Setting up HackRF One

tested on ubuntu/artful/bionic and debian/stretch

Gain Settings (from the FAQ)


RF "amp", 0 or 14 dB
IF "lna", 0 to 40 dB in 8 dB steps
BB "vga", 0 to 62 dB in 2 dB steps

start with 0/16/18, good results here with 0/32/18. enable amp only if you need to


RF 0 or 14 dB
IF 0 to 47 dB in 1 dB steps

Installation from Source

apt install build-essential cmake libfftw3-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev pkg-config

git clone
cd hackrf/
mkdir host/build/
cd host/build/
cmake ..
make -j8
make install
cat /etc/udev/rules.d/53-hackrf.rules
grep ^plugdev /etc/group
usermod -aG plugdev USERNAME


Watch the kernel logs,

tail -F /var/log/kern.log /var/log/syslog

and just in case the front-panel is not pushing enough power into the device, PLUG THE SHIT INTO A MOTHERBOARD USB PLUG.

Then look at currently installed FW version,

which hackrf_info

It is preferable to have all version at the same level: FW, CPLD and binaries.

Firmware and CPLD

apt install gcc-arm-none-eabi
#apt install libnewlib-arm-none-eabi libstdc++-arm-none-eabi-newlib gcc-arm-none-eabi binutils-arm-none-eabi

cd hackrf/
git submodule init
git submodule update
cd firmware/libopencm3
pip install pyyaml
make -j8

cd ../hackrf_usb/
mkdir build/
cd build/
cmake ..
make -j8
hackrf_spiflash -w hackrf_usb.bin

Restart the device by clicking on the first button on the edge.

cd hackrf/firmware/cpld/
hackrf_cpldjtag -x sgpio_if/default.xsvf

Check for write success, un-plug power from the device, wait a second and replug. Then check again,


Acceptance Testing

Eventually validate RX and TX


HackRF One


How to build the host software on Linux

Operating System Tips

How we can Decide for set BB gain, IF gain, RF gain???


How we can Decide for set BB gain, IF gain, RF gain???

HackRF TX amplifier test, RF, IF, BB Gain to very high values




Updating Firmware

How to fix fatal GCC-ARM error: stdint.h: No such file or directory

no stdint.h file on Debian

stdint.h: No such file or directory


Tips and Tricks

USB(?) interference via antenna from the lowest frequencies to above 190 MHz #544

HackRF Sensitivity

I put my hackrf into a Hammond cast alum. box wrapped usb cord with choke/ferrit and have seen a big improvement. And with a discone ant. Just need to play with more when I’m not busy…

Calibration Troubles

kalibrate-hackrf not picking up GSM

Is it right (wildly inconsistent results on different channels, e.g. -33.570 ppm vs 38.369 ppm) #6

Wrong ARFCN and frequencies – is -E needed? #24

what’s accuracy of SDR oscillator in HackRF one? for example, the USRP1 to 20 parts per million (ppm) #379

SDR calibration via GSM FCCH using Kalibrate and LTE-Cell-Scanner on RTL-SDR and HackRF

LTE Calibration

SDR calibration via GSM FCCH using Kalibrate and LTE-Cell-Scanner on RTL-SDR and HackRF

Range of results from Kalibrate

rxseger/LTE-Cell-Scanner forked from JiaoXianjun/LTE-Cell-Scanner

JiaoXianjun/LTE-Cell-Scanner forked from Evrytania/LTE-Cell-Scanner