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BLADERF-CLI(1) User Commands BLADERF-CLI(1)

bladeRF-cli - command line interface and test utility

bladeRF-cli <options>

The bladeRF-cli utility is used to flash firmware files, load FPGA bitstreams, and perform other tasks on the nuand bladeRF software-defined radio system.

For more information on obtaining or building firmware files and FPGA bitstreams, please visit http://nuand.com/.

bladeRF command line interface and test utility (1.6.1-git)

-d, --device <device>
Use the specified bladeRF device.
-f, --flash-firmware <file>
Write the provided FX3 firmware file to flash.
-l, --load-fpga <file>
Load the provided FPGA bitstream.
-L, --flash-fpga <file>
Write the provided FPGA image to flash for autoloading. Use -L X or --flash-fpga X to disable FPGA autoloading.
-p, --probe
Probe for devices, print results, then exit. A non-zero return status will be returned if no devices are available.
-e, --exec <command>
Execute the specified interactive mode command. Multiple -e flags may be specified. The commands will be executed in the provided order.
-s, --script <file>
Run provided script.
-i, --interactive
Enter interactive mode.
--lib-version
Print libbladeRF version and exit.
-v, --verbosity <level>
Set the libbladeRF verbosity level. Levels, listed in increasing verbosity, are:
critical, error, warning,
info, debug, verbose
--version
Print CLI version and exit.
-h, --help
Show this help text.
--help-interactive
Print help information for all interactive commands.

The -d option takes a device specifier string. See the bladerf_open() documentation for more information about the format of this string.
If the -d parameter is not provided, the first available device will be used for the provided command, or will be opened prior to entering interactive mode.
Commands are executed in the following order:
Command line options, -e <command>, script commands, interactive mode commands.
When running 'rx/tx start' from a script or via -e, ensure these commands are later followed by 'rx/tx wait [timeout]' to ensure the program will not attempt to exit before reception/transmission is complete.

bladeRF-cli supports a scriptable interactive mode. Run bladeRF-cli --interactive to enter this mode. Type "help" for a listing of all commands, or "help <command>" for more information about <command>.

Usage: calibrate <operation> [options]

Perform the specified transceiver calibration operation.

Available operations:

LMS internal DC offset auto-calibrations
calibrate lms [show]
calibrate lms tuning [value]
calibrate lms txlpf [<I filter> <Q filter>]
calibrate lms rxlpf [<I filter> <Q filter>]
calibrate lms rxvga2 [<DC ref> <I1> <Q1> <I2> <Q2>]

Perform the specified auto-calibration, or all of them if none are provided. When values are provided, these are used instead of the results of the auto-calibration procedure. Use lms show to read and print the current LMS calibration values.

For rxvga2, I1 and Q1 are the Stage 1 I and Q components respectively, and I2 and Q2 are the Stage 2 I and Q components.

RX and TX I/Q DC offset correction parameter calibration
calibrate dc <rx|tx> [<I> <Q>]
calibrate dc <rxtx>

Calibrate the DC offset correction parameters for the current frequency and gain settings. If a I/Q values are provided, they are applied directly. cal rxtx is shorthand for cal rx followed by cal tx.

RX and TX I/Q balance correction parameter calibration
calibrate iq <rx|tx> <gain|phase> <value>

Set the specified IQ gain or phase balance parameters.

Generate RX or TX I/Q DC correction parameter tables
calibrate table dc <rx|tx> [<f_min> <f_max> [f_inc]]

Generate and write an I/Q correction parameter table to the current working directory, in a file named <serial>_dc_<rx|tx>.tbl. f_min and f_max are min and max frequencies to include in the table. f_inc is the frequency increment.

By default, tables are generated over the entire frequency range, in 10 MHz steps.

Generate RX or TX I/Q DC correction parameter tables for AGC Look Up Table
calibrate table agc <rx|tx> [<f_min> <f_max> [f_inc]]

Similar usage as calibrate table dc except the call will set gains to the AGC's base gain value before running calibrate table dc.

Usage: clear

Clears the screen.

Usage: echo [arg 1] [arg 2] ... [arg n]

Echo each argument on a new line.

Usage: erase <offset> <count>

Erase specified erase blocks SPI flash.

<offset> - Erase block offset
<count> - Number of erase blocks to erase

Usage: flash_backup <file> (<type> | <address> <length>)

Back up flash data to the specified file. This command takes either two or four arguments. The two-argument invocation is generally recommended for non-development use.

Parameters:

<type> - Type of backup.

This selects the appropriate address and length values based upon the selected type.

Valid options are:

Option Description
cal Calibration data
fw Firmware
fpga40 Metadata and bitstream for 40 kLE FPGA
fpga115 Metadata and bitstream for 115 kLE FPGA
<address> - Address of data to back up. Must be erase block-aligned.
<len> - Length of region to back up. Must be erase block-aligned.

Note: When an address and length are provided, the image type will default to raw.

Examples:

flash_backup cal.bin cal

Backs up the calibration data region.

flash_backup cal_raw.bin 0x30000 0x10000

Backs up the calibration region as a raw data image.

Usage: flash_image <image> [output options]

Print a flash image's metadata or create a new flash image. When provided with the name of a flash image file as the only argument, this command will print the metadata contents of the image.

The following options may be used to create a new flash image.

data=<file>

File to containing data to store in the image.

address=<addr>

Flash address. The default depends upon type parameter.

type=<type>

Type of flash image. Defaults to raw.

Valid options are:

Option Description
cal Calibration data
fw Firmware
fpga40 Metadata and bitstream for 40 kLE FPGA
fpga115 Metadata and bitstream for 115 kLE FPGA
raw Raw data. The address and length parameters must be provided if this type is selected.
serial=<serial>

Serial # to store in image. Defaults to zeros.

Usage: flash_init_cal <fpga_size> <vctcxo_trim> [<output_file>]

Create and write a new calibration data region to the currently opened device, or to a file. Be sure to back up calibration data prior to running this command. (See the flash_backup command.)

<fpga_size>

Either 40 or 115, depending on the device model.

<vctcxo_trim>

VCTCXO/DAC trim value (0x0-0xffff)

<output_file>

File to write calibration data to. When this argument is provided, no data will be written to the device's flash.

Usage: flash_restore <file> [<address> <length>]

Restore flash data from a file, optionally overriding values in the image metadata.

<address>

Defaults to the address specified in the provided flash image file.

<length>

Defaults to length of the data in the provided image file.

Usage: fw_log [filename]

Read the contents of the device's firmware log and write it to the specified file. If no filename is specified, the log content is written to stdout.

Usage: help [<command>]

Provides extended help, like this, on any command.

Usage: info

Prints the following information about an opened device:

Serial number
VCTCXO DAC calibration value
FPGA size
Whether or not the FPGA is loaded
USB bus, address, and speed
Backend (Denotes which device interface code is being used.)
Instance number

Usage: jump_to_boot

Clear out a FW signature word in flash and jump to FX3 bootloader.

The device will continue to boot into the FX3 bootloader across power cycles until new firmware is written to the device.

Usage: load <fpga|fx3> <filename>

Load an FPGA bitstream or program the FX3's SPI flash.

Usage: xb <board_model> <subcommand> [parameters]

Enable or configure an expansion board.

Valid values for board_model:

100

XB-100 GPIO expansion board

200

XB-200 LF/MF/HF/VHF transverter expansion board

300

XB-300 amplifier board

Common subcommands:

enable

Enable the XB-100, XB-200, or XB-300 expansion board.

XB-200 subcommands:

filter [rx|tx] [50|144|222|custom|auto_1db|auto_3db]

Selects the specified RX or TX filter on the XB-200 board. Below are descriptions of each of the filter options.

50

Select the 50-54 MHz (6 meter band) filter.

    
144

Select the 144-148 MHz (2 meter band) filter.

    
222

Select the 222-225 MHz (1.25 meter band) filter. Realistically,
this filter option is actually slightly wider, covering
206 MHz - 235 MHz.

    
custom

Selects the custom filter path. The user should connect a filter
along the corresponding FILT and FILT-ANT connections when using
this option.  Alternatively one may jumper the FILT and FILT-ANT
connections to achieve "no filter" for reception. (However, this is
_highly_ discouraged for transmissions.)

    
auto_1db

Automatically selects one of the above choices based upon frequency
and the filters' 1dB points. The custom path is used for cases
that are not associated with the on-board filters.

    
auto_3db

Automatically selects one of the above choices based upon frequency
and the filters' 3dB points. The custom path is used for cases
that are not associated with the on-board filters.

    

XB-300 subcommands:

<pa|lna|aux> [on|off]

Enable or disable the power amplifier (PA), low-noise amplifier (lna) or auxillary LNA (aux). The current state if the specified device is printed if [on|off] is not specified.

Note: The auxillary path on the XB-300 is not populated with components by default; the aux control will have no effect upon the RX signal. This option is available for users to modify their board with custom hardware.

<pwr>

Read the current Power Detect (PDET) voltage and compute the output power.

trx <rx|tx>

The default XB-300 hardware configuration includes separate RX and TX paths. However, users wishing to use only a single antenna for TRX can do so via a modification to resistor population options on the XB-300 and use this command to switch between RX an TX operation. (See R8, R10, and R23 on the schematic.)

Examples:

xb 200 enable

Enables and configures the XB-200 transverter expansion board.

xb 200 filter rx 144

Selects the 144-148 MHz receive filter on the XB-200 transverter expansion board.

xb 300 enable

Enables and configures the use of GPIOs to interact with the XB-300. The PA and LNA will disabled by default.

xb 300 lna on

Enables the RX LNA on the XB-300. LED D1 (green) is illuminated when the LNA is enabled, and off when it is disabled.

xb 300 pa off

Disables the TX PA on the XB-300. LED D2 (blue) is illuminated when the PA is enabled, and off when it is disabled.

Usage: mimo [master | slave]

Modify device MIMO operation.

IMPORTANT: This command is deprecated and has been superseded by "print/set smb_mode". For usage text, run: "set smb_mode"

Usage: open [device identifiers]

Open the specified device for use with successive commands. Any previously opened device will be closed.

The general form of the device identifier string is:

<backend>:[device=<bus>:<addr>] [instance=<n>] [serial=<serial>]

See the bladerf_open() documentation in libbladeRF for the complete device specifier format.

Usage: peek <rfic|pll|dac|lms|si> <address> [num_addresses]

The peek command can read any of the devices hanging off the FPGA. This includes the:

bladeRF 1: LMS6002D transceiver, VCTCXO trim DAC, Si5338 clock generator
bladeRF 2: AD9361 transceiver, VCTCXO trim DAC, ADF4002 frequency synthesizer

If num_addresses is supplied, the address is incremented by 1 and another peek is performed for that many addresses.

Valid Address Ranges:

Device Address Range
rfic 0 to 0x3F7 (1015)
pll 0 to 3
dac 0 to 255
lms 0 to 127
si 0 to 255

Example:

peek si ...

Usage: poke <rfic|pll|dac|lms|si> <address> <data>

The poke command can write any of the devices hanging off the FPGA. This includes the:

bladeRF 1: LMS6002D transceiver, VCTCXO trim DAC, Si5338 clock generator
bladeRF 2: AD9361 transceiver, VCTCXO trim DAC, ADF4002 frequency synthesizer

Valid Address Ranges:

Device Address Range
rfic 0 to 0x3F7 (1015)
pll 0 to 3
dac 0 to 255
lms 0 to 127
si 0 to 255

Example:

poke lms ...

Usage: print [parameter]

The print command takes a parameter to print. Available parameters are listed below. If no parameter is specified, all parameters are printed.

Common parameters:

Parameter Description
bandwidth Bandwidth settings
frequency Frequency settings
agc Automatic gain control
loopback Loopback settings
rx_mux FPGA RX FIFO input mux setting
gain Gain settings
samplerate Samplerate settings
trimdac VCTCXO Trim DAC settings
hardware Low-level hardware status

BladeRF1-only parameters:

Parameter Description
gpio FX3 <-> FPGA GPIO state
lnagain Gain setting of the RX LNA, in dB (deprecated: see print gain)
rxvga1 Gain setting of RXVGA1, in dB (deprecated: see print gain)
rxvga2 Gain setting of RXVGA2, in dB (deprecated: see print gain)
txvga1 Gain setting of TXVGA1, in dB (deprecated: see print gain)
txvga2 Gain setting of TXVGA2, in dB (deprecated: see print gain)
sampling External or internal sampling mode
smb_mode SMB clock port mode of operation
vctcxo_tamer Current VCTCXO tamer mode
xb_gpio Expansion board GPIO values
xb_gpio_dir Expansion board GPIO direction (1=output, 0=input)

BladeRF2-only parameters:

Parameter Description
clock_sel System clock selection
clock_out Clock output selection
rssi Received signal strength indication
clock_ref Enables (1) or disables (0) the ADF4002 chip
refin_freq ADF4002 reference clock frequency
biastee Enables or disables the bias tee on a given channel

Usage: probe [strict]

Search for attached bladeRF device and print a list of results.

Without specifying strict, the lack of any available devices is not considered an error.

When provided the optional strict argument, this command will treat the situation where no devices are found as an error, causing scripts or lists of commands provided via the -e command line argument to terminate immediately.

Usage: quit

Exit the CLI.

Usage: recover [<bus> <address> <firmware file>]

Load firmware onto a device running in bootloader mode, or list all devices currently in bootloader mode.

With no arguments, this command lists the USB bus and address for FX3-based devices running in bootloader mode.

When provided a bus, address, and path to a firmware file, the specified device will be loaded with and begin executing the provided firmware.

In most cases, after successfully loading firmware into the device's RAM, users should open the device with the "open" command, and write the firmware to flash via "load fx3 <firmware file>"

Usage: run <script>

Run the provided script.

Usage: rx <start | stop | wait | config [param=val [param=val [...]]>

Receive IQ samples and write them to the specified file. Reception is controlled and configured by one of the following:

Command Description
start Start receiving samples
stop Stop receiving samples
wait Wait for sample transmission to complete, or until a specified amount of time elapses
config Configure sample reception. If no parameters are provided, the current parameters are printed.

Running rx without any additional commands is valid shorthand for rx config.

The wait command takes an optional timeout parameter. This parameter defaults to units of milliseconds (ms). The timeout unit may be specified using the ms or s suffixes. If this parameter is not provided, the command will wait until the reception completes or Ctrl-C is pressed.

Configuration parameters take the form param=value, and may be specified in a single or multiple rx config invocations. Below is a list of available parameters.

Parameter Description
n Number of samples to receive. 0 = inf.
file Filename to write received samples to
format Output file format. One of the following:
csv: CSV of SC16 Q11 samples
bin: Raw SC16 Q11 DAC samples
samples Number of samples per buffer to use in the asynchronous stream. Must be divisible by 1024 and >= 1024.
buffers Number of sample buffers to use in the asynchronous stream. The min value is 4.
xfers Number of simultaneous transfers to allow the asynchronous stream to use. This should be less than the buffers parameter.
timeout Data stream timeout. With no suffix, the default unit is ms. The default value is 1000 ms (1 s). Valid suffixes are ms and s.
channel Comma-delimited list of physical RF channels to use

Example:

rx config file=/tmp/data.bin format=bin n=10K

Receive (10240 = 10 * 1024) samples, writing them to /tmp/data.bin in the binary DAC format.

rx config file=mimo.csv format=csv n=32768 channel=1,2

Receive 32768 samples from RX1 and RX2, outputting them to a file named mimo.csv, with four columns (RX1 I, RX1 Q, RX2 I, RX2 Q).

Notes:

The n, samples, buffers, and xfers parameters support the suffixes K, M, and G, which are multiples of 1024.
An rx stop followed by an rx start will result in the samples file being truncated. If this is not desired, be sure to run rx config to set another file before restarting the rx stream.
For higher sample rates, it is advised that the binary output format be used, and the output file be written to RAM (e.g. /tmp, /dev/shm), if space allows. For larger captures at higher sample rates, consider using an SSD instead of a HDD.
The CSV format produces two columns per channel, with the first two columns corresponding to the I,Q pair for the first channel configured with the channel parameter; the next two columns corresponding to the I,Q of the second channel, and so on.

Usage: trigger [<trigger> <tx | rx> [<off slave master fire>]]

If used without parameters, this command prints the state of all triggers. When aand and supplied, the specified trigger is printed.

Below are the available options for :

Trigger Description
J71-4 Trigger signal is on mini_exp1 (J71, pin 4).

The trigger is controlled and configured by providing the last argument, which may be one of the following:

Command Description
off Clears fire request and disables trigger functionality.
slave Configures trigger as slave, clears fire request, and arms the device.
master Configures trigger as master, clears fire request, and arms the device.
fire Sets fire request. Only applicable to the master.

A trigger chain consists of a single or multiple bladeRF units and may contain TX and RX modules. If multiple bladeRF units are used they need to be connected via the signal specified by and a common ground.

The following sequence of commands should be used to ensure proper synchronization. It is assumed that all triggers are off initially.

1.
Configure designated trigger master

IMPORTANT


Never configure two devices as trigger masters on a single chain.
Contention on the same signal could damage the devices.

    
2.
Configure all other devices as trigger slaves
3.
Configure and start transmit or receive streams.

The operation will stall until the triggers fire. As such, sufficiently
large timeouts should be used to allow the trigger signal to be emitted
by the master and received by the slaves prior to libbladeRF returning
BLADERF_ERR_TIMEOUT.

    
4.
Set fire-request on master trigger

All devices will synchronously start transmitting or receiving data.

    
5.
Finish the transmit and receive tasks as usual
6.
Re-configure the master and slaves to clear fire requests and re-arm.

Steps 1 through 5 may be repeated as neccessary.

    
7.
Disable triggering on all slaves
8.
Disable triggering on master

Notes:

Synchronizing transmitters and receivers on a single chain will cause an offset of 11 samples between TX and RX; these samples should be discarded. This is caused by different processing pipeline lengths of TX and RX. This value might change if the FPGA code is updated in the future.

Usage: tx <start | stop | wait | config [parameters]>

Read IQ samples from the specified file and transmit them. Transmission is controlled and configured by one of the following:

Command Description
start Start transmitting samples
stop Stop transmitting samples
wait Wait for sample transmission to complete, or until a specified amount of time elapses
config Configure sample transmission. If no parameters are provided, the current parameters are printed.

Running tx without any additional commands is valid shorthand for tx config.

The wait command takes an optional timeout parameter. This parameter defaults to units of milliseconds (ms). The timeout unit may be specified using the ms or s suffixes. If this parameter is not provided, the command will wait until the transmission completes or Ctrl-C is pressed.

Configuration parameters take the form param=value, and may be specified in a single or multiple tx config invocations. Below is a list of available parameters.

Parameter Description
file Filename to read samples from
format Input file format. One of the following:
csv: CSV of SC16 Q11 samples ([-2048, 2047])
bin: Raw SC16 Q11 DAC samples ([-2048, 2047])
repeat The number of times the file contents should be transmitted. 0 implies repeat until stopped.
delay The number of microseconds to delay between retransmitting file contents. 0 implies no delay.
samples Number of samples per buffer to use in the asynchronous stream. Must be divisible by 1024 and >= 1024.
buffers Number of sample buffers to use in the asynchronous stream. The min value is 4.
xfers Number of simultaneous transfers to allow the asynchronous stream to use. This should be < the buffers parameter.
timeout Data stream timeout. With no suffix, the default unit is ms. The default value is 1000 ms (1 s). Valid suffixes are 'ms' and 's'.
channel Comma-delimited list of physical RF channels to use

Example:

tx config file=data.bin format=bin repeat=2 delay=250000

Transmitting the contents of data.bin two times, with a ~250ms delay between transmissions.

tx config file=mimo.csv format=csv repeat=0 channel=1,2

Transmitting the contents of mimo.csv repeatedly, with the first channel in the file mapped to channel TX1 and the second channel mapped to TX2.

Notes:

The n, samples, buffers, and xfers parameters support the suffixes K, M, and G, which are multiples of 1024.
For higher sample rates, it is advised that the input file be stored in RAM (e.g. /tmp, /dev/shm) or on an SSD, rather than a HDD.
The CSV format expects two columns per channel, with the first two columns corresponding to the I,Q pair for the first channel configured with the channel parameter; the next two columns corresponding to the I,Q of the second channel, and so on. For example, in the mimo.csv example above, -128,128,-256,256 would transmit (-128,128) on TX1 and (-256,256) on TX2.
When providing CSV data, this command will first convert it to a binary format, stored in a file in the current working directory. During this process, out-of-range values will be clamped.
When using a binary format, the user is responsible for ensuring that the provided data values are within the allowed range. This prerequisite alleviates the need for this program to perform range checks in time-sensitive callbacks.

Usage: set <parameter> <arguments>

The set command takes a parameter and an arbitrary number of arguments for that particular parameter.

Common parameters:

Parameter Description
bandwidth Bandwidth settings
frequency Frequency settings
agc Automatic gain control (on, off)
loopback Loopback settings. Run 'set loopback' to list modes.
rx_mux FPGA RX FIFO input mux mode. Options are: BASEBAND, 12BIT_COUNTER, 32BIT_COUNTER, DIGITAL_LOOPBACK
gain Gain settings
samplerate Samplerate settings
trimdac VCTCXO Trim DAC settings
hardware Low-level hardware status

BladeRF1-only parameters:

Parameter Description
gpio FX3 <-> FPGA GPIO state
lnagain Gain setting of the RX LNA, in dB. Values: 0, 3, 6 (deprecated: see set gain)
rxvga1 Gain setting of RXVGA1, in dB. Range: [5, 30] (deprecated: see set gain)
rxvga2 Gain setting of RXVGA2, in dB. Range: [0, 30] (deprecated: see set gain)
txvga1 Gain setting of TXVGA1, in dB. Range: [-35, -4] (deprecated: see set gain)
txvga2 Gain setting of TXVGA2, in dB. Range: [0, 25] (deprecated: see set gain)
sampling External or internal sampling mode
smb_mode SMB clock port mode of operation
vctcxo_tamer VCTCXO tamer mode. Options: Disabled, 1PPS, 10MHz
xb_gpio Expansion board GPIO values
xb_gpio_dir Expansion board GPIO direction (1=output, 0=input)

BladeRF2-only parameters:

Parameter Description
clock_sel System clock selection
clock_out Clock output selection
rssi Received signal strength indication
clock_ref Enables (1) or disables (0) the ADF4002 chip
refin_freq ADF4002 reference clock frequency
biastee Enables or disables the bias tee on a given channel

Usage: version

Prints version information for host software and the current device.

$ bladeRF-cli -l hostedx40.rbf
Loads an FPGA image named hostedx40.rbf onto the bladeRF's FPGA.

Note: The FPGA image loaded with --load-fpga will be lost on power-off.

$ bladeRF-cli -f firmware.img

Flashes firmware.img onto the bladeRF's firmware.

$ bladeRF-cli -L hostedx40.rbf

Flashes the FPGA image named hostedx40.rbf onto the bladeRF, where it will be automatically loaded on power-up.

This utility was written by the contributors to the bladeRF Project. See the CONTRIBUTORS file for more information.

Bugs may be reported via the issue tracker at https://github.com/nuand/bladerf.

Copyright © 2013-2015 Nuand LLC.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.

More documentation is available at http://nuand.com/ and https://github.com/nuand/bladerf.
February 2019 bladeRF-cli 1.6.1-git