I have an Arduino Uno and I'd like to read a signal from a co-ax cable with it. The cable carries 12VDC (power for other components) along with a signal (of about 1 Ghz frequency). How do I go about recording this signal with my Uno? I'm new to this field so I don't know the full capabilities of the ADC. Also, the Uno can't handle >5 VDC, so what should I do to make the signal readable?

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    a signal (of about 1 Ghz frequency). How do I go about recording this signal with my Uno? ... umm ... maybe with somthing that runs about 1,000 x faster than an Uno? You have zero chance of doing it.
    – Majenko
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


It's not possible. To sample a 1GHz signal you need to sample at least 2 billion times per second (a sample rate of 2Gsps). You can maybe get a couple of hundred KILO samples (thousand) per second on an Arduino.

Also the 1GHz signal itself is of no interest to you. What is of interest is what is modulated on the 1GHz signal.

What is normally done is:

  1. Down-mix (filter) the carrier signal to an IF (Intermediate Frequency) usually in the order of a few kilohertz
  2. Demodulate the signal using whatever modulation scheme was used to encode it.
  3. Extract the encoded information from the demodulated signal.

To do that you'd need

  1. the precise carrier frequency (1GHz is not the same as 1.029GHz)
  2. the modulation scheme used (there's loads to choose from)
  3. knowledge about any data formats and encodings used in the signal

As well as the hardware to do all that.

So no, you're never going to come even anywhere close with an Uno. You need specialised RF hardware just to prepare the signal for working with.

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