How to upgrade the firmware of your Funcube dongle

I had some problems of getting my Funcube dongle (purchased dec 2011) to work with SDR-RADIO version 1.5 build 879 (beta). The reason was that the funcube dongle didn’t have the latest firmware.

The webpage is a bit unclear about how to do the upgrade, so here I have written up how to upgrade the software.


1 ) Goto

2 ) Select downloads

3 ) Download Windows fully functional front end

4 ) Download Boot loader with source code

5 ) Unzip those two archives in a suitable directory. (If you need a free zip tool, you can use the free WinRar software that you can download from Rarlabs homepage )

6 ) Make sure you close all other SDR programs that may acess the funcube dongle. This is important so that the funcube is not “occupied” by another program

7 ) Plug in your funcube dongle to one of your USB ports

8 ) Wait 10 secs and listen for the “bling” sound that windows sends to signal that a new USB unit was detected

9 ) Start the FCHID.exe file (the front end)

You should now see something like this –>


10 ) Click the read device. You should now NOT see any error message. In case the read went ok, you now have a connection to your funcube dongle

11 ) You now want to set the funcube dongle in the bootloader mode. This means that the funcube is ready to boot from new software.

Here comes the confusing part: you must start another piece of software to upload the new firmware to the funcube. You cannot do that from the FCHID.exe file. The software you use for uploading the firmware is FCHIDBL.exe

12) Start FCHIDBL.exe (from the CHIDBL___Win32_Debug subdirectory where you unzipped the Boot loader with source code ) file from point 4) above

13) Download the latest firmware from Firmware v18i – Save it to the same directory as you saved the other files.  NOTE per Jan 2012 this was the latest software but this may have changed when you read this !!! Check what is the latest file before you upgrade!

14) Now start the FCHIDBL.exe file. You should see something like this:


15) Click the Open file button

16) Select the *.bin file you saved earlier (the *.bin file contains the firmware)


17 ) At this point -> if you are on a laptop make sure your laptop battery is OK or that the laptop is plugged into a AC adapter, so that you don’t risk that your laptop shuts down while you flash the firmware to the Funcube dongle.

18 ) Click WRITE FIRMWARE button. Now click RESET TO APP to get out of boot loader mode (Thanks to Jeff Murri for this tip).

19 ) Close both programs you opened earlier

20 ) Wait 10 secs (just in case)

21 ) Plug out the funcube dongle  (Probably overkill, but hey…)

22 ) Wait 10 secs (to let windows have time to unload the driver. Not sure if this is really necessary. But hey …..)

23 ) Plug in the funcube dongle again

24 ) Congratulations, you have upgraded to the latest firmware !

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  1. Great post, just one comment. Before you leave the FCHIDBL.exe program, make sure you click the “Reset to App” button or you’re FunCube is still sitting there in bootloader mode.

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