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HAMlab - 160-6 10W

HAMlab is a fully functional SDR transceiver with 160-10m band coverage and 10W of output power built around the STEMlab platform. It gives you an out of the box, affordable and high performance SDR transceiver solution. All you need is an antenna and you can start your SDR experience! Even better, the HAMlab has been dubbed as the "Swiss Army Knife" for HAM radio operators by incorporating an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, signal generator, bode analyzer, and logic analyzer (for an additional fee) making it an all in one desk top tool that can quickly become a necessity for anyone!

With the HAMlab being a plug and play SDR transceiver, it possesses a RX frequency range of 25KHz to 62.5MHz, a TX frequency range of 1MHz to 62MHz, low pass PA filter bands, and a direct sampling receiver architecture. All functions of the HAMlab are web based and won't require any installation of any applications since they can be accessed via a web browser on your smartphone, tablet, or a PC.

Please be aware that a few additional parts will be required for the HAMlab to function at peak efficiency. These parts include an HF Antenna (as mentioned before), stereo speakers or headphones, microphone, a router with enabled DHCP with an Internet connection, a 13.8VDC 4A power supply, and of course an active HAM radio license in case you want to transmit. A full list of these part requirements can be found in the Quickstart Guide in the Documents tab above.

  • HAMlab 160-6 10W
  • Oscilloscope probes
  • Logic analyzer probes
  • Wi-Fi Dongle
  • 25KHz to 62,5 MHz RX Frequency Range
  • Direct sampling receiver architecture
  • Low pass PA Filter bands (6m, 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m, 30m, 40m, 80m, 160m)
  • 1MHz to 62 MHz TX Frequency Range
  • 10W output power
  • Gigabit Ethernet data transfer interface
  • Power supply = 13,8V, 4A
  • 2 Channel Oscilloscope
  • 2 Channel Sig. Generator
  • Spectrum Analyzer
  • 8 Channel Logic Analyzer

HAMlab - 160-6 10W Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

4 Programming

Skill Level: Experienced - You will require a firm understanding of programming, the programming toolchain, and may have to make decisions on programming software or language. You may need to decipher a proprietary or specialized communication protocol. A logic analyzer might be necessary.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • TheseusRex / about 5 years ago / 2

    Fortunately this radio is way too over-priced to sell, so we should not experience much interference on the ham radio bands from jerks that do not have a license or know how to operate. Interference by the way is a guaranteed ten grand per offense via the FCC when caught. RCR

  • Lutorm / about 5 years ago / 2

    I think you forgot to mention under the requirements that you need an amateur radio license to use this. People who are only familiar with devices operating in the unlicensed bands may not realize this, so it might be good to mention in the description.

    • Member #1272652 / about 5 years ago / 1

      You can receive transmissions without a license. I also want to respond to TheseusRex: All of FCC Enforcement Bureau Special Counsel Laura Smith’s warning notices concluded with the advisory: Fines normally range from $7,500 to $10,000. So, I'm not so sure it's "guaranteed ten grand", and several warning from official operators and Special Counsel will proceed any legal action. Why do ham operators seem to be so fond of "mansplaining" their hobby?

  • dbvanhorn / about 5 years ago / 1

    "Getting an ARRL license"? Surely we expect better of Sparkfun.

    The link provided is to the ARRL, for getting an FCC Amateur radio license! "Getting an FCC Amateur Radio Licence" would be a better link title.

    Getting an Amateur Radio License or "Ham License" is easy. 35 questions, 75% correct to pass.

    Sites like will help you with practice questions taken from the actual exam.

    To use all the capability of this radio you'll need an Extra class license, but even that is not so hard.

    The ham community welcomes newcomers, but we do expect them to follow the rules and not be a "Lid". (Google it. :)

    While it is legal to buy this or most any other transmitter without a license, as others have stated using it illegally will cause interference to others, and can have legal consequences.

    • Member #1272652 / about 5 years ago / 1

      As I understand it, a license is not needed when strictly receiving transmissions. Also, members of the Amateur Auxiliary (Official Observers) will give three or more warnings before contacting officials, who will send warnings of their own before pursuing legal actions. Basically anyone who inadvertently starts transmitting without a license does not have to worry about the Ham Police breaking down their doors! Not to mention, an item that starts at $1400 before other necessary equipment is unlikely not to know what they're getting into. One thing that's kept me away from Ham radio is that I have come across members that are quite patronizing. There seems to be a nerd snob factor in the community.

  • Sparkfun - this looks like a very promising platform. I checked it out but found the following:

    User community - very little activity and many complaints about lack of company participation/support. Github - very little relative repository activity.

    In short I see what looks like a great hacker platform but w/o the active community behind it.

    Not expecting the level of activity like Arduino or Raspberry Pi but more along the lines of at least Elecraft.

    Am I seeing this wrong Sparkfun?


    • santaimpersonator / about 5 years ago / 1

      I haven't really dived into the forums because the setup and built-in applications were pretty straight forward if you followed the documentation. (If it is not mentioned above, you do need an external power supply.)

      That being said, I saw a lot of issues filed under the RedPitaya Repo. However, when I setup a HamLab... it only used this OpenHPSDR-PowerSDR Repository (optional) if you wanted to use the SDR software and there are no issues listed in this repo. (If I remember correctly, the software is Windows only.)

      For the benchtop tools, the documented instructions are straight forward; especially if have used similar tools before. Additionally, I like that I could access the tools from an IP address without having my computer physically attached to the system. On a WiFi network, I was also able to access the setup from another room/workbench if needed. Not sure there would be a lot of community activity for those.

      A lot of the SDR tutorials are catered towards more advanced users and are generally hardware-specific; you will also need to find proper antennas for each application. In my experience for almost anything SDR related, it requires a bit of "know-how" and a good amount of online research. To that end, users are expecting cut and dry tutorials for SDR applications... if you find a tutorial with specific instructions for your application, I would explicitly recommend using the listed hardware. It isn't always the easiest to adapt with other hardware unless you know what you are doing (that is even outside the scope of our support team).

  • Sherpa / about 5 years ago / 1

    If this is controlled through a web browser, is that the UI connection to an embedded web server inside the box? Or does this require an internet connection to function? Might this become a useless brick if the manufacturer goes defunct?

    • M-Short / about 5 years ago / 1

      This does not require the internet, you connect directly over your network via a browser for most of the features. The SDR does require software (Power SDR). I believe Power SDR is a third party so you should be fine if the company goes defunct

  • Member #340509 / about 5 years ago / 1

    Should an item for the maker community be this expensive? I am an Extra class ham opperator and I fully understand the cost of dedicated high performance ham radio equipment, but I look to SparkFun for low cost maker type items. Then to put the test leads into an accessory pack for an additional cost rings of greed. I'll pass. P.s. my first ever comment on SparkFun :/

    • M-Short / about 5 years ago / 2

      Thanks for the feedback and your first ever comment. We do understand that this is a fairly expensive piece of equipment, but it also can replace quite a few expensive items. This is geared more towards the ham community more than the maker community (there is some overlap, but the ham community also works with higher priced components). As for the test leads, I'm really not sure about that one. That was a decision by the manufacture, but we figured that people would want them so we are carrying them as well. But we do realize this product isn't for everyone (or even every Extra class ham operator).

      • Member #394180 / about 5 years ago / 1

        As part of the ham community, this product doesn't make sense to me at this price point. For the same amount of money, I can get equivalent frequency coverage with a traditional radio with much higher output power. Or I can get the same power output and frequency coverage for much less money. It seems that I'd be paying a large premium for the chance to play with SDR, but there are lower cost low-power options to do that (not going to put ads for the competition here, but they're out there). As far as the expensive accessories it's supposed to replace, I already have those or don't want/need them.

        I have no reason to doubt that this is a well engineered product that does what it's supposed to and that the cost is justified by the parts and labor, but I don't know if there's actually a place in the market for it.

        • santaimpersonator / about 5 years ago / 1

          In my opinion, the entry/mid-level benchtop tools are the primary value (the oscilloscope, signal generator, and spectrum analyzer) in addition to the SDR. If you already have these tools, then this product probably doesn't fit into your needs. That being said, we do offer the HackRF One, Lime SDR, and BladeRF... which are probably what you are looking for if you just need an SDR.

    • santaimpersonator / about 5 years ago / 1

      There is a possibility that they could have excluded that cost for users who have their own accessories (maybe?). Then again, to me, the unit price doesn't seem too bad for a combination oscilloscope, signal generator, spectrum analyzer, logic analyzer, and SDR. If you know of a cheaper/better setup that is for the most part "plug and play", let me know (I wouldn't mind having some quality tools at home).

      As a note, the only thing in the accessory pack that seems "kind of proprietary" is the cable for the logic analyzer (the normal jumper wires that we carry don't seem to fit in the slot). Otherwise, everything else seems to be your standard BNC, SMA, and IC hook parts. Also, if you are sourcing accessories, users should use quality/trusted manufacturers/suppliers for anything signal related; otherwise, you risk trying to hunt down for noise issues or degraded signals that are from the cable/connectors (a great duh/smack your head moment).

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