UPDATE (10/15/2021): KrakenRF has now opened crowdfunding for the KrakenSDR five-channel RTL-SDR-based software-defined radio, and the campaign has already passed its $100,000 funding goal.
The hardware is priced at $299 for the KrakenSDR, aluminum enclosure, and companion smartphone app for Android — a claimed discount of $100 over the eventual retail price. A set of five magnet-mount whip antennas are available as an extra at $99 on top.
Hardware is expected to begin shipping at the end of March 2022, with more information available on the Crowd Supply campaign page.
Original article continues below.
KrakenRF has confirmed that the crowdfunding campaign for its five-tuner coherent software-defined radio (SDR), the KrakenSDR, is set to launch soon as the team tests out the near-final prototypes and gets a handle on supply chain issues.
"We have finally received our latest KrakenSDR prototypes," says the team, which also runs the RTL-SDR.com website. "Testing has been ongoing for the last few days, and apart from a few minor issues everything is working brilliantly. At this stage we are confident in the design and are making plans to begin the crowdfunding campaign soon."
Based on the low-cost RTL-SDR software-defined radio platform, the KrakenRF has five receivers — allowing the device to drive "interesting applications like radio direction finding (RDF), passive radar and beam forming," or simply acting as five independent RTL-SDRs for monitoring five channels at once.
While the project is in the final stretches, however, ongoing component shortages in the industry mean supplies will be limited — at least initially. "The first batch will unfortunately be limited to 1000 units maximum due to supply constraints and we expect this first batch to be ready 2-3 months after the campaign finishes," KrakenRF explains.
"But if you are willing to wait, we will have a second batch available for early pre-order at a discount. Please keep in mind that the second batch will be at least 6 months away due to the long supply chain resulting from the pandemic."
The KrakenSDR is designed as a successor to the company's earlier KerberosSDR, which completed a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo back in 2018. Where KerberosSDR offered four RTL-SDR receivers, though, KrakenSDR extends it to five — along with a range of other design tweaks and improvements.
The crowdfunding campaign is due to go live on Crowd Supply soon, with the KrakenRF team recommending interested parties to sign up to be notified in order to maximize their chance of ordering from the first production run.