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Raspberry Pi FUNcube satellite telemetry decoder now available

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT/SK2022, Jun 16, 2020.

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  1. G4TUT/SK2022

    G4TUT/SK2022 Ham Member QRZ Page

    Raspberry Pi FUNcube satellite telemetry decoder now available
    The FUNcube Team has announced the availability of FUNcube CubeSat satellite telemetry decoder software for the popular Raspberry Pi computer board.

    The original FUNcube telemetry decoder and Dashboard was designed to run on Windows devices and the FUNcube team did publish the telemetry format in accordance with the Amateur Satellite Service traditions and requirements. The Team had planned to opensource the Telemetry Decoder and provide an implementation on Linux, but several new missions after the original FUNcube-1 delayed their plans somewhat.

    Late 2019, the Team had the opportunity to develop a low power/low impact ground station, based on Docker containers, for use at the Neumayer III Antarctic base at DP0GVN. This led us to evolve the code such that it would run on a Raspberry Pi. Duncan, 2E0GTV, has been able to produce this variant of the code and allow us to fully realize our Open Source commitment to the FUNcube project.

    The Linux implementation is suitable for use on Raspberry Pi versions from 2B+ to 4 and with a FUNcube dongle (Pro or Pro+). The software will tune a dongle to search for and track all three FUNcube compatible spacecraft currently operational. The Telemetry Decoder is configured with five active decoders operating concurrently so it can deal with situations where more than one of the spacecraft are overhead at the same time.

    The decoder and warehouse uploader run as a Docker container for convenience shell scripts have been provided to launch the container in one of two modes:

    • “Interactive Mode” is when the Telemetry Decoder operates in the foreground , when FUNcube compatible telemetry is received, the corresponding hex data is displayed on the terminal screen.

    • “Background Mode” allows the telemetry decoder to run as a Docker image in the background where it operates much like any other background service on Linux. This mode allows for the automatic restarting of the telemetry decoder after a shutdown or reboot of the Raspberry Pi, therefore making it suitable for a remote deployment situation.

    *Both modes, when connected to the internet, will upload the received data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse and the totals displayed on the Ranking Page in the normal manner.

    *Uploading to the warehouse requires online registration with the FUNcube Data Warehouse.

    All the code for the telemetry decoder, and the scripts to build the Docker images, are now published online under a GPL Open Source License at the FUNcube-Dev GitHub account

    Alternatively, it possible to buy a pre-formatted microSD card for the Pi from the AMSAT-UK shop at

    Full instructions can be downloaded at

    FUNcube Data Warehouse

    K9FL and AC7DC like this.
  2. K4BFH

    K4BFH Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. KB1PVH

    KB1PVH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would buy directly from Howard, not from someone on eBay that jacks the price up.
  4. K4BFH

    K4BFH Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. KB1PVH

    KB1PVH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    He's supposed to have some shortly. I guess he's had a big demand recently.
  6. 2E0FVF

    2E0FVF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    All those years ago I purchased one of those dongles and now I’ve amassed 100’s (hyperbole) of Rpi nano to +3/4 I might just get off my chair and take this out for a spin! I seem to recall I even registered on the data warehouse site. I guess there is a simple idiots guide to getting antenna etc setup for the passes ?
  7. G3SEA

    G3SEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now that is Fun ! :cool:
  8. N5ZKK

    N5ZKK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Finally got this running on a Raspberry Pi 3 with the FUNcube Dongle Pro +
    I verified the dongle was working on my Windows 7 desktop computer then on Linux with SDRsharp.

    a. Install Rasbian on a Raspberry Pi
    1. Pre-req SDCARD hardware on a computer
    2. Raspberry Pi installer
    3. Install Rasbian on your SDCARD
    4. Boot up and configure your new OS
    5. Setup remote access RemoteDesktop
    a. sudo apt-get install xrdp
    b. ifconfig (note the IP) example
    6. Remote in to the Pi using the IP address, username pi, and the password that you setup.

    b. Install Docker
    1. Open command console
    2. sudo curl -sSL | sh
    3. sudo usermod -aG docker pi

    c. Install Funcube decoder
    1. sudo mkdir /boot/config
    2. cd /boot/config
    3. sudo touch fcdecode.conf
    4. sudo touch fcwarehouse.conf
    5. sudo nano fcdecode.conf
    a. copy/paste the config
    6. sudo nano fcwarehouse.conf
    a. copy/paste the config
    b. enter your registration info

    d. Create then Run the script
    1. nano /home/pi/fc
    a. paste in the script
    2. sh fc

    Antenna here at N5ZKK is a home built from scratch Helical and the 2 meter antenna it is a beast. Pics on my QRZ page.

    Results show up here:
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020

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