Tony CT1FFU and Diogo CT2IRW has released a converter for the Fun Cube dongle. The design is a based on the old NE602 workhorse. One new approach is to use a wideband MMIC amp in the front end. The unit is powered via a USB connector. Looks like this may be a good add on if you want to do some basic HF monitoring with the Fun Cube. You can find more information here: http://www.ct1ffu.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=178&Itemid=104
FlexRadio systems is launching new products and new improved software all the time. I have been following the SDR scene for several years now and experimenting with the Softrock 40 and softrock RX-TX as well as some earlier VHF SDRs has been fun.
I must say that the offerings from flex-radio is now becoming more tempting than many offerings from traditional suppliers like Yaesu and Icom. My FT-2000 with the latest software is surely a great radio (the best I have had so far) but I think a FLEX-5000A with diversity RX and the newest PowerSDR software must soon be tried in a serious contest effort. The filters, diversity functions and FFT bandscope functions are simply great. One thing that lacks are the feel of real buttons and controls. But that has also been taken care of (read below)
Here you can see a video from Flex-Radio where they take the new tracking notch filters (TNF-RF) for a spin:
In case you lack the feeling of a real radio, DH1TW is here demonstrating the use of a DJ controller for adjusting VFO and other radio functions:
Surely great stuff! Stay tuned!
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 www.funcubedongle.com webpage is a bit unclear about how to do the upgrade, so here I have written up how to upgrade the software.
1 ) Goto www.funcubedongle.com
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 http://www.rarlab.com/ )
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 !
I have recently acquired a Funcube dongle software defined radio. The Funcube dongle is a small USB unit that contains a E4000 Silicon Tuner (radio on a chip), a TLV320AIC3104 Audio Codec and a Microchip 24FJ32GB002 16bit Microcontroller. This small USB device gives me coverage from 64 to 1700 Mhz with some small gaps according to the manufacturers data. You can download more information here: http://www.funcubedongle.com
As a windows SDR RX I am at the moment experimenting with the sdr-radio program that you can download here: http://www.sdr-radio.com
The picture above shows a FM broadcast transmitter in the Oslo area. You can also see the pilot carrier that is used to encode the stereo information if you look carefully