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Author Topic: Funcube Dongle Pro Plus or FIFI SDR ?  (Read 15589 times)
KC2NYU
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Posts: 130




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« on: August 19, 2013, 04:02:04 PM »

Both of these SDRs seem to be in same price range. Any opinions on one vs. the other ? Anyone have any experience or have seen either operate- pros & cons ?

73 Paul
kc2nyu
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KA4POL
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Posts: 1967




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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 09:48:48 PM »

Both are low level sdr solutions. You can not expect to much for the price. One main difference is the frequency range. The FiFi is very limited to 200 kHz - 30 MHz. You can't cover that range with the funcube unless you use an upconverter. So I'd say if you are happy with shortwave and not even 6m, go for the FiFi.
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SWL2002
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Posts: 254




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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2013, 03:27:54 AM »

Frankly, I would not spent the money for such low performance SDRs.  Save up your money and get a decent SDR and you will be much happier in the long run.

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KC2NYU
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 05:08:23 AM »

 "Save up your money and get a decent SDR and you will be much happier in the long run"   OK- what would you suggest as a " DECENT" SDR ?  Would appreciate any suggestions- please.

73 Paul
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SWL2002
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Posts: 254




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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 07:23:04 AM »

"Save up your money and get a decent SDR and you will be much happier in the long run"  OK- what would you suggest as a " DECENT" SDR ?  Would appreciate any suggestions- please.

73 Paul

Expect to pay $800 - $1500.

American made:
SRL QS1R
RFSpace NETSDR

Italian Made:
Microtelecom Perseus
Elad

Australian made:
Winradio Excalibur

I am sure others will chime in with various suggestions.  The reason why I list the above SDRs is that all of those companies also write the SDR software that supports the hardware that they produce.  Other companies that just supply the hardware, rely on third party SDR software such as HDSDR, PowerSDR, etc... which becomes a hassle to configure and deal with.  By not writing their own software to support their hardware, the software does not take full advantage of the hardware features.  By only dealing with the manufacturers that actually write software for their hardware, you will have a much smoother and higher quality experience.    You will be much happier in the long run and not feel the need to upgrade.


« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 07:30:33 AM by SWL2002 » Logged
KC2NYU
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Posts: 130




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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 08:13:28 AM »

Roger your last- very helpful. what about the  AFEDRI SDR  or AFEDRI Net ??

73 Paul
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SWL2002
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Posts: 254




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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 10:00:40 AM »

Roger your last- very helpful. what about the  AFEDRI SDR  or AFEDRI Net ??

73 Paul

Its an OK lower cost SDR, but it only has a 12 bit ADC which limits its performance.  It uses a DDC chip that limits the ultimate filtering which cannot be corrected for later on in the software.  It is only one step up from something like the RTL dongle.  It also uses only third party software, such as HDSDR.  The guy that makes it does not write any SDR software for it, so it suffers from the same shortcoming I talked about previously.  It is lower cost, but you will soon find yourself wanting something better and with better software integration.  The software makes all the difference!

I have had the AFEDRI NET version and it overloads easily and is was pretty deaf on some bands.  None of the MW dxers or LF/VLF guys use it.  I found it did not fare well on MW and did not perform up to par with other SWL uses.  I passed it on.

If you read their Yahoo support group, there are a lot of problems with the software configuration of it.


« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 10:12:53 AM by SWL2002 » Logged
KD7RDZI2
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 01:50:28 PM »

I don't have the FIFI. I can only say that the "Built SoftRock RX Ensemble II HF Receiver" available at Fivedash is a performing unit in the case you have a stereo input (line-in stereo input) soundcard and you use SDR#. It does not overload very easily and has the sensitivity you need. The Softrock has truly band filters and the frontend is quite well designed.

As for VHF and upper bands, I would consider this: if there are strong signals that might overload the limited dynamic range of the RTL reveiver I would go for the Funcube. If not, they would perform quite similarly and go for the RTL.
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K7JBQ
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Posts: 80




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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 04:33:00 PM »

The Pro+, which is the one the original poster asked about, has a range beginning much lower than the original. It is very useful on HF.

Both are low level sdr solutions. You can not expect to much for the price. One main difference is the frequency range. The FiFi is very limited to 200 kHz - 30 MHz. You can't cover that range with the funcube unless you use an upconverter. So I'd say if you are happy with shortwave and not even 6m, go for the FiFi.

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WV4I
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Posts: 136




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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2013, 04:29:39 AM »

If you just want to work 50mhz up to well over 1300mhz, I would suggest one of the USB sticks off Ebay for $11 or so, preferably with the RTL2832U / R820T chipsets. The 820T seems to work better than the E4000? Cheapest way to try out SDR?

For software, you could simply download SDR#, others as well. The January? 2013 QST had an article on using this type hardware as SDR, although the info in that article about setting up .dll's, config files, etc., is a little dated.

Then if you like airplanes, and want your own ADS-B display, try adsbSCOPE along with RTL1090 software, both free downloads. The latter tunes the USB stick to 1090mhz, and receives aircraft transponder replies, both mode A/C and mode S. If mode S, puts aircraft position and other info on your screen. There's also an app to plot your antenna receive pattern at 1090mhz, and the included antenna works great even indoors if you're anywhere near (within 50 miles) of airplanes. I can see aircraft at 5 miles and 800' with this antenna magmounted to my Flex case.

For HF, FiFi SDR gets good reports, but have not owned/tried it. Apparently it works with SDR-Radio, as does SDR-IQ (have one online) and the Receive Ensemble II HF.

Enjoy.
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WV4I
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 07:21:35 PM »

Got the FiFi now and like it. More comments on FiFi thread.
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HAMMYGUY
Member

Posts: 85




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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2013, 10:50:35 PM »

I have two of the Funcube Pro Plus.
For my listening they are an excellent
value. I've compared them to a
Perseus and an SDR-IQ and every
thing the more expensive receivers
heard the Pro Plus heard them just
as well. I've since sold the more
expensive receivers as nothing
currently on the market covers such
a wide range all the way to 2ghz and
does a good job at it. Heck I've even
used them as the main receiver with
a transceiver slaved to them. The
AGC recovers quickly and when the
transmitter unkeys they are ready.
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VK2KIT
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2014, 03:02:40 PM »

IMHO, the FCDPro+ is hard to beat for the money considering the frequencies covered.

I've compared the weak signal performance of the FCDP+ on HF, VHF & UHF against 'real' radios and it is just as good if not better. It even has dedicated bandpass filters for various bands.  Cheesy

Yes, the limited A/D resolution becomes an issue with the occasional very strong signals on V/UHF, but for the most part, its not a problem.

Now, with the introduction of DSD & DSDPlus, the FCDP+ has found even more uses in the shack Smiley

I'm now looking forward to the release of Airspy this year. I'll be lining up to get one as soon as they are released.

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WS4E
Member

Posts: 220




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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 08:38:50 AM »

The original Funcube Dongle was interesting, and fun to use, but was not a really great receiver with only -50db or so noise floor which is about the same sensitivity as the popular and ultra cheap RTL-SDR dongles.

The new Funcube Dongle+ in addition to the frequency range now providing full HF-Ghz coverage, it is supposed to have a much improved receiver on par with the Softrocks at greater than -100db+ noise floor.

I would suggest the funcube dongle+ is a great first SDR to play with.  Covers HF-Ghz, so you can play with many different kinds of signals, from all the HF stuff, to the exotic stuff on VHF+ such as ACARS, or even decoding APCO25 in software.  And the performance is nearly as good as a softrock, so your not giving up much performance compared to the other SDR's out there right now.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 08:43:19 AM by WS4E » Logged
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