Comparing the RTL-SDR, FunCube PRO Plus and SDRplay on Moon Bounce/EME Reception

Moon Bounce or “Earth Moon Earth” (EME) is an amateur radio activity where people attempt to transmit a signal towards to the moon, and listen to the reflected signal. In some cases a separate transmitter is not needed, as an already powerful constant transmitter like the GRAVES radar in France can be used.

Over on his YouTube channel user cqpy2rn has uploaded a video showing his moon bounce reception of the GRAVES radar using an eleven element yagi antenna. He compares the reception with an RTL-SDR, FunCube PRO Plus and SDRplay. He writes:

+++ Nooelec model NESDR Smart (RTL-SDR) +++
GOODs: Price $20, frequency stability 0.5ppm tcxo, aluminum case, firm sma antenna connector, better dynamic range than regular-cheaper RTL dongles. Easy gain adjustment.
BADs: No pass filters, freq coverage from 24MHz to 1.7GHz, poor dynamic range (moderate de-sense with near strong signals)

+++ FunCube PRO PLUS – FCDPP +++
GOODs: freq coverage from 150KHz to 2GHz, pass saw filters, frequency stable 0.5ppm tcxo, easy gain adjustment, acceptable dynamic range.
BADs: Plastic case, fragile sma connector, just 192KHz wide spectrum view, price $160.

+++ SDRPlay +++
GOODs: Frequecy coverage from 10KHz to 2GHz, firm SMA connector, pass saw filters, up to 8MHz wide spectrum view, acceptable dynamic range.
BADs: Plastic case, legacy printer USB connector, frequency drift during warm up, difficult gain adjustment

CONCLUSION: In essence all these have the same “DNA”, they were made from digital TV tuner chips, comparisons produce very similar RX practical results, the RTL suffers due the lack of internal filtering which can be a little remediated adjusting the gain carefully through your SDR software or adding external filters. FCDPP and SDRPlay are vey similar, although the freq drift for SDRPlay is a bit annoying to me.

Nooelec RTL vs. FunCube PRO Plus vs. SDRPlay (VHF 143MHz graves via EME test)

4 comments

  1. Eugene

    > BADs: legacy printer USB connector
    Seriously? That’s only reliable type of connection comparing to micro- and mini- connections.

    • Eduardo

      The inconvenience is when you need to connect it to an USB extension cable, since the regular usb af-am type are much more common to be around, so are the mini and micro usb, used in most of android cell phones, but I agree it is very robust.

    • Max

      Standard USB type A is strong and reliable i think; as far as the cable is good quality.
      I used USB type B connector in my enclosure not only because it is strong but mostly because USB printer cables that i collected over the years are good quality.
      Mini and micro USB cables are more common? i don’t think so; crap is more common but good ones are rare and difficoult to distinguish unless you spend a lot of money and buy a famous brand, but at that point i use my old printer cable.

Leave a Reply to Max Cancel reply

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.