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HPSDR Mercury

This product is no longer available.

Mercury - What is it?

Mercury, an HF direct sampling receiver board is a companion to the Penelope or PennyLane 1/2-watt transmitter/exciter boards. The Atlas (bus) compatible Mercury receiver uses direct RF sampling and produces the I and Q data for processing by the PC directly without the need for a sound card.

Mercury - What it is not!

It does not function as a stand alone card. It requires the Atlas back-plane and the Ozy (or Magister) card connected to a PC running PowerSDR to provide a functional receiver.

Mercury - Features

100kHz - 55MHz frequency coverage
LTC6400-20 20dB LNA (software switchable)
LTC2208 16-bit ADC sampling at 122.88Msps
Front-end low-pass filter and ADC anti-aliasing filter
SSB, AM, C-AM, FM, CW, PSK etc
Seventeen unbuffered digital I/O from FPGA to header connector
On board audio Codec for line and headphone outputs
Alexiares (RF Preselector) SPI control and power interface
Clocking options:

  • On board ultra low phase noise 122.88 MHz crystal oscillator phase locked to on board 10MHz TCXO or external 10MHz reference e.g. Gibraltar.
  • 122.88MHz output available via LVDS
  • Optional external VHF clock input via LVDS
  • 10MHz TCXO available via Atlas bus
Altera EP3C25 Cyclone 3 FPGA based DDC (digital down-conversion) enabling future code upgrades
Atlas bus compatible, USB interface to PC via Ozy (or Magister) board (no sound card required)
I and Q balance adjustment not required due to direct sampling of RF input
Supported by PowerSDR(TM) SDR software

Very high performance:

  • ADC overload: -12dBm (preamp on), +8dBm (preamp off)
  • MDS (500Hz), 160m - 6m: -138dBm (preamp on), -118dBm (preamp off)
  • IP3 equivalent (independent of spacing): +33dBm (preamp on), >+50dBm (preamp off)
  • BDR (5kHz, 1dB GC): -119dBm (ADC overload limited, not phase noise limited)
  • 122.88MHz clock phase noise: -149dBc/Hz at 1kHz spacing

Mercury Warranty


All Mercury boards will be tested prior to shipment, and all boards will be working when they are shipped. To the extent that we have available inventory, we may, at our discretion, agree to a one time only exchange.

This is a low volume production, experimental item. TAPR is a small, not- for-profit organization of volunteers who have helped facilitate this project because we believe it is a cool thing to have. In order for TAPR to be able to offer this board at all, we must rely on the support of all users in the HPSDR community. The Mercury board is basically a group buy that we have chosen to pre-build because of the difficulty of assembly. TAPR expects that Mercury buyers will seek help on the HPSDR Discussion List before looking to TAPR for problem resolution.


Support will be provided via the HPSDR Discussion List.

Because TAPR is not staffed to provide support for Mercury, and because the knowledge to support users resides with the developers and users on the HPSDR Discussion List , buyers should participate in that forum for support.

Firmware and software will be available for download from the HPSDR website.

Assembled and Tested

Ordering Information

Sorry, Mercury A&T is no longer available

Other HPSDR kits

Alex Bandpass filters ... Read more.
Atlas Backplane ... Read more.
Excalibur Reference Oscillator ... Read more.
Janus Audio Converter ... Read more.
LPU Power Supply ... Read more.
Magister USB Interface ... Read more.
Metis Ethernet Interface ... Read more.
Pandora Enclosure ... Read more.
PennyLane TX Module ... Read more.
PennyWhistle PA ... Read more.
Pinocchio Extender Board ... Read more.

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