[amsat-bb] HF-HF satellite

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Fri May 27 16:34:54 UTC 2016


The inexpensive "RTL-SDR" dongles typically cover from around 24 to
1800 MHz, lack front-end filtering, and in my experiences are useless
when there is a transmitter nearby - even a low power transmitter
like an HT or FT-817. I have tried them, as well as the
FUNcube Dongle Pro (not the Pro+), and have been unable to
work satellites
with those as my receiver for full-duplex operation. There are some
that work better, and have coverage throughout HF, VHF, UHF, and into
the low microwave range...

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ - order from funcubedongle.com in the UK, cost
including FedEx shipping to the USA is around US$ 200 depending on
exchange rates.

SDRplay - available from sdrplay.com (based in the UK) or at HRO stores
across the US for US$ 149.

These two have the front-end filtering that the RTL-SDR type of
dongles lack, and have worked well for me as a downlink receiver
for satellite work. I have been using an SDRplay for the past few
months, and before that I had been using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+. The
big advantage of the FUNcube Dongle Pro+ is that it is compatible
with the FUNcube Dashboard program for AO-73 telemetry as well as the
FoxTelem program for AO-85 telemetry. You can use other SDR receivers
with these programs, but you will need to use some sort of virtual
audio cable to connect the output from your SDR software to these
dashboard programs. I prefer the SDRplay, but either of these units
would work well for satellite and other receiving work. Both of these
have worked well with the inexpensive Windows tablets I have been
using for the past year or so, depending on the software you run on
the tablet.

The Airspy R2 has frequency coverage similar to the "RTL-SDR"
dongles, only covering 24-1800 MHz, and is sold in the USA by the
airspy.us web site for US$ 199, or see airspy.com for sales to
other countries. You would need to use an upconverter to get coverage
throughout the HF range, and Airspy markets the Spyverter upconverter
for US$ 59. There are other upconverters that could work with the

Airspy is now selling an Airspy Mini, a smaller SDR receiver with
the same 24-1800 MHz coverage as the original Airspy receiver,
and airspy.us is selling these at US$ 114.95 initially. I have not
tried either of the Airspy receivers, since I prefer to have an
SDR receiver that doesn't require an upconverter for HF coverage.


Twitter: @WD9EWK

On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 4:00 PM, Joe <nss at mwt.net> wrote:

> yeah and the 20 buck ones are deaf as a dummyload, and once the signals
> are strong enough there is soo much spurious signals, what one is the real
> one?
> Sig
> The Original Rolling Ball Clock
> Idle Tyme
> Idle-Tyme.com
> http://www.idle-tyme.com
> On 5/27/2016 10:56 AM, Andrew Glasbrenner wrote:
>> Less than 20$.
>> On May 27, 2016, at 10:12 AM, Michael Adams <mda at n1en.org> wrote:
>>> How expensive is an HF-capable SDR RX dongle these days?
>>> --
>>> Michael Adams | mda at n1en. <mda at n1en.org>

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