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Manual Host-Radio Hardware Setup

To implement the features in this support package, you must establish communication between the host and the radio hardware. After the support package is installed, follow these steps to manually configure the radio hardware and host computer.

Required Hardware Checklist

Use this list to confirm that you have the required hardware to complete the setup and configuration process.

  • ADALM-PLUTO radio

  • USB communication cable

  • USB power cable (optional)

  • Antennas or a loopback cable

Set Up Support Package in MATLAB

To work with the support package in MATLAB®, you must create a radio object for your radio hardware. In the following example, dev is a radio object for the ADALM-PLUTO radio.

dev = sdrdev('Pluto');

sdrdev also sets up architecture-specific environment variables for the radio hardware. These variables enable communication between MATLAB or Simulink® and the radio hardware.

See sdrdev for valid device names.

Configure Host Computer

Connect the radio hardware to the host computer using a USB cable.

  1. Confirm that all connections for the ADALM-PLUTO radio are complete. Specific connections are shown in this image.

    Schematic diagram of PlutoSDR with pins and ports connection

    • Connect the USB communication cable from the host computer to the radio.

    • Connect the antennas to the transmit and receive antenna ports. Alternatively, connect a loopback cable connecting the transmit port to the receive port.

    • (Optional) Connect a USB power cable to a USB power hub of the ADALM-PLUTO radio. This step is recommended if:

      • You plan to operate the radio at or near maximum gain settings continuously.

      • PlutoSDR is unresponsive or commands fail especially when the radio is connected to a unpowered USB hub.

  2. Wait until you see the Ready indicator LED lit steady and LED1 flashing.

  3. After you connect the ADALM-PLUTO radio to the host computer via a USB communication cable, you will see a PlutoSDR drive as a removable disk on the host computer.

    Verify that PlutoSDR is connected as a removable disk on your PC.

    The PlutoSDR drive contains these files.

    • config.txt — Enables you to change the network address assigned to the PlutoSDR.

    • info.html — Provides the current configuration for the connected PlutoSDR, along with background information from Analog Devices®.

    For more information, see Radio Identity.


    Because the setup process runs operating system commands for installing the USB drivers, you must have administrator privileges for the radio hardware setup. If you see the User Account Control window, click Yes to continue.

Verify Radio Hardware Setup

Before you can verify the setup, you must start the radio properly. You will see failures if you do not wait until the radio is ready (see previous step).

Check the radio connection, using the radio object you created with the sdrdev function.

dev = sdrdev('Pluto')
dev = 

  SDRDevPluto with properties:

       RadioID: 'usb:0'
    DeviceName: 'Pluto'

If you are unable to verify the radio hardware setup, see Common Problems and Fixes.

Radio Identity

  • (Recommended) Identify the ADALM-PLUTO radio by the USB identity.


    When working with multiple radios, if devices are inserted or removed, the host computer assignment of USB addresses might change. Any time an SDR device is inserted or removed from a USB port, the host computer polls all USB ports and assigns or reassigns the radio addresses associated with connected devices.

    USB address assignment for multiple radios

    When operating on Windows® keep these considerations in mind.

    • When running multiple radios on the same host in separate MATLAB sessions, for each MATLAB session the first radio is assigned usb:0, and the ID number increments by one for subsequent radios.

    • Radios that are being used by one MATLAB are not seen by other MATLAB sessions. Use findPlutoRadio and check the reported serial number to identify the radios seen in a particular MATLAB session.

    To ensure that all assigned radio identities remain static, do not connect or disconnect radios after SDR objects have been created. The best practice is to connect radios and create SDR objects in this order:

    1. Clear all SDR objects.

    2. Connect all radios.

    3. Check to confirm that the connected radios are recognized by running this command:


    4. Create SDR objects.

    To interface with the radio hardware, the RadioID property of the radio object must match the radio ID of the radio hardware. Update the RadioID property, if necessary.

    When running multiple radios on the same host, the host assigns each radio a different radio ID. When identifying the radio by USB ID, the first radio is assigned usb:0, and the ID number increments by one for subsequent radios. For example, to assign IDs to two radios connected on the same host computer, at the MATLAB command prompt, enter:

    rx = sdrrx('Pluto','RadioID','usb:0'); 
    tx = sdrtx('Pluto','RadioID','usb:1');

    • Optionally, you can identify the radio by the IP address. The default IP address for the radio hardware is If you have no other connected device with this IP address, you can leave the address as is. If needed, you can manually change the IP address.

      To change the network settings for a PlutoSDR.

      • Navigate to the PlutoSDR drive, and open the config.txt file in a text editor.

      • Change the desired settings in config.txt. Save and close the file.

      • Eject the PlutoSDR drive.

      • Disconnect and reconnect the ADALM-PLUTO radio.

      • Confirm the changes by viewing the settings in the info.html file for that PlutoSDR.

      • In Windows and most Linux distributions, the IP address of the ADALM-PLUTO radio is reachable by the host computer. Attempt assigning an IP address ID to the ADALM-PLUTO radio by entering this command (using the desired IP address) at the MATLAB command prompt:

        rx = sdrrx('Pluto','RadioID','ip:'); 
        If this command fails and you are unable to assign the IP address radio identity, you receive an error. For more information, see Common Problems and Fixes.

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