Creative Commons images are CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Description: This is the HackRF One, a Software Defined Radio (SDR) peripheral capable of transmission or reception of radio signals from 1MHz to 6GHz. Designed to enable test and development of modern and next generation radio technologies, HackRF One is an open source hardware platform that can be used as a USB peripheral or programmed for stand-alone operation.

If you are wondering what a SDR actually is, it’s OK we can help. A Software Defined Radio is essentially a radio communication device that implements the use of software instead of the typically implemented hardware (these would include mixers, amps, and modulators for example). SDR is the application of Digital Signal Processing to radio waveforms. It is similar to the software-based digital audio techniques that became popular a couple of decades ago. Just as a sound card in a computer digitizes audio waveforms, a software radio peripheral digitizes radio waveforms. It’s like a very fast sound card with the speaker and microphone replaced by an antenna. The HackRF One acts in just this way, an all-in-one SDR in a small enclosure a little bigger than a cell phone.

Every HackRF One is protected by an injection molded plastic enclosure and ships with a micro USB cable.

Note: An antenna is not included. We recommend the ANT500 Telescopic Antenna as a starter for the HackRF One.


  • 1x HackRF One
  • 1x micro USB Cable


  • 1 MHz to 6 GHz operating frequency
  • Half-duplex transceiver
  • Up to 20 million samples per second
  • 8-bit quadrature samples (8-bit I and 8-bit Q)
  • Compatible with GNU Radio, SDR#, and more
  • Software-configurable RX and TX gain and baseband filter
  • Software-controlled antenna port power (50 mA at 3.3 V)
  • SMA female antenna connector
  • SMA female clock input and output for synchronization
  • Convenient buttons for programming
  • Internal pin headers for expansion
  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0
  • USB-powered
  • Open source hardware


Recommended Products

Customer Comments

  • Hi, this may be a very vague question, but is there a processing unit on board?

    What if I want to process the received data and transmit the processed data? How is this possible if the processor is not on board.


  • Be warned that operating outside of very specific radio bands without certain licenses received through the ARRL/FCC, without military clearance, or outside of specifications for particular radio bands can get you in A LOT of trouble faster than you can blink an eye.

    In a nutshell, if you don’t know what “ARRL” stands for out of the top of your head, you should probably avoid transmitting ANYTHING until you get licensed (it’s free, you just have to study a bit).

    • Methinks “Mr Electrical” needs to do some reviews. First, the ARRL does NOT issue licenses. That is the domain of the FCC – assuming that you’re in the U.S. (Every country has their own government department to handle this.) That having been said, the licenses that are related to the ARRL require tests to obtain, and the ARRL does (for a fee) provide both training and testing services, as do several other groups.

      Second, every license comes with certain requirements to operate legally. For example, under most circumstances you may be required to transmit your call sign in a timely manner. (There were two violations of this one announced just this past week.)

      “Mr Electrical” is correct in that without the proper licenses (“military clearance” constitutes, effectively, a license, though it is rather restricted), you can get “in A LOT of trouble” under some circumstances, if you consider fines in the thousands of dollars “A LOT of trouble”. (Additionally, if you do it maliciously and interfere with someone operating legally, you can spend some time in the “gray-bar hotel”.) But usually to get into this sort of trouble, you need to be transmitting at levels far beyond the capabilities of this gadget.

      Looking at the available data, it appears that the maximum power it can produce is 15dBm (about 0.03W), if you exercise a little bit of care, you’re not likely to get into trouble with this one. You can, but keeping out of trouble is not that hard with this one.

      • He didn’t say that the ARRL issues licenses, and they are indeed a better place to start than trying to navigate the FCC. But you are both correct: with the great power of SDR comes great responsibility; don’t transmit on any frequency unless you absolutely know what you are doing.

        • He did say that the ARRL issues licenses. What else would “…without certain ARRL licenses…” mean, exactly?

          Obviously what he was talking about are US Amateur Radio Licenses, which 134773 correctly points out are issued by the US Federal Communications Commission (the same FCC which is preparing to trash net neutrality, BTW).

          The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the special interest lobbying group for amateur radio operators, sort of like the National Rifle Association is for gun owners and the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association is for private pilots. All three groups provide training services and assistance in acquiring any required federal licenses (or in the case of the NRA to prevent those licenses from ever being required).

          At any rate, to find out what the exact legal requirements are for using this radio in the US, the FCC is a better place to start because ARRL only handles amateur radio issues. The FCC is the source of all communications regulations in this country and will have complete documentation on which bands, modes of operation, antenna sizes and power levels are legal.

          • Fair enough, I missed that sentence. But I’ll maintain that if your goal is to legally transmit (which limits you to licensed amateur bands and specific unlicensed bands), the ARRL is a vastly more user-friendly place to start than, which is precisely their charter. (I hadn’t been there in a while so I took a look; is a vast, impenetrable website, which makes sense given their charter.)

    • Although the ARRL is a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) for the Amateur Radio service ONLY, and they do not issue radio licenses. Further, the ARRL is only concerned with acting as a VEC for the Amateur Radio service (i.e. Federal Code of Regulations, Title 47, Part 97), but has nothing to do with the multitude of other services, many of which also have their own type acceptance requirements for TRANSMITTERS. The FCC does issue licenses, along with other agencies covered under the NTIA.

  • If you have a HackRF One and a Mac, there are tutorials on getting it working on your computer:

    “HackRF One with Mac OS X” =>

    “I finally got my HackRF and I have a Mac… Now what?” =>

  • Sparkfun should get into building, hacking, and other things with amateur radio. sparkfun and amateur radio could go really well together

  • Can we listen to GSM and Nasa broadcasts signals using this? I saw another device, much bigger though by another company, cost 2500USD and claimed it could tune in to those bands. But also you could write software to make your own GSM network, that anybody on any sim can connect. I wanted to do that at home for VoiP calls from my modile but 2.5k was allot.

  • Just for the sake of information, here is a link to Part 15 Subpart C (that is, unlicensed intentional radiators). Some bands also have their own special exceptions for unlicensed operation.

    If you’re the type of folk who’s into tinkering with radios, it’s not that tough to get licensed for 10 meter bands and up. The FCC just wants to make sure you know what you’re doing well enough to avoid making a mess of things like emergency communications and broadcast news. You’ll feel like a wizard, too. Here is another link to point you in the right direction.

  • Wideband Tesla coil generates more noise than this!

  • I’m not so much in the communications so bear with me. What’s the point of being capable up to 6Ghz? What’s up there?

  • In simple words:

    • Something to note First and Read is the Wiki… the device is designed for experimentation and designing radio systems. NOT for transmitting long distances. i.e. it is a low power unit.

    • Always be sure you don’t stomp on any other Tx/Rx systems nearby.

    • Yes, you should be licensed properly.. IF required. It is a development and test type unit, read the FCC (or governing organization in your country) rules for this type of equipment on the frequencies you are intending to be working in, and abide by them.

    • IF you need to work in a frequency range that is problematic for testing.. USE a properly constructed Faraday Cage.


    Now when is Sparkfun going to carry a wide band PA, LNA for this thing, and some narrow band filters, or even a circulator?

    That would be helpful, and make some possible.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5

Based on 29 ratings:

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Whole lotta spectrum

Having had some time to play around with this, I’ve got to say I’m impressed with just how much of the spectrum this little guy can cover. It’s still got the SDR hallmark “center spike”, but that’s to be expected, and can easily be corrected for. The SMA can be a bit of a pain, especially if you want to use it on HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies, as antennas for those often won’t have SMA connectors on them. All on all though, great device!

1 of 1 found this helpful:

A fraction of the cost of my usrp

if you’re interested radio you need this

7 of 7 found this helpful:

Nice SDR if you know what you are getting

If you are looking for a “plug in and surf the RF spectrum” this might not be the best purchase. This device, used alone, is plagued with RF aliasing problems simply because it has almost no front end filtering. Strong signals tend to alias very easily. There is a strong problem with the LO (10 MHZ) polluting the signal as well. The LO doesn’t just show up as spikes every 10 MHZ. It causes aliasing problems with strong signals as well. For example, a very strong FM station near me is 94.9 MHZ. I can pick up that station very strong at 84.9 MHZ and also at 104.9 MHZ.

The HackRF benefits greatly from some front end filtering. I would almost give it positive praise if it weren’t for the aliasing problems.

I honestly considered returning it but decided against it since I plan on using it for Tx as well. If I were only interested in Rx, I would probably have returned it. Compared to the RTL-SDR, it certainly has much wider coverage but suffers from more aliasing. My favorite Rx-only SDR is the AirSpy. It does have some LO leakage but it is easy to ignore the 10 MHZ spikes. Of all the SDRs I own, it has the cleanest reception and has become my go-to hardware for SDR reception.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Extremly cool RF-Gadget

A small box, versatile as hack! Gnuradio companion ist the best way to start. You get a really cool introduction from the developer about this thing on But hell, you need a powerful Machine!

4 of 4 found this helpful:

Wish it went just 10% further...

There’s not much serious development you can do with a box that doesn’t simultaneously transmit and receive. In order to switch between TX and RX modes you have to close the device context and reopen it. However, probably good as a learning platform.

Also, the TX and RX gains are all over the place. Depending on the band they can vary by 25dB. And lets not even discuss noise figure.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Putting HacRF One Through It's Paces

Okay, so I have had it for only one week, but some initial comments: 1. Set up is real easy, download a driver (Zadig), download and install SDR#, select HackRF One in the SDR# menu and voila the RF One is receiving.
2. Also installed SDR-Console (receiver software) as it supports the HackRF One, works well, is a bit more option-enriched than SDR#. 3. Using an outdoor 43 foot vertical the HackRF One was tried on some of the SW bands and ham bands, so far am very pleased. 4. Tuned down to the AM broadcast band, pulls in stations fine. 5. On VHF tuned in the NOAA wx channels, received fine using a discone antenna on the roof. 6. Best results are from judicious use of the LNA slider and the internal amp. Did not use the VGA slider as am not sure of it’s role in receiving. 7. Also had an MFJ-956 antenna tuner in line on HF band to maximize reception.

Well, so far initial results on HF are fine, need to do more monitoring on VHF/UHF to determine how well it works.

I have 40+ years experience as a ham, SWL, scanner enthusiast, satellite enthusiast so I know what I am talking about.

Conclusion: So far am pleased with it’s operation!

4 of 4 found this helpful:

HackRF One

Its small form factor, is awesome. Having it plugged into a tablet for on the go work is very handy. All round a good product for the price (read there are better but they cost twice the price). The fact an antenna isn’t shipped with this by default is IMHO a mistake which reduces the fun of the first hour after you get it while you search for that SMA antenna you had laying around someplace 5 years ago. Get the antenna! But really spark fun shouldn’t sell it without one. Import Duties into New Zealand were extreme (½ the price of the unit). I believe its because the declaration must have included the shipping cost.

1 of 5 found this helpful:

Not all there

Frustrating - Tried RF Analyzer from Google Play not even close.Said it was for HackRfOne well not lights looked like it was trying but that’s was it…Got my money back Minimal documentation included with the unit -actually basically zilch. Two nearly blank sheets of paper -that was it! Disappointed I expected more basic stuff to get you going My MIstake

One word .... awesome !!!

Did I say …. awesome !!! You want to know more? Just buy it. Too long to explain and I do not have time since I’m playing (not working) with my HackRF :-)

Best, most versatile, affordable SDR

Note I needed to update the firmware, it wasn’t a problem. This goes down to DC - I know a “ham-it-up” is recommended, but this still receives AM radio. The bandwidth is 20MHz so you can see the entire FM radio spectrum, or wide spread-spectrum chunks like digital. And it can transmit. It does everything, and even has clock in (navspark timer 10MHz exactly) and clock out (to sync another)

great radio

Full duplex would be nice. Still a fantastic radio.

Great RF tool for the price!

If you’re looking for a plug and play production radio, this is not the gadget for you. However, if you have a solid grasp of RF and are looking for a capable SDR that you can use for a multitude of projects, it quickly becomes one of those “how did I ever get along without it?” tools in your arsenal. A definite step up from the cheaper dongle type SDR units without being overly pricey.

Would most certainly like to see full-duplex become part of its feature set. It should come bundled with the telescoping antenna that is currently sold separately. Conveniently enough there’s a slot in the foam that appears to have been designed just for that antenna.

Awesome piece of equipment.Best educational tool I have ever purchased.

Extreamely happy

I have to admit that I am a passionate for RF domain, so I don’t know if my opinion would be fair, but the hackRF is the device I was looking for, completely opensource to play around as far as I want, the capabilities are quite good,the frequency range is huge! I would rather a crystal enclosure but this one is not bad neither.

Very great tool.

Quickly gets you up to speed through great tutorials and great for debugging wireless communications. Sparkfun shipping is excellent.

Really fun

This is a great device and I’ve loved playing around with it. To get the most out of it you will probably need to have decent Linux knowledge and patience while learning about SDR. It’s range is impressive and has been much better than the $25 usb dongle I had before.

Fun & Furious

Very nice. Neat device. This is the Arduino of SDR. Next version should have full duplex TX+RX and a metal enclosure. Will benefit from a LNA4ALL preamp. +20dB noise compared to AirSpy, also has some artifacts that can be tuned around. Windows7 requires separate Zadig driver. Linux of course works straightaway.

This is an awesome SDR

Upgraded from a HackRF Jawbreaker and really have enjoyed this new device. The enclosure is nice to have - the reset and DFU buttons also welcomed change from the previous jumpers. Other notable additions from the HackRF are an external clock interface and improved expansion interface. This is a fun device and if your into poking around with RF and want to talk back as well as receive I highly recommend this device.

Great SDR!

Great SDR for everyone who wants to play with RF technologies. Installed gnuradio on ArchLinux, plugged it in and after a few minutes I could already listen to my local FM radio station :) Probably the only flaw is that it uses USB 2.0 and not USB 3.0 but I knew that before I bought it, so that’s OK. Maybe with the next version of the HackRF?

Very nice toy :) Its proving to be useful in lots of ways

I found lots of ways in which this toy can be useful, i found faulty meters etc….

With regards to SparkFun i must say that the service is flawless, the whole process took no time. From the moment i hit the purchase link till i had my tracking number i barely had time to finish dinner.

Good job guys!

It's taking time to master, but should be well worth it

Delivery from order to package-on-doorstep was lightning fast. I’ve had it up and receiving commercial FM stations with gqrx and run some of the homework examples in an excellent SDR course on Formal documentation in more detail than the Wiki would have been faster than the video course for me, but in two days, I did enough to know that it works as claimed. It will take some time to master, which I will invest as the needs arise.

Price is right

Affordable Dev tool with the all the features you need. Worked strait out of the box.

Great SDR

Solid SDR. Ability to transmit on most or all frequencies adds another layer of fun to the radio fun.

Really neat device

Right now I haven’t been able to use it to its fullest, been mostly just listening to whats out there. So far ham radio traffic in my area seems sparse at best. But over all the device is really great, way more support for it on linux than on windows though just an FYI.


Works as intended, but for $100 more I’d rather have full duplex (simultaneous rxtx) so it can respond to something quickly programmatically. Currently it requires firmware mod to switch (its only 100us but still annoying) quickly to Tx a packet. (ACK for example must be tx quickly)