Technical FAQ

Q. What is the frequency range?
A. 64-1,700MHz, although straw poll tests on pre-production units indicate that units can be stretched down to 51.5MHz or so. Upper frequency limit is beyond 2,000MHz. In testing, we have determined that there is a gap between about 1,100MHz and 1,270MHz where the design of the local oscillator VCO, PLL and divider chain in the tuner chip don’t provide seemless coverage.

Q. What can the FUNcube Dongle receive?
A. The FUNcube Dongle has no restriction on modulation schemes: it is limited only by the application program running on the host computer. As long as the signal fits within about an 80kHz bandwidth, the FUNcube Dongle is capable of receiving the radio signal. So, for analogue reception, as well as narrow band FM and SSB, it is also possible to receive, for example, sound subcarriers for TV broadcast. Similarly for data reception, as long as a data demodulator has been written that will accept standard soundcard quadrature I/Q reception, that will work too.

Q. What is the bandwidth?
A. 96kHz is the quadrature sampling rate. Once the ADC’s decimation filter skirts have been taken into account, you have about 80kHz.

Q. What applications work with the FUNcube Dongle?
A. As well as the forthcoming FUNcube front end application, any application that understands a standard stereo soundcard configured for quadrature, or I/Q, reception should work. Examples include Linrad, Spectravue, Rocky and M0KGK.

Q. What is the sensitivity?
A. Each unit is tested for 0.15uV for 12dB SINAD NBFM at 145MHz and 435MHz.

Q. What operating systems are compatible?
A. Currently Windows 2000 SP4, XP 32 bit, and Vista and Windows 7 32 and 64 bit have been tested. The sound card element works with Mac OSX and Ubuntu 10.10 32 and 64 bit, but the frequency setting application has not been ported yet.

Q. What’s the difference between versions?
A. There are two versions, the Base and the Pro models. The Base model is frequency restricted and designed as an entry level minimal cost device, targetted for educational outreach. The Pro model is unrestricted in its frequency coverage.

Q. Can I upgrade a “Base” version to a “Pro” version?
A. At present, the upgrade will require a return of the device so that it can be modified to accept “Pro” firmware.

Q. Is the firmware upgradeable?
A. Yes, already the devices can have their firmware upgraded in a matter of a few seconds by the user. However, Pro firmware and Base firmware are not interchangeable.

Q. Do I need front end filters?
A. Some people have experienced front end overloading with the FCD at VHF in particular. Although there is fixed and programmable front end filtering already on the FCD, at VHF it’s not very selective. Typically the symptom is that it will appear deaf: this is the noise floor rising due to an overloaded front end. You can see this in Spectravue as when you plug in the antenna the noise floor rises potentially several tens of dB. Although reducing gain can help, of course innevitably this is at the expense of the unit’s native sensitivity. At this stage it is worth pursuing external filtering options. We’re working on some solutions already, but some readily available commercial solutions include Hamtronics’ LNP preselector, SSB Electronics SP-2000, and DCI’s DCI-145-2H and DCI-145-4H. As these are not exactly cheap, I have been working on some ideas here that you may like to try: We’re also investigating at a reasonably priced active no-tune solution.

Q. I am having trouble upgrading the firmware. What can I do?
A. The most reliable way to do this is from Windows. It is essential that, after placing the unit in bootloader mode, any other software that might access the FCD is shut down before you attempt to update the firmware.

Q. What support options are there?
A. You can email me using my Paypal email account, or alternatively there is a very active FUNcube Yahoo group that often provides answers more quickly!

550 Responses to Technical FAQ

  1. RD3BCH says:

    The remarkable idea and very nice price! There is one question – a bandwidth this receiver about 80 kHz. My the sound card provides 192 kHz. Whether there will be a possibility to inferred from the device a signal before ADC (for example 2.5 mm stereo jack)? In the street and with notebook internally ADC, and dwellings in stationary conditions an external sound card with wide bandwidth. Excuse for bad English and repeated post.

    • admin says:

      The restriction of bandwidth is twofold: to keep costs of the unit down, and that technically speaking, 192kHz codecs frequenctly have decimation filters with skirts well before Fs/2 at quad rate for the ADCs. I’m afraid that there is no stereo jack provided. The signal internally is also differential to maintain a decent SNR.

      Howard (G6LVB)

  2. David says:

    Is there an indication of maximum allowable length of USB cable between the PC and Dongle over which reliable operation can be maintained? Guess you’ll see where I’m going with this.

    • admin says:

      Hello David

      Theoretically 5m is the limit without hubs. I believe that you can run up to three daisy chained hubs with up to 5m between them each. You may have seen “active” USB extenders. These are essentially one port hubs. I need to test this theory though! So you could run up to 20m and still be within specification. I’m afraid I’m not at home at the moment and much of my stuff is in storage so to get a definitive answer might take a while.

      But yes, I understand why you would ask the question! I’ll let you know the answer just as soon as I can.


    • admin says:


      I have tried with a daisy chain of three hubs with 5m between each plus a final 5m passive (total 20m) and this works. Only the first hub was powered. It may be that it would work completely bus powered if nothing else is hanging off the daisychain. Strangely, also a 10m fully passive worked, but that is not recommended here:

      To add to my previous remarks, it appears from the USB spec that you can daisy chain up to five 5m “active” segments plus one 5m passive giving you 30m, or near enough 100 feet.

      The FCD is a USB 1.1 device running at full speed (12Mbps). I am trying to drag an old laptop out of the dust with a USB 1.1 port on it but it only has 64MB RAM and thus only barely supports Windows 2000 let alone XP. The FCD is recognised but now it’s struggling to find some driver components, sso it needs a bit more time on it. I’ll see if I can get it to work on a fully USB 1.1 port at some point.


      • admin says:

        Well, it looks like it works on USB 1.1 on Windows 2000 SP4 too without any extra drivers! Even though I say so myself, the choice to use HID and a standard USB audio interfacess has had quite a lot more benefits than I originally anticipated.

        Also, it identified a bottom line for CPUs: Spectavue was starting to stutter a bit on the 233MHz Pentium in the 11+ year old Toshiba Libretto 110CT I was using – with only 64MB RAM. But it worked!


        • David says:

          Hi Howard,

          Thanks for the info and you’ve answered the Version number/speed question I was about to ask. Been looking at USB extenders of which there are quite a number ranging from cheap to extortionate. Anyway, it opens up a number of possibilities.


  3. Ronen says:

    Hi again
    Will this software
    work with the dongle ?
    Please Advice
    Ronen – 4Z4ZQ

    • admin says:

      Hello Ronen.

      Thank you for your question. I am open to correction on this, but n first looks, Signals Analyzer appears not to be real time: instead it seems to take a .wav file and allows the user to analyse the data retrospectively. Certainly it would work with .wav files recorded directly from the FCD.


  4. Mike says:

    Hi Howard,

    A question about the strong signal handling high pass filter design: is this a future modification to the already in production units?

    • admin says:

      Hello Mike

      The HPF will be included on the production models although it will be yours truly doing the mod. It’s a pretty simple procedure retrofitting a couple of chip caps and inductors. There is also a minor firmware change that will be included.


      • Hi Howard,
        When this will be done , may I have doc about this, or better may I send you my FCD for the mod?
        In this case, maybe it will be also possibel to modify it for the external pre supply ? I will wait for this , and if it will be possible, also for some form of external filters switching in some way ; I would necessarily work with heavy bandpass filters for the 70 and 144MHz bands ! Thanks , 73 de Augusto i2jjr / 9h3jr

        • admin says:


          The design has been done but there are no production units built yet. I don’t think the mod would be easy… I can publish that section of the design.


  5. Stephen - W9SK says:

    What are the sensitivity & noise specs for FCD? Any any specs or measurements posted elsewhere on your site?

    • admin says:

      Hello Stephen.

      Thanks for you note. For standard NBFM, we target 0.15uV for 12dB SINAD on 2m and 70cm.


  6. Wilhelm Hombach says:


    which software do you recommend for Windows 7 64bit??


  7. Peter J Francis says:

    Hello Howard,
    I’m one of the lucky few that ordered a FUNcube dongle yesterday which I am really looking forward to getting.
    I have one question , what type is the antenna connector ? (This is so I can make sure I have the correct one ready when it arrives)

    Thanks for all your efforts with this , I’m sure it has taken over your life to a certain extent.
    73’s Peter G7MMW

  8. Andy says:

    Hi Howard,

    Just got the FCD up and running, tried 3 differnent SDR progs currently using winrad, all show a large spike at the centre frequency about 40dB above the noise floor, cannot find any way to get rid of it. Also noise floor seems high even with no antenna connected, tried different gain settings, can you offer some advice please?


    • admin says:

      Hello Andy

      This is the zero IF. With all zero IF receivers, including the Softrock there will be some DC offset. There should be an option in your SDR software to null this out. Spectravue has it in the SoundCard IN Setup menu item.

      With no antenna connected, using Spectravue and pressing the “Defaults” button on the FCD controller software, you should see around -105dB noise floor. The “Defaults” button sets the gains on the device to some sensible settings optimised for optimum sensitivity.

      I was trying to get these defaults into the firmware before release but I felt that it was better to use solid firmware (the firmware you have has been static since October) with a simple button press from the front end rather than risk a rushed firmware release.

      Regarding DC offset, and also image rejection, as well as being able to optimise this with your existing SDR software, the next firmware release has this integrated into the FCD as well so it can be done on the FCD or in your host software (or both!). The benefit of doing it on the FCD is that DC offset and image corrections can be made to be frequency specific. I believe it will also be possible to perform a better null as the resolution is higher than some host software.


      • admin says:


        Also see my notes here:


        • Andy says:

          Hi Howard,

          I found in spectravue pressing the NCO Null button got the spike down quite a bit, I also tried the soundcard in adjustment but can’t get it any better than 20dB above the noise floor.

          With regard to the noise floor I got it lower by going into the recording devices menu in windows, selecting the FCD and turning the level down to 1, the adjustment seems very course, 0 of course shows nothing, 1 shows the floor at about -110dBm, the scale goes from 0 to 100, the device shows as a microphone in windows 7 x64 is that correct?

          Will continue playing, its great what such a small device can do!!


          • admin says:

            Hi Andy

            I’m away taking the evening off from Dongling, but a couple of quick comments.

            Firstly, the resolution of zeroing the DC offset on Spectravue isn’t as granular as it could be. It may be that other SDR software might have finer resolution. To whet your appetite, the next firmware release will have dc offset and image rejection controlled on the device, and the host software will also allow you to adjust with frequency.

            Secondly, I will have to take a look at thus on my Windows 7 x64 box but I suspect that reducing the recording level will reduce sensitivity.

            In SDR it’s quite common just to avoid the area around 0Hz. However this does not stop you demodulating unless it’s a really weak signal. For example you can demodulates a wide band fm signal that spans the entire passband over the zero Hz. (If you try demodulating WFM you will find that it distorts as the 96kHz isn’t quite wide enough, but it’s perfectly readable).


          • admin says:

            Hi Andy

            Reply number 2! I have had a chance to put this on my W7 x64 box. It’s a bit fiddly as the test set lives in the shack and the W7 x64 box is my media centre in the living room. Anyway, I ran 15m of USB extenders and tested it.

            Sure enough, you are right. It also looks like setting the level to 1 is about right too, and there is no degradation in sensitivity either.

            Yes, it does appear as a microphone. It’s a long story, as originally it was set to be a USB Audio satellite receiver device but I changed it to being a USB Audio microphone device while chasing another fault and never changed it back again. This won’t inhibit your listening pleasure, it’s just a semantics thing.

            Anyway, thanks for the heads up. I hadn’t noticed this before, I’ll check under Vista too, that might do a similar thing.


  9. What about a LAN conecction instead of USB ? I would be even better…! there are some cheap microcontroller solutions in the market. Maybe in the 2.0 FCD ?

    Nacho, EB1GER

    • admin says:

      Hi Nacho

      I will put that into a wish list, but in front of that I already have higher bandwidth (in the MHz). Neither are simple modifications, they’re both quite fundamental re-thinks. I also don’t think at present either will fit in the Dongle package, it was quite a squeeze as it was.


  10. Dr. Robert Suding says:

    Hello Howard,

    In case you don’t remember me, I made the executive decision to give the last available Tracker Jr. to you instead of the Australian Ham. My wife sold you the last one and I had sold it to the Australian. I had to really scramble to get another Tracker built and sent out to the Australian Ham before he got home. I guess it worked out OK..
    I suppose that you will be including a virtual Tracker JR in a future version of the FCD. Should be rather easy to implement. I think you made the right choices on the FCD, except that you need to have a used small scale automatic building machine doing the tedious operations, or you and your helpers will soon go nuts! LOL, as the kiddies say.

    Satellites stopped being fun for me after the demise and non-replacement of AO – 40!

    My ham operations these days are on PSK and the digital derivatives. A well designed User Defined Radio running about 40 watts on 20M, 40M and 30M (priority order) in a “Super Dongle” box with a nice big free spinning weighted main tuning knob and ~four 300 degree nice small knobs and an IPAD like screen showing the calibrated spectrum, frequency and only the needed setup interactions, and IPAD-like finger controlled inputs.

    Overall input and output priorities and “knobs” and “switches”, by type, function, and position must always be definable by the user. My own input priorities would be Memory Recall, Knobs & Switches , Finger Inputs, Voice Control, Keyboard, and in last place would be a mouse.

  11. Christian EA4EUN says:

    Hello. I have all day testing the FCD Pro and reading other users messages. I updated it to the latest firmware.

    Now is running the WRPlus 1.04 but only I´m listening noise. I read the FAQ but I don´t know what´s wrong. Also I tried to receive data in the local aprs frequency with Mixw software + WRPlus. No data but I can listen sometimes the packets sound mixed with noise.

    Please help me…

    73, Christian EA4EUN

    • Matty MD0MAN says:

      Hi Christian,

      Select a local repeater frequency.

      Using WR+, you should be able to see images / speech in the waterfall, select FM and click on the data on the waterfall.

      You should now be able to hear the audio.

      Depening on the operating system you are using, you may need to lower the gain from the FCD.

      Other users have had to do this in Win7, I have also had to drop the audio on the level from the FCD to get good results in Vista.

      If you have Vista:-
      ‘Right click’ on the speaker icon next to the clock display, select ‘Recording Devices’ – this will open a new window.

      Select the ‘Microphone, Fun Cube Dongle, click on the ‘Levels’ tab, and set the slider to 1.

      This gave me much better sounding audio.



      • Christian EA4EUN says:

        Hello Matty. I´m using Win XP SP3 in an Asus Eee PC 1000H netbook (Intel® Atom N270 + 2GB Ram)

        Well. Now I´m receiving data on the waterfall but with no noise.

        I will continue checking the sound card and FCD config, before to try to receive telemetry from CubeSats. Maybe I need to look for a better antenna too.

        73. Christian

  12. Zoulou Whisky says:

    Hello Howard “Twezzer hands”,

    I’am # 117 FCD proud owner.

    I did hooked up a sat dish LNB for the Ku Band to try to pickup satellites
    signals with the FCD like I successfuly did before with my Icom IC-R1500, but they are not showing on the SpectraVue screen quite like they did with the Icom on the Spectran screen…

    Is it because the FCD itself and do I have to enter differents settings in the FCD
    frequency control in order to get better results ?

    I must say that I always put a DC block before the FCD antenna input, of course.

    Thanks for your advice, and keep up your awsome work !


    • admin says:


      I suspect that the levels will almost certainly be different, you may wish to adjust the gain, either with the FCD frequency controller or in Spectravue, or indeed both.


      • Zoulou Whisky says:

        Hi Howard,

        It seems like my FCD is kind of deafth (or blind…) between
        780.0 Mhz and 1265.0 Mhz (approx.)…

        It’s even not able to receive pagers signals in the 900 Mhz !!

        That would explain why it is not working as expected with
        the LNB, witch output is between 950 / 1450 Mhz.

        I know that there is suppose to be a kind of gap somewhere around 1 Ghz, but since I run the firmware to my FCD, it seems to behave differently than before.

        Could it be brought back to the original firmware somehowe ?


        • Mark N8MH says:

          Hello Zoulou, (heh)
          You can download the orginal firmware and flash it:

          Howard is aware of a gap introduced in ver 18c that was not present in 18c; we can expect that he will fix that in the next release.

          • admin says:

            You beat me to it!

            Yes, I made a typo when I rushed out the 18c firmware. It was pushed out primarily to address the automatic settings of the “Defaults” and to improve VHF strong signal handling by choosing better filters.

            It also already had some other changes in it to support more granular frequency settings, and this broke the setting of frequencies from about 660MHz to about 1GHz due to a typo on my part. Apologies!

            As Mark states, reverting to the original 18b firmware will get you back.

            Firmware 18d with this fixed in it and a tranche of other updates, primarily aimed at opening up the full API, but also including IF RSSI feedback to front ends and DC/IQ correction on the device itself will be available imminently.


        • Gentelmen Your were right, and I thank you very
          much for your help !

          The problem is solved, as my FCD is back to were it was
          and it’s now receiving signals around 900 Mhz +/- so
          I expect to be able to use those LNB in order to explore
          the spectrum in the Ghz’s…

          Cheers !!

  13. Augusto says:

    There will be in the future a way to have the lower band limit go down to 48 MHz or so ? I am thinking by now to an “up-converter ” but the less hardware, so better!
    tnx 73 de Aug HB9TZXA / I2JJR

    • admin says:

      Hello Augusto.

      It is a limitation of the VCO and PLL on the tuner chip. I don’t believe it can be rectified in software.


      • Bob Zinn says:

        How about a 64 MHz oscillator and a mixer in front of this device to act as an ‘up-converter’ for the 0 MHz thru 64 MHz portion of the spectrum?
        This would give ‘us’ (I just ordered one so I count myself as an owner) compete coverage of the short waves as well as VHF and UHF up to the upper limit.


        • admin says:

          Hello Bob

          Yes I think there have been some suggestions along these lines in the FUNcube Yahoo group.

          Many thanks, Howard

  14. Peter says:

    Hi all, Why I can’t see the mic gain in record devices selecting the FCD using WinXP? In Vista I can see (and adjust) the mic gain for the FCD.
    Any suggestions?

    • admin says:

      Hello Peter

      There is no such option in XP. The sound driver model was changed in Vista so things work a little differently. Is there a reason that you need to change it?


  15. Mike says:

    What is the frequency limit of the FCD?

    I have come across a potential problem with WinRad and its deviants. These all use the ExtIO functionality for control, these use a 32 bit signed integer to set the frequency. That means the frequency can not be greater than about 2.14GHz. I know the FCD limit is nominally 1.7GHz but I understand it does better than this and would be interested in what people are finding the limit actually is.

    The FCD itself uses unsigned 32 bit numbers so it is numerically limited to 4.3GHz, which with the current hardware is no problem.

  16. Dick says:

    I’m trying to run SpectraVue in Windows XP (under VmWare on a MacBook Pro) and have FChid.exe running. FChid recognizes the Funcube; but when I click the “set frequency” button with the frequency entered to almost any value, I get an error message saying: “Target frequency must be between 50000 and 2500000”. I’ve tried entering values of 145000, 147500 and 50000 and still get the same error message.

    In Spectravue I’ve been trying to set the center frequency; but I’m not sure how to set things up to work with the dongle. I have the input device set to sound card and the sound cad input set to FunCube Dongole v0.0.. The sample rate is set to 96000 and the BWlimit is set to 96000. The center frequency is set to 1475000.

    I must be doing something wrong.

    • Rob says:

      Take a look at the Spectravue quick setup manual by David Barber regarding your centre Frequency.

      “Target frequency must be between 50000 and 2500000″.
      145.600Mhz in the FChid would be 145600, I guess strange things might happen under VmWare, your best to compile Qt cross platform source code.
      or request this from the Yahoo group.

    • Jon says:

      Hi Please help

      I have exactly the same problem, I am running XP clean on a windows machine. Every frequency I put into fchid gives me the same error “Target frequency must be between 50000 and 2500000″.

      Please help

      • admin says:

        Hello Jon

        Sorry you are having difficulties. I have never seen this error unless the frequency is outside those limits (taking into account the frequency correction): can you confirm which version of FCHid you are using, and what the frequency correction is please?

        For serial numbers<810, it should be ~999,885, and for serial numbers >=810 it should be ~999,988.

        Thank you, Howard

  17. Pierluigi says:

    Hello everybody,

    I hope to be in the right place to post…

    Friday I received my FCD, #246! I was happy and curious of course. Yesterday I would test it a little at the bench before to go out in the cold to do “real radio”.
    The problem I fight all the day, is that the FCD goes into
    “bootload mode” every few times I change the frequency or other parameters on the FCHid panel. The trouble is random.. but it’s getting worse and worse as more as I use it! Yesterday I could work for a while, some time at the second change, I got stuck.
    To recover, I have to unplug the FCD for seveal minutes and sometime also reboot the PC.
    Often, when I plug back the FCD, it seems to work with Spectravue, but as soon as I launch the FCHid application, it switch to “bootload” mode.. no explanation!

    I’ve experienced that with both my laptops with WinXp and both firmware 18b and 18c. No changes…
    At the end of the day, I got frustated.. and fully stuck! I believe that must be something wrong on my own setups.. it could’nt be so bad by itself!

    The testing environment is clean, no RF in the shack. I triyed also this morning in
    portable.. no way! Very often when I launch the FCHid, the device switch to “bootloader” mode, for no known reasons! Almost impossible to operate!.. 🙁
    Anybody here could give some tips about?
    Many thanks to all!

    Vy 73!

    • admin says:

      Hi Pierluigi

      I believe you have a hardware fault, I have priority air mailed you a replacement today (Monday).


  18. Antonio Pilichi I5NQK says:

    Hi Howard,
    I have a similar problem.
    Often the Dongle is in “booatload mode”. Sometimes it works (but random) and it communicate with the program to set freq. But, random, I listen the “disconnection” sound of the periferical in Windows and no response from Dongle. Sometimes I connect the Dongle into USB and I listen the first sound and immediatly another disconn sound. When it works I can listen the signal but with a great Voltage. With a Test Set I see a trace with a 100 mV, for example. Sometimes, moving SMA, I receive a good signal and a good trace with a very little sig. (0,15 microV). Excuseme for the great disturb with my questions. 73 and TNX again for Your work.
    Ciao from Italy 😉

    • admin says:

      Hello Tony

      Thank you for your explanation.

      Where and what are you tracing at 100mV?

      I have two suggestions!

      When it is not working is it saying “Bootloader” in fast CW? Does it happen while the FCD is plugged in? Is there physical movement (while it is plugged in) that make the FCD go into bootloader mode? If so, a quick fix may be simply to clean the USB contacts with some isopropyl alcohol and do five or six rapid insert/remove cycles.

      In addition, it might be worth just trying the prerelease formware that has an increased timing when hard resetting the tuner chip. please note that this is an early release of 18d code so there are some other things that need fixing, but it might help do diagnose if there’s another problem.


      • Well Howard and TNX.
        Actually I am not able to set any command using FHHid (Succed, FCD Found… HIDSetFreq of 99988 returns 0… Error, FCD frequency NOT set.). I have used FCHIDBL for export18dpre. All OK but FCD not works. I have cleaned the USB contacts with isopropyl alcohol and the rapid insert/remove cycles… NOTHING.

        I am not able to do other… and I have the fear to damage the dongle more.
        Now, I repeat, I am not able do give any command…

        Is possible, for You, if I ship the Dongle, to check it ?
        I know that your time is precious, but I do not know what to do.

        Many thank You.


        When it is not working is it saying “Bootloader” in fast CW?

        Does it happen while the FCD is plugged in?

        Is there physical movement (while it is plugged in) that make the FCD go into bootloader mode?

        Excuseme again.

  19. BANKO Darko says:

    Was für ein software muss ich haben ( Source ) um denn FCD benützen zu kennen ?
    Darko OE7DBH

  20. Declan says:

    Hi can the dongle be used as a scanner with some kind of third party software, like for example could i store 100 memory channels and let it scan through them etc…

  21. Rob says:

    Hi Declan
    Not what the FUNcube dongle was intended for but there is software available at the yahoo group that will allow storing of frequencies in WRplus,using ExtIO.dll files.
    The FUNcube dongle software is at a very early stage of development.
    So yes you can,but it’s never going to be a AOR,but for the price you can’t go wrong.
    All mode, 64-1,700MHz
    Rob M0TFO

    • admin says:

      To add… if the host software is written then it can behave in this manner. I am sure in time such an app will be developed.


      • Dan Humphreys says:

        Hi all,

        Has there been any development with the ability to scan a set bank/list of frequencies?

        Dan H

        • admin says:

          Hello Dan

          I received an email a few days ago about some software that is being developed to do this, but frustratingly now I can’t find it!

          I am led to beleive that the PLL takes about 100ms to settle: I haven’t personally tested this, but it gives you an idea of its potential capabilities (or not!) as a scanner.

          The FCD wasn’t really ever disigned for scanning, but it seems inevitable that we will see software providing this functionality.

          Many thanks, Howard

  22. radio b says:

    Hello, nice job done, congrats..
    Is there a room to add a spectrum analyzer in your SW, so the dongle can be used also as a low end instrument. The technique of scanning parts of the band, memorising, combining and displaying onthe screen should maybe work..

    • admin says:

      We’re anticipating initially that people will add VFO code to existing spectrum analyser software rather than the other way around, and that is already happening. For the FUNcube satellite telemetry receive software we’ll have a spectrum view.


  23. Stefano - ik2oyd says:

    Hello Howard,
    I’ve received the dongle #199 on 25 Jan at noon, nice job!
    One question: with firmware 18dpre it is impossible to null image of signal generator at 100,01MHz with Spectravue I/Q balance settings and the image level is higher in respect to real signal at right side of DC zero (offset: 10KHz), after reload of 18b firmware I’m able to obtain the null of image. It is a 18dpre bug ?


    • admin says:

      Hi Stefano,

      This is not production code. I need to take a look at the I/Q correction, I am aware of some other comments about it.


      • Augusto says:

        Hi Stefano ik2oyd,
        Congrats for the FCD#189 ! I’ll try again oncemore , hope to be able to “win” one ….. Glad to find you and maybe Al kbd here!
        Ciao, 73 to QRA , Augusto i2jjr ecc

  24. Chris VK6KCH says:

    Hi Howard,

    This is great stuff! I would definitely like to get one fro the next batch.

    Interestingly, a standard “C band” commercial LNB (such as an NJT NJS8486EN or a Norsat 3120N) would provide an inexpensive way of receiving in the Amateur Satellite band from 3400 to 3410 MHz. With a high-side injection LO of 5150MHz, these devices would output an inverted image of a signal at 3405MHz at an IF of 1745MHz.

    Similar approaches could be taken for essentially “off the shelf” LNBs for other bands, including 2.4GHz and 10GHz. These LNBs typically require a DC supply fed up the coax of +19VDC at up to 350mA; this would have to be provided via an external DC Bias-T. However, some of the LNBs (the more expensive ones) also require a 10MHz (sine wave) reference signal up the coax, at around -10dB to 0dBm. Do you have a 10MHz clock available within the FCD, and if so, would it be feasible to multicouple that reference onto the coax inner conductor?



    • admin says:

      Hi Chris.

      The reference oscillator is 24.576MHz and that is used throughout the device, in particular to derive the 96kHz sampling rate – in fact that pretty much dictated the crystal frequency.

      So in short, sorry, there is no 10MHz reference in there!


    • Jose EB5AGV says:

      Hi Chris,

      Does that 10MHz signal need to be phase locked to the receiver reference (I guess not)?. If this is not the case, there are plenty of ways to get a nice 10MHz signal, from internal oscillators in test equipment (lots of them ovenized), to GPS controlled oscillators. Of course, having it into the FCD would be a plus but, well, we can’t have everything inside this wonderful package 🙂

      73 JOSE EB5AGV

  25. KA9Q says:

    What does the response look like around zero output frequency? Most direct conversion receivers have serious phase noise problems so close to their local oscillators. Is there a high pass filter after the mixer that creates a notch around the center frequency?

    I am trying to decide how to best use this on the ARISSAT-1 downlink. If it could be carefully tuned to track Doppler, then the Funcube’s 0-frequency notch would land on the satellite’s own and there wouldn’t be a problem; the Funcube would capture the entire satellite passband.

    If the Funcube were statically tuned, I could track the Doppler on the BPSK beacon fairly easily, but the +/- 3.3 kHz shift around the nominal 145.98 MHz passband center would eat into the upper end of the linear translator section between AOS and closest approach. It would eat into the FM channel in the upper half of the transponder between closest approach and LOS, but that seems less of a problem since there isn’t much FM sideband energy there.

    It would still be best to have the Funcube either closely track the passband or push it off to one side so the 0-frequency notch would be out of the way. In that case I probably couldn’t capture the entire transponder output, with Doppler, with the Funcube.

    • admin says:


      Sorry for the delay in replying, you caught us while preparing for a sale weekend which is innevitably rather frenetic. It may be I answered your question regarding phase noise in another private email, but if not I have placed some information here:


  26. lloyd vandervort says:

    HI , I am having fun with my new dongle.
    It does have some desence with strong local pagers in the 450mhz band.
    A filter or trap corrects this.
    Is three an easy way to have winradplus to directly tune the dongle ?
    Lloyd N9RPU

    • admin says:

      Hi Lloyd

      I believe that WRplus and winradplus are the same thing. There are some guides on this written by David Barber on the downloads page.


  27. Angelo says:

    Hi Howard,

    for education purpose, to show it in a classroom during a presentation, could be possible to have a block diagram of the device when you will have some time for this?

    Tnx, 73 de Angelo IK8VRQ

  28. Rolf says:


    How is the link to the user group ?

    Nice regards

    de Rolf

  29. Does anyone know how fast I’ll be able to change frequency when tracking Doppler? I have an application that is currently successfully issuing as many as 50 changes per second with a flex5000 and hope to be able to achieve similar rates with the FCD. This is at TCA when the 70 cm birds are moving at over 3000 Hz/minute.

    Are there any data dropouts when changing frequency?


    Richard W5SXD anxiously awaiting my FCD 🙂

  30. Claudio says:

    Hi Howard

    will be nice to see online an impartial full test of your Fun dongle pro, with all the pro & cons , and a test on the ” road” live with different Sdr softwares..what do you think?



  31. Peter says:

    I need help I recieved my dongle yesterday plugged it in followed the instructions for setting up and testing but unfortunatly I can only get LBC ,I cant change the frequency.
    I am running in Windows 7 and using WR+.I have upgraded the firmware to the latest editionbut to no avail we are still getting LBC loud and clear.What am I doing wrong?
    Thank You
    Peter G7GCF

  32. Rob says:

    Pop over to the Funcube group
    Most issues are sorted very quickly. But check you are running the FCD front end, LO tuning can only be done via a DLL file with WRplus- also found on the group.
    Funny, I live In Bath, and listen to LBC via DAB most days. you will also find user guides.


  33. Ben Brockert says:

    Hi Howard,

    What is the antenna connector on the FCD? It also might be handy to add a small diagram showing the dimensions of the FCD


    • Rob says:

      Hi Ben the antenna connector is a SMA, good point on dimensions.
      I will take dimensions later this evening and report back, Unless some one replies first.


      • jimmie reeves says:

        The antenna connector on my new dongle in NOT a sma . pictures show two sizes. the new connector is a smb or smc . cant find deminsions of eather . but wont to get a connector thanks JIM

        • admin says:


          Which pictures are you referring to? I can absoultely categorically assure you that it is an SMA. I test every one three times using the same test jig and that has an SMA plug on it.


  34. Ari Thor says:

    Hello from Reykjavik Iceland
    What about get one Dongle to Iceland ?
    please let me know when I can order one

    • admin says:


      Check the Order your FUNcube Dongle Pro menu item. We have sold out again I am afraid, but there should be some more in a couple of weeks.


  35. Michael DL3YCW says:

    I am unhappy. Yesterday I’ve been listening to 144 575 MHz (or to a local radio-station).
    Today, the FCD is completely silent. I use it with a small rubber-antenna for a
    2m handheld radio.
    Neither WR nor Spectravue something to see or hear. The
    communication with the FCD works! Even a re-install the
    Firmware did not succeed. I tested the FCD to multiple PCs.

    Does anyone have any idea what I can do yet?

    73, Michael
    (with google-translation-helper)

    • admin says:

      Hello Michael

      I am unsure from your posting whether you are saying that the FCD was working fine but now doesn’t, or if it has never worked?

      Can you confirm that Spectravue is communicating with the correct soundcard (SoundCard In Setup)?


  36. Michael DL3YCW says:

    Hello Howard,

    until yesterday the FCD works fine. Today it shows no spectrum and no noise out of the loudspeaker.
    The communication with the FCHID006 and FCHIDBL works normally.

  37. Michael DL3YCW says:

    Hi Howard,

    please don’t ask me why. I don’t understand my problem. I tested on a Mac Book with parallels right now and it works!! The local radio-station and the packet-node on 144.800 MHz. All is ok. Tomorrow i will research the pc-problems.

    73, Michael

  38. F6HDW Jean Claude says:

    Hello Howard
    I received today the dongle #474. When I open Frontend FCHid3, I receive this error

    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_fb56 returns 1
    Success, FCD found.
    HIDReadRegister returns 0
    Error, FCD read register.

    And when I set the frequency to 10000 an another error

    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_fb56 returns 1
    Success, FCD found.
    HIDSetFreq of 99988 returns 0
    Error, FCD frequency NOT set.

    With the bootloader, I have

    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
    FCD found.
    Please wait: erase may take up to ten seconds…
    Erase completed.HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
    FCD found.
    Error: device ID address NOT setHIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
    FCD found.
    Error: device ID address NOT set

    Any ideas for these problems ?
    Thank’s for your help
    F6HDW Jean Claude

    • admin says:

      Jean Claude

      I suspect that your FCD was in Bootloader mode. Can you install the latest 18f firmware, remove for ten seconds, reinsert, and try it please?


      • F6HDW Jean Claude says:

        With the help of F6BYJ my funcube working correctly now. Sorry to have bothered with this simple problem. You did a great tool for amateurs and I thank you for everything.
        F6HDW Jean Claude in ARIEGE France

        • admin says:

          Jean Claude

          No problem, I am delighted that you got it working.

          If you have any other questions let me know, even en français, parce que la YL est française et elle est une traductrice couramment (contrairement à moi).

          Merci, et bientôt, Howard

          • tony G3OVH says:

            Amazing Howard – you still have a YL – she must be very tolerant – or perhaps it not her kitchen turned into an SM rework lab 😉

  39. Andrea i3miq says:

    Hello howard I fcd nr. 316, I connected fcd
    with the soft
    vr plus and works
    responds to all commands but I can’t receive any signal
    with or without antenna is the same thing does not receive anything in any frequency it is perhaps a problem in input,
    can I send it to a control?
    What address should I send it and how many euros I must send to the
    return shipping?
    Thanks Andrea

    • admin says:

      Hello Andrea

      When you say it receives no signal, is there no noise?

      Can you check that the correct sound card is being selected by your software?


      • Andrea i3miq says:

        hello howard thanks for the reply
        FDC works correctly get the noise bandwidth regularly
        with FCHid active all connection parameters are regular and if I enter the frequency of 100 mhz as instructed and click default FCD receives see and feel the spectrum signal cw
        I also increased the input gain up to + 30 db but
        do not enter anything from no signal, without the antenna or the antennas connected to the same thing the noise does not change and do not receive anything,
        I also tried with the laptop in two meters near the fcd but nothing gets no signal
        hi I’m desperate

        • admin says:


          If you believe the unit to be faulty, you can mail it back to me and I will send a replacement. To speed things up, email me proof of posting and I will send you a replacement immediately before I receive your unit back.


          • Andrea i3miq says:

            Dear howard
            as you enter your e-mail receipt of delivery of the FDC

            RA 2989 2908 4 IT
            MoòeIo22R1-MOO OoIO\Q “‘,lJOO ‘ 8’I;\l&f1111~-SL[~

            Servizi Accessori Richiesti D Importo ContrassegnQ € (in cifre) (Contrassegnare con una Xl

            D Avviso di ricevimento (Mod. CN 071
            Fraz 7061
            causai . EE 02/ 3/2011 12. Peso gr.:63 Tariffe 7,00 frr.t 7,00 rv.A .•
            RA 2989 2908 4 IT

          • admin says:


            What was your serial number? I am trying to locate you on my system so I can mail you a new unit.


  40. Hi, I have no test-sets here; how does the FCD perform at 64.4550 MHz ? I would like to use it as a Pan-Adapter for an Icom Rig that has that first IF frequency.
    I have read elsewhere that near its bands edges – thus 64.4550- the FCD is not on top anymore. Howard, some indication on this? Thanks! 73 de Augusto hb9tza / i2jjr

    • admin says:


      I just tested a unit for 12dB SINAD.

      At 145MHz it was -123.8dBm.

      At 64MHz it was -118.8MHz.

      So it’s 5dB less sensitive at 64MHz. These were with the “Defaults” settings. I would guess that there’s sufficient gain prior to the IF stage such that this wouldn’t be an issue. If you like a bit of extreme soldering, you could always replace the HPF with a 1nF cap.


  41. Chris Lee says:

    Is the hard ware schematics open ? I havent seen them posted anywhere. What about the pic’s code ? is it released as well ? or only pre-compiled firmware. What about the API docs ? I see under ‘Downloads’ that its under construction, any eta by chance ?


    • admin says:

      Hello Chris

      There are a number of posts and comments already about the schematics and firmware. If you let me know what you want to be able to achieve I may be able to help you.

      There is a post on the programming interface here:

      I suggest that you also check the example source code to learn how to program the unit, there are a number of examples. It is a standard USB HID interface, so first you will need to understand about USB HID.

      The basic programming technique is to send a 64 byte HID command packet and receive a 64 byte HID response packet. The first byte of the command packet is the command itself, and command specific parameters follow. In response, the first byte is a success/fail followed by comand specific responses.


  42. Andrea i3miq says:

    Hi Howard
    the serial number of FDC # 316
    on behalf of Gaetano Molinari

  43. Michael says:

    Hi Howard.

    by a disease I could not not run my tests on.
    Tonight I have the FCD retested. He does not work properly.
    When I plug it into the PC the communication with the Frequency Control V2.0 is ok.
    All settings are correct in Spectravue.
    Perhaps from 10 trials is one or two times the chance to receive a signal. The receiving ends after a short time in a squeaking, about 500 Hertz. In the other time nothing happens and it is also nothing to hear .
    I would like to send the FCD for the analysis and repair. Please send me your address via email.
    73, Michael – DL3YCW

  44. Andrea i3miq says:

    Dear howard
    I forgot to give you my address for shipping FDC
    30121 VENICE ITALY

    FDC nr. 316 series you’ve shipped to Gaetano Molinari
    contrada piano diMaio Rende
    tks and 73 Andrea i3miq

  45. Rick KI6RLM says:

    Hi Howard. I’ve had my FCD a few days now, and have written some very rudimentary Mac OS X software that allows me to set the frequency and demodulate FM. I’m fairly confident in the frequency control, but the demodulation is not working at all.

    In numerous places you refer to “standard soundcard quadrature I/Q.” I don’t know what this is (I’ve never done this stuff before). I worked from the assumption that the left audio channel is I samples, and the right audio channel is Q samples, and wrote code to demodulate based on the information in this article:

    But all I get is unintelligible noise that saturates the output.

    Can you please verify for me how the data is provided in the audio stream? Thanks!

    • admin says:

      Hi Rick

      That is exactly what you get, I can’t remember which way round it is, but yes, I goes to one channel and Q to the other. Under the hood I provide standard USB audio at 96kHz sample rate, two channel, 16 bits/sample as per the USB spec (

      Typically you would also downconvert in software on the host: although in some circumstance you can use the zero IF and direct downconvert in hardware, bear in mind that as well as a DC offset (that you can calibrate out) there is also LO phase noise (that you can’t). By doing a second downconvert on the host with a software NCO and mixer from an arbitrary position either side of the hardware LO, you avoid the hardware limitations around the zero IF.

      I’ve had a lot of success with this on a Mac:


      • Rick KI6RLM says:

        Hey, Howard, thanks for the reply! I forgot I had posted here (kept expecting an email). I just now read this (after the last two emails I just sent you).

        Thanks for the information. I’m downloading that software now, but I’ve been having so much fun writing my own I want to continue. I’m running up against serious knowledge limits, though, so hopefully I will find a good source of information to help me through (scaling my FFT display, etc.)

        Thanks again!

  46. Chris KB0TLW says:

    Hello Howard and everyone else!

    I just found out about the FCD tonight while browsing another site and I see I missed the March 4th sales batch. Dang it!!!

    Howard, when do you expect to have the next batch ready as I would really like to get my hands on one, and a friend I just spoke to about this would like one as well.

    Looking forward to your response.

  47. Rob says:

    Hi Chris, The next batch of FUNcube Dongle Pros will be available on Wednesday 16 March 2011 at 22:00UTC.

    Order information can be found here

    We also have a FUNcube yahoo group found here

    good luck.


  48. A G Morrison says:

    Hi Howard
    I set up the dongle with Spectravue and input 100mhz
    on the FCD controller software but can only get a noise floor of about -80db without an antenna. With an aerial, usually strong local frequencies were very weak (in the noise) and also very distorted. I’ve checked the rest of the Spectravue Configuration and I think it’s set up ok, so not sure what I’m doing wrong.
    Grateful for any help. Many thanks.

    • admin says:

      Hello Alan.

      There are a number of tips here.

      First off, what is the difference in noise floor with and without the antenna when tuned to an empty channel? If it’s more than 5 or 10dB you’re seeing some desense from out of band signals. At VHF the FCD only has a limited set of filtering, at UHF and above it has more selective bandpass filtering. You can improve things by reducing mixer and LNA gains (counter intuitive I know). Otherwise, you may be suffering from another potential strong signal, often in the UK it’s pagers around 138 and 153MHz. If pagers are your problem and reducing the unit’s gain doesn’t improve things on VHF, you may need to consider some other means of front end filtering – exactly what that is depends largely on what you want to achieve with your FCD. There are some 2m options I’ve already documented on here

      Second, if you are trying to demodulate band 2 FM broadcasts, they’re a tad too wide for the FCD’s bandwidth so they will be distorted.

      You might want to try joining the FUNcube Yahoo group where there’s also plenty of extra help if I happen to have my head glued to a microscope as I have for the past few days.


  49. Vlad (Russia) says:

    Greetings, Howard!
    Has received yours FUNcube DP № 0000615.
    Thanks! It already 7 product in Russia.
    I will test and hope that the device completely will justify my hopes.
    73 RN3DOM

  50. Ronen says:

    is the Funcube dongle can work with virtual audio cable ?
    can be seen here
    the idea is to be able to get the FunCube dongle decode out to enother Software such as SSTV RTTY WXSAT etc ….. that they also use the soundcard as their input …
    And if yes how to do it …?
    Thanks Forward

  51. Jose I. Roman says:


    • admin says:


      I am hoping to be able to announce the availability of the next batch in the next day or two. Keep an eye on the website!


  52. shawn says:

    I’m hoping to monitor l-band satellites and though (IIRC) your frequency gap would be right below gps I’m wondering if it can be moved further down?

    Also, good job, the only other products that are equivalent to yours are the icom pcr devices. I would say each device seems to have its own use case. I think I like this device more because it is open and I think I might be able to get a wider band for psk work.

    Btw, you were mentioned on hnn podcast.

    73 ag4ve

    • admin says:

      Hello Shawn

      The tuner will cover the L1 1.575GHz signal but will not the L2 frequency at 1.227GHz. Either way, although the tuner will cover it, I think that you will be restricted by the FCD’s bandwidth. I believe GPS transmits in Mbps but the FCD’s bandwidth is only about 85kHz.


  53. Henry says:

    Hallo friends,

    I use only linux (gentoo-linux). I have compiled qthid-003. It played. But it is terrible slow. So can I not fair work. Have you any idea ? Mni tnx.

    Henry DH5RUM

    • admin says:

      Hi Henry

      Have you tried Alexandru Csete’s code?


      • Henry says:

        Hallo Howard,

        mni thanks for answer. I used this code. I think it is a problem with libusb.
        I will insert in
        “linux-g++: INCLUDEPATH += /usr/include/libusb-1.0” and
        testing next days.

        73 Henry DH5RUM

      • Henry says:

        Hallo Howard,

        the was negativ. qthid003 works very slow.
        I use qt-4.6.x and qt-creator-1.x. It is possible, that is the problem ?

        73 Henry

        • admin says:

          Hello Henry

          Is it only the QTHid interface that is slow, or is it the SDR software you are using?


          • Henry says:

            Hallo Howard,

            the qthid-software works without FCD fine.
            When the FCD is connected works qthid very very slow. It is possible the problem is the hidapi.
            Must I install hidapi manuell ?

            73 Henry

          • Henry says:

            Hallo Haward,

            I have compiled hidapi-5.2.
            Than I start ./hidtest.
            The result :

            Device Found
            type: 04d8 fb56
            path: 0006:0005:02
            serial_number: (null)
            Manufacturer: Hanlincrest Ltd.
            Product: FUNcube Dongle V1.0

            unable to open device

            In moment i have not idea.
            What for a kernel-version you use ?
            I use kernel-2.6.31.

            73 Henry

          • admin says:


            I suspect you may have a permissions problem on your USB connection. Have you checked this ?


          • Henry says:

            Hi Howard,

            I have compile Kernel-2.6.38. I can use qthid003 as user. It was a kernel-problem.

            In future I search a functionaly sdr-software.
            Quisk freeze the qthid003.

            73 Henry

  54. Ronen says:

    Now that the WrPlus is gone (it became a Commercial Software and there is no download availe there anymore) What software is recommended that can competit with it ? I need a software that the Tunning of the FCD will be within the software and there will be able to do Up/DOWN with mouse or arrows …

    Any recomendations welcome

    • You should take a look at the uWSDR software that I wrote for another project. If I can get a Dongle then I’ll create a driver for it for both Linux and Windows. It already includes point-and-click and mouse wheel tuning, as well as other methods.

      Jonathan G4KLX

    • Bruce KF1Z says:

      Right now HDSDR is the likely replacement.
      “Same” as WRplus, but with fewer controls.

  55. Ronen says:

    Can I control the FCD frequency with the HDSDR ? or i need the FCD Original Freq control software to do it ?

  56. Robert Chang says:

    I start to use my FCD today.
    My computer runs Windows 7 , FCD firmware had upgraded to 18f , Front End software is FCHID006 , SpectraVue version is 3.17 (latest)

    When the antenna connector does not connect to anything, the noise floor is quite high , around -70db
    please find the screen shot below. (you can find the noise floor is -65db ….)

    And I found the sensitivity is obvious bad , worse than any of my handheld receiver , like ICOM R20 , with the same antenna in the same location in the room.

    Is this device out-of-order ?? or something (parameter setting )wrong?
    Can I get a replacement unit ??
    My serial number is 730.

    Thanks for your help!!

    Best regards,
    Cheng-chang Chang , KI6RYQ

    • admin says:

      Hello Robert

      It sounds like you are suffering from front end overload on VHF. If the noise floor rises to the level you are suggesting when the antenna is plugged in, then the front end is being overloaded.

      See above section on “Do I need front end filters”


      • Robert Chang says:

        Hi, Howard:
        Thank you ,

        But the problem is that the antenna is NOT plug-in! The noise floor of device itself at any frequency band (UHF , 1.2Ghz ..)stays in -70db.


        • Robert Chang says:

          I change desktop computer to a notebook computer, and plug the FCD again,
          Yes , the noise floor is around -100db , it become normal.

          So anyone who have similar problem can try to change to another computer…. the noise floor might be lower.


          • admin says:


            Many thanks for the update. If I remember correctly, at least one other person has had a similar problem with a noisy computer, I believe it was the power supply in that case.

            Thanks again, Howard

          • Mike says:

            For people running windows 7 – the audio gain settings hidden in the mixer control need to be set to 1.

            Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers then right click on Funcube Dongle V1.0 and select “Sound Settings”. go to the recording tab, Select the FCD which appears as a microphone. Go to the levels tab. Set the gain to 1.

        • Robin says:

          Robert, now you’re working, as it were, you might find that the SMPS in the PC is inadequately RF suppressed. One has read reports of cheap PSUs with the filtering components missed off in the factory!

  57. Bruce KF1Z says:

    Folks, may be a lot of you are not aware, that Rob, M0TFO set up a Yahoo group for the Funcube and Funcube Dongle.

    Great place to ask software and hrdware questions etc.

    Howard visits there as well, so he will see questions there too.

    Here it is:

    See you there…

  58. Dave G7BTA says:

    Hi Howard.I would just like to say that ,i am one of the lucky one to have a Funcube Dongle Number 910.From the sale on April the 3rd.It came on Tuesday all ok.I set it up with Spectrvue and the front end loader ,all ok and it worked fine for about 2 hours.Then it stopped with no niose floor and it will not pickup anything.I have tryed a firmware update and it still will not do anything.I have tryed plugging it into the usb port without a usb cable and into another usb port on my notebook which is running windows 7,but still not workingAlso i have found that the SMA conection is very warm and the case also.I think it may be faulty.
    Your help would be appreciated .

  59. Jim Rogers says:

    I just received my FunCube today. I have loaded FCHID and Spectravue. I set the input to Spectravue to be the dongle and the output of Spectravue to the default soundcard and no joy. No noise, Nothing. Very disappointing.

    • admin says:

      Hello Jim

      Sorry you are having difficulties: I can assure you that I test _every_ FCD personally for both functionality and performance just prior to sending them out. Please send me an email with some screen shots of your config and we’ll work this out for you.


      • Jim Rogers says:

        Mea culpa! I missed a simple thing on the PC XP virtual machine. I normally run only OSX but followed the “first time user” suggestion in the documentation. It is working great, so again, sorry for the post. This little jewel is gonna be fun.


  60. Greg says:

    just wondering – is the gap between 1.1 and 1.27 likely to be eliminated in any future version of the dongle? Is it something say two xtals would fix if its something along the lines of the pll not having enough N or R divide ratio?


    • admin says:

      Hello Greg

      Yes I am afraid there is a no man’s land there where the combination of dividers and the vco range conspires against making the unit work at these frequencies, so I don’t believe it’s resolvable.


  61. Joseph AF6OY says:

    Howard et. al.,

    I’ve begun experimenting with my recently received FCD. 🙂

    One of my interest areas is the evaluation of applications running under various OSes. The application Qthid works well at controlling the FCD but I haven’t found many applications for receiving and processing the complex data from it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Best regards,

    • admin says:

      Hello Joseph

      I am sure that you will find better answers than mine in the Yahoo FUNcube group.

      Personally I have used LINRAD on Linux (Ubuntu 10.10), and DSP Radio on the Mac. In addition you will find that Alex Csete’s version of QTHid is much better than mine, and I believe he releases binaries so you don’t have to build from source.


  62. Geir says:

    What frontend software will controll the FCD.
    Is there any SDR software tha t will controll the hardware directly?

    FCD no 948

    • admin says:

      Hi Geir

      You may like to check on the FUNcube Yahoo group for the best answer to this. I am aware that WRplus will do but it appears that has very recently changed it licensing model. I believe that there is some work on GNU Radio integration too.


  63. Joseph AF6OY says:


    Yup. I do like LINRAD and have obtained Alex’s update of your program (you are correct that he does release binaries). I need to look into DSP Radio.

    Congratulations on the impact that you have made with the FCD.

    Best regards,

  64. john holgersen says:

    Hi Howard
    I bought FDC 849 on April 3. I would like to use funcuben to receive faxes. My problem is I can not get enough sound out to fax software.
    Wxtoimg requires a sound pressure of about 70, I can get 50, which is too low.
    Aptdekoder require that sound pressure is about -5 db –8dB I can achieve approximately -20 and also not enough.
    I’ve obviously been in and put the sound pressure to the highest in both recording as a playback. I can mute the sound, but not increase beyond that described.
    I’ve tried funcube directly and tried virtual audio cable, without it has helped.
    Can funcube give too low an output to a PC, can it be increased.


    • admin says:

      Hello John

      I am not sure about wxtoimg, it’s not something I have used, and I am not sure what modulation mode you are using. Typically there will be something between the FCD and wxtoimg, like Spectravue for example. That will have an AGC in it for AM and SSB, and for FM it will use a limiter. The output of that I assume is what you’re referring to?

      If so you might want to check the audio settings for your sound input: I don’t know what OS you’re using?


  65. john holgersen says:

    hello howard
    im use win 7 64 bits have you a proposal for fax software is tested with FCD


  66. Rob says:

    John you may like to try WXsat

    Not sure if you know about the FUNcube Yahoo support group, but many have had good results.

  67. john holgersen says:


    I’ll try, but the software so very old, but that it may indeed be good enough



    • Rob says:

      or you can try Mscan,Wefax. I find the levels using VAC are quite low.
      I find the audio levels from the FCD are fine, but are attenuated by the SDR software. I find best results, running a jack lead from speaker out to mic in.
      anyway good luck.

  68. osos says:

    would it be possible to use a software like OpenBTS with the FCD?
    maybe with two? one tx, one rx? or with an antenna switch?
    what would be necessary to do that?

    • admin says:

      I believe that GSM channels are 200kHz wide so as the FCD has about 80 to 85kHz useable bandwidth, I would suggest that it’s not suitable. The FCD is also does not have transmission capabilities.


  69. john Holgersen says:

    hey rob
    thanks for your advice I’ll try to lead from out to in.
    My understanding is that you also have detected a little low sound pressure from funcube (for use with fax software) I hope that maybe it will change in coming firmvare ver. if possible.
    Blew recommended wxsat on this site, but when I use win7 64 bit operating system, the software can not run.
    Looking forward to our little discussion here, might stir up some of the really tough users to upload a setup instructions for one of the free fax receiving programs.
    FDC looks exciting and I messing much with my FDC, but not without problems.


    • Rob says:

      John, take a look at the yahoo group, there are many posts regarding running wx software and VAC, so on and so on.

  70. Joseph DiVerdi says:


    Can you please provide some information on the bias available from the FCD’s SMA connector, for example, voltage and current limit. Additionally, I have looked into turning this bias (looking into the SMA port with a voltmeter) on using Qthid but without success.

    FWIW, I’ve built a particular antenna with an integral LNA and would like to power the LNA remotely. I’m hoping I don’t have to build another bias tee and use an external DC power supply.

    Best regards,

    • admin says:

      Hello Joseph

      The bias T is 5V and should comfortably deal with up to 100mA. There is a protection circuit in there which will trip if it sees a DC short when switched on based on a PTC resettable fuse, Tyco part number FEMTOSMDC016F-02, which trips at 400mA and has a hold current of 160mA (although in tests I found the hold current to be a lot less, perhaps 60mA). The driving transistor is rated at 1A.

      To use the functionality you need the 18h firmware and matching front end software (FCHID008) which has a check box to switch the bias T on and off. This is available via the FUNcube Development Yahoo Group.


  71. Nimit says:

    Hi Howard,

    If you don’t mind to ask the question about your old project of LVB Tracker?

    What Compiler that you used for that Code for 16F876 & 18F2620?

    Thank you,

    Nimit – K6XOX

  72. Joseph says:

    First light.

    I have just gotten a program (at least start) to work which connects a FCD with Igor , a powerful data processing and visualization program. Some views can be seen at: and which show screen shots taken of W0UPS-5, the APRS (Automated Packet Reporting System) repeater operating at 144.390 MHz by the NCARC (Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club). The first screen shot shows a 9600 BAUD burst and the second an as-yet-undetermined wider bandwidth burst. Not all of the controls on the panel are operational at this time but I’m working on it. 🙂

    Best regards,

  73. Joseph says:

    Apologies. The previous post was missing the links.

    screen shot #1
    screen shot #1

    • admin says:

      Hi Joseph

      Your project sounds very interesting: it seems that your links don’t seem to be working?


  74. Carsten DM1CG says:

    my APRS signal are on 144.815 and not 144.800
    on 70cm out local FM repeater is 439.348 MHz and not 439.300
    on 23cm it could be then 120kHz … i didn´t test that
    In what way i can change that “shift”
    Is there an SDR prg with vbariable filters to “hear” all 80Khz in FM
    Like Wide FM or narrow FM ?

    Dongle running good with Linrad (use it for EME)

    best 73 de Carsten

    • admin says:

      Hello Carsten

      Spectravue will do WFM, although the FCD’s sample rate isn’t quite wide enough for distortion free listening.


    • Alf DG8YHH #155 says:

      Hello Carsten

      for Windows thre is a nice program called Sodira , quite difficult to make the Setup , but perfekt for WFM. It can decode Stereo , but for RDS witch is inpemented the bandwide of the FCD ist to small .

      For your Ofset you can correct on FCDHID , QTHID and The DLL too

      73 de Alfons DG8YHH

      ps : if you need further Help please contact me via Mail direct ( it´s simple to do this in German 😉 )

  75. Pieter-Tjerk PA3FWM says:

    With my FCD, periodically (every 8 seconds or so) a bunch of samples seem to be dropped, as if the ADC is slightly faster than the USB link, causing a buffer to overflow periodically. This is very noticeable with a constant carrier at the input. It happens with different computers, different Linux versions, also at 48 kHz samplerate, and also with the 18h firmware. Others (in the yahoo group) have confirmed the same problem.
    Is the cause of this problem known? Is there a remedy?

    73, Pieter-Tjerk, PA3FWM

    • admin says:

      Hello Pieter

      I have heard of this before, and historically I have assumed it was due to a mismatch in real sampling rates between the soundcard used for playback and the FCD causing the discontinuity. However I am not at all certain of this: I haven’t been able to reproduce the fault myself, although to be fair I am 95%+ in Windows.

      I am in the middle of moving house at the moment so I won’t get an opportunity to look at this under Linux until next week I am afraid. Can you let me know your software setup you’re using with the FCD?


  76. Pieter-Tjerk PA3FWM says:

    I see the problems with a nameless “normal” SDR program and the WebSDR server program, both written by myself.
    Given the structure of these programs, I’m pretty sure the playback soundcard does not cause the problem. In the case of the WebSDR, the ticks are visible in the server-generated waterfall diagram, while the playback soundcard is at the client and can’t influence the server’s timing.
    I’ve also seen the phase jumps by recording the data and then plotting it, so with no playback soundcard involved.
    Comments in the yahoo group suggest the problem is not limited to Linux.
    If I can do any further tests or provide information to help you debug this, please let me know.
    73, Pieter-Tjerk, PA3FWM

  77. Bill Ashmanskas says:

    I just got my FCD set up this weekend, tested with SpectraVue on Windows, and updated to 18f firmware. I now have the Qthid program working on my Mac. Can anyone recommend a Mac OSX alternative to SpectraVue?

  78. Fred Daniel - W6FNO says:

    Can the Frequency Correction field be STORED after a change is made in FCHid?

    Just got FCD and it works great with HDSDR. However, I need front-end filter in the Los Angeles area.


    • admin says:

      Hello Fred

      At the moment, that does not happen: there are no persisted settings on the FCD after removal. It is on our to-do list though.


  79. Derek L Barnes says:

    Hi Howard,
    Thanks for your reply!I have followed the Spectravue Configuration etc,and my checks reveal the first diagram ,ok at the top ie Sound Card in setup,but below I am still showing “Center Freqency,no filters etc.In addition the Data Output selection shows RF Data to Wave File,instead of Demod to Wave File? So something is
    adrift somewhere? Can you help please? Derek G6IVE

    • admin says:

      Hello Derek

      Could you email me some print screens of your configuration please? My email address is the same as the Paypal email.

      Many thanks, Howard

  80. ROBERT, W0LMD says:

    What is the current cost of the FCD going on sale today in USA $?
    What kinds of payments are acceptable?
    Is it OK to order multiple units (for friends)?

    I have been designing antennas for “free to the air HDTV” use for the last 2 years.
    Several designs will be posted soon on my forthcoming webpage. My best working design is a 14 element double log periodic design that has 6 elements on the VHF Channels and 8 elements on the UHF Channels, single feed line. It has an extremely clean pattern especially needed on digital signals. I used to get 7 Analog TV channels ..Now I get as many as 32 perfect digital channels….

    I have 2 versions…The outdoor version uses a pair of 1″x 3.5′ square booms, and has 28 threaded rod 1/2 elements. The indoor version is made from 2″ thick double foil faced Styrofoam. Elements are made by cutting away the unneeded foil.

    I have never heard of a circular polarized log periodic, but a tri-band circular polarized log periodic would really be great for narrow band Ham HDTV into a FCD. ….

    • admin says:

      Hello Robert

      If you use the current exchange rate, it works out at about US$180 including next day shipping to most US addresses.


    • Dan - N1GHR says:

      Do you have a url for your page yet? I’d like to make an antenna to reach the Boston stations.

  81. Rob says:

    For all new owners of the FUNcube dongle, we have a support group and development group, so if you get in a fix and need some support setting up and running the FUNcube dongle visit
    and for 3rd party development and beta testing visit

    Rob M0TFO

  82. Steven Schear says:

    Is anyone using the FCD for either QRSS or DS spread spectrum comms?


    PS: I worked on early versions of GNURadio and supplied the MicroTune cable modem tuner to complement software early versions also using sound cards before the availability of the USRP.

  83. mel ladisky says:

    can the 1st. IF signal from a FT1000D , about 70.5Mhz be used to dfisplay the band in panoramic thru the cube?

    • admin says:

      Hello Mel

      Yes, that is possible. Some have done a similar mod on the FT-817. You might want to check out the FUNcube Yahoo group for more information on this.

      Thank you, Howard

  84. John says:

    Can the funcube resolve D-star ?

  85. VK3XVK says:

    Dongle #1833 arrived Monday 5th July and by yesterday (Friday) I had it running natively in my Delphi console, which was written back in 2003 to operate the FlexRadio SDR-1000 transciever. It’s fully functional including frequency stepping with the mousewheel, PLL lock indicator, setup panel for all the little tweaks and a button to reset to firmware upgrade mode. Four days to write a new hardware driver must be some sort of a record, but excitement about the possible uses drove the project forward.

    I can now seamlessly listen to everything from 100kHz to 2.17GHz in one program and as this is my first foray into the realms above the 6M amateur band there’s plenty to discover.

    Congratulations on an excellent product!

    Rob VK3XVK

  86. Jeff says:

    I checked out the yahoo groups and found a lot of good information, but I still have a few questions about Mac. Who can I call and talk to?

    • admin says:

      Hello Jeff

      I have not used the FCD on a Mac for a few weeks, but testing was done on a Mac mini under Snow Leopard using DSP Radio:

      It is true that at present there is not the volume of software for the Mac that is available under Windows or Linux, although I do think that there is at least one individual/group currently working on new Mac host software.


  87. Phil says:

    I’d like to use the Fun Cube or some similar device for experimenting with direct link (no satellite) transmission.

    Is it possible to use the Fun Cube as transmitter as well, and if not are there any other devices (not the USRP, I can’t afford that), that could be used as transmitter or transceiver with a variable frequency range from about 200 MHz to about nearly 1 GHz, which allow to do the (de)modulation completely in software?

    Thank you for your time and trouble.

    • admin says:

      Hello Phil

      The FCD has no transmit capabilities I am afraid. We may introduce that in a future device.

      Thank you, Howard

  88. Andy says:

    Hi Howard,
    Finally had enough time to get the unit working. Seems to have a very high background noise level, -60dB but otherwise works as well as an old Kenwood TH-78 on VHF. Any ideas what might be the cause of the high background. Removing the RF input has no effect (few dB’s). Reducing the front end RF gain reduces the noise by the same amount. Sometimes when inserted I see the background noise at -110dB but then the unit is not working. Re-connection usually does the trick but the background noise then is back to approx -60-70dB. Same on other computers including laptops. Cheers, Andy

    • admin says:

      I suspect that you are running Vista or Windows 7? If so, reduce your FCD Microphone Properties Level to 1 (default is 100) in the Sound Control Panel applet.

      Many thanks, Howard

  89. john says:

    Would you have any plans to make a hf Fcd?

    • admin says:

      Hello John

      We do have plans for other devices in the pipeline but they’re very much at the early design stage: we have been concentrating on getting on top of the production schedule first before spending too much time on other ideas.

      Many thanks, Howard

  90. J says:

    Can the FCD receive FSTV repeaters ? GB3MV on 1316.00 MHz : Not seen any software though.

    Thanks, J

    • admin says:

      Hello J

      Not directly: the bandwidth is too narrow. I am aware of at least one person who has sniffed off the baseband I/Q from the unit and used that directly into their TV ADC.

      Many thanks, Howard

  91. Phil says:

    Hello again,
    I need to use 2 synchronized Fun Cube Dongle Pro for my measurements of influences of different Frequencies on each other.

    Is there any chance to get the absolute sample times or is there any chance to use a shared clock with 2 fun cubes?

    Thank you for your time and trouble.

    Best regards


    • admin says:

      Hello Philip.

      I have not tried this myself, but you could take the Clock out (either pin 24 or 23) from the Tuner QFN of one unit, and send it to the XTAL in (pin 28) of the other, removing the crystal of course in the second unit.


  92. Andre says:


    After I have tried to demonstrate the dongle on a field day, It is not working properly.
    My S-meter is sky high and Spectravue is telling me to reduce If gain.
    Even if I reduse al the gain to 0db, it stays the same.
    Strong signals are still coming thru but not as good as it was.
    I have tried a different computer and a longer USB cable

    I am using win XP
    Dongle 551

    Please help.

    • admin says:

      Hello Andre

      Can you email me a print screen please (use the email address from your Paypal order).

      Many thanks, Howard

  93. Ronen says:

    Hi there does anyone know assuming That a quicker ADC will be in the Funcube what is the maximum BW the Software will be able thorough the USB ? is there any limit bigger then 98KHZ ?
    Thanks Forward
    Ronen – 4Z4ZQ

    • admin says:

      Hello Ronen

      The ADC in the FCD is only rated to 96kHz sampling rate I am afraid.

      Many thanks, Howard

  94. Frank says:

    i received my fcd and it is great. the only problem i have is that in the 60 mhz range the frequency is about 5 khz wrong, in the 144 mhz range the error is about 20 khz.
    Is there any way to adjust it?

    • admin says:

      Hi Frank

      Of course, there is an adjustment facility in the FCHID program called “frequency correction” which work in parts per million (ppm). For serial numbers over 810, generally 999988 is a good start. For older serial numbers, about 999885 is about right.

      Many thanks, Howard

  95. John says:

    Prices in U.S. $$ Please !

  96. Luc says:


    my FCD has suddenly stops working, the PC still detects the dongle but there is no communications with the programs that i use on two different pc’s. Nothing has changed in my set-ups. When i start HDSDR i get a lot of noise with a signal-strenght of S9+40 dB with spikes all over the screen. It also feels much warmer than before. It is serial #603 and has working perfectly till now.

    ‘ 73 Luc, ON7YU

  97. Luc says:

    hello Rob,

    Thanks for your fast reply.
    the FCDTest2-program sayes that “it failed to connect to FCD!”
    I use Firmware v18h


  98. Luc says:


    When i start HDSDR i get a CW-message witch sayes BOOTLOADER, when i try to set the frequency with FCHid it says that i can not set the frequency and i can’t reset to bootloader. The dongle is detected as USB -device but i can’t get any connection with it.


  99. Luc says:

    Hi Rob,

    i tried to Update to v18i but when i click on “reset to app” it replies as follow :

    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
    USB VID/PID found.
    HIDQuery returns 1
    Query message: FCDBL
    FCD in bootloader mode
    Byte address range: 0x002A00 – 0x00FC00
    PC address range: 0x001C00 – 0x00A800
    Device ID address set
    Device ID read, DEVID=0x4207, DEVREV=0x0200

  100. Rob says:

    try and remove the dongle from the usb port after you rx the above.

  101. Luc says:

    No change, is it safe to “erase the device” and rewrite the firmware ?
    The dongle is getting warm after a minute, and i think warmer than before when it was still working

  102. Luc says:

    it updated the FCD already a while ago en it worked without any problem till now, it just stopped working while i was listening to Arissat-1. Suddenly i had a lot of spikes all over the spectrum monitor screen and the S-meter stays in the right corner, even without antenna

    Grtz, Luc

  103. Luc says:

    Hi Howard,

    i updated the FCD already a while ago en it worked without any problem till now, it just stopped working while i was listening to Arissat-1. Suddenly i had a lot of spikes all over the spectrum monitor screen and the S-meter stays in the right corner, even without antenna

    Grtz, Luc

    • admin says:

      Hello Luc

      Sounds like there is a hardware fault: the spikes, if you listen to them, say “bootloader” in 24WPM morse. I will send you an email.

      Many thanks, Howard

      • ON6TI says:

        Hi Howard,

        It seems I do have the same issue here: the dongle suddenly got stuck in bootloader mode after month of faithful service . erasing and reflashing code to version 18i does not solve the issue. It is not a mechanical problem.

        Do I have to send you the unit ?

        73’s ON6TI

        • admin says:


          Sorry that you are having difficulty with your FCD. Please send me an email to my Paypal email account and I’ll organise return and replacement.

          Many thanks, Howard

          • ON6TI says:

            Hello Howard,

            The faulty device (#1624) has been shipped to you. I hope that you can fix it.
            73’s Stefan (happy owner of 3 other FCD’s that do work fine)

          • admin says:

            Hello Stefan

            If you email me the tracking number, I’ll Fedex you a replacement immediately.

            Many thanks, Howard

  104. Luc says:

    Hi Howard,

    thanks for your mail, i already prepared the dongle for shipment, tomorrow it goes in your direction. Yes i heard that the dongle was sending “bootloader” in CW and try to get it out of the boatloader position but i was unsuccesfull, i also thinks that there will be an HW-fault.
    Thanks again and best greetings,

    Luc, ON7YU

  105. F4AAR says:

    Hello to all,

    Is there anybody who has tried to receive strongs EME signals ( VHF or UHF ) in a NO noisy place with a single 9 ELE antenna and post-signal processing with the dongle?

    74 F4AAR Laurent

  106. Roger, HB9SLM says:

    Hi howard,
    i read a lot about that little “thing” great job done .
    i thought about HF reception .. shure an upconverter will be fine.
    that could be externaly connected .. but need maybe some preselection/tuning according the receiving Frequency.
    Why not to activate the converter creating a DC-bias of 0,5 – 5V while the voltage level reflects the target frequency
    this could be coupled to the antenna connector with a impedance of maybe 10k as there is no real power needed on that controll signal.
    Maybe one of the audio out could be abused for generating a controllable DC level

    just my 5 cents .. of course

    • admin says:

      Hello Roger

      The bias T is a switched open collector output from 5V, so it’s not able to be controlled linearly I’m afraid.

      Many thanks, Howard

  107. tony G3OVH says:

    Hi Howard et al

    I thought I would try posting here as well as in the user group. I see other people have had the bootloader mode problem, and I also now have a low gain problem.
    I think I need a return address to you for repairs. What is your policy on this?

    message continues:

    I wrote about an intermittent fault which I decided in the end was due to a
    faulty SMA adaptor. However, the fault has now got worse – probably because of
    accidental disconnections when live and it falling on a hard floor with a stiff connector on the front which bent the SMA – now repaired (?) and I am having problems with the FCD (#438) being recognised at all. I get this message from FCHIDBL:

    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
    USB VID/PID found.
    HIDQuery returns 1
    Query message: FCDAPP 18.09 Brd 1.0 No blk
    Error: not in recoginised FCD mode

    Sometimes it says it is in bootloader mode, but wont reset to normal, giving the
    previous message. When in bootloader mode, the firmware verifies OK (version

    Operating with the cover off, sometimes the red LED comes on and sometimes not.
    The USB connector seems to be intermittent, although I have re-soldered the

    I eventually managed to get the FCD in a state where SDR-Radio was recognising it again, but any movement of the device can disconnect it and sometimes cause the
    application to crash nastily, whereas sometimes a simple disconnect and
    reconnect from within SDR-Radio is OK. However, the FCD is usually then in
    bootloader mode and has to be physically disconnected again before it will

    However, that’s not the last of my problems – it now has very little
    gain – several 10’s of dBs down, so it seems there is a front end fault as well.


    • admin says:

      Hello Tony

      No problem, I’ll email you have a return address. When you send the device, once I receive it I’ll see if it’s repairable or if not I’ll send a replacement. If you email me a tracking number for the unit ahead of time, I’ll send you a replacement straight away.


  108. George says:

    Hey Guys, is the dongle available for IPad 2?

    • admin says:

      Hello George.

      I tried this recently. Using the camera adapter directly unfortunately the iPad 2 is restricted to only 20mA in the latest iOS, it was 100mA before. Even so, the FCD requires ~140mA anyway. I also very briefly tried it with a powered hub and iSDR but iSDR did not recognise it. I have seen reference to iOS only supporting up to 48kHz sampling rate but I am not sure if this is still the case.

      I also tried the FCD on an Acer A500 which has an integrated USB host type A connector. It powered and seemed to recognise the device, but there is no SDR software for Android that I’m aware of.

      Feel free to experiment: my tests were very cursory, I am sure there is more experimentation to do.

      Many thanks, Howard

  109. dirk reyners ON5GS says:

    Dr om Howard

    I’m interested in buying a funcube pro dongle from amsat uk as i want to try reception of EME signals in the higher bands. Now i’m using an old IC821 only for EME on 2m.
    Is the receiver good for 23cm reception or not? I want to set up a dish with a 23cm feed.
    Can i mount the dongle straight to the antenna and use a USB extender via UTP cable to the computer? so a preamp will be not needed anymore…
    thanks for your great project
    Best 73 from ON5GS

    • admin says:

      Hello Dirk

      Certainly this is possible. I have run the FCD over a length of 20m total using a mixture of active and passive extenders. A UTP USB extender should be OK, although it is not something I’ve tried. The FCD only uses USB 1.1 Full Speed (12Mbps).

      Bear in mind that although the FCD is sensitive, realistically the front end noise figure of the FCD is unlikely to match that of state-of-the-art band specific preamps.

      Many thanks, Howard

      • dirk reyners ON5GS says:

        rrr tnx fer info Howard,
        I ordered a dongle from the shop in Surrey and awaiting delivery. ON6ZG has also a dongle and he says i need a steep bandpass filter, so i will search for a good design and make one.
        I have no experience with software defined radios but as i have experimented with the Eindhoven 2m SDR online receiver, i bet it will be a very very big improvement to acually SEE the whole band, and that for such a tiny little thing it’s almost unbelievable. Thanks for sharing the UFB project and the laibour you put into it, as i seen the movie you handsoldering the SMD components in your kitchen, best 73 ON5GS

  110. Howard says:


    quick one I am struggling with my FCD, and have noticed that it is being reported as version0.0, is this a problem? Do I need to do an update?


    Howard G0VTL

  111. Miroslav says:

    When i connect FCD to USB it wont drivers. I think there are not drivers in my system. What can i make with it? I use win XP .Can you help me with this?

    • admin says:

      Hi Miroslav

      I assume that from messages I’ve seen elsewhere that you have solved this already? If not, please email me and we’ll see what we can do to fix your driver problem.

      Many thanks, Howard

  112. Paul says:

    I have purchased the funcube under transaction 13730484DG882115J.. I would like to know what the cost would be to upgrade this to the pro before you send out. Please use address posted above for relpy’s.

    Best regards

    • admin says:

      Hi Paul

      All units at the moment are Pro models, your unit was already dispatched this morning (Monday 17 October).

      Many thanks, Howard

  113. Carl says:

    Hello, i wounder if it´s possible to have several Funcubs to one computer. I was thinking to have it to monitoring Pocsag in PDW. Are a Funcube lika a Soundcard thats shows up in programs like pdw and so or?

    • admin says:

      Hello Carl

      Yes you can place as many FCDs as you like into a computer, however the software controlling it needs to be able to support that, and I am not sure if there is any software currently that does. You may find a better answer to that on the FUNcube Yahoo group from some of the software writers.

      Many thanks, Howard

  114. general says:

    i have a qustion sir … it is stupid qustion
    this dongel recive the radio from sattalite ?? or from the air ??
    i mean can i listen to the local fm commercial and air band in my area ?
    i am from egypt and want to order one do you think that customs or the import authority in my country will impound it???
    it is look like a normal usb dongel ….

    • admin says:

      The FCD doesn’t know whether the signal is from a satellite or it’s terrestrial. Although it was originally designed for satellite reception, it will receive any narrow band signals. It will receive terrestrial FM radio but it is somewhat distorted becuase the bandwidth of a broadcast FM signal is a little too wide for the FCD. It has no problem with air band as they are narrow band signals. It does look like a TV dongle that you might use for picking up TV transmissions.

      Many thanks, Howard

  115. Paul says:


    I realized after ordering fcd that it was the pro, I have received last week fast shipping thanks to Fedx. Downloading software now. Great job, Thanks


  116. general says:

    thank you sir for your reply …. i am soory i have another qustion….
    what about the performance of the FCD in the terrestrial VHF-UHF ???
    i mean :-
    2M Amateur Band – VHF High Band/Emergency Services – VHF High Band/Marine –
    VHF High Band/Taxis, Utilities – Military Air Band – 70cm Amateur Radio – 23 cm Amateur Band – UHF PMR Paging, PMR446
    i mean from 108 – 950 MHZ with normal antenna (without any modification)….

    • admin says:


      The FCD will receive all of those services. Depending of your location and the type of antenna you use, you may find that at VHF in particular the receiver parameters may need adjusting to reduce blocking, as the front end filtering on VHF is limited. In some strong signal circumstances, addiitional front end filtering is advantageous.

      Many thanks, Howard

  117. Windo says:

    I looking for a platform to build a wireless network monitor (sniffer) in the 300-400MHz range. Will the FDC support this application?

    • admin says:


      I am not sure what service runs between 300 and 400MHz. Remember that the FCD is designed for narrow band modes only, but other than that its demodulation capabilites are limited only by the software that’s written for it.

      Many thanks, Howard

      • Tim says:

        300 – 400 MHz in the UK is the military UHF air traffic control band. I should advise that it is an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 2006 to receive radio transmissions of which you are not the intended recipient.



  118. paul says:

    could the dongle be connected to a smart phone

    • admin says:

      Hello Paul

      The main problems here are:

      (a) Smart phone must support USB host mode – not many do;
      (b) FCD draws 140mA from the USB host – can be circomvented with an external powered hub;
      (c) Smart phone will need software.

      I’ve tried it on an iPad 2 and an Asus A500. The iPad needed an external hub (latest iOS will supply only 20mA!) and the A500 had no SDR software that I could find.

      I am sure it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be in business in this area though.

      Many thanks Howard

  119. Claudio Iz1dby says:

    Dear Howard, I have a little problem. In Windows XP SP3 Home Edition , in the Control Panel/Sound and Audio Devices , is not possible to regulate the microphone gain of Funcube Dongle.
    In Windows 7 I don’t have this problem.
    Do I need particular driver? Thanks. 73 de Claudio iz1dby.

    • admin says:

      Hello Claudio

      The XP audio stack operates in fixed point and there is no host side software gain facility. Other audio devices that provide a gain facility do so by providing an interface to a variable gain audio amplifier on the audio device itself.

      The Vista & W7 audio stack operates in floating point and provides this functionality “out of the box” without the need for any facility on the audio device. I recommend setting the FCD mic volume to “1” and leaving it there. Any other adjustments should be done in the SDR program or with the FCHID program.

      Either way, you can adjust the multitude of gain settings for the FCD with the FCHID program.

      Many thanks, Howard

  120. RD3BCH says:

    Hello, why in a range 1200-1266 MHz there is failure PLL? At this moment “PLL lock” it is not marked in program FCHID006 if to use ExtIO_FCD_G0MJW result identical. The firmware version v18i, with other versions the same result. Excuse for bad English.

    • admin says:


      It’s a limitation of the tuner chip to do with its VCO range and subsequent divider after the PLL. I’m afraid it’s just not possible to lock the PLL/VCO with the possible PLL combinations around these frequencies. It’s documented as a limitation right at the top of this FAQ.

      Many thanks, Howard

  121. db says:

    I am looking for a universal receiver and funcubedongle might be it.
    My main use with be to listen for signals from my home security system, weather-station, baby alarm and other things like that. So I am guessing I will be doing a lot of work in the 300-900Mhz range and be using ASK and FSK.
    Can the funcubedongle receive these signals and can the software “decode” ASK and FSK?
    Best regards

    • admin says:

      Hello db

      Yes it can recieve any narrowband signal. The FCD does not provide any demodulation or decoding itself: that is performed on the host computer by third party software. It is common to take the output of narrowband demodulator software like Spectravue and feed that into a decoder like MixW. As long as there is a soundcard decoder available for your coding scheme, it will work with the FCD.

      Many thanks, Howard

  122. ON6TI says:

    Hello Howard,

    do you have any idea of the maximum input signal level before IMD / physical damage of the device ?

    regards, Stefan

    • admin says:

      Hello Stefan

      I have not tested the device to destruction. There is a BAV99 diode on the RF input. So far I have only had one production unit back (out of over 3,500) with a fried LNA, but judging by the physical state of the LNA in question, that looked like rather more than just an antenna had been connected to it!

      Many thanks, Howard

  123. Dmitry says:

    FUNcube is excellent, I have ordered, and using it now.

    I developed search plugin for HDSDR, its free and anyone can use it without any limitaions. Now search can be used with squelch.

    Hope it will be useful.
    Will be glad, if Howard will add the link to the plugin on this site.

    Dmitry, RA1AHC

  124. Phil Karn says:

    I finally got a Funcube, and I’m going to modify my ARISSat-1 demodulator to work with it. But I was a little dismayed to read in this FAQ that the frequency-setting application hasn’t been ported from Windows to Linux or Mac OSX.

    Is this still true? Is the interface for setting the frequency published somewhere?

    I regularly use both OSX and Linux and develop primarily on the latter. I refuse to develop on or for Windows (though I don’t mind if others port my code), and I only run Windows maybe once a year when some application gives me no other choice.

    Thanks, Phil KA9Q

    • admin says:

      Hello Phil

      See the link in the downloads section about Alex’s QTHid update. I originally wrote a Qt version to run on Linux and OS X. It was a bit flakey around the HID interface. I believe Alex has fixed that now.


  125. Phil Karn says:

    I’m reading the data sheet for the TI TLV320AIC3104 audio codec. The DAC is said to support 16/20/24/32 bit data, but I can’t find any mention of the width of the A/D converter!

    The SNR is said to be 92 dBA, which suggests 16 bits, but I don’t want to just assume that. Does anyone know?

    Thanks, Phil KA9Q

    • admin says:

      Hello Phil

      It will support 24 bit, but I only supply 16 from the FCD. I believe I could make it 24 bit, but there is also the phase noise around zero Hz to consider.


      • Phil Karn says:

        Thanks. If the SNR is only 92 dB, then there probably isn’t much useful information in those extra 8 bits anyway.

        As with any A/D, it’s important to get the input levels set right so as to not waste your dynamic range. How is that handled, with the built-in AGC?

        • admin says:

          Hello Phil

          The default setting (once you’ve updated the firmware!) sets the gain so that the LNA noise floor level just creeps above the ADC noise floor. It’s a hard value determined empirically some months ago that seems to work in most situations. You can of course fiddle with all these settings yourself with Alex’s QTHID program.


  126. Phil says:

    What’s the Funcube’s specified noise figure or noise temperature? NBFM SINAD ratios depend on the exact bandwidth and FM detection algorithm, so I’m not sure how to interpret your 0.12 uV for 12 dB figure.

    73, Phil KA9Q

  127. Frank Kirschner says:

    The noise floor on my new FunCube dongle is -60 dBm, which seems very high. With everything variable set to the lowest level, it is still above -70 dBm. Local FM radio stations are almost impossible to hear. The strongest one comes in audibly but very distorted. Local 2 meter repeaters are inaudible. A $10 FM radio does much better.

    What am I doing wrong?


    • admin says:

      Hello Frank

      I am sorry that you are encountering difficulties setting up your FCD.

      Firstly, I don’t know what OS or software you using, but assuming it’s Vista or Windows 7, plus Spectravue, you need to set the Control Panel Sound applet Mic level for the FCD to 1 (default is 100).

      Secondly, can you please confirm that you are using a standard SMA connector, not a Reverse Polarity SMA connector?

      Thirdly, what happens to the noise floor when you plug/unplug the antenna connector? What level of noise floor differential do you see?

      Just prior to dispatch, I personally test every FCD before it leaves for sensitivity at 0.15uV (-123.4dBm) for 12dB SINAD NBFM, which is pretty sensitive.

      Many thanks, Howard

  128. Jan Berman says:

    Hello Howard,

    My FCD pro V1.1 s/n 3827 must be defective, because it not only goes often, again and again into bootloader mode with fast cw audio, but is only recognized on my computer as a version 0.0 device.

    So please tell me what to do, thank you.

    regards, Jan Berman

    • admin says:

      Hello Anton.

      Version 0.0 is simply the USB interface version on the bootloader, not the hardware or firmware version.

      Can you tell me if you attempted to update the firmware?

      Thank you, Howard

  129. John says:

    Hello Howard,

    I found following setup of internal filters in your dongle:

    Group 1:
    268 MHz (0-220 MHz) – automatically turns on
    299 MHz – manually selectable
    509 MHz (220-350 MHz) – automatically turns on
    656 MHz – manually selectable

    > 350 MHz bandpass filters are on:

    Group 1:
    360 MHz

    Group 2:

    From 1736 MHz and up to high end of PLL lock BPF 1750 MHz is on

    Some questions from this point:
    1. What are parameters of LPF’s and BPF’s ? Did you do any measurements?
    2. Is it possible in a future firmwares customize filters.
    I am interested to filter out FM broadcast when I listen to airband (108-137), weather satellites (137-138), 2M band river 300-360 MHz band and others.
    3. If yes, which parameters is possible to get from these filters? I mean bandwidth and rejection out of band?
    4. When I set frequency in range from 869 MHz to 1000 MHz, filter automaticaly switches to group 2 bandpass – 1700 MHz. Why? I use latest firmware 18i.

    • admin says:

      Hello John

      The filters are set as specified by the tuner manufacturer’s data sheet.

      The filters are a hard list provided by the tuner chip manufacturer, there is no documentation on how to adjust them beyond the list provided.

      For VHF, there are only low pass filters so you cannot preselect within the VHF band itself other than with the broadband low pass filters provided. There is also a hardware high pass filter with a ~55MHz cutoff in front of the front end.

      I beleive there is a bug in the firmware where the incorrect filter is selected around 869MHz.

      Many thanks, Howard

      • John says:

        Does it mean, 1750 bpf is maximum and we can not effectively receive > 1764 MHz?

        • admin says:

          Hello John

          You can certainly receive beyond 1.7GHz but the sensitivity will not be optimised. Extrapolating known filter responses at UHF would indicate around 6dB down at 2.0GHz.

          Many thanks, Howard

      • admin says:

        With reference to the incorrect filter selection arounf 868MHz, I have released firmware 18j that is designed to fix this.

        Many thanks, Howard

  130. Peter Ebsworth says:

    Are the firmware updates cumulative, i.e. does one need to install every one in sequence. Or, does the latest one have all the changes hitherto??

    • admin says:

      Hello Peter,

      No need for a sequential update: for example, 18j already includes all the changes from 18i, 18h, 18g, 18f etc. One install is all you need.

      Many thanks, Howard

  131. Ronen says:

    Hi There
    has anyone had a success in operating the FunCubeDongle with wrplus on windows 2000 ?
    if yes how ?
    the program show up ok but when i press Start nothing happened ….
    no spectrum analyzer no noise nothing
    with hdsdr it works ok
    any help comments welcome
    Thanks Forward
    Ronen – 4Z4ZQ

  132. Tony Michel says:

    Can anyone advise me on how to get the output of Funcube Dongle to go
    into the input of one of the SDR programs? For example, Spectravue? I can start
    Spectravue but “Input select” does not include Funcube. I can hear the output of Dongle (hissing gibberish, presumably because it’s not demodulated) if I select Funcube in the Windows 7 audio control panel. Linux would be fine, too (preferred).

    Is there a basic, basic, basic HOWTO?

    • admin says:

      Hello Tony

      As well as the guides in the Download section on this site, you might also like the try the guides in the FUNcube Yahoo group. Look for User Guides in the Files section.

      Many thanks, Howard

  133. James says:

    What do most people actualy use the Funcube dongle to monitor.
    Is it capable of monitoring civil or military airbands (or VHF acars) as well as the Sat
    Sorry pretty new to this radio lark!

    And what softwarwe is the most used
    Thank you

    • admin says:

      Hello James

      The FCD is capable of receiving any narrow band signal in its frequency range: as long as there is an appropriate software demodulator (and decoder for data modes), the FCD will work with it.

      It’s a different mindset to using your average scanner. The FCD, in conjunction with software, provides visual queues through spectrum analysis to locating signals.

      Many thanks, Howard

  134. WD4ELG says:

    I want to do some basic EME. I have 2 x 2M9 for the antenna.

    I have an IC-910H, but I want to use the Funcube SDR dongle for receive

    What component do I need to perform the T/R switching in the shack, if I want to use a single feedline?

    Laptop —-> IC910H —-
    With WSJT |
    | |
    | |
    | Auto T/R switch ====low loss coax==== ++++ antenna
    | or sequencing device
    | |
    | |
    | |
    ——> Funcube dongle

    • admin says:


      You would need sequenced coax relays at both ends of your coax to use a single feedline on the same frequency. You could make the switching work by using bias tees in the coax also at both ends to pass the DC. This could also power a remote preamp.

      Many thanks, Howard

  135. Chris GW6KZZ says:

    Howard, is it possible for the FUNcube dongle to use more than one reciever software so you can hear multiple signals or frequency bands at the same time in a similar way the HPSDR using the FPGA chip to create multiple receivers? I know the dongle is not as complex as the HPSDR project but wondered if it was expandable at a future date.

    Managed to set up my new dongle last night without an antenna and following the getting started guides and installing software on my Vista Ultimate OS Laptop and hitting a few known bugs including not finding the dongle with qthid, but will soon start playing around with it in real time, thanks for a great piece of technology, saves frying frontend electronics with RF from our transceivers when we forget these is something else at the end of our coax cable than just an antenna, lol.

    • admin says:

      Hello Chris

      If the host software is written appropriately, then yes, it is possible support multiple FCDs. I am not aware of any software that does that: it would need to carefully enumrate the USB ports and match sound cards to do so.

      Many thanks, Howard

  136. Norbert says:

    Hi Howard,

    I´m using the FCD since december 2011, I´m satisfied, but: the WFM broadcast signal of public radiostations ist rather distorted! On the air-bands the signals are rather weak and there is a whistle all the time. I´m working here with a small indoor antenna for 2m band. I´m using win7 (32) and spectraview or
    With the squelch on the airband does not work.
    Maybe I´m using wrong setup (filters and so on); to recieve better ais-signals I have change the lna from +20 db to 0db.

    What can I do for better propagation?



    • admin says:

      Hello Norbert

      Thank you for your note.

      The FCD is really designed for narrow band reception, and so reception of wide band FM (WFM) will sound somewhat distorted as the bandwidth of the signal is wider than the FCD’s passband.

      I am not sure about the whistle – you should be attempting to receive away from the centre of the passband where there is a residual DC component to the signal. If you are working with a small indoor antenna, you should try to place the antenna away from your computer. Either us a USB extension cable, or a few metres of coax. This will reduce the RF that is generated by your PC being picked up and interfering with reception.

      I would usually recommend reducing the mixer gain first before reducing the LNA gain.

      Regarding SDR Radio, that is not a product that I usually use with the FCD: you will almost certainly find an answer to this on the FUNcube Yahoo group though, where there are a lot of SDR Radio users.

      Many thanks, Howard

  137. Norbert says:

    Hi Howard,

    thank´s a lot for your information! Our FM-Radio bandwith ist 100 khz (hope I´m right), so there remaining 4 khz… 😉
    I will try to improve the antenna-situation; I´m already using a longer usb-cable (60 inch), small antenna and FCD is approx. 2 meters away from pc (notebook). I´ll try with another setup in lna and mixer -gain. If I get better results, I´ll report for the other users…

    Thanks again for nice FCD! I´m enjoying a lot, especially in ais.



  138. PaulS says:

    Hi, Got the FCD before Christmas, and is easy to set up and use – even for a complete beginner like me.

    This is a complete numty question, but hope you can give a bit of guidance. I bought the FCD to use for radio astronomy projects – nothing fancy, just detecting the sun as demos for public. Now I have a small satellite dish that may work – but the LNB needs ~12V down the wire to provide power. Should I be concerned about putting the other end of the antenna wire (12V + small signal) into the FCD, or do I need another bit of kit? I’m more an amateur astronomer than amateur radio 🙂

    Cheers Paul

    • admin says:

      Hello Paul

      You need an external bias tee. The bias tee in the FCD only supplies 5V up to about 50mA, so it’s probably of no use for LNBs.

      A bias tee for this purpose would typically consists of a capacitor (about 100 to 1000pF) to pass through the RF and isolate the DC, and an inductor to take the DC and LNB control signal. Probably a resttable fuse would be recommended too, it’s all too easy to accidentally short coax!

      Many thanks, Howard

  139. adam thornton says:

    Hello i recentley was bought a fcd by my grandchildren after retiring i have returned back to radio after 40yrs those days all ex wd equipment i have many radios here icom kenwood the old trio and alinco.My question is please tell me how to get the fcd running in laymans terms i have sdr installed and tried to get the freeware but no joy please help otherwise the only solution is letting my newfoundland dog using it as a miniabone please adam and elsa the dog

    • admin says:

      Hello Adam

      I am sorry that you are having difficulty setting up your FCD.

      As well as the documentation on this website in the Downloads section, there are also some excellent user guides in the files section of the FUNcube Yahoo group that many people use: let me know how you get on with them.

      Many thanks, Howard

  140. phil says:

    concerne le fun cibe dongle.
    j ai recu mon fdc voila 2 semaines,depuis je tente de le faire fonctionner sans succes , je n ai reussi qu a recevoir en cw le mot ( bootlaoder ) , je ne dois pas etre doue certe , qui peux m aider svp
    73 de f5hkg

    • admin says:

      Bonjour Phil.

      S’il vous plaît essayez de réinstaller le firmware, mais veiller à ce qu’aucun autre programme est en marche lorsque vous appuyez sur le “Write firmware” bouton.

      Si la FCD ne fonctionne toujours pas, je vais remplacer l’unité pour vous.

      Je vous remercie, Howard

  141. Edgar Neukirchner says:

    My FCD (Serial 0003463) has quite a big frequency error, which increases with rx frequency: 14 kHz at 145 MHz, approx. 40 kHz at 440 MHz, tested with the Windows frontend and with gqrx under Linux. I use the latest firmware.

    Can this be a hardware problem or is it possible to correct it with firmware?

    Kind regards,

    • admin says:

      Hi Edgar

      This error is ueually corrected with a calibration factor. You’ll find the error is proportional to the frequency, so typically a parts-per-million correction entry is available in the host software.

      I don’t have any experience with gqrx, but, for example, in the FCHID software and others, there is a frequency correction entry that can be made;

      Many thanks, Howard

  142. Carlos says:

    Dear Srs.

    The Fun Cube can decode a GMSK modulation ?


    • admin says:

      Hello Carlos

      Demodulation and decoding occurs on the host PC, not on the dongle. so if software exists or is written to demodulate/decode, and it will fit into the FCD’s ~85kHz passband (ie, it’s narriowband), then it can do it.

      Many thanks, Howard

  143. David Tarrant says:

    Hello Howard,

    Please advise whether FCD/Spectraview can playback via a laptop with 48kHz soundcard.

    I’ve tried my new FCD with quisk on ubuntu 10.04, but heard no sound, probably because quisk seems to need a 96kHz sound card for FCD playback.

    Noise was visible on quisk waterfall and oscilloscope displays with no antenna connected.

    Kind regards,

    David M0GUJ

    • admin says:

      Hello David

      There shouldn’t really be any relationship between the playback soundcard sampling rate and that of the FCD’s integrated sampling rate, assuming that the host software is capable of resampling (which any one worth its salt should be able to achieve as typically the OS can do this for you anyway).

      Many thanks, Howard

    • Robin, G8DQX says:


      QUISK will happily run the FCD under Ubuntu. I have prepared a set of instructions which detail the necessary configurations. If you’d like them drop me an email to the address to be found at (you may need to register for this).

      You might also find it useful to join the funcube Yahoo group to be found at


      Robin, G8DQX

      • admin says:

        Hello Robin

        Thank you for your help with this!

        Many thanks, Howard

      • David Tarrant says:

        Thanks Robin for your offer of details on how to set up quisk on ubuntu.

        I’ll contact you as soon as I can access your email address from I registered at as suggested but I’m still waiting for “Ham Member” status which is needed to view email addresses.

        Kind regards,


  144. Brian KF4Voo says:

    As I read through, I see that many folks want to extend the funcubedongle device on a longer USB cord. The benefits from extending the data cord, instead of the coaxial cable to the antenna, are obvious… Active and passive hubs and cords have been described. Has anyone considered a computer network device known as a USB server? It is a powered device that connects a USB device like a thumb drive, printer, or external disk drive on a USB cord, to an Ethernet network. A very long ethernet UTP network cable would then be possible. Note that the dongle device transfers data at USB 1.1 rates (slow) so 10BASE-T networking would likely be fine. I think one of my cat5 ethernet cords is one hundred feet long, all passive, and it works great. Or a short cat4 cable to a wireless router! Look at for some ideas, or look at IOgear’s model GUWIP204, Wireless Device Server, which has one RJ-45 10/100Base-TX TCP/IP Network jack, and four Type A USB jacks…
    or look on ebay, one “store” is izenet_store, that seller has an “Adapter Network Server on Router for All USB Devices” … these devices claim to be able to turn any USB bidirectional data stream into TCP/IP packets. They mention support of “USB speakers” as well as the expected scanners, printers, and mass-storage devices. I don’t own a funcubedongle OR a USB server yet… but the idea of putting a funcubedongle at the antenna feed point, followed by a bit of cat5 UTP and a water-proofed wireless router… you can send email to me using my callsign, through the ARRL email reflector.

    • admin says:

      Hello Brian

      I have not investigated USB Servers, but I will take a look. I have run up to about 30′ using a mix of active and passive extenders. I believe there are also CAT5/6 extenders, but the ones I’m thinking of are not Ethernet, they just do buffering over the physical twisted pair.

      I am not sure how well USB Servers work, especially over wireless, bearing in mind the requirement for continuous streaming, but I’d be interested in any experimental results.

      Many thanks, Howard

  145. David Tarrant says:

    Hi again Howard,

    Update – I’ve subsequently confirmed that quisk does support 96kHz capture with 48kHz playback, so I assume spectravue does the same.

    I’ve been trying to run quisk on ubuntu 10.04, but I’m getting runtime errors (“unable to access raw bitmap data”). Allegedly this likely to be a ubuntu bug associated with wxwidgets version 2.8. Looks like I’ll have to resort to Windows XP with WinRadHD (now HDSDR I believe) or Spectravue.

    I’ve had a quick play with FCD on WinRadHD without an antenna and it seemed to be doing the right things.

    Kind regards,


    • admin says:

      Hello David

      I am glad that the sampling rate issue has been resolved using Quisk. You are right, Spectravue doesn’t really mind what the playback sample rate is. There’s a lot of processing that goes on from the orginal raw I/Q to teh final audio, and typically there’ll be downsampling in there anyway.

      Regarding your Ubuntu question, you might want to try asking your question in the FUNcube Yahoo group: I am self-confessed as predominently a Windows guy, but I do dabble as necessary in *nix and OSX but only about 5% of my knowledge lies there I am afraid. There are some very knowledgeable folks on the Linux side on that group, far more so than I am!

      Many thanks, Howard

  146. derek says:

    Am I right in thinking the funcube dongle could be used for weather sat reception, 137-138MHz FM ? decoding by outputing signal to softwate such as WxtoImg ?
    (Requires a bandwidth of 40kHz – 50kHz to accommodate the signal itself plus the Doppler effect)
    Also intrested in using for Civil / Military Airband use?

    Looks a great little receiver for the money

    Thank you

    Thank you

  147. Wolfgang says:

    Hello ,
    I tried to ask a question early feb 2012 about the frequency range of about 1200 to 1300 MHz , where I plan to use the dongle for spacecraft reception as an if receiver donwconverted from 8.4 GHz.The dongle does not recieve in that rangeIs ther a chance that this will be fixed ?
    Maybe my firts request did not get through correct , I may have done something wrong sending it.
    regards Wolfgang

    • admin says:

      Hello Wolfgang

      Sorry I thought I already answered your question a couple of weeks ago, apologies if not. The integrated PLL/VCO/devider chain doesn’t seem to function I’m afraid for LO frequencies around 1200MHz: a more exact range is specified in the FAQ. It’s not something that’s fixable as it’s a hardware limitation within the tuner chip.

      Many thanks, Howard

  148. Roger Tinembart says:

    I would be very interested in placing a FUNcube or something similar on top of a mountain where i also have my ADSB-receiver. I receive my data through a 8 km WLAN using directional antennas. One possibility would be to use an USB Server like Brian mentioned. But it would be much nicer if there would be a TCP/IP-Version of the FUNcube: Less devices = less problems… Is there any possibility that you also build TCP/IP-FUNcubes in the future?
    Thanks, Roger

    • admin says:

      Hello Roger

      All I can say is that there is a new device in development that might help you, but it is too early to give any promises on timeframes. In the meantime, you could try using a Linux box with gstreamer over RTP for example.

      Many thanks, Howard

  149. phil says:

    bonsoir Howard ,
    j’ai essayé de reinstaller le fimrware , l’ecriture s’est bien deroulée , mais le resultat est toujours semblable ” uniquement bootloader en cw ”
    comment dois je proceder svp ?
    a vous lire

    • admin says:

      Bonjour Phil

      It is necessary that when you write the firmware, no other FCHIDxxx applications are running other than FCHIDBL. They will interfere with the firmware upload, and leave the dongle stuck in bootloader mode.

      Many thanks, Howard

  150. Peter says:

    Is it possible to order an FCD Pro without the Si MMIC LNA installed, i.e. with the input going directly (via a capacitor) to the Elonics tuner IC? (I want to use additional filtering and provide low noise amplification myself, without having an un-adjustable 20 dB gain block in front of the mixer …)

    • admin says:

      Hello Peter

      I don’t provide an FCD without the preamp, but it would not be difficult to remove it an provide a link if you have the right SMD soldering tools and relevent experience.

      The very first ten or so prototypes had no LNA, but we found that the noise figure at VHF was about 14dB, although it improved to about 5dB or so at UHF, so as you can see you need a fair bit of gain anyway to circumvent the noise figure at VHF.

      By the way, you can easily adjust the gain before the mixer from -5dB to +30dB in about ten steps, as well as the mixer gain itself from the FCD HID control program.


  151. 3dotter says:

    Hello Howard,

    Can the FUNcube Pro dongle receive and distinguish between pulsed signals coming from two different VHF transmitters one with 148.056 MHz and the other with 148.256 MHz and pass on the presence of one of these transmitters to an Arduino (AVR MCU) with datalogger? So part of the question is if after an initial setup through a PC it can do a standalone operation connected to an Arduino configuration with power from a battery.

    Thanks in advance for your answer!

    Best wishes,

    • admin says:


      The FCD is a USB device so you need a USB host to be able to use it. If your Auduino supports USB host mode, and you have a USB stack available to support USB Audio and USB HID then you can use the FCD with it.

      What is not clear is if you need to be able to be able to simultaneously access the signals at the same time of if you can use time slicing. There is not enough banwidth in the FCD to be able to concurrently monitor signals that far apart as it has a 96kHz sampling rate and your signals are 200kHz apart.

      I’m not an Auduino guy, but from a quick look at the Wikipedia page there would be quite a number of limitations to overcome on that platform, not least in real time digital signal processing, and USB host hardware and stack.

      As an alternative, the FCD does work on embedded Linux devices.

      Many thanks, Howard

      • 3dotter says:

        Hello Howard,

        Thanks for your answer. With a so called USB Host Shield Arduino can communicate with USB devices. Please have a look here: I do not need to be able to simultaneously access the signals at the same time. Scanning would be fine to pick up the signals one by one.

        Is processing of the signals necessary? I just want to know if a signal of these transmitters at the mentioned frequencies is present or absent.

        Best wishes,

        • admin says:

          Hello 3dotter

          From a hardware perspective, the Maxim USB host device that they use will support the FCD. What is not clear is whether there is a USB Audio host stack developed for the Arduino, and I should mention this in itself would be a non-trivial task. The HID host looks as though it is already developed.

          Detecting whether the signal is present or not depends on the nature of the signal and any other nearby signals. If you’re happy just to check for any signal in a ~90kHz bandwidth then it would be fairly easy to achieve this without any further digital filtering in software. I am not au fait with the Adruino development environment, but any digital filtering or other DSP techniques tends to demand serious number crunching, often precluding 8 bit platforms as a result.

          Many thanks, Howard

          • 3dotter says:

            Hello Howard,

            Again your answer is much appreciated. I have tried the funcube pro for detecting my VHF tags. It is great and sensitive. Even without an antenna the pulsing signal is being picked up from 20 cm’s (!).

            Yes, I am happy just to check for any signal in a ~90kHz bandwidth. You write: “it would be fairly easy to achieve this without any further digital filtering in software”. My question now is: “how”?

            I have also the question how to use the funcube pro remotely. For me it would be perfect to stream the raw data from the dongle through the mobile internet (GPRS/3G) to my PC and check its signal. I see that the SDR-radio software has a remote server. Another option would be to save the raw signal in the field on a disc or SD card and read the logged signal later on.

            I noticed from the console of the SDR-Radio software that the funcube only starts to receive the signals from the FCD after a Start command. What is this command? Can it also be given from hyperterminal?

            Sorry for too many questions. I am just very happy to see that the FCD works for my purpose.

          • admin says:

            Hello 3dotter.

            To detect the presence of a signal within the FCD’s bandwidth, all that would be required is to measue the amplitude of the signal in the time domain, ie the raw samples. This could be a simple as reading, say, 1024 samples at a time, measuring the minimum and the maximum over those 1024 samples, and picking a threshold. You don’t even have to care about the quatrature nature of the signals. The raw samples are signed 16 bit.

            However this is super simplistic. I would anticipate that you will have to at the very least do some kind of sanity checking, for example requiring several successive positives.

            In the real world I fear you may find that have to resort to some DSP to do some filtering: RF is an unforgiving world, where fishing out signals from the mush of everything else is both a science and an art in itself.

            Many thanks, Howard

  152. Harke says:

    Hi Howard,

    I try to update the firmware of this little gem (arrived promptly last week) but the bootloader does not show an exe file, after unpacking. I see a number of others with unfamiliar extensions. What could be the problem? The control program and Spectravue work like expected=excellent.


    • admin says:

      Hello Harke

      The bootloader comes with source code, and the .exe is in the FCHIDBL___Win32_Debug folder.

      Many thanks, Howard

  153. Mateusz says:

    What chip does the dongle use as RF tuner?
    Thanks in advance


  154. Raymond choi says:

    I got a problem, when I open the Funcube Dongle Frequency Control v2.0, it always display “HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_fb56 returns 0 Error, FCD not found: is FCD correctly installed?”.
    I can’t run Funcube Dongle Bootloader , when I open the file ” ” it always display “File opened File read”, would you tell me what was going on with the dongle.
    Raymond choi

    • admin says:

      Hello Raymond.

      It sounds like your FCD is in bootloader mode, presumeably from a previous failed firmware update.

      o Run FCHIDBL on its own without any other FCHID program.

      o If it is in bootloader mode, you should see something similar to this (the nmbers may differ):

      HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
      USB VID/PID found.
      HIDQuery returns 1
      Query message: FCDBL
      FCD in bootloader mode
      Byte address range: 0x002A00 – 0x007E00
      PC address range: 0x001C00 – 0x005400
      Device ID address set
      Device ID read, DEVID=0x4203, DEVREV=0x0200

      o Press the Open file button and select the file

      o Press the Write firmware button

      HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
      FCD found.
      Please wait: erase may take up to ten seconds…
      Erase completed.HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
      FCD found.
      Device ID address set…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
      Firmware writtenHIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
      FCD found.
      Device ID address set…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
      Firmware verified

      o Remove the FCD and reinsert five seconds later

      HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
      USB VID/PID found.
      HIDQuery returns 1
      Query message: FCDAPP 18.10 Brd 1.0 No blk
      Error: not in recoginised FCD mode

      This “Error” is not a problem, it is jsut saying it’s not in bootloader mode, but in Application SDR mode.

      Exit the Bootloader program, and now you should be able to use the FCD as normal.

      Many thanks, Howard

  155. Bernd says:

    There is a possibility to decode RDS with funcube and SoDiRa.
    choose 192 kHz sample rate and WFM modulation and turn RF frequency some kHz steps outside from middle. Then if the signal strong and the modulation is not to strong after some seconds you will have the RDS station name.

    • admin says:

      Hello Bernd

      I suspect that the 96kHz sample rate limit of the FCD may make RDS decoding difficult to achieve. I believe that the 57kHz carrier is added to the stereo multiplex _before_ modulating the FM carrier.

      You are of course welcome to give it a try!

      Many thanks, Howard

  156. RAYMOND CHOI says:

    Hi Howard,
    When I Run FCHIDBL on its own,
    The message of bootloader :

    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
    USB VID/PID found.
    HIDQuery returns 0
    Error, query device failed.

    It is nothing can do !when I open the file : export18b.bin then display:

    File opened
    File read
    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
    USB VID/PID found.
    HIDQuery returns 0
    Error, query device failed.
    I do know what to do that.

    Raymond choi

    • admin says:

      Hello Raymond

      You must first put the FCD into bootloader mode.

      You can do this from FCHID003, pressing the “Reset to Bootloader” button.

      The FCHIDBL program should then recognise that the FCD is in Bootloader mode.

      Exit the FCHID003 program.

      From FCHIDBL, open the firmware file, and then write it.

      There is also an execellent guide on the FUNcube Yahoo group in the files section that I can recommend, look for “User Guides”, and then “FCDFirmwareUpgradeGuide V3.pdf”.

      Many thanks, Howard

  157. James says:

    AIS transponders use two different frequencies, VHF maritime channels 87B (161.975 MHz) and 88B (162.025 MHz), and use 9.6 kbit/s Gaussian minimum shift keying (GMSK) modulation over 25 or 12.5 kHz channels using the High-level Data Link Control (HDLC) packet protocol.
    If I have understood your spec correctly FCR be used for reception on both of these channels at the same time. Has anyone had any success with this? If so, is there any consensus about whether FCR is any more sensitive than a commercial maritime radio?

    • admin says:

      Hello James

      Yes, there should be no problem receiving 9.6kbps GMSK with the FCD given the appropriate demodulation and decoding software.

      In addition, with a 50kHz channel separation, you chould also be in a good position to be able to concurrently recieve both 161.975 and 162.025MHz simultaneously.

      Certainly programs such as Spectravue will demodulate two channels concurrently using the FCD, optionally with one channel send to the left speaker and one to the right.

      Regarding sensitivity, each and every unit is tested for 12dB SINAD at -123.4dBm (0.15uV) at VHF, which is around about as good as you’ll get from a standard commercial receiver.

      Sounds like a very interesting application!

      Many thanks, Howard

  158. Raymond choi says:

    Dear Howard,

    Thanks alot for you assist, problem solved.

    Kind regards,
    Raymond choi

  159. 3dotter says:

    Hello Howard,

    Another idea I have is to log the raw data from the FCD to a uSD card. However to do so I need commands to instruct the FCD to start sending its data and to stop those. Also other control commands (e.g. gain) might be necessary. What are these commands?
    Also important is to know in what format I need to log/save the data and how I can feed the data later on from the uSD card on my PC to SDR software for processing.

    Thanks in advance for your answer.


    • admin says:

      Hello 3dotter

      Yes you could do that. The rate of raw data is 384kB/s. The FCD streams on demand as soon as the isochronous endpoint is read, there is no need for any media control as such. If you’ve finished streaming, simply stop reading the isochronous endpoint. The format is stereo 16 bit signed audio at 96ksps as per the USB Audio spec.

      There is source code documenting the commands for using the FCD’s HID interface to control the gain and other parameters here:

      Many thanks, Howard

  160. Dear all,

    Test bench measurement of FUNcube Dongle receiver
    Intermodulation tests and noise figure

    The FUNcube Dongle is a very attractive wideband SDR receiver ( Looking for RF data and characteristics on the Web shows hardly any results except some measurement from users, like FM sensitivity with SINAD. The reputation for a versatile receiver is done, and everyone knows the necessity of RF filters at the funcube’s front end.
    This report quantifies the performances of FUNcube Dongle in terms of strong signals handling capability. The measurements are confirmed by blocking level and third intercept point levels.
    The second part of this report shows noise figure measurements to complete sensitivity characterization of the FUNcube Dongle.

    73s from F5RCT

    Report can be found here :
    clic on Technique & Projets, then clic on Réalisations F5RCT (lien), or connect :
    in path : Documents \ Banc.Essai \ FCDtestReport TOI&NF-English.pdf

  161. John says:

    Think I’m losing the plot…. i cant find…. I seem to of lost some files somehow also i cant reset to bootloader and even with the FCHID.exe no sdr software is working any more.. It used to but now nothing

  162. David Tarrant says:

    Hello Howard,

    My FCD runs sweetly on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS using Quisk and Qthid. Here’s how I got started once the software was installed:

    I home-brewed a simple Slim Jim antenna for the 2 metre band (145 mHz) from 300 ohm ribbon feeder cable.

    This setup gives good reception of fm ham radio traffic from the local repeater about 20 miles away. No additional front end filter was necessary.

    Using a quarter wave mini mag-mount whip on a pie tin brought in 70 centimetre (433 mHz) fm signals from another local repeater.

    Hope this may be of interest to others.


  163. David Tarrant says:

    Correction to my previous post:

    The quarter wave whip on the pie tin was cut for 2 m, so for 70 cm, it’s actually a 3/4 wave whip.


  164. Ben Hutchinson says:

    What about regular non I/Q sound card software (for example MultiPSK, or Spectrogram)? What is the bandwidth then?

    Also, is it possible for you to release a version that converts the I/Q stereo data into ordinary data to keep the same wider bandwidth of the I/Q signal, while presenting it to the computer as a single wideband mono signal. In other words make it so that the driver for the device (and thus the computer it is installed on, and any soundcard software on that computer) will “see” it as a mono input, 160khz sample rate, 80khz bandwidth device, INSTEAD OF a 96khz sample rate, 80khz bandwidth, I/Q stereo device (as it currently works as)?

    You see, my favorite ham radio digital decoders are MultiPSK and MixW, neither of which handles I/Q signals, and therefore is intended to be operated with a normal stereo or mono input soundcard.

    • admin says:

      Hello Ben.

      To do this, you can take the demodulated output of, for example, Spectravue and plug that into your mono decoding program.

      Many thanks, Howard

  165. Thibault says:


    At my school I have a project with the Fun Cube Dongle.
    I downloaded the qthid 3.0 and installed QT creator.
    I opened QT creator and open the .pro file that’s in qthid3.0 .
    When I then build I always get a list of errors in the file fcd.c.

    Running build steps for project qthid...
    Configuration unchanged, skipping qmake step.
    Starting: "/usr/bin/make" -w
    make: Entering directory `/home/thibault/Downloads/qthid-build-desktop'
    g++ -m64 -Wl,-O1 -o qthid mainwindow.o main.o fcd.o moc_mainwindow.o qrc_qthid.o -L/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu -lQtGui -lQtCore -lpthread
    fcd.o: In function `fcdOpen':
    fcd.c:(.text+0x1e): undefined reference to `hid_enumerate'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x40): undefined reference to `hid_free_enumeration'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x48): undefined reference to `hid_open_path'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdGetMode':
    make: Leaving directory `/home/thibault/Downloads/qthid-build-desktop'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xb7): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x143): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x14b): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdGetFwVerStr':
    fcd.c:(.text+0x228): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x2b4): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x2bc): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdAppReset':
    fcd.c:(.text+0x3a7): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x3af): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdAppSetFreqkHz':
    fcd.c:(.text+0x439): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x4bb): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x4c9): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x4f8): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdBlReset':
    fcd.c:(.text+0x547): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x54f): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdBlErase':
    fcd.c:(.text+0x5b6): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x642): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x650): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x680): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdBlWriteFirmware':
    fcd.c:(.text+0x703): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x788): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x797): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x877): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x906): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x9e0): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xa65): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xa8c): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdBlVerifyFirmware':
    fcd.c:(.text+0xb09): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xb98): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xba7): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xc87): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xd16): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xda7): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xe36): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xe7a): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdAppSetParam':
    fcd.c:(.text+0xf0c): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xfa4): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0xfb3): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x1008): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.o: In function `fcdAppGetParam':
    fcd.c:(.text+0x1084): undefined reference to `hid_write'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x111c): undefined reference to `hid_read'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x113c): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    fcd.c:(.text+0x1198): undefined reference to `hid_close'
    collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
    make: *** [qthid] Error 1
    The process "/usr/bin/make" exited with code 2.
    Error while building project qthid (target: Desktop)
    When executing build step 'Make'

    Does somebody has any idea what the problem could be?

    I installed everything that is mentioned in the ReadMe file.

    Hope you can help me.

    Thanks in advance,


    • Thibault says:

      Sorry fixed,

      I installed the 32bit version of QT creator and everything works now

      • admin says:

        Hello Thibault,

        Thank you for your update, I am sure it will be of help to others!

        Many thanks, Howard

  166. Augustin says:

    Hi I plan on getting this receiver for FM broadcast reception only, can I use the SDR Console software with this product to record the entire FM broadcast band for later playback?


    • admin says:

      Hello Augustin

      With the current firmware, broadcast band FM is a little too wide for the 96kHz bandwidth so reception is distorted. It does work, but it’s not particularly nice to listen to I’m afraid.

      Many thanks, Howard

  167. Federioc A. Heredia says:

    Hi, there office in Mexico? Best Regards

    • admin says:

      Hello Federioc

      There are no distributors of the FCD outside the EU at present. You can order direct from myself using Paypal and it will be sent by Fedex international express, or from one of the European retailers such as Martin Lynch, http://www.hamradio,

      Many thanks, Howard

  168. Ben Zandstra says:

    I am trying to run the FCD on a Windows XP embedded system with the (15 day trial) USB over Ethernet software. XP embedded does not have the drivers pre-installed so I would like to have a file which contains all the necessary files to be able to install the FCD on XP embedded. I tried to use the instructions written by someone else copying the INF and Driver directory but there are more files needed. Does anyone know the location of an zip file or something with the necessary files ?

    Thanks in advance,

    (the USB over network software did work well on a Win7 system with Atom dual 1,6 GHz but I would like to run the funcube on a less energy consuming system, that’s why I want it to run on XP embedded)

    • admin says:

      Hello Ben

      Wow, a very interesting project, I have not tried XP embedded with the FCD before today. I just downloaded it with my MSDN subscription, but it looks like it’s a whole new beast to learn.

      Anyway, I just tried inserting an FCD into a vanilla XP Pro SP3 build and it added USBAUDIO.sys. I think you will also need USB.INF and WDMAUD.sys.

      You will need at least

      USB Audio Device
      USB Composite Device
      USB Human Interface Device

      Many thanks, Howard

  169. Laurent BLIN says:

    I have been happily using the dongle with various applications..
    Most dont allow direct control of the dongle so I use FCHID.exe
    IMHO two things would greatly improve this program:
    Possibility to store all parameters and load them instantly.
    Possibility to record the output as a *.WAV file for later use.

    • admin says:

      Hello Laurent

      A good point, and already in later versions of FCHID things like DC and IQ correction are persisted.

      Spectravue will save the I/Q as WAV.

      I am not sure if you’ve had a go with SDR Radio? That integrates both FCHID and Spectravue into a single application.

      Many thanks, Howard

  170. Francois says:

    Hello Howard?
    I received the Funecube last week, thank you.
    I try to use it with SDR-RADIO 1.5 build 940, I tuned it on a local FM station but I receive only noise.
    I updated the firmware as described here.
    Perhaps I did not understand something……I don’t know what to do, if you have some advices I will be very happy.
    Thanking you in advance.

  171. Bruno says:


    Thank you for a GREAT product! I’ve had my FCD Pro for a couple weeks now and it’s been great – until tonight…
    I was using it to monitor a local amateur repeater and used FCHid to change the frequency (as I had been doing) to local air traffic. Suddenly, the entire spectrum gets really busy and the sounds become reminiscent of a strange morse code. Problem is, that isn’t what was on the air. I tried changing the frequency and got:
    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_fb56 returns 1
    Success, FCD found.
    HIDSetFreq of 145433 returns 0
    Error, FCD frequency NOT set.
    It won’t even read the FCD:
    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_fb56 returns 1
    Success, FCD found.
    HIDReadRegister returns 0
    Error, FCD read register.
    Not sure what happened, but it’s unuseable. Can anyone help me out?


    • Bruno says:

      Figured it out…

      Flashed the FCD and it works fine. Still not sure what happened, but flashed it with and it works great!


      • admin says:

        Hello Bruno

        Excellent: I do need to put something more prominent in the FAQ about firmware updates.

        Many thanks, Howard

    • admin says:

      Hello Bruno

      Looks like you’ve fixed it with a firmware upgrade. Sorry for the difficulty you were having.

      Thank you, Howard

  172. Joel says:


    I’m interested by funcube dongle for a paticular field: radioastronomy. Is the gap
    in the 1,100MHz and 1,270MHz is very bad and don’t allow to cover the hydrogen line? Since i’m just a student I don’t want to buy a complete ham radio that will cost me thousands. And funcube could be a good alternative because it cover few bands in radioastronomy.

    Thank you


    • Joel says:

      I’m sorry, I’m a dumb, hydrogen line is 1.4 ghz!!! So it’s ok!!! I remember it to late, the previous message was already written! Is there a special thing happening in the 1,100MHz and 1,270MHz bands?

      • admin says:

        Hi Joel

        No problem! You are right, the hydrogen line is indeed covered.

        The problem with receiving between 1,100MHz and 1,270MHz is due to a limitation with the tuner chip we use, where the VCO, PLL and divider chain don’t quite provide seamless coverage.

        The span 1,100-1,270MHz includes the bottom end of the amateur 23cm band including satellite uplink (ie for gound based transmitting, not receiving) and wideband modes such as ATV and packet that the FCD isn’t designed to cover anyway as it’s designed to receive narrowband signals. The narrowband segment of the 23cm band is covered, and was used extensively in testing the FCD at the protyping stage.

        The rest is generally assigned to aeronautical navigation and radiolocation.

        Many thanks, Howard

  173. mike says:

    What are the differances and strenghts of the FCD over the current
    Buz of DVB-T. Sticks than use the realtek and ET2000 tuner chips.
    Which I beleve can be used in HDSDR for example. They will have a wider
    Band to receive FM. Any down sides ?

    To me its the firmware and support that makes the FCD what it is
    However technicialy what do you think of those devices ?

    Are they a “threat” to the FCD ?


    • admin says:

      Hello Mike

      The FCD was designed for receiving weak narrowband signals, whereas DVB-T sticks are designed for receiving relatively strong wideband signals.

      Interestingly enough almost two years ago when I was designed the FCD, I had three or four DVB-T sticks apart looking at how they worked, but the limited ADC capabilities together with the work required for cross platform drivers led me to a completely new design for the USB/ADC interface.

      The FCD was designed to work from the start with the plethora of existing SDR packages that have soundcard interfaces, on a range of platforms including Windows, OS X and Linux. There are no additional drivers required for the FCD as the OS has them included.

      The FCD has 16 bit depth ADC whereas the DVB-T sticks with the Realtek chips only has an 8 bit depth ADC, giving the FCD a theoretical dynamic range advantage of 48dB based on raw sampling alone, although in practice it’s a bit more complex than that.

      In addition, the FCD has an LNA and hardware filter in front of the E4000 to improve VHF reception. The noise figure of a bare E4000 is about 14dB at VHF, whereas an FCD’s noise figure is about 3dB thanks the the LNA.

      They’re different devices in the end, each designed for a different target market.

      Many thanks, Howard

  174. Mirek says:

    i have a question.Have Funcube dongle after input sma connector some capacitor?
    I want use PIN diode to switch anten connector and i not want destroy funcube input DC

    i not found any input scheme FCD

    Thank you for info


    • admin says:

      Hello Mirek

      The FCD is AC coupled to the RF section comprising of an ESD diode pair, a high pass filter and then an LNA. However, there is also an internal switchable DC path to form a bias T that places 5V from the USB bus when switched on. It is from an open collector PNP transistor via a 2.2uH inductor.

      Hope this helps!

      Many thanks, Howard.

  175. Joao Araujo says:

    Hi Howard.
    My FCD arrived today, but i need a support.
    Im using SDR-Radio, but only noises on speaker.
    Im using a Disconne antenna.
    I need listen , for example:
    133.350Mhz, a Sao Paulo airport, but only noises and a big red trace on the center of spectrum.
    Any fine adjust??
    Thank you

    • admin says:

      Hello Joao

      Can you confirm that you have updated the firmware to make your FCD compatible with SDR-Radio?

      In addition, can you confirm that the connector you’re using is a normal SMA (not a reverse polarity SMA)?

      Many thanks, Howard

      • Joao Araujo says:

        Sorry, but i dont know about firmware version and how upgrade.
        I thought it was already being updated by new.
        Well, im using a bnc connector with adaptor to fcd.
        How update the bios?
        Thank you.

        • Joao Araujo says:

          I see on the download section how update the firmware.
          I will try now.

          • Joao Araujo says:

            Procedure dont work.
            All steps completed sucessfull, but on end appear:

            HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_FB56 returns 1
            USB VID/PID found.
            HIDQuery returns 1
            Query message: FCDAPP 18.10 Brd 1.1 No blk
            Error: not in recoginised FCD mode

            Old bios still continue.

          • admin says:

            Hello Joao

            Actually, although it is confusing because it says “Error”, you have successfully updated the firmware! FCDAPP 18.10 is firmware 18j.

            It is the bootloader PC program that only understands bootloader commands, but because it’s now in normal SDR mode, ot gets confused.

            I will update the post to reflect this.

            Many thanks, Howard

  176. Joao Araujo says:

    Hi Howard.
    Only noises on speaker.
    Noises with antenna and noises without antenna.
    Sincerely i dont know how to use this device.
    Can you help me please?


    • Joao Araujo says:

      With SDR# do not work too.
      Frequency is limited to 24.000MHZ

      • admin says:

        Hello Joao.

        I wonder if you have you seen Mark Culcross’s excellent user guide?

        I generally suggest starting with a very basic setup including Spectravue together with FCHID003, and once that is working you can try other integrated programs like SDR Radio and SDR#.

        Many thanks, Howard

        • Joao Araujo says:

          Howard, i cannot find any help to make this device works.
          Only noises
          I give up
          Can i send it back to you?

          • admin says:

            Hello Joao

            Yes you are wlecome to send it back, but did you go through Mark Culcross’s excellent user guide?

            Send me an email to my g6lvb at amsat dot org account and we can discuss.

            Many thanks, Howard

          • Joao Araujo says:

            Hello Howard.
            I want a simple to use scanner, without several adjusts.
            I tryed that site, but im confused with the adjusts.
            Spectravue works on computer SDR program, or make changes inside of FCD circuit???
            For example: When i will install FCD on other computer, i will need make ALL these adjusts again with Spectravue,etc…??
            If yes,FCD could come already upgraded.
            I put the FCD on other PC with windows 7 and now i have only static.
            “””I still wish this device but is very HARD to understand it.”””
            I have a ICOM PCR1500 and is very simple to use.
            All the articles about configuration dont help me.
            The windows shown on step by step, some appear diferent on my PC.
            Can you give a little more help?
            Thank you.

          • Joao Araujo says:

            I really need all these adjusts with other programs to make FCD working?

          • admin says:

            Hello Joao

            With many programs like SDR Radio, I believe the settings are saved.

            I recommend getting the FCD working with FCDHID and Spectravue first becuase that’s how I test out every unit before it leaves. That way we can remove any uncertainty over the confiuration of the many software packages out there that now support the FCD. Once that’s achieved, feel free to try other programs that integrate the frequency control with spectrum display and demodulation.

            Here are some things to try, all with FCHID and Spectravue, to get you going.

            o Set the FCD frequency to 98,300 kHz. This is very close to the fourth harmonic of the reference oscillator inside the FCD. You should see a new peak appear in Spectravue.

            o If you change the FCD frequency by 1 or 2 kHz, you should see the peak moving.

            o Now try inserting a small piece of wire like a paper clip or a pin into the FCD’s RF connector’s centre. You should see the noise floor rise immediately.

            o Now insert your antenna, you should see a change in noise floor – let me know if you do and by how much.

            Many thanks, Howard

          • Joao Araujo says:

            Howard, on SDR-radio i see a very little red line on 127.725 mhz, is ATIS of airport in Sao Paulo, but only static.
            I believe is bandwidth.
            This red line need is more large.
            How do that?

          • admin says:

            Hello Joao

            Can you email me a screen print please of what you’re seeing?

            Could you also let me know if you see a change in noise floor when the antenna is inserted, and by how much?

            Many thanks, Howard

          • Joao Araujo says:

            Whats your email??
            Thank you

          • admin says:

            Hello Joao

            You can use the email from the Paypal purchase or use g6lvb at amsat dot org.

            Many thanks, Howard

  177. Ben - AA7AS says:

    Hi again.

    Ok, I have the basics running with a 2-inch wire hanging out of the FCD.

    Now I need to connect an antenna to the FCD. My discone antenna has a PL-259 on the cable. So I need an unified adaptor SO239 to… or a cable with an SO239 on one end and a… ???

    What kind of connector is that on the unit?

  178. admin says:

    Hello Ben

    Glad to hear that you have it functioning in your setup.

    It’s a standard SMA connector (it is _NOT_ a reverse polarity or RP SMA).

    TheFCD has a female SMA so the adapter needs to have a male SMA on it.

    Many thanks, Howard

  179. I like to connect my FFT oscilloscoop to the output from the tuner.
    This way I hope to have a nice wideband spectrum analyser with a center tuning
    done bij the Funcube.
    Witch point will be good for connecting the FFT and will this work?

  180. John Wilson says:

    Help,, I got my FCD about two days ago, I’m an electronic tech by trade and semi-computer literate.. kØip

    OK, first, I just stuck the FCD into the usb and hope for the best.. loaded HDSDR, no go, ok , get advise, find out I am an idiot !!
    so I get the latest copy of exIO_FCD_G0MJW.dll. put it in the HDSDR folder. NOT BETTER, still don’t receive anything.
    I selected all the correct setting under options and sound card ..

    still no signals,
    so I get the three things from the funcube home page,,,…
    install them, and upgrade per instructions, the 18j file, ALL appears to WORK, at least no error messages.


    So I try the Spectraview (??) and following the “”DUMMYS”” guide from KD5RXT.
    not all of that works.. plus my the pip is in the correct postion right under the 48000,, attempting to change the correction freq did nothing.. and the DC offset doesnt even show on the FCHid program like in his document ?? Newer version ??

    what seems strange to me is the High S meter reading, about 20 over connected
    to my 5/8 wave 2 meter vertical. if I remove the antenna the noise drops
    to about s7.. seems high for no antenna ??? this tells me something is going on, but what ?? I have tried on 3 pc’s all running xp, and tried WINRAD same results

    ANYWAY I don’t receive anything , ZERO ,,, anyone have suggestions,

    I wonder if Howard is going to be at Dayton, I’ll bring my FCD and you can test it??
    I am at a loss

    • admin says:

      Hello John.

      What version of Spectravue are you using? I am aware that occasionally things move around in the user interface.

      InputDevice->Soundcard is the first thing to set.

      Then in SoundCard IN Setup:
      SoundCard needs to be set to the FUNcube Dongle
      Sample Rate 96000
      BW Limit 96000
      Center Freq 48000
      Stereo (Complex I=R, Q=L) CHECKED
      Invert Spectrum UNCHECKED
      Leave the I/Q comp as defaults for now (100, 0, 0, 0, Sample offset 0)

      I will be a Dayton, happy to check out your setup.

      Also it is definitely worth checking out the FUNcube Yahoo group, there are 3,300 users on there with plenty of experience and postings.

      Many thanks, Howard

  181. John Wilson says:

    Hi Howard,
    maybe theres part of the problem its ver 3.23 and it says interface program for RFSPACE inc radios only ???

    quick question, If I got the FCD out of the package, installed HDSDR put the exIO_FCD_G0MJW.dll file in the folder, have the proper sound settings in HDSDR, Should it receive something ?

    Thanks for your reply, and I wonder if you have a booth at Dayton, if so, I will drop in with my dongle/computer, please advise location at dayton .. I’m in the flea market,, selling junk,,,, OH, I mean stuff everyone needs, HI

    • admin says:

      Hello John

      I am not aware of any limitation on Spectravue. I use 3.09, although I just tried 3.24 and that seems to work fine.

      Assuming you’ve set up as previously, I note that on an install of 3.24, in the main screen, I needed to set the Center Frequency to 0.048 000 MHz and the Span to 0.096 000 MHz.

      Many thanks, Howard

      Manhy thanks, Howard

  182. Ben Zandstra says:

    I am terribly sorry but I accidently killed my FCD Pro with serial number 0809

    I was connecting a pre-amp at the antenna input and because it gave more noise than signal I wanted to remove it. Power was applied with a Cinch plug (center = positive, +13,8 Volt) and when removing the Cinch plug I touched the ground with the +13,8 Volt.

    Now, the funcubedongle still is recognized as device but it does ignore the antenna input.

    Is there any possibility you can bring it back to life for me ?

    Kind regards,

    (No smoke escaped, no destroyed PCB tracks, no visuable damage)

    • Ben Zandstra says:


      After connecting it directly to the PC and starting FCHid the unit seemed to be set back to basic settings for gain and so on, and now all is working great again.

      Thanks for your time,


  183. admin says:

    Hello Ben

    OK, glad you got it working again. Irrespective, I am happy to fix FCDs, and normally it’s free of charge.

    Many thanks, Howard

  184. John Wilson says:

    Howard, Still no luck, I’m 99.99 sure i have everything set correctly,
    what I find funny is the noise floor being so high and the fact it sees noise
    when I connect an antenna.??

    BUT,, Please, which is better for you,
    1. I send the FCD back to you and you can test it ..
    2. I meet you at dayton, you can either look at my laptop and dongle, or just put the dongle in your computer and see if it works..

    SO if you pick #2,, where and when could I meet you, I checked the hamvention exhibitors and don’t find FunCubeDongle ??
    please advise, I would love to meet you and get the masters touch !!
    my direct email is

    • admin says:

      Hello John

      Let me know your flea market stand and I’ll see you there.

      Many thanks, Howard

  185. John Wilson says:

    OK ,, now thats service,,,
    club spaces FW 3923, FW3924, FW3925, FW3926
    out the back ramp to the left and all the way to the fence.
    left of where all the port-potties are located..

    my cell phone nr is 208-251-6441 , we will be there all day Friday and Saturday.
    look for something like this , Im the guy on the left, when you find me I probably won’t have on the hard hat…

    if you hover your mouse on that picture you will find left and right arrows appear,,
    go either way, Right is serious, left is the Q&A department for my digital wonder Smeter.. HIHI

    John KØIP ex HS6ADE, PA9VW

    • Ben Zandstra says:

      Did you set the recording volume settings for the Funcube Microphone back to a recording level of 1 ?

      Windows sets the recording level at 70 or 100 % and that gave me the 20db over S9 as noise. After setting the recording level back to 1 (windows audio settings) the noise went back to around S2 and I started receiving signals as good as with my IC7000 (and sometimes better on the “out of ham” frequencies.

      Hope this helps,


      Ben – PE2BZ

  186. John Wilson says:

    BEN :
    OK, I must be an idiot, but I can find no adjustment in windows

    if I go to the control panel,, pick Sounds and Audio Devices, then pick Audio,
    the sound recording (in the middle) the default device is ” FUNcube Dongle V1.0..

    the Volume and Advanced buttons are Dimmed (grayed) out ??

    when I go to the Voice tab at the top, the Voice recording is the Fun Cube
    same thing Vol and Adv buttons are dimmed out .

    the hardware tab: the USB audio Device is the Funcube and it says its working properly..


    I have discovered that this FCD does receive,,, However,,
    heres the story..

    Several facts: my antenna works great with two other receivers.
    the coax has been tested .. all ok

    I have a 1 meter piece of coax (RG-400) with an sma on one end, and a male N on the other, using some adapters to connect to my PL-259 from the antenna.

    I discovered with NO antenna connected, and using HDSRD I hear the Weather station on 162.55 mhz on 162.574mhz. thats 24kHz off … also when I put a 6 inch copper wire in the so-239 connector the signal gets better, still very weak !

    Now the mystery : when I connect an antenna the signal goes away. LIKE GONE !
    remember the antenna and all connections are tested with another receiver ??

    I wonder if you have Skype on your computer ??
    any idea how to turn down the record level ,
    any idea why things are 24kHz off, and why the antenna kills the entire thing ??

    • admin says:

      Hello John, Ben:

      Ben, good point. The level applies to Vista and Windows 7, but not to XP. Head to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound -> Recording -> select Microphone on FUNcube Dongle V1.0 -> Properties -> Levels tab -> Set to exactly 1 (one) -> OK, OK, etc etc.

      Shouldn’t be 24kHz off – maybe a couple of kHz or so I would have thought. There should be a frequency corrction option somewhere in your software to correct for this anyway, or, maybe it’s set wrong. For units with serial number >=810, the correction is about 12ppm or so (in FCHID, that equates to 999988 (/1000000).

      Many thanks, Howard

      • John Wilson says:

        Howard: I still want to meet you at dayton,

        comment on my last two emails.

        even if it was receiving on the correct frequency,
        that doesn’t explain the antenna mystery .

        My personal option of this CUBE is it’s not functional, after trying on three computers with a host of different SDR radio programs, it doesn’t receive. it still could be “headset” errors, but I don’t think so. I know it’s not your fault by this is the cube from hell !!!!!! hi hi

        • admin says:

          Hello John

          Yes, no problem. I’ll search you out, probably on the Friday.

          I do have a US SIM card for my phone so I’ll give you a call.

          Many thanks, Howard

  187. Joao Araujo says:

    Hi Howard, my FCD is placed on tray by weeks.
    I NEED a solution, nobody helps me.
    This device is useless to me.DONT WORK.
    I waiting by a help since last month.
    Thank you.

  188. Jim Steck N0AZJ says:

    I ordered a FCD on 4 May 2012, paid on PayPal. Can you please tell me when it might ship?
    Thank You!!

    • admin says:

      Hello Jim

      I believe you should receive it today (Wednesday).

      We had a public holiday here in the UK on Monday, so I had no Fedex pickup until Tuesday.

      I’ve just emailed you the tracking details.

      Many thanks, Howard

  189. Jim Steck N0AZJ says:


  190. Andy Hartley says:

    Hi – FC arrived this morning. Thanks for the speedy delivery. I have used FCHid and spectravue for the initial play and all seems ok. I have a question about the frequency display and I’m not sure if this is the right place. I have FC set up as SR 96000 BW 96000 CF 48000 but the frequency displayed seems to be way off what I was expecting.

    Playing with PMR446 if I use FCHid to set the freq to 446.070 then from what I can see the CF at 0.0480 works out at 446.028650. At 446.080 I get 446.038650 (slightly cleaned up values) giving a difference of 0.041350 from what I expected. Can this be fixed with Frequency correction? I thought I would ask before I started messing.

    Ta, Andy.

    • admin says:

      Hello Andy.

      Ballpark, for a new FCD (ie, after serial number 810), a good start for frequency correction is 999988, but you can tweak it to get it right. The original FCDs were about 999885, hence the default FCHID setting.

      Assuming you have firmware 18j (all serial numbers after 5890 are dispatched with 18j), you can run integrated software like SDR Radio or SDR Sharp directly, but note that you may find you need to install the .Net framework first.

      Many thanks, Howard

  191. Augustin says:

    Hi can the FCD be sued as a VHF scanner receiver?


  192. Bill Isdale VK4IS says:

    Thank you very much,Howard. I ordered the dongle on 22 May and it arrived here in Brisbane in VK on the 28th, making the journey in only 6 days.
    I read the instructions available as downloads from your site and had the receiver running with Spectravue in less than a half hour. Thanks for the excellent service and impressive product.I am hoping that some skilled person develops an interface that allows it to sweep across its frequency range while displaying the spectrum.73 de VK4IS Bill.

  193. Francois says:

    I have the Funcube since about 2 months now and I try desperately
    to listen the air band but I don’t receive anything.
    I tried it on many fix ATIS frequencies of different airport but nothing, just noise while I have no problem with an old AOR scanner, do I mistake somewhere ?
    I use FCHid and spectravue, it works on local FM band
    Thanking you in advance.

    • admin says:

      Hello Francois

      As I undertsand it, you are saying that you can receive FM but not AM signals?

      Is this wideband broadcast band FM or narrowband FM signals, or both?

      I am wondering if you are trying to demodulate the narrowband AM signals on the zero Hz position. It is usually better to demodulate away from the zero Hz position as you may find that the local oscillator phase noise and/or DC offset is too strong. You can remove the DC offset using the NCO NULL button in Spectravue, but there will still be some residual phase noise.

      Many thanks, Howard

  194. Francois says:

    Thank you for your answer.
    Sorry if you don’t understand my question but my English is not so good and it is pretty difficult for me to explain my problem.
    I am actually in Thailand, I try to test my Funcube but the only frequencies that I am sure are airport and FM local radio.
    I try to say that It works perfectly on FM wide band on local station but when I try on AM Air band I have only noise
    When I try the NCO NULL nothing change, I am wondering if the problem can come from Win 7 64 bit
    Best regards.

    • admin says:

      Hello Francois

      Apologies for the delay in replying, we have had public holidays over here for the Queen’s Jubilee.

      Windows 7 64 bit should not be a problem. You should set the audio level for the FUNcube Dongle in the Sound Countrol Panel applet to 1 in Windows 7 (the default is 100).

      Is it possible that you can email me some print screens? g6lvb at amsat dot org.

      In addition, you might like to try SDR Sharp as that combines both FCHID and Spectravue in a single application. You must have updated the firmware to use SDR Sharp.

      Many thanks, Howard

  195. Bryan says:

    Just ordered one of these over the weekend (waiting as patiently as possible I might add!), and while I’m interested in bands that are covered by the dongle, I noticed that the E4000 range is 64mhz – 1700mhz with a note here stating it can tune (with sensitivity loss) above 2.0ghz. How high have people pushed the dongle (without any down or up converters)?

    e.g. Can the dongle be tuned up to the 2.4ghz WiFi (here in US) band without a down converter?

    • admin says:

      Hello Bryan

      The FCD won’t tune to 2.4GHz. It’ll make it a few MHz over 2GHz usually, but this is out of spec.

      Many thanks, Howard

  196. Pravin Kumar says:

    Thanks Howard for a great product, from the date of order to my door 3 working days WOW, much faster than my local courier delivery. I have been using the Funcube Dongle with SD Radio and it works beautifully. My 6 year old son is amazed by the type of contacts we make and also is keen to “help” when i experiment with the YAGI’s and Moxon. I have had no SAT passes yet, but still early days.

  197. Jim Steck says:

    Could you please tell me what SMD Chip you are using for the bias-T on the FCD???

    • admin says:

      Hello Jim

      It is a PBLS2001D transistor switch pair. There is also a PTC resettable fuse and a 2.2uH inductor.

      I would normally have used discrete transistors, but space was running out!


  198. Al says:

    Has anyone tried using a fcd as a radio telescope ?

    Would it be possible with the right filters and lna ?

  199. Robert says:

    Howard, goodmorning

    Bought the funcubedongel a few days ago in germany (serial 6066)
    Read and seen things about it on the internet and i thought WOW.
    I can’t get it working.

    Installed it on 3 different computers, tried 3 different antennas , different receiving software (HDSDR,Winrad etc). but it won’t work.
    Read all the installations FAQ’s and read papers from other OM’s, but it still won’t work.

    What’s the problem (challenge HI)
    There is S9 + 20 db noise , still S9 + 10 db noise WITHOUT antenna
    There seems to be no signal coming in (UHF,VHF all frequencies/all modes).
    It seems to be a distrortion in the audio input that causes the distortion. ??
    I played the audio settings (1 in stead of 100 etc.) but nothing will work.

    Maybe you can help ?
    Or someone else here
    I would appreciate it.

    • admin says:

      Hello Robert

      Sorry that you are having difficulties.

      I am sure we’ll get you working.

      The S readings are relative strengths rather than an absolute determination, but certainly this is too high if you have no antenna. If you’re on Vista or Windows 7, you need to set the FUNcube Dongle Microphone level to 1 in the Sound control panel applet (by default it’s 100).

      Can you email me a screen shot of your settings and the spectrum please to g6lvb at amsat dot org.

      Many thanks, Howard

  200. Dmitriy says:

    The problem with the device, doesn’t leave the “bootloader mode”.
    FCHID006 program constantly error message:
    HIDOpen of Vid_04d8&Pid_fb56 returns 1
    Success, FCD found.
    HIDReadCommand returns 0
    Error, FCD read command.
    The firmware () of the device passes normally without errors, but it doesn’t help, after switch-off and switching on again “bootloader mode”.
    How to solve this problem?

    • admin says:

      Hello Dmitriy

      Sounds like your FCD has developed a hardware fault: the default mode when any hardware or software fault occurs is to go into the bootloader.

      If you purchased the unit directly from me, send it back to me with your address details and I’ll fix it for you. If you email me a post office tracking number for the returned package and the unit’s serial number with your address to my Paypal email address, I will Fedex a replacement immediately.

      Many thanks, Howard

  201. Hi!
    I ran all the steps for installation, but even local FM stations are not heard.
    I am using Windows XP + SDR software and a small wire antenna for testing.
    With a HT I did a transmission from the other side of the street, but no signal was demodulated properly. The radio seems to have little sensitivity.

    Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong? Must reload another firmware?

    Many thanks,
    Rogerio Leite – PY2RKL

  202. Hi,
    Is just impossible to make FCD works.
    I believe in hardware fault, because i tried in 2 computers and two OS differents (W7 and XP) and the result is the same: only noise.

    I made all steps in tutorials and upload several firmware too.
    No doubt is a hardware problem. It´s impossible receive just noise.
    I´m write to Wimo in Germany to refund me.

    Rogério Leite – PY2RKL

    • admin says:

      Hello Rogerio.

      I am sorry that you are having difficulty in receiving signals. You mention that you receive signals from an HT “just across the street” but it was not demodulated properly.

      Even with a paper clip for an antenna the FCD should be able to receive what you describe easily.

      Can you please confirm:

      (a) you are using a standard SMA connector (not an RP SMA) for the antenna;

      (b) what the noise floor is on Spectravue with and without the antenna connected.

      Many thanks, Howard

  203. Hello Howard,
    (Excuse my bad english)

    The noise level without the antenna is -105 dB and with antenna, -90 db.

    Yesterday I could make adjustments that allowed me to pick up signals from local VHF packet station, but it took a lot of work until an acceptable configuration.

    Here are my observations and tips for those interested:

    1 – If you are in a place with a lot of RF pollution, this SDR does not work well. The initial stage (LNA) is saturated and to try to receive something you need to reduce much the gain. Just got some results with gains near 5 db.
    2 – The Funcube is not a normal radio, like a scanner. It is an experiment for reception of weak signals from satellites, but this requires directional antenna to reject signals around or a place of operation without the influence of strong signals that can saturate the LNA. If you want to use the this SDR as a scanner will need lots of skill.
    3 – The I and Q adjustments are not easy to be made and require much patience.
    4 – Although very simple, SpectraVue is best than the SDR or # RD-Radio. Use it to make first tests to make sure the dongle is working properly.

    Finally, a suggestion: When you sell the SDR makes it clear that this is an experiment, not a radio ready to use. I bought this in SDR from Wimo site, in Germany,. As I thought it was a radio ready, got frustrated with the results and no right to complain or get my money back.

    On the other hand, wish them luck in product development, it can be a great low cost solution to those interested in satellite operation.

    Rogério Leite – PY2RKL

    • admin says:

      Hello Rogerio

      Thank you for your constructive comments.

      Regarding the use of the FCD in RF crowded situations, we’re aware of this and it’s been discussed both on this site in the FAQ (and in several other posts regarding filtering), and at some length on the FUNcube Yahoo group.

      Certainly the FCD is not designed for scanning purposes on its own: it was primarily designed for receiving amateur satellite downlinks, but we decided to keep the wide frequency capability that the hardware could resolve.

      I agree that the use of Spectravue as a starting point together with the FCHID control program is the best starting point, and that’s how I test every single FCD. As time goes by, the native FCD support in third party programs like SDR# and SDR Radio has dramatically improved though.

      Again, thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.

      Many thanks, Howard

  204. Allan Geng says:

    Can this be used to listen to International Space Station Hams Radio and air traffic control Airband?

    • admin says:

      Hello Allan

      Yes, absolutely. The FCD was designed to listen into the 2m amateur satellite allocation which is the ISS’s downlink. In addition it does cover airband.

      Many thanks, Howard

  205. Derek says:

    I have tried looking trough the posted answers, but alas I could not find anything similar.

    I have had a FCD Pro for a couple of months and have only just got round to trying it out. I have used the excellent instructions posted by Mark Culross and all is fine I can get perfect reception on the VHF broadcast band (I used 93MHz to setup the system). However, I can’t receive anything on 144/145 MHz just noise, I am about half a mile Line of site from my local repeater and cannot even receive this. I am using spectravue and the firmware version is “”. Where am I going wrong?



    • admin says:

      Hello Derek

      That is strange, as the same RF path is used for both. Can you tell me if the noise floor rises, and by how much, when you plug in the antenna?

      Many thanks, Howard

      • Derek says:

        Hello Howard,

        Thank you very much for your response, which has started me thinking. Your comments implied that all is well with FCD, therefore I eliminated it. Staring at the screen together in deep thought ( a rare occurrence I know) I realize where I have been going wrong and I have to admit it is down to my own stupidity.

        My local repeater’s output frequency is 145.7375MHz which is what I have been entering into the FCD and of course it was looking at 1457.375MHz such a stupid mistake. but it begs the question how to enter 12.5KHz channel spacing? I have rounded it up by 0.5KHz which seems to be OK.

        Thank you very much for responding it was a great help in directing me to the solution. It would be nice to hear if there is a solution though for 12.5KHz channel spacing.

        Many thanks
        Derek G3WAG

        • admin says:

          Hello Derek

          Apologies for the delay in responding, things have been rather hectic here.

          Typically in analogue direct conversion SDRs such as the FCD, it is often necessary to offset the software’s NCO a few kHz away from the 0Hz centre. This is dues to DC offset, LO leakage and phase noise in the hardware. Whereas the DC offset and LO leakage can be nulled out in software (the NCO Null button in Spectravue), the LO phase noise, by its very nature, cannot be predicted, so you end up with a peak around zero Hz.

          If you position your software NCO, say, 10kHz away from this 0Hz peak, you avoid the interference from the phase noise peak.

          So if you wish to receive 145.7375, set the FCD to, say, 145.700MHz and Spectravue’s NCO to 0.037500MHz.

          As Spectravue’s NCO (Demod Frequency) can be set anywhere within the span, this allows you to deal with any arbirtrary spacing you like.

          You can also try other software like SDR Radio and SDR Sharp which integrates the FCD’s hadrware LO and the software’s NCO controls.

          Many thanks, Howard

  206. Mickey says:


    I currently have a simple requirement to measure and record RF signal strength in the 310Mhz band. Will the FUNcube Dongle (Pro) be able to provide this capability?


    • admin says:

      Hello Mickey

      The original FCD will cover 310MHz but I am afraid the new FCD Pro+ isn’t able to cover this range.

      Many thanks, Howard

      • Mickey says:

        Hi Howard,

        Does the original FCD have the capability to measure and record signal strength?


        • admin says:

          Hello Mickey

          That would be a function of the software running on the host PC: remember, in the SDR world much of the work of a traditional radio is transferred to software, and this is one of those occasions.

          Many thanks, Howard

  207. Hi Howard,

    Thank you for your hard work on the FUNcube Dongle Pro+ (FCD2). Like many others I can’t wait until you start shipping!

    Do you plan to attend the AMSAT-NA annual meeting in Orlando, FL on October 26-28?

    Will you bring some FCD2’s? Any completed & tested LVB Tracker boxes too?


    Pat N8PK
    Sykesville, MD USA


    • admin says:

      Hello Pat

      I am due to be at the AMSAT-NA Symposium. I don’t know yet whether we’ll have any FCDs, we are about to go into conformance testing this week, and the production run is due to start in a couple of weeks.

      Many thanks, Howard

  208. Denise Etheridge says:


    Can you recommend an inexpensive indoor antenna to use with the dongle? I would like to learn a bit about radios and such, but would like this setup of the hardware to be as simple as possible.

    Thank you,


    • admin says:

      Hello Denise.

      That’s a tough question: many people (including me!) spend much of their lives pondering the “best” antenna.

      It depends on your own circumstances, in particular:

      o What frequency(s)?
      o How much space do you have?

      I have been using an HVU-8 for a while that sits just outside my kitchen window of my 3rd floor flat. It’s a compromise. It’s small and covers lots of bands, but it doesn’t perform particularly well.

      On the other hand, I picked up the FITSAT-1 satellite on 437MHz this evening using a 7″ antenna sitting on a baking tray as a ground plane on my balcony this evening.

      Also consider that having antennas away from properties is better for reception especially in these days of powerline Internet distribution.

      Many thanks, Howard

      • Denise Etheridge says:

        Oh my! I was hoping to set my laptop on my kitchen table with a small indoor antenna, much like my Homepatrol scanner. I believe I may be in over my head. I would like to purchase and use the dongle as an opportunity to learn. I am sure I would be satisfied with a minimal setup.

        Please forgive my inexperience. I will try my best to answer your questions. I would like to listen to the satellite once it is launched, and would like to listen to AM and FM at a minimum. I have a single family home, but again, I was hoping for something I could sit on my kitchen table.

        Thanks again Howard for your understanding and time.


        • admin says:

          Hello Denise.

          There are desktop scanner antennas available. However, I would advise against using an indoor antenna for satellite reception as the signals are, in general, far weaker than when listening to terrestrial utility stations.

          This might be as simple as placing the antenna outside on a balcony: certainly I was able yesterday to pick up a satellite that had been launched from the International Space Station earlier in the day with a 7″ piece of wire mounted on a baking tray on my balcony.

          In the UK there is an antenna called the Skyscan V1300 for example. This will be OK for VHF and UHF, but for HF and lower a long piece of wire hung up over you yard will be a lot better.

          The connector on the FCD is an SMA so you may well find you need an adapter if your antenna doesn’t have this.

          Many thanks, Howard

          • Denise Etheridge says:

            Thanks for the information Howard. Now, all I need is a dongle, but I do not see a sale date for your newest version. Will these be available soon?

            Thanks, Denise

  209. Geri says:

    Howard – the FCD pro+ is impressive. Is the antenna connector a SMA female – need to be sure before I order adapters .

    • admin says:

      Hello Geri,

      Yes that’s right, a standard SMA female. You need a standard SMA male to mate with it. Be sure to avoid RP, or Reverse Polarity, SMAs typically used on WiFi equipment.

      Many thanks, Howard