I wanted to explore digital modes by connecting a Raspberry Pi via audio cables to a transceiver. However, I realized that thanks to the clock generator, the raspberry pi can produce RF signals directly. Adding a square to sine wave converter, a band pass filter and an amplifier, this could be used as the transmitter. There is good software in GNU Radio and PiTx. FM signals can be produced. As far as I can tell it is possible to generate SSB directly on the pi but I haven't understood yet how.
Q1: Is it possible to directly generate SSB on the pi?
On the receiver side, things look a bit more tricky. It requires a down converter and a very fast analog to digital converter. The good news is that they appear to be very cheap, e.g. R820T2
Q2: Would combining a cheap dongle such as the R820T2 enable me to operate in half-duplex mode with the Raspberry Pi?
I'm mainly interested in playing with the radio, so any band is fine. If I were forced to choose, I would prefer 50MHz.
Apologies for this open-ended question, any suggestions welcome.