My contribution to the Funcube project is to put myself in the place of a sympathetic science teacher who isn't necessarily a radio amateur.I set up my station as follows:
I think the Yagi is the only complex part of the above and could be manufactured easily.
I then spent some time securing everything against cable fractures and water ingress. For the preamp I used a plastic water cup, inverted, to allow runoff, as I had read many years ago in the excellent book by Davidoff.
Then - nothing!!
After checking all the cables I looked at the signal using the waterfall function of SDR sharp.
At first I looked at a known D-Star signal on 144.8125 (Fig 1 below).
To my surprise, the signal which i knew was on 144.8125 was showing on 144.770!
So, I reasoned, the Dongle was actually set to (144.8125 - 1444.770) = about 40 kHz lower than the software said!
Therefore I went to the FCD Dashboard and set the centre frequency to 145.900 , knowing that the signal was actually 145.935.
As you can see above, the signal popped up on the correct frequency, 145.935!
The moral of his story is: CHECK EVERYTHING! And another one - DON'T BELIEVE THE SOFTWARE!