My reception of Funcube telemetry is very hit or miss. My station setup is a homebrew turnstile antenna (with radials) at about 25' with no obstructions, about 40' of high quality RG-8 coax, an Icom IC-746, and a PC running Windows 7, SatPC32 for doppler, and the dashboard software. After watching several passes, it looks like I can receive a good part of a south to north pass, but hardly any of a north to south pass (there was just such a pass at 60+ degrees and I didn't decode a single packet). I'm new at this, is this something to do with the orientation of my antenna? Is a turnstile not enough antenna for this application?
Secondly, I use the AF out on the accessory jack of my IC-746 to feed the sound card in my laptop. When a pass goes by I can open the normal audio gain (it doesn't affect the AF out jack) and hear the satellite, almost as soon as SatPC32 says I should. Even though my ear can hear data, the dashboard doesn't seem to decode it. Even when it gets very loud to my ear.If I click the monitor audio box, I can hear the satellite on my laptop speakers as well, still I don't see any packets decoded.
I know it's a lot more complicated than just hearing the packets. Are there some settings I can adjust in the dashboard software and/or my laptop sound card to help improve reception and decoding? Do I need a pretty good sound card to get the best out of the dashboard software?
Thanks in advance for any insight...