[amsat-bb] Fun Cube Dongle

Joe Fitzgerald jfitzgerald at alum.wpi.edu
Tue Aug 26 17:06:32 UTC 2014

> So the Million Dollar Question (actually, I guess it is the "$180-higher
> cost + shipping" question) is whether the Funcube Dongle is significantly
> better than one of the cheap $20 RLT-SDR tuners?

A key limitation of the RTL dongles is dynamic range.  I have an APRS
station about 2km from me, and whenever it sends out packets on 144.39, it
really hurts the poor little RTL when I have it set with enough gain to
hear, e.g. AO-72.  All sorts of spurious responses appear in the waterfall
on both sides of the actual signal, and satellite reception is essentially

The RTL-SDR has only 8 bits of dynamic range, while the FCD has I think 14
bits, so it can tolerate a lot more signal range.  I have no personal
experience with the FCD at this location, but I expect it would perform
much better.

-Joe KM1P

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