[amsat-bb] Re: Cheap and Easy SDR

Bryce Salmi bstguitarist at gmail.com
Sun Dec 16 18:01:10 PST 2012

I literally just received mine yesterday and am using it now. A member of
the K2GXT radio club here at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) just
did a bulk order from China and each one cost around $15 but took a month
or two to ship. It seems to work well for the price and has a roughly 40MHz
to 1.5 GHz tuning range. I haven't tested it but the receiver seems quite
flexible for frequency range but not very sensitive. I'll do some testing
next week. The antenna that came with it is pretty much junk and I think it
uses a MCX connector so I just ordered some MCX to SMA adapters which
should let me seamlessly put a LNA and a good antenna on it which will let
me really use it well. I really hope it lets me listen to the AMSAT birds
with ease, the LNA will be a must. Lastly, there are quite a few spurs on
the bands at first glance.

The circuit is pretty much the same as the FUNCube Dongle, it's even the
same IC inside. The difference is that these units are mass-produced and
are not optimized for operation on anything but strong TV stations. The
designer of the FCD has likely (I haven't seen the schematic) put great
effort into optimizing the device for ham use. The FCD also helps support
the FUNCube satellite.

Hope this helps.


On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM, Mike Hoblinski <hobergenix at sbcglobal.net>wrote:

> I was reading the article in QST January magazine that details turning a
> DVB-T usb
> TV Dongle into a SDR receiver with coverage from 64 to 1700 Mhz with some
> gaps.
> I was wondering how this differs with the Fun Cube Dongle being sold. The
> article also
> shows how to extend coverage to the HF band. The TV Dongles sell for about
> 20 dollars
> on ebay.
> Mike
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