FUNcube dongle and satellite update


It’s been awhile since we’ve covered the FUNcube dongle, but their updated extended frequency coverage hardware and new software dashboard merits a new look. The FUNcube Dongle is an SDR device covering the 150kHz to 1.9GHz frequency range (with a gap in coverage between 240 MHz and 420 MHz). It retails online for around GBP125, and works with Linux, Windows and Mac OSX.

The FUNcube project is a result of the efforts of Howard Long, holder of amateur radio callsign G6LVB, along with several other team members. FUNcube receivers are designed for use in receiving the FUNcube educational satellites, which will contain a materials science experiment, from which school students can receive telemetry data which they can compare to the results they obtained from similar reference experiments in the classroom. The recently released FUNcube-1 is a complete educational single CubeSat project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics. It operates on a downlink frequency of 145.935 MHz using BPSK modulation.

“The FUNcube-1 Dashboard user interface enables the display of telemetry, debug data and Fitter messages from the FUNcube-1 (FC1) spacecraft. It can also upload the received data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse over the internet. The Dashboard can accept live inputs from a directly connected FUNcube Dongle (both Pro and Pro+models) or by audio from another SSB radio fed into the computer soundcard. It can also display previously recorded data from IQ “WAV” files or from the “.funcubebin” recordings that it can create during operation.” The Dashboard software is available for Windows, and a complete description of its usage can be found in the 24-page PDF Release Notes doc.

From this description, it would appear that the Dashboard could also be used with files generated by the RTL-SDR Dongle or HackRF board.

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