IMHO, it is the best bang for buck that you can buy in SDR today.
Don't bother with the previous versions. If you are going to buy a FCD, buy the 'one with the lot'!
Honestly, I have many receivers and scanners in my shack. But, the receiver I listen to most of all and get most enjoyment from, is the FCDP+.
I've owned the thing virtually since they were first released and still I'm finding new things I can listen to on it.
* LF, HF, VHF & UHF in one tiny package (minus 'the gap' - see below).
* Excellent frequency stability (little, if any drift with temp/time).
* Amazing sensitivity and low noise floor. Better than any scanner I own on VHF & UHF. Awesome for very weak signal reception/modes. Awesome on VLF/HF as well.
* Receiver is very 'gain' stable. Unlike RTL Dongles that often become very noisy, spurious and temperamental if the RF gain is not set correctly, the FCDP+ can be left on maximum gain all the time.
* Individual bandpass filters for various HF, VHF & UHF bands.
* Simple setup (no drivers required) and multiple SDR controller software available.
* Small! Not much bigger than a typical RTL TV tuner dongle. Great for traveling or your main shack receiver.
* DSDPlus has taken the FCDP+ to a whole new level of capability, with P25, DMR and other digital voice modes.
* Combine the FCDP+ with a cheap RTL TV tuner dongle (Control channel receiver) and Unitrunker and you have a full blown trunk tracking scanner.
* Gap between about 250-400Mhz. Miss out on Milair/Milsatcom stuff.
* Somewhat limited sampling rate. Frequency span and receive bandwidth are limited to 192Khz. This compares to multi-Mhz wide spans for RTL TV tuner dongles and some other SDR hardware. Not really an issue for Narrow band modes right up to FM stereo broadcast reception. But no good for ADSB, DVB-T or other wide band modes.
I'm looking forward to the public release of Airspy, but the FCDP+ will remain my go to radio for general HF/VHF/UHF listening
You should sell million dollar items. Your review of the FCDP+ just got me to order two of them from the source in England. I have a couple of Perseus SDRs and several RTL dongles. Think I will give the FCDP+ a try, Was thinking about for a while, but you post convinced me.
Agreed, the configuration and front end interface for the first Funcube Pro is not for the neophyte, but the build quality and performance is top shelf. I'm still leaning toward the Airspy for my next purchase.
Some more suggestions to get the most out of the FCDP+
* Obtain a 1.5m (4 ft) long USB Male - USB female patch lead. Plugging coax into the FCDP+'s SMA connector will put a fair bit of pressure on the poor old USB plug and the PC socket. Plugging the dongle into the patch lead instead will reduce the strain on the FCD USB plug and allow you to have the dongle closer to hand.
* Download the free 'VB-Audio' virtual audio cable software (donate if you like it).
* Fabricate or purchase a short SMA - SO239/UHF or BNC or N-Type patch lead (The FCDP+ has an SMA antenna connector) . Again, this takes some of the strain off the FCDP+ when plugging in different antennas. You will need some form of SMA adapter anyway and it is better to use a short, flexible patch lead than a rigid coaxial style SMA-UHF/BNC adapter for the same reasons outlined above.
As for software, I use SDRSharp mainly. It is open source (free), but the thing I like most about it is the simple and clean GUI. Some of the other packages I've used cram so much information into the screen that you almost need a Doctorate in computer science just to receive your local FM broadcast station.