A few days ago I tagged and packaged qthid-2.2. This release contains no new functionality compared to the 2.1 release, but it brings various user interface enhancements. In particular Mac users will find that there is now a proper application icon in the bundle.
On Tuesday I took my Funcube Dongle to our weekly meeting at OZ7SAT for testing it on the air using some bigger antennas than my Arrow antenna. We were listening for amateur radio satellites and cubesat on the 70 cm band and we were using a standard Wimo X-yagi (8 elements I think). For SDR receiver application we used modified Quisk SDR running on Ubuntu Linux.
About a week ago I forked Howard’s qthid002 cross platform Funcube Dongle controller application with the objective of continuing development and adding support for the full FCD API that has been available since version 18f of the firmware. This first release contains various fixes for he crashes and freezes that were known to happen, providing a stable application that can be used to change frequency and upgrade the firmware from 18b to 18f.
Qthid is simple cross platform controller application for the Funcube Dongle Pro and Pro+ software defined radio receivers. It is written using the HID API library and the Qt GUI toolkit. It is a fork and evolution of the qthid002.zip package by Howard Long, G6LVB, available on the Funcube Dongle download page.
Qthid is free (libre) software licensed under the GNU General Public License. This allows you to copy, modify and distribute the software without any restrictions, provided that your modification are distributed under a compatible license.
The current stable release v4.0 provides full support for the Funcube Dongle API available with firmware 18f or later:
- Change frequency and apply frequency correction.
- Change RF gains and filters.
- Change IF gains and filters.
- LNA enhancement, bias current, etc.
- I/Q correction.
- Auto-repeat tuning buttons (click and hold button to scan).
- Variable frequency step.
- Upgrade and verify the firmware.
- The crashes and freezes in the original qthid002 have been eliminated (I hope).
- Tested on Mac OS X and Linux (32 and 64 bit).
- Use of v3.0 and later requires firmware 18f or later. Use v2.2 to upgrade earlier firmwares.
- Works on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and Windows 7.
There is also a quick-hack release v4.1 that supports the new Funcube Dongle Pro+ devices. This does not work with the original Funcube Dongle Pro!
Download and Install
If you are using Debian or Ubuntu Linux you can try to install the Debian package available for wheezy (testing) or sid (unstable). These packages contain everything to set up and configure your Funcube Dongle.
For other systems you can try my pre-compiled binary packages available in the download section at SourceForge. You will also find source packages there. Regardless of which option you try, be sure to read the README.txt file.
The latest development code is available directly from my Github repository:
git clone git://github.com/csete/qthid.git
(Note that in order to get the Pro+ code you need to switch to the “fcdpp” branch.)
If you have a Github account you can fork it directly in Github and our repositories will be part of the same network. See the Pro Git manual for other awesome things you can do with the git repository.
Help and Support
I recommend to use the FCDevelopment Yahoo group if you have an original Pro device or the FCD Pro Plus Yahoo group if you have the newer Pro+ device. Pretty much everybody who knows something about the Funcube Dongle and the software API is there. Alternatively, you can post a comment to this page. I any case I prefer public forum for troubleshooting so that there is a record for future reference.
Today I have spent some time trying the Funcube Dongle with Quisk SDR. The setup procedure was quite painless and the results very satisfactory: Using an Arrow II hand-held yagi connected directly to the FCD I could receive the HO-68 CW beacon with very good SNR.
As I tweeted last Friday, I managed to get a Funcube Dongle this time! The dongles were packaged over the weekend and shipped Monday this week. I could pick up mine at the local post office earlier today. Initial smoke testing using Linux and GNU Radio has been very encouraging for further experiments.
It looks like Moe Wheatley, AE4JY, is working on a cross platform software defined radio receiver intended for SDR hardware from RFSPACE. It is written using the Qt toolkit and will be available soon under an open source license with the purpose of providing an SDR interface program example for other developers. It is still very early and no code has been released yet, but you can watch this first demo video published few days ago and you can also join the CuteSDR Yahoo group if you are interested in following the project.
Before getting my hands all dirty with adding UHD driver to Quisk, I decided to take it for a test drive using some pre-recorded samples. I have used a 250 ksps recording of the HO-68 / XW-1 linear transponder downlink that I have recorded on November 9, 2010 using the USRP and the RFX400 daughterboard.
Few days ago I learned about the Quisk software defined radio application for Linux. It is written by James Ahlstrom N2ADR with contributions from other radio amateurs around the world. A quick glance at the home page and the documentation suggested that it is a rather simple application where it is easy to add support for other hardware.