you are writing a generic SDR application, i.e. not tied to the HackRF hardware, we strongly recommend that you use either gr-osmosdr or SoapySDR to provide support for the broadest possible range of software defined radio hardware.

For example usage of many of these functions, see the hackrf_transfer tool.

Setup, Initialization and Shutdown

HackRF Init

Initialize libHackRF, including global libUSB context to support multiple HackRF hardware devices.

Syntax: int hackrf_init()

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Open

Syntax: int hackrf_open(hackrf_device** device)

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Device List

Retrieve a list of HackRF devices attached to the system. This function finds all devices, regardless of permissions or availability of the hardware.

Syntax: hackrf_device_list_t* hackrf_device_list()

Returns: A pointer to a hackrf_device_list_t struct, a list of HackRF devices attached to the system. The contents of the hackrf_device_list_t struct are decribed in the data structures section below.

HackRF Device List Open

Open and acquire a handle on a device from the hackrf_device_list_t struct.

Syntax: int hackrf_device_list_open(hackrf_device_list_t* list, int idx, hackrf_device** device)

Params:

list - A pointer to a hackrf_device_list_t returned by hackrf_device_list()

idx - The list index of the HackRF device to open

device - Output location for hackrf_device pointer. Only valid when return value is HACKRF_SUCCESS.

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Device List Free

Syntax: void hackrf_device_list_free(hackrf_device_list_t* list)

Params:

list - A pointer to a hackrf_device_list_t returned by hackrf_device_list()

HackRF Open By Serial

Syntax: int hackrf_open_by_serial(const char* const desired_serial_number, hackrf_device** device)

Returns:

HackRF Close

Syntax: int hackrf_close(hackrf_device* device)

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Exit

Cleanly shutdown libHackRF and the underlying USB context. This does not stop in progress transfers or close the HackRF hardware. hackrf_close() should be called before this to cleanly close the connection to the hardware.

Syntax: int hackrf_exit()

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

Using the Radio

HackRF Start Rx

Syntax: int hackrf_start_rx(hackrf_device*, hackrf_sample_block_cb_fn, void* rx_ctx)

Params:

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Stop Rx

Syntax: int hackrf_stop_rx(hackrf_device*)

Params:

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Start Tx

Syntax: int hackrf_start_tx(hackrf_device*, hackrf_sample_block_cb_fn, void* tx_ctx)

Params:

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Stop Tx

Syntax: int hackrf_stop_tx(hackrf_device*)

Params:

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Set Baseband Filter Bandwidth

Syntax: int hackrf_set_baseband_filter_bandwidth(hackrf_device*, const uint32_t bandwidth_hz)

Params:

Returns: A value from the hackrf_error constants listed below.

HackRF Compute Baseband Filter BW

Compute best default value depending on sample rate (auto filter).

Syntax: uint32_t hackrf_compute_baseband_filter_bw(const uint32_t bandwidth_hz)

Params:

Returns: A valid baseband filter width available from the Maxim MAX2837 frontend used by the radio.

HackRF Compute Baseband Filter BW Round Down LT

Compute nearest freq for bw filter (manual filter)

Syntax: uint32_t hackrf_compute_baseband_filter_bw_round_down_lt(const uint32_t bandwidth_hz)

Params:

Returns: A valid baseband filter width available from the Maxim MAX2837 frontend used by the radio.

Reading and Writing Registers

HackRF MAX2837 Read

Read register values from the MAX2837 Baseband IC.

Syntax: int hackrf_max2837_read(hackrf_device* device, uint8_t register_number, uint16_t* value)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF MAX2837 Write

Write register values to the MAX2837 Baseband IC.

Syntax: int hackrf_max2837_write(hackrf_device* device, uint8_t register_number, uint16_t value)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF Si5351C Read

Read register values from the Si5351C clock generator IC.

Syntax: int hackrf_si5351c_read(hackrf_device* device, uint16_t register_number, uint16_t* value)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF Si5351C Write

Write register values to the Si5351C clock generator IC.

Syntax: int hackrf_si5351c_write(hackrf_device* device, uint16_t register_number, uint16_t value)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF RFFC5071 Read

Read register values from the RFFC5071 mixer IC.

Syntax: int hackrf_rffc5071_read(hackrf_device* device, uint8_t register_number, uint16_t* value)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF RFFC5071 Write

Write register values to the RFFC5071 mixer IC.

Syntax: int hackrf_rffc5071_write(hackrf_device* device, uint8_t register_number, uint16_t value)

Params:

Returns:

Updating Firmware

HackRF CPLD Write

Device will need to be reset after hackrf_cpld_write.

Syntax: int hackrf_cpld_write(hackrf_device* device, unsigned char* const data, const unsigned int total_length)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF SPI Flash Erase

Syntax: int hackrf_spiflash_erase(hackrf_device* device)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF SPI Flash Write

Syntax: int hackrf_spiflash_write(hackrf_device* device, const uint32_t address, const uint16_t length, unsigned char* const data)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF SPI Flash Read

Syntax: int hackrf_spiflash_read(hackrf_device* device, const uint32_t address, const uint16_t length, unsigned char* data)

Params:

Returns:

Board Identifiers

HackRF Board ID Read

Syntax: int hackrf_board_id_read(hackrf_device* device, uint8_t* value)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF Version String Read

Syntax: int hackrf_version_string_read(hackrf_device* device, char* version, uint8_t length)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF Board Part ID Serial Number Read

Syntax: int hackrf_board_partid_serialno_read(hackrf_device* device, read_partid_serialno_t* read_partid_serialno)

Params:

Returns:

Miscellaneous

HackRF Error Name

Syntax: const char* hackrf_error_name(enum hackrf_error errcode)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF Board ID Name

Syntax: const char* hackrf_board_id_name(enum hackrf_board_id board_id)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF USB Board ID Name

Syntax: const char* hackrf_usb_board_id_name(enum hackrf_usb_board_id usb_board_id)

Params:

Returns:

HackRF Filter Path Name

Syntax: const char* hackrf_filter_path_name(const enum rf_path_filter path)

Params:

Returns:

Data Structures

typedef struct hackrf_device hackrf_device

typedef struct {
        hackrf_device* device;
        uint8_t* buffer;
        int buffer_length;
        int valid_length;
        void* rx_ctx;
        void* tx_ctx;
} hackrf_transfer;
typedef struct {
        uint32_t part_id[2];
        uint32_t serial_no[4];
} read_partid_serialno_t;
typedef struct {
        char **serial_numbers;
        enum hackrf_usb_board_id *usb_board_ids;
        int *usb_device_index;
        int devicecount;

        void **usb_devices;
        int usb_devicecount;
} hackrf_device_list_t;

typedef int (*hackrf_sample_block_cb_fn)(hackrf_transfer* transfer)

Enumerations

Supported board versions

These values identify the board type of the connected hardware. This value can be used as an indicator of capabilities, such as frequency range, bandwidth or antenna port power.

Board Frequency range Bandwidth Antenna port power
HackRF One 1MHz - 6Ghz 20MHz Yes
Jawbreaker 10MHz - 6GHz 20MHz No
Rad1o 50MHz - 4GHz 20MHz Unknown
Jellybean N/A 20MHz No

Most boards will identify as HackRF One, Jawbreaker or Rad1o. Jellybean was a pre-production revision of HackRF. No hardware device should intentionally report itself with an invalid board ID.

enum hackrf_board_id {
        BOARD_ID_JELLYBEAN  = 0,
        BOARD_ID_JAWBREAKER = 1,
        BOARD_ID_HACKRF_ONE = 2,
        BOARD_ID_RAD1O = 3,
        BOARD_ID_INVALID = 0xFF,
};

USB Product IDs

enum hackrf_usb_board_id {
        USB_BOARD_ID_JAWBREAKER = 0x604B,
        USB_BOARD_ID_HACKRF_ONE = 0x6089,
        USB_BOARD_ID_RAD1O = 0xCC15,
        USB_BOARD_ID_INVALID = 0xFFFF,
};

Transceiver Mode

HackRF can operate in three main transceiver modes, Receive, Transmit and Signal Source. There is also a CPLD update mode which is used to write firmware images to the CPLD.

The transceiver mode can be changed with hackrf_set_transceiver_mode with the value parameter set to one of the following:

enum transceiver_mode_t {
        TRANSCEIVER_MODE_OFF = 0,
        TRANSCEIVER_MODE_RX = 1,
        TRANSCEIVER_MODE_TX = 2,
        TRANSCEIVER_MODE_SS = 3,
        TRANSCEIVER_MODE_CPLD_UPDATE = 4
};

Receive mode (TRANSCEIVER_MODE_RX) is used to stream samples from the radio to the host system. Use hackrf_set_freq to set the center frequency of receiver and hackrf_set_sample_rate to set the sample rate (effective bandwidth).

Transmit mode (TRANSCEIVER_MODE_TX) is used to stream samples from the host to the radio.

See hackrf_transfer for an example of setting transmit and receive mode and transferring data over USB.

Function return values

RF Filter Path

enum rf_path_filter {
        RF_PATH_FILTER_BYPASS = 0,
        RF_PATH_FILTER_LOW_PASS = 1,
        RF_PATH_FILTER_HIGH_PASS = 2,
};