Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FUNcube - Fun

After the initial FUNcube test (see previous post) I wanted to try to find my cell phone transmitted signal.

But there are two problems;
  • I do not know the transmitted frequency of the cell phone.
  • And, searching for a signal within a 35MHz wide band while looking at just a 40kHz segment on the waterfall, is problematic. I just could not change the LO Frequency fast enough to make the search reasonable.
Finding a signal with a known frequency should and will be easy. But, finding a particular signal at a unknown frequency within the FUNcube's very wide frequency range (65MHz to 1.7GHz) will take some real effort.

I think my cell phone transmits on the 880MHz to 915MHz range - but I need to do some more Internet research. 

The digital cell phone signal can not be decoded into audio by the FUNcube, but it will make for an easy FUNcube demonstration using only a short wire antenna, once I find the right frequency.

On MS Window XP, Setting the FUNcube LO Frequency Calibration from 999885 to 999854 corrected the previous erroneously reported FT-817 to 440.000480MHz, until I have something better for a Frequency Standard, this will do.
So far, I have not figured out how to set the FUNcube LO via Ubuntu 10.04 (the computer of choice).  The HDSDR program running via Wine, decodes the audio, but I can not set the LO Frequency.  Also, the FCHid.exe Control Program runs. but it can not find the FUNcube.

- Follow the FUNcube Label Link below to follow ALL of my FUNcube adventures.


Monday, January 24, 2011


FUNcube - Received

My FUNcube - S/N 212 - was received today (near Seattle) after 10 days in route, see previous post for ordering adventure.

It came in a small static bag, within a neat little soap box (great idea), inside of a bubble wrap envelope, with lots of postage, routing and customs declaration stickers attached.

Within 15 minutes of arrival, I was listening via a short wire for and antenna.

I used the suggested "Windows full-on front end" - the "FUNcube Dongle Frequency Control" software to set the receive (LO) frequency, and I used the "HDSDR" program to view the waterfall and decode the audio. Note: without direct control of the LO from "HDSDR", it's reported frequency was manually set to match that of the FUNcube.

I connected my FT-817 to a shielded Dummy Load (several feet away), and tuned it to 440.000MHz. And then I quietly spoke the word "Test" into the microphone. About one second later my test word was heard on the computer speaker (the delay was the typical SDR decoding delay). The resulting waterfall erroneously indicated the FT-817 was on 439.9865MHz.

It looks like the first test was successful, but the FUNcube LO Frequency may need some calibration.

Now I need to work on building a real antenna, maybe a simple disk cone.

Just, more FUN(cube) and things to learn!

Thanks to: Howard!

- Follow the FUNcube Label Link below to follow ALL of my FUNcube adventures.


Friday, January 21, 2011

SMT Soldering 101

For SMT Soldering, this is one of the best SMT Tutorial videos that I have found.

Near the end of the video, there is an interesting suggestion, use "ChipQuik" for easy component removal - I will have to try it!


Friday, January 14, 2011


I was one of the lucky ones.

The latest on-line FUNcube sale was to be held today, Friday 14, 2011 at exactly 20:00 UTC. As it turned out, all 100 available units were sold in about 90 seconds.

At 19:59:45 - I was ready:
  • My computer clock was calibrated and in sync with the on-line time standard
  • All unnecessary or extra windows and processes were removed from the computer
  • My Paypal account was up-to-date
  • The FUNcube "Buy It Now" page was on the screen
  • My Paypal password was in the "Cut Buffer"

At 20:00:03 - I pressed the "button".

The results was a sale logged at 20:00:09, and a Paypal email receipt from "Hanlincrest Ltd" created at 20:00:34 !

I am sure many more FUNcubes could have be sold, if they had been available.

The FUNcube is a VHF/UHF (64MHz to 1.7GHz) Dongle SDR Receiver, see:

Now, I just have to wait for the postal service.

- Follow the FUNcube Label Link below to follow ALL of my FUNcube adventures.


Friday, January 7, 2011

An Extra, as Reported by QRZ

My Ham Radio activities have started slow for me this year, but the QRZ.com database is up-to-date and now lists WA0UWH as an "Extra".