History of HackRF devices

by cmur2 on 2015-09-06 in hackrf , rad1o , sdr

I created this document to my best knowledge to get an overview about which hackrf-compatible devices where created and when.

It all began in June 2012 with Michael Ossmann’s post ‘Introducing HackRF’ where he presented his idea for a cheap, open source Software Defined Radio (SDR) to spread the adoption of SDR in hacker and research communities. The associated website is greatscottgadgets.com/hackrf.

A first prototype of a HackRF board is called ‘HackRF Jawbreaker’ that was presented at the GRCon12 in late September 2012.

It was planned to distribute a HackRF Jawbreaker to every attendee at ToorCon 14 in late October 2012 but since these weren’t completed in time everyone at ToorCon 14 and GRCon12 received a beta code. After more delays the beta manufacturing should have started around February/March 2013. HackRF Beta registration opened on April 29, 2013 with shipment projected to end of May. More than 500 Jawbreaker (final?) units were produced in the beginning of May 2013. The last units where shipped in June due to needed extensive tests.

The HackRF Beta registration showed a great interest and so Michael Ossmann launched a Kickstarter for a new HackRF product on July 31, 2013 – the same day as a presentation of HackRF at Black Hat Arsenal. The original Kickstarter with $80.000 goal was completed after only six hours on the same day. The stretch goal of $400.000 for producing a video series about SDR was reached on August 23, 2013. The campaign closed on September 4, 2013 with $602.960 from 1991 backers.

In an update in early October 2013 the name ‘HackRF One’ was announced for the product funded through Kickstarter. The major design work took place in Q4 2013. The reward shipping happened in early August 2014. HackRF One can be (pre-)ordered through several stores since April 2014.

On July 10, 2015 it was revealed that every of the 4500 attendees of the Chaos Communication Camp 2015 will receive a rad1o badge that is software compatible with the HackRF. Developed by people from the CCC Munich and sponsored by several chip vendors it was handed out at no additional cost for the attendees to facilitate the spread of SDR. As explained in the rad1o talk the planning phase began near end of 2014 with final assembly only weeks before CCCamp 2015, which took place from August 13 - 17, 2015.

Episode ‘#265 – A Security Update with Michael Ossmann’ of The Amp Hour podcast published on September 4, 2015 contained several interesting facts: Michael Ossmann mentioned that he sold ~10000 HackRF One devices. There are plans for a ‘HackRF2’ that might lead to a new product.

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