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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Funcube Help

Reviews Summary for Funcube
Funcube Reviews: 20 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $99
Description: 64MHz to 1,700MHz all mode Software Defined Radio.
Product is in production.
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KD7RDZI2 Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2016 04:02 Send this review to a friend
Adding Band Pass Filters and HF converter  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Funcube Pro (not the Pro+) is an all-mode wide-band 64-1700Mhz receiver with poor front-end filters. Compared to cheap RTL dongles the Funcube Pro does have a 16bit ADC and a 96kHz sample rate which in my case is desirable compared to 2Mhz and 8bit ADC of RTL dongles. It does overload easily but using external band pass filters this issue can be eliminated. To extend HF reception I have added the original Hamitup converter by Nooelec which has I think an IP3 close to 15dbm and 10db loss insertion. To drastically improve HF performance I use a "HF BPF- bandpass filter with RF amp + ATT" which is optimized for ham bands and the preamplifier provides about 15db of gain overcoming the loss of the converter. Setting LNA gain to 0db and 4db Mixer gain gives best results for HF. For VHF-UHF I use cheap helical bandpass filters and a preamplifier closer to the antennas and low gain settings in the Funcube. Du-Tri-plexers may be used as front-end filters too. I can receive Satellites very well. Sensitivity and noise floor figures must be very good. Someone complain about the plastic enclosure. I did not notice noise issues but you can put it inside a metal enclosure and ground it. Aluminum foil would be more than enough I think.
The last but not the least, although SDRSharp is an excellent Windows software I use linux. GQRX does the job but I prefer to use QUISK and QTHID to tune and set the gain values in the Funcube. Quisk, the 96Khz sample rate and Linux do draw little resources even in a 10years old laptop. RTL sticks and other SDRs with high sampling rates need much more powerful CPU to have a nice graph. Overall, yes, the old Funcube Pro need external bandpass filters but may work quite well and you would not need to change your computer to get it work.
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KD7RDZI2 Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2011 09:37 Send this review to a friend
Little gem Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In fact it costs as much as a gem! 99 pounds plus shipping for a receiver that weights just few grams.

The receiver is sensistive. However, the front-end overloads easily, so the first thing to do is to put some physical front-end filtering in case you need. Using pass band filters the receiver is very good. Still if there is a station within the band strong as much as S9-50db you still might have some problems. You can control any stage of IF amplification by means of its software control so in the end you can tailor sensitivity and tackle the issue of frontend overload.

The receiver is broadband and all modes. It works very well with HDSDR but I more often use SDR Console by Both are free.

Image rejection with these two software is excellent. Image rejection does not depend on your soundcard. The Funcube does the soundcard. You only need a souncard to listen to it.

Overall I am all way satisfied. So much that I am now neglecting HF!
KA4PNV Rating: 4/5 Mar 25, 2014 19:31 Send this review to a friend
A computer masqueradingas as a radio  Time owned: months
A computer masquerading as a Radio Hum!.I think I would rather have a good SWL receiver and a scanner
And I do.Having. SDR Radio is alright,but I
have better things to do with my PC than tie it up.
I have tried it SDR DRM.I would rather have the
authentic thing.I could receive Digital Trunking on my PC But I bought A Scanner suitable for It.Now I have the best of all Worlds.I could
get SDR Ham Radio,But you guessed it,The Rig looks
better in the Shack.My PC's are used mostly for
Internet logging Etc.The new HF rigs have the
Waterfall Just like PC SDR.But that's me.
A like a lot of the real world going on

K2PI Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2013 17:56 Send this review to a friend
Superior to the Chinese TV dongles by far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received the Funcube Dongle Pro+ as a gift from my XYL. I have half a dozen of the RTL type dongles around the shack (of the E400 and R820T variety). I have enjoyed the low cost dongles, and for certain applications requiring wide bandwidth (such as ADSB air traffic monitoring), they will do where the Funcube won't, although I wish I could use the Funcube for that, too. I had been impressed with the R820T dongles because they were so much more sensitive than the E400 type, and expected a similar jump from the Funcube Pro Plus.

I was frankly off by several orders of magnitude. The front end selectivity, overall sensitivity, and general performance are far above my best RTL-type dongles,and this device is delivering the fun and utility I expected from the Chinese dongles when I first started playing with them. Hooked up to a decent antenna (I'm using my 43-foot vertical) this device is a joy to use on HF.

There are a few things where it's a little short. It's not great below 160 meters - far too many spurious signals from the BCB stations, but I still managed to copy an experimental station on WSPR on 434 KHz using the device. I also wish I could have a greater bandwidth than 192 KHz, but I can live with it.

But at 160 all the way up to the limits of this receiver, I've not been disappointed. Compared to my K3 receiver, I seem to hear most everything I hear on the K3 on the Funcube, and at 2 meters, it actually hears a little better than one of my 2 meter rigs.

I am also just two miles from a very powerful FM transmitter, and just a few miles further from some very strong AM broadcasters. The cheap dongles suffered severely from overload and images because of the FM station in particular. The Funcube, while showing some increased noise floor on certain frequencies that I attribute to the radio station, is really little impacted by comparison.

I've been listening outside the ham bands as long as I've been a ham, and have used various receivers over the years, including some very exotic items such as the Cubic 3030 and commercial radios like the R5000. While the Funcube can suffer from overload on very strong signals, the ability to decrease the gain and use some of the great features of the SDR software (I use SDR# for most things) make it easy to handle.

I have to express my appreciation to Howard Long, G6LVB for putting this device out there for purchase. I know he works hard on these devices as an adjunct to other things he does, and the labor of love really comes through in the quality of the device and his customer service.

In a shack full of gear, this rates up there with my beloved little FT-817ND in terms of utility, portability, and sheer fun. Highly recommended.
VE4AMN Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2013 08:23 Send this review to a friend
Very intriguing - good way to get into SDR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I finally around to hooking this up last night. Set-up was very smooth and uneventful. I am using a PAR SWL antenna strung under eaves.

What a blast. Signals on 40m SSB poured in. It takes a little experimenting to learn the program, but after half an hour, it was getting easier and easier.

I think one issue that may cause problems are older computers. I am using a ThinkPad notebook, with a I5 processor and decent sound card. You also may need to try different USB ports.

My experience was excellent and this is a low cost way to try SDR. Highly recommemded. Also, shipping was fast with good communication from the UK.
PA3UL Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2013 12:28 Send this review to a friend
Fun receiver  Time owned: months
Fundongle pro plus.

Sensitive wide band receiver.
Very happy I bought one.

The only thing I don't like is the 192kHz wide waterfall. Should be at least 1MHz.
Still a 5 star rating.
N3HQB Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2013 07:55 Send this review to a friend
Great as AM Receiver, too  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
FunCube Pro+ model adds full HF coverage, DC to daylight; plug and play all modes, all bands with Ben's Sdr/Dx software (I use the Macintosh version). On AM, wider bandwidth than an R-390A with synchronous AM and separately adjustable sidebands. Smaller than a pack of chewing gum, hams visiting the shack want to know where my boatanchor receiver is...

Also great on VHF, UHF; Howard's support is second to none.
LU8ENU Rating: 1/5 Aug 10, 2013 05:37 Send this review to a friend
BAD BUY  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
If you want to waste your money buy one.
Any scanner works much better and are easier to use.
N3LCW Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2013 07:02 Send this review to a friend
Works excellent!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ordered the Funcube Dongle Pro + version and was delivered insanely fast. Plugged into a PC running Windows XP and the driver immediately self installed. Downloaded and had SDR Sharp up and running with the dongle within minutes. Hooked up the dongle to a discone antenna in the attic. Don't expect stellar performance if you just attach a rubber duck or short wire for an antenna.

Sensitivity across the HF, VHF, and UHF bands was far better than expected, excellent actually. The discone was more than adequate for receiving even HF signals. Shortwave broadcasts were easy copy as well as amateur SSB/CW signals on 40M. Even listened to airliners on the HF frequencies. I was able to decode DRM digital shortwave broadcasts using Virtual Audio Cable and a DRM decoder. Successfully copied 30M QRSS signals using Argo.

This SDR far outperforms the other cheap RTL DVB USB receivers that have been re-purposed for general coverage use. Since the Funcube Dongle Pro + is installed as a sound card USB device you should be able to use a slower PC than with those cheap RTL DVB USB receivers.

This was designed for best performance in the 2M and 440 bands for copying Funcube satellite signals. The additional filtering that has been done to use on the HF bands is more than adequate for general purpose use. If you want to hook it up to your long wire then consider an attenuator.

Overall this Pro + version of the Funcube SDR is excellent.

JETPILOT Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2013 17:27 Send this review to a friend
WOW I love this thing Amazing Bargin  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had a TenTex RX320D, computer controlled radio, but it was not SDR software defined radio, that can show a spectrum of the band real time. I sold the RX320D when I moved and was looking for another computer controlled radio. I'd buy another TenTec RX320D, but been there done that. I was looking for a true SCR. I asked around and figured for $210 to the door I could not go wrong. I ordered it on Saturday and got it TUESDAY, FedEx. I had it working in 5 minutes. And I don't know what I am doing, HA HA! :-)

I plugged it in the laptop USB. It said load drivers and so I did. I looked for some kind of icon. Nothing, so I figured I needed software. I downloaded SDR# (stable), loaded it, opened the application. (There are lots of shareware Software, free to try and use with good faith donation. I did some homework on the Yahoo Funcube group about software.) This all took a few minutes from the time I got home from work, and I got the package and opened it.

In about 30 seconds after I got the software installed (one minute to down load and load), I opened the software. I figured out some basic settings and had static. I striped a twist tie wire for my antenna, connected to an extension chord (of course not plugged into wall DOAH!). This all took a few minutes.

In 30 seconds more I tuned some local AM BCB stations.... I preceded to listen to AM MW, FM BCB and finally a station at 11,880 Kz. Pretty nice. Played with it for about 30 minutes. Looking forward to exploring it's capability.

I ordered some adapter connector pig tails to the SMA connector to PL259 and BNC.

For the money there is no SDR radio like it. WinRadio starts at $800.

As to the other reviews and ZERO or TWO rating, OPERATOR ERROR! OK. Also you DO NOT see these in mass on eBay. The designer Howard Long sells out of these. BTW go to YouTube and spend 50 minutes listening to how Howard designed and got these built. Amazing Gent. Join the Yahoo FunCube Dongle Group....... lots of good folks to help you. Again I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING AND HAD IT UP AND RUNNING IN 5 MINUTES.

As far as sensitivity, it is good.... will it win competitions? No, but the reports it had dead ears are just not true. I have heard it does benefit from some-kind of bandpass or notch filter to get bet performance in the General HF band (>30MHz). However this thing goes from 150Khz to 2 GHZ!!!! For $200 it is amazing.
NH7L Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2013 23:30 Send this review to a friend
A groundbreaking receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The newer model, the Funcube Dongle Pro Plus, which also covers LW, MW and HF, is an amazing receiver. Never imagined I could afford one with such amazingly wide coverage, mode versatility and infinitely adjustable bandwidth. Are there better receivers with this kind of range? Certainly. but not for less than 200 U.S. dollars, delivered. Try thousands of dollars. Usually quite a few thousands. This thing is the equivalent of the Ford Model T in that at long last, it has made software-defined radio affordable and accessible for so many. The AMSAT organization and Howard Long, G6LVB, deserve a commendation for all they went through to design this device and get it out to so many of us.
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