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Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Funcube Help

Show all reviews of the Funcube

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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. 
Product is in production.
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