LimeSDR On Windows: Getting Started

LimeSDR in case

For whatever reason, I had a ton of trouble figuring out how to get my LimeSDR set up on my Windows 10 machine, now that I’ve finally got the time to dig into it. All the official “getting started” tutorials seem to be vague, incorrect, or both. Here’s how I got started, from zero to waterfall.

1. Download the software

The official quick start guide leads you to download LimeSuite, which is included in Porths SDR on Windows, so that’s what you need to get. But the tutorial for Pothos setup is where I went astray: since it’s not specific to LimeSDR, it directs you to install drivers for your whatever-it-may-be device by using Zadig. DO NOT USE ZADIG TO INSTALL ANY DRIVERS FOR YOUR LIMESDR. If you did, like I did, skip to the “If you used Zadig” section below.

  1. Download and install the latest Porths SDR from http://downloads.myriadrf.org/builds/PothosSDR/?C=M;O=D.
  2. Per the Tutorial, you’ll need to manually add the Pothos install dir to your system PATH variable. I used the built-in environment variables editor: Control Panel>System>Advanced System Settings>(Advanced tab)>Environment Variables>Path entry (in System list)>New button. Add C:\Program Files\PothosSDR\bin to the end of the list.

2. Install the LimeSDR device driver

To set up the device driver properly, follow the setup tutorial at https://wiki.myriadrf.org/Lime_Suite#USB_driver – section 4.1.1

If you goofed and followed the Zadig section of the Pothos tutorial:

You’ll need to delete the LimeSDR device and try again.

  1. Open Device Manager (use start menu search if you don’t know where that is)
  2. Find the LimeSDR device. It might be under “Universal Serial Bus Devices,” or “Universal Serial Bus Controllers,” or somewhere weirder depending on which USB driver type you selected in Zadig.
  3. Right-click, select “Uninstall Device,” and check the “delete driver” box.
  4. Un-plug and re-plug the device, slowly, so that Device Manager re-enumerates after each.
  5. Find the device again. In my case, it re-appeared under “Jawbone devices,” probably because it picked up a similar USB serial driver from a previous Jawbone speaker I had installed or something. Anyway, it might be in a weird spot.
  6. At this point, you should be able to right-click, “Update Driver”, “Browse my computer,” and select the location you downloaded the official driver package to above. Note: I just selected the unzipped folder. When I drilled down to “\Downloads\WinDriver_LimeSDR-USB\Win10\x64”, the “Update driver” command failed with “Already has the best driver installed.” Not sure why, but JUST select the top-level unzipped folder.

Your LimeSDR should appear in Device Manager under “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” as “Myriad-RF LimeSDR-USB” if everything went well.

3. Finish setting up LimeSuite

At this point, with a functioning LimeSDR, I followed the LimeSuite tutorial from 4.1.2 Device Enumeration to the end.

  1. Launch Lime Suite from the start menu
  2. Options>Connection Settings>(pick your board)>Connect
    At this point, the Modules>Programming menu didn’t have any “Automatic” mode for me. In the output window, I saw

    so I followed those hints below in steps 3 to 5. Ignore if they don’t apply to you because your board is more recent than mine.
  3. Open a PowerShell
  4. Assuming you’ve set your PATH variable correctly, run the command LimeUtil --update This automatically completed for me.
  5. Re-launch Lime Suite and verify that the output window doesn’t have the same warnings as before when you connect, but instead has a line that looks like the one below, with the latest FW/HW versions:
    [16:34:27] INFO: Connected Control port: LimeSDR-USB FW:4 HW:4 Protocol:1 GW:2.12 Ref Clk: 30.72 MHz

4. Verify everything works

For this, I followed the Loopback Test outlined here.

5. Watch the Wifi spectrum in real-time!

I have no idea how. Sorry. This is where I stopped, unable to figure out even how to change the selected input antenna in Lime Suite – my antennas are connected to the wideband inputs/outputs, but by default, Lime Suite has the _L sub-800MHz ports connected. No idea how to change them.

I’ll guess I’ll update this if I can ever figure out how to fly this SDR seriously.

One thought on “LimeSDR On Windows: Getting Started

  1. Hello Alex!
    I am using LimeSDR in Linux and also got stucked at the some point. In the PDF of the Programming and Calibration guide could not find how to changel the input source!
    If you found the solution please, tell me.
    Regards.

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