[amsat-bb] Funcube dongle results Jan 16th

PA3GUO pa3guo at amsat.org
Sun Jan 16 13:09:51 PST 2011

Some more FUNCube dongle results:

(not much new information, just want to share my few hours
time today to spend on the FCD which I really enjoyed)

Using 2x6 elements 145 MHz:
- VO52 USB downlink great, with and without preamp

Using 1x12 elements 435 MHz
- AO51 FM downlink great with preamp, without noisier
- HO68 CW beacon great with preamp, good without

OK. So with the normal antennas the FCD works great.
Time to try thew absolute minumum: Outside in the garden, laptop
plus a simple vertical for 145 MHz; ISS packet: nothing heared/seen.
Was a surprise to me, as ISS is normally extremely strong.
Also tried AO51 FM with just a dipole outside: nothing heared/seen.
Both passes were >80 degrees elevation.
So for now I guess you need either a beam or a preamp.

Then again, the unit is the size of a USB memory stick and
has a range 60MHz -1.7 GHz - no complaints !

Overal I am still very impressed. The dongle connected to my
normal antenna system (beams + pre-amps) gives great results.

Just listened twice to a VO52 pass, and listening in USB was very
comfortable, audio sounds very nice until 0 degrees elevation
(using WRplus).

Amazing to be able to watch the entire downlink spectrum, and
see a few QSOs in parallel, seeing multiple stations tuning (their
signals going from left ro right and back until they hear themselves).

Of course everyone else had SDR for satellites already :-) For me
this is just amazing. Great work by the FUNCube Dongle team.

We often see discussions on how to get SSB for a few $'s and start
to compare various conventional transceivers. Well, the FCD is surely
an option to reduce cost on the downlink: all mode / all bands.

Henk, PA3GUO

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