The InfoBruce Perens (K6BP) and Chris Testa (KD2BMH) are on their way to releasing a new device to encapsulate the spirit of Ham Radio and Open Source: Witebox.
Here is an interview on the subject of SDR and Whitebox from Hamvention 2014:
Just this week, Bruce put up a Slashdot Article, linking to a slide show about the Algoram HT, presented at the 2015 Florida HamCation.
Seriously: Read through Bruce's slides on the Algoram HT. It's the best snapshot I've yet seen to describe where his mind is with respect to Amatuer SDR, Codec 2, and the Ham Radio industry in general.
Some AnalysisFrom the slides, it appears that the 'dev' version of this project will be a revised version of Chris' Whitebox design, slid into a standard Hammond case. Additionally, there is no indication of a 'MIC IN' or 'PTT' connection. Fingers are Crossed!
Whitebox is still building a notification list to let people know when engineer-level eval kits for the experimenters/engineers among us will be available. From the slides, at least, it seems that they are well on their way to having something tangible in production within the year.
Where This All FitsThough the HackRF has been out for a while, the vagaries and technicalities of GnuRadio can make it harder for 'regular' hams to readily adopt such systems. This is not a criticism, by the way.
GnuRadio is really for/by the Experimenter Crowd, for the same reason that you are probably not likely see Septuagenerian Hams sporting their 2-pound RF enclosure duck-taped to a random Android device -- complete with drooping cables hitched into a fanny-pack loaded down with LiPo cells: It's a burden for the newer generations to endure, and see through. FlexRadio already seems to understand this dynamic, as well as Elecraft.
In order to go mainstream, a radio 'kit' needs a lot of supporting hardware and an innovative community that has done things with it. If anything, this make it look much easier to adopt the radio and do the same things. Hams are willing to pay for having the hardest things done for them. Case in point: in 1981, ARRL published schematics and code for CMOS Super Keyer. That became part of the genesis story of Idiom Press, for which KCØQ and NØII continued to produce the Super II (which the ARRL published docs/schematics for in 1994), and then on to the Super III and modern Logikey series.
I now have two Super II CMOS Keyers, if only because I forgot that I owned one of them... and, it seemed like such a great product with amazing utility at the time.
While Whitebox appears no further along the path to 'main-streaming' SDR for hams, the spirit of K6BP is ever present, which portends good things for the FOSS/Ham community, as a whole.