Information on 20 Feb 2011 Sale


A total of 144 units were sold and have been shipped today (Tuesday 22 Feb).

On Sunday at 22:00:00 I updated the inventory to 130 and Paypal had oversold to a total of 136 by 22:01:22. I placed another seven units on a minute or so later and Paypal oversold to eight, making a total of 144.

151 FUNcube Dongles after HPF Rework, ready for placing in enclosures.

18 Feb 13:30
Firmware programming and system test. I received 151 units on lunchtime on Friday. By Saturday lunchtime all 151 had been tested and 16 units with faults had been fixed.

19 Feb 13:00
The HPF rework and retest. I discovered that the LNA performance degradation and 1nF capacitor cracks are definitely caused by temperature fatigue. After the first ten units (four LNAs failed or degraded!), I dropped the tweezer temperature to 305 deg C (was 350 deg C) and the iron temp to 260 deg C (was 320 deg C) led to only one LNA replacement and no cap failures, previously I’d have had to change dozens of LNAs after rework. Only two units required other HPF fixes due to iron operator error.

20 Feb 19:00
Enclosure labeling.

21 Feb 10:00
Populating enclosures and retest. 100% success and no rework required!

Concurrenly, printing postage labels and packing slips.

21 Feb 17:00
Labeling envelopes.

22 Feb 10:00
Packing units into envelopes.

22 Feb 13:30
Trip to Post Office.

Board failure details…

xx7 – No USB connections to PCB from connector – fixed
xx3 – Cracked C14 – fixed
xx7 – Track broken near R14 DOUT line – fixed
xx2 – R4 one end not connecting – fixed
xx7 – PCB fault, across top side of PCB, short between 5V and ground, MCLK 3v3 over loaded, cleaned up PCB, fixed
xx2 – C1 missing – fixed
xx4 – 3V3D short to ground, PCB fault, fixed
xx9 – cannot program, resoldered USB connections, fixed
xx3 – 3V3D short to ground, PCB fault, fixed
xx5 – I/Q imbalance 10dB, replaced IC3, fixed
xx3 – very low RF, no signal, touched up north and east sides of IC3 (not much solder apparent), fixed
xx9 – Stuck in bootloader, replaced IC3 (not responding to I2C) – fixed
xx0 – no bootloader, D+ USB connector not connected, fixed
xx7 – very low RF, no signal, L16 open circuit, replaced, fixed
xx0 – IC2 incorrectly oriented, replaced, fixed

Pretty much from Friday lunchtime to Tuesday lunchtime it has been full-on 16 hour days, I am ready for a day off – and as it happens I am under strict orders to go away this weekend, and I don’t think I’ll be allowed to pack any dongle related stuff.


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24 Responses to Information on 20 Feb 2011 Sale

  1. komradebob says:

    Awesome work Howard. Not only the design and implementation, but the documentation at every step of the way.

    I’m looking forward to mine arriving. There is an SMA attached to an antenna already!

  2. dan says:

    Well, go get a breath of fresh air. It makes wonders after so much hard work!

  3. Guillermo says:

    Hello. It’s a pitty. I was late !.
    I’m eager for next sale. (I hope to be sucessfully).

  4. Ian Ashley ZL1AOX says:

    Hi Howard, FCD arrived at 0805 this morning 28th February. Great postal service.
    Unit is working.
    Thanks and 73
    Ian ZL1AOX
    New Zealand

    • admin says:

      Hello Ian

      That is excellent! Postal services do seem to be extreme though, you seem to be at the lucky end of the scale. Good luck and I hope to pop over to see you over there again soon, although my business travelling days have almost completely dried up these days I’m afraid, so almost no frequent flyer mileage flights or “side trips” for me.


  5. Joachim says:

    Dear Howard,
    FCD serial 0590 arrived Saturday. For the first tests I used Windows XP in a VMWare machine on an Ubuntu host. The sensitivity of the device is amazing for a wideband receiver.
    When I switched the device into boot mode in order to update the firmware, my computer completely crashed. I triede it a second time with the same result. The Linux USB drives do not seem to like the FCD in boot mode.
    Finally I booted my computer to native Windows and made the firmware update without furthor problems.
    If you had an idea of the cause of my crashes, you could have a look at it, but it has a low priority. It is acceptable for me to boot to Windows from time to time to do the update. This is more an information for you and others who may experience the same problems.
    Best regards and many thanks
    Joachim, DL6YDF

    • admin says:

      Hello Joachim

      The Linux/Mac software I wrote will not be as bulletproof as the Windows stuff because (a) I am a novice Linux/Mac programmer and (b) I found that writing cross platform code adds a whole extra dimension particularly at a system level. I am aware that the cross platform QT code has already been taken up as a GNU project so you will undoubtedly find some updates very soon.


  6. Sigint says:

    Nr. 554 is up and running! 🙂
    Thank you for your efforts.

  7. dan says:

    One FCD ok in Romania. Great stuff!

  8. Silvio, ct1bpt says:

    One FCD in Portugal. Tanks.
    Now i´m go to test it.

  9. The first FCD in TURKEY (Item#0001 and S/N:454) arrived today in ANKARA, ..
    I’ll be busy to test it for a couple of days.
    Thank you Howard.

    Tahir, TA2T, Ankara-TURKEY

    • admin says:


      Congratulations! We always look at the list after each sale for new countries, and we certainly saw yours. My 16 year old nephew, who helps with the packaging, has learnt more about geography in the past two months than 12 years of schooling!


  10. John PA7JB says:

    Hello Howard
    I got my second FCD nr 471
    Again you make my very happy 😉
    Thanks for this nice thing what you have made……

    73 John PA7JB

  11. 4U1ITU says:

    Hi Howard !
    One FCD OK for 4U1ITU – another one DXCC for you…
    Thanks a lot for your great work !
    73! Attila de 4U1ITU

  12. Ronen says:

    My unit arrived Last Friday
    I took it yesterday it came with Upper Cover Broken (Howard is there a way to get new upper cover ? )
    I have tested it yesterday night and it seem to work very well
    Im supprise that even when It stick to the notebook USB port and the cover is a plastic (not shilded) it dont receive any noise from the PC and not receive any station without antenna (only very strong Broadcast station signal could leak through the Radio without antenna)
    It looks to me that the Wide FM (Broadcast) is a bit distorted (look like insuficient Bandwidth for broadcast radio decodeing)
    and i miss a function to move the frequency continuesly (with a mouse or a arrows) and not only typing the center frequency in the control program

    • admin says:

      Hello Ronan

      Certainly I can mail you a replacement case. Is there any indication of how it broke – was it during transit?

      Regarding screening, you will see that the bottom of the PCB is almost entirely a ground plane – that was by design of course.

      You’re right about the bandwidth not being quite enough for crisp wideband FM reception.

      I can look into adding frequency stepping into the FCHid program. Originally the FCD wasn’t really designed for scanning functionality, but I can see why some people might want to use it in that way. In fact, I did put step functionality into the QT version of the program.


      • Ronen says:

        Hi Howard
        Thank you for your reply
        I would appreciate getting another Cover (Top the one with the Picture ) even if it cost me (i am wiling to pay via PayPal)
        I have glued it but a small piece is missing (i can photo it so you might impress yourself)
        as for the reason It might be Man made (by the custom)
        They open it and might be that they broke it
        but it might be a transportation broke ….
        As fo the frequency change I would apreciate a way (or by up /down arrow ider by Mouse ) or even by +/- buttons when standing on the neccessary Digit (lets say 10th of KHZ) to allow a frequency change or (lets say every step will be 12.5KC or so or even Step size That might be input by the user)
        I use Power SDR software for my other SDR radio (SoftRock40) and there the left button+Mouse on the spectrum analyzer display is changing the frequeny ((like drag function)
        Thanks Forward

        • admin says:


          I airmailed you a replacement case this morning, no charge.


        • Mark N8MH says:


          Please consider using WRPlus with the FCD application that will allow you to change frequency by mouse clicks. It works well! See the Yahoo group for instructions and software to download.

          Mark N8MH

          • Ronen says:

            Thank you for the tip of the Wrplus
            It realy a nice program
            Do you know how can I adjust the DC ofset in this program ?
            I cant sem to find it and it in this software
            and I get a signal on the center frequency as a result of this DC wich is not null
            Thanks Forward

  13. Bruce KF1Z says:

    I love new toys!

    FCD #472 arrived today to Central Vermont, USA. ( from Feb 20th sale)

    Seems to work very well.

    Have barely budged from the computer for 1 1/2 hours. 🙂

    Thanks Howard,
    Great stuff!

    Bruce KF1Z