RTL-SDR + SDR Radio + Funcube Sat

Amateur radio operator N4JTC has written a blog post about his experiences using the RTL-SDR dongle to receive the Funcube Satellite.

With the recent record number of cubesat launches this month most Amateur Radio enthusiasts been busy, myself included. There hasn’t been a better time to get into receiving these satellites. With the inexpensive hardware, free software, a ton of information and an active community it is “easy” and quite a thrill to get into this hobby.

I will focus on one satellite and one method of receiving and decoding in this post. There are so many ways to do this but I think this method is the least expensive and provides really good results.

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  1. I caught a bit of the SDR fever when I saw how cheap some of these receivers are, but then I go and look at the website like the one linked to in this article and rather than being more stoked, I realize that this isn’t a casual hobby, and I don’t have the time to learn enough to actually do anything interesting.

  2. I spent $40 on a SDR dongle, connectors, adapters, and coax about a year ago. Made a simple discone antenna for VHF. I played around with SDR# a bit. I can’t say I’ve done anything interesting with it yet, but once you have one, you can try out the cool things the hardcore people come up without spending more money. I also bought a Bus Pirate when all I needed was a TTL level USB serial port converter. I’m glad I did, because I’ve since used it to experiment with and use all kinds of I2C and SPI devices. It’s all much less expensive than a night out drinking, better for your health,and keeps your brain tuned up. Indulge yourself.

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