Yesterday I ordered a FUNcube Dongle Pro from Howard Long, G6LVB, and AMSAT-UK at http://www.funcubedongle.com/ for under USD$200 to evaluate. The next sale offering is expected on May 3.
I am evaluating this SDR receiver for dual use on the Amateur Satellites and my STEM project of SimSat, specifically, currently, on quality of reception of my high-altitude balloon experiment PICetSat flight modules. We will fly again this summer.
Part of the FUNcube Dongle Pro technical FAQ is reproduced below, FYI.
I am looking for others who wish to also evaluate the same receiver for whatever one's purpose. Please let me know if you got one or when you get one, and what software you are trying.
THANKS and 73,
Pat Kilroy, N8PK AMSAT Area Coordinator MDC Area
Technical FAQQ. What is the frequency range? A. 64-1,700MHz, although straw poll tests on pre-production units indicate that units can be stretched down to 51.5MHz or so. Upper frequency limit is beyond 2,000MHz. In testing, we have determined that there is a gap between about 1,100MHz and 1,270MHz where the design of the local oscillator VCO, PLL and divider chain in the tuner chip don’t provide seemless coverage. Q. What can the FUNcube Dongle receive? A. The FUNcube Dongle has no restriction on modulation schemes: it is limited only by the application program running on the host computer. As long as the signal fits within about an 80kHz bandwidth, the FUNcube Dongle is capable of receiving the radio signal. So, for analogue reception, as well as narrow band FM and SSB, it is also possible to receive, for example, sound subcarriers for TV broadcast. Similarly for data reception, as long as a data demodulator has been written that will accept standard soundcard quadrature I/Q reception, that will work too. Q. What is the bandwidth? A. 96kHz is the quadrature sampling rate. Once the ADC’s decimation filter skirts have been taken into account, you have about 80kHz. Q. What applications work with the FUNcube Dongle? A. As well as the forthcoming FUNcube front end application, any application that understands a standard stereo soundcard configured for quadrature, or I/Q, reception should work. Examples include Linrad, Spectravue, Rocky and M0KGK. Q. What is the sensitivity? A. Each unit is tested for 0.15uV for 12dB SINAD NBFM at 145MHz and 435MHz. Q. What operating systems are compatible? A. Currently Windows 2000 SP4, XP 32 bit, and Vista and Windows 7 32 and 64 bit have been tested. The sound card element works with Mac OSX and Ubuntu 10.10 32 and 64 bit, but the frequency setting application has not been ported yet. [snip]