Buy RTL-SDR Dongles (RTL2832U)

Where to Buy RTLSDR RTL2832U DVB-T Tuner Dongles

The R820T2 RTL-SDR is currently the cheapest, most common and is the best in terms of general usability. The R820T2 has a frequency range of  24 – 1766 MHz (frequencies above 1.2 GHz may require cooling/heatsinking) and is fully 100% compatible with any software for the older R820T.

At RTL-SDR.com we sell significantly improved RTL-SDR dongles at low prices with free shipping. See our post on these new units for a full overview of all the features, or scroll down for our store. Our dongles come with the following improvements:

  • 1 PPM temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO) – Accurate tuning and almost zero temperature drift (2 PPM initial offset, 1 PPM temperature drift)
  • SMA female antenna port – Most dongles use the less common MCX or PAL antenna ports. SMA is more common, so more adapters and antennas are available for it. It is also more durable and has lower insertion losses.
  • R820T2 tuner – More sensitive than the older R820T tuner. 100% compatible with software for the older R820T.
  • Improved component tolerances – Allows the RTL-SDR to work more optimally over all frequencies.
  • Experimental: 4.5V USB powered bias tee - Can be enabled by soldering two pads on the PCB together. This allows the RTL-SDR to power LNA’s (like the LNA4ALL and HABAMP) and active antennas through the coax cable.
  • Experimental: Break out pads for direct sampling - Allows easier soldering to pins 4 & 5 on the RTL2832U for enabling the direct sampling mod.
  • *NEW* Aluminium case and passive cooling - Our latest units that are shipping come stock with an aluminium case and passive cooling via thermal pad!
US ShippingInternational Shipping
Purchase on Amazon and receive FREE domestic shipping for orders over $49 and free two day shipping for Prime subscribers! Or use our international cart for FREE shipping from China.FREE registered air mail from China! Paid express shipping also available. Please double check your address in PayPal and enter it using English characters only.

International Shipping Notices
Please note that China Post is increasing their parcel security and this is causing random delays with some parcels. To get around this we can optionally ship via Hong Kong with a carrier like Swiss Post. To use this option select the “Slightly Faster Registered Air Mail” option for $2 USD. Countries US/UK/AUS/RUS/FR do not need to select this option as they already support the faster EMS shipping option which is used by default.

 

Please remember that international air mail can take anywhere between 1 – 4 weeks on average for delivery. During peak times, for remote countries, or if your parcel is subject to random security checks then this may be stretched to 5-6 weeks or more.

Stock Levels
Both the Chinese and Amazon USA warehouses are in stock!

RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas
RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas

Includes 1x RTL-SDR Blog brand R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Dongle, 1x 6cm to 20cm telescopic antenna, 1x 20cm to 1.5m telescopic antenna and 1x 4.5cm diameter magnetic mount base with 1M RG174.

Several improvements over generic brands including use of the R820T2 tuner, improved component tolerances, a 1 PPM temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO), SMA F connector, aluminium case with passive cooling, bias tee circuit and break out pads for easy direct sampling modification.

Commonly bought together with one of our SMA adapter sets for a 5% discount.

Amazon USA in stock.
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio (Dongle Only)
RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio (Dongle Only)

Includes 1x RTL-SDR Blog brand R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Dongle.

Several improvements over generic brands including use of the R820T2 tuner, improved component tolerances, a 1 PPM temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO), SMA F connector, aluminium case with passive cooling, bias tee circuit and break out pads for easy direct sampling modification.

Commonly bought together with one of our SMA adapter sets for a 5% discount.

This product now has resellers based locally in the [UK], [Japan], [India] & [Spain] who can provide fast local customs free shipping. Please note that these are resellers, and they can charge their own independent prices.

Amazon USA local in stock.
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
RTL-SDR Blog SMA Pigtail Antenna Adapter Set
RTL-SDR Blog SMA Pigtail Antenna Adapter Set

Includes 1x SMA Pigtail adapter set (6 adapters)

Set of six SMA pigtail adapters with 20cm of RG316 cabling. Contains five SMA to female (Type N, UHF, BNC, PAL, Type F) adapters and one bonus SMA male to SMA male adapter which is often used to connect to devices like upconverters.

Amazon USA local in stock.
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
RTL-SDR Blog SMA Straight Antenna Adapter Set
RTL-SDR Blog SMA Straight Antenna Adapter Set

Includes 1x SMA straight adapter set (6 adapters)

Set of six straight adapters with. Contains five SMA to female (Type N, UHF, BNC, PAL, Type F) adapters and one bonus SMA male to SMA male adapter which is often used to connect to devices like upconverters. Less loss than the pigtail adapters.

Amazon USA local in stock.
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
RTL-SDR Blog MCX Pigtail Antenna Adapter Set
RTL-SDR Blog MCX Pigtail Antenna Adapter Set

Includes 1x MCX Pigtail adapter set (7 adapters)

Great for if you have the older or other brand dongles that used the MCX antenna connector. Contains 6 MCX to female (Type N, UHF, BNC, PAL, Type F, SMA) adapters and one bonus MCX to SMA male adapter which is often used to connect to devices like upconverters. These do not fit onto our new SMA RTL-SDRs, these are for the older MCX style dongles.

Amazon USA local in stock.
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
RTL-SDR Blog Metal Case and Thermal Pad Upgrade
RTL-SDR Blog Metal Case and Thermal Pad Upgrade

Includes 1x Metal Case Set and 1x Thermal pad

Can be used to upgrade any of our older RTL-SDR Blog SMA units that came in a plastic case. Helps prevent interference and also helps to passively cool the R820T2 and other chips. 

Please note that you do not need this for our currently sold RTL-SDR units as those all come with the case and thermal pad by default. Warning: May fit the older plastic case PCBS a little loosely.

Only available from our Chinese warehouse.

Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
The Hobbyist's Guide to the RTL-SDR: Really Cheap Software Defined Radio (Book)
The Hobbyist’s Guide to the RTL-SDR: Really Cheap Software Defined Radio (Book)

A comprehensive guide to the RTL2832U RTL-SDR software defined radio by the authors of the RTL-SDR Blog. This book is about tips and tutorials that show you how to get the most out of your RTL-SDR dongle. 

The paperback includes the eBook via the Kindle matchbook program. Amazon Prime customers can borrow the book for FREE. Also available for purchase from Amazon sites in UKDE, FR, IT, ES, JP, IN, CA, BR and MX.

 

If for some reason you feel like you don’t trust us then please see our Amazon reviews from our previous RTL-SDR model product sales and our Amazon store seller feedback.

Shipping Information (Click to Expand)

USA

For US customers we highly recommend purchasing our products from Amazon. Amazon will provide you with fast local shipping and shipping is free for orders over $35. If you are a Prime subscriber you also get free 2 day shipping.

US customers may also purchase from our international checkout and choose free shipping from China and we will send via priority air mail (EMS).

International (All countries outside the USA)

Please enter your address using English characters only!

Please note that we have an approximate 1-2 day working day processing time before international parcels get shipped (even express orders).

International orders bought on our cart will be shipped from our warehouse in China. Shipping is free and for supported countries (US/UK/AUS/RUS/FR) we will use priority mail (EMS) meaning an average delivery time of 1 week from the shipped out date. For other countries that don’t support priority mail the item should get to your door within 2 – 4 weeks (possibly longer during peak periods). Please note that this time is highly dependant on the efficiency of the postal and customs agencies within your country, and please understand that this processing time is totally out of our hands. Countries such as Italy, Canada, Brazil, and middle eastern countries are known to sometimes have extremely slow customs agencies. If you need faster shipping please select an express option.

International buyers are reminded that as with any international parcel you are fully responsible for any duties or customs clearance fees required by your country, and that you take full responsibility for the legality of importing. If you have questions about the declared value and customs fees please feel free to contact us at rtlsdrblog_AT_gmail.com. Please watch the tracking information and contact your postal agency if there are any significant delays. If your parcel does not arrive within 4 weeks (6 weeks during December/Christmas period) and the tracking looks stuck, then please contact us at rtlsdrblog_AT_gmail.com and we will open a postal investigation and resend or refund your item. 

Express air courier shipping is also available but this costs much more and we only recommend this for larger shipments, or countries that don’t support priority air mail. With this option we will use either DHL, UPS, or EMS air couriers. Depending on your country your package should arrive within 2-8 business days with express shipping (plus the 1-3 working day processing time). If you wish to use this option then please select your country from the shipping options in the cart. Note that most express couriers will not deliver to a PO box and they may charge additional fees for duty/customs processing. Also please note that there is often a slightly longer initial processing time with express couriers, as they are more slow to provide us with the tracking information. You can expect the tracking info to be provided 2-3 working days after the “in processing” status is sent.

Note that depending on the weight, cost and destination country of your order we may upgrade your shipment to express shipping for free. We will only do this for large orders as express shipments can potentially incur additional duty processing fees.

Note that we have special distribution available in New Zealand, and will ship these parcels via a local express carrier.

Shipping status meanings:

All shipping status updates will come through an email from PayPal.

‘In process’ means that your order and address information has been checked and sent to the warehouse and the parcel is being packed. A tracking number will follow usually by the next 1-2 business days.

‘Shipped’ means that the order has been shipped and can be tracked with the provided tracking number.

How do I track my shipment?

Please note that tracking updates may initially take a few days to start working after receiving the shipped status.

If sent via registered air, then mail will usually be sent either by postal services: China Post, China Post EMS Air Mail, Deutsche Post, Hong Kong Post or Swiss Post. You can initially track the parcel on their respective websites, or aftership.com. However, once the parcel enters your own country tracking on these sites may stop when the parcel is handed over to the local post office, who will usually attach their own tracking sticker. You can then track your parcel on your local post office website. In some countries you may need to call your post office to get an updated tracking number.

Warranty Information (Click to Expand)

We will provide 6 months warranty on manufacturing defects. Please note that if you try the direct sampling or bias tee mods then any warranty will be voided, so please ensure your dongle is working before trying these.

If you suspect a manufacturing fault please contact us through Amazon if you bought there, or email us at rtlsdrblog@gmail.com if you bought from our cart and include your order number and name. Please include details of the fault and a picture of the fault if it is physical damage. If the unit is faulty we will issue either a full refund or send a new unit out depending on your preference.

Wholesale Information (Click to Expand)

If you want to buy 10+ units please contact us directly at rtlsdrblog@gmail.com for a wholesale quote.

Alternative Payment (Click to Expand)

If you don’t want to use a credit card or PayPal we will accept payment through Bitcoin for orders of 2 or more items. Please email us at rtlsdrblog_AT_gmail.com to arrange payment. 

 

Recommended accessories from other sellers

Antennas

Probably the most important part of a radio system is the antenna. There is no one size fits all antenna, every different design will have a trade off. For instance, wide band antennas can receive more frequencies, but will have less gain at any one particular frequency. If you want to receive everything then get a wide band antenna. If you want to receive one frequency with optimal reception, find a tuned narrow band antenna.

Discone Antenna
Discone Antenna

Discones are wideband antennas. This makes them ideal for the RTL-SDR as using a Discone will allow you to receive at almost any frequency with decent performance.

 
FlightAware ADS-B Antenna
FlightAware ADS-B Antenna

A 1090 MHz ADS-B antenna from FlightAware. Is weather proofed and has 5 dB of gain. Uses an N-type antenna connector. See our review post for more information.

Upconverters

The lowest frequency an RTL-SDR can comfortably tune to is about 24 MHz. An upconverter allows you to use your RTL-SDR on HF frequencies which are between 0 – 30 MHz. They work by shifting frequencies between 0 – 30 MHz “up” by a fixed amount into a frequency range that is receivable by the RTL-SDR.

Spyverter
SpyVerter Upconverter

Currently we recommend the SpyVerter as the upconverter of choice. Although it was designed to be used with the Airspy, it works perfectly with the RTL-SDR. It uses a 120 MHz oscillator, has excellent filtering and can be powered via USB cable or via the bias-tee on our RTL-SDR Blog dongles. The SpyVerter uses an innovative new architecture that reduces overloading, has better SNR than other options and can operate all the way down to DC.

With the above performance and features, the included metal case and adapters and at a similar price to other upconverters we think this one is the best value. See our review post for more information.

 
SV1AFN Upconverter
SV1AFN Upconverter

An alternative to the SpyVerter is the upconverter designed by SV1AFN.

It based on the ADE-1 mixer chip, uses a 200 MHz oscillator, has good filtering and works almost down to DC.

 
Ham-It-Up Upconverter
Ham-It-Up Upconverter

Another recommended option is the Ham-It-Up Upconverter. 

This one like the SV1AFN is also based on the ADE-1 mixer, but uses 125 MHz oscillator and is based on an open source design. There is also a metal case available on Amazon and eBay. However, currently we would recommend the SpyVerter or SV1AFN over this option.

RF Filters

RF filters connect between your antenna and RTL-SDR dongle. They help to significantly reduce out of band interference and noise which is very helpful when trying to improve signal strength.

MCM Electronics FM Trap
MCM Electronics FM Trap

If you have strong FM band interference a good FM trap band stop filter such as this MCM one can help reduce this interference. These can be bought for under $1 USD.

 
118 - 138 MHz Air Band Bandpass Filter
118 – 138 MHz Air Band Bandpass Filter

If you are monitoring ACARS or air traffic signals then you may want an air band bandpass filter if you find that you have lots of interference from nearby stations such as FM broadcasts and Pagers.

 
FlightAware ADS-B Filter
FlightAware ADS-B Filter

FlightAware sell a very affordable ADS-B band pass filter. Many users have reported significantly improved reception when they started using this filter. This is probably the best filter to get if you are interested in ADS-B. See our review post for more information.

 
ADS-B HABamp LNA + Filter Combo
ADS-B HABamp LNA + Filter Combo

We also highly recommend the ADS-B HABAmp for receiving ADS-B signals. This is a filter + LNA combination that works very well and will significantly improve ADS-B performance.

We’ve tested these ourselves with the activatable bias tee in our units and found them to definitely work very well.

 
Adam's ADS-B/H-Line/FLARM Filters
Adam’s ADS-B/H-Line/FLARM Filters

Adam (9A4QV) also sells some good low cost filters for ADSB, Hydrogen Line Radio Astronomy or FLARM.

The Hydrogen line is a physics phenomona that can be observed with an RTL-SDR dongle and FLARM is a protocol similar to ADS-B but used more often with gliders and helicopters.

 
Multi HF Bandpass Filter
Multi HF Bandpass Filter

This product is great for if you are using an upconverter together with your RTL-SDR, or other SDR. Contains seven band pass filters that range from 1.6 – 2.5 MHz, 2.5 – 4.7 MHz, 4.7 – 7.5 MHz, 7.5 – 14.5 MHz, 14.5 – 21.5 MHz, 21.5 – 33 MHz and 33 – 56 MHz.

Low Noise Amplifiers

If you have long runs of coax cable then a low noise amplifier (LNA) can help to significantly improve your reception. Coax cable is lossy and the longer it is the more your received signal is attenuated. By adding an LNA near the antenna this loss can be reduced.

LNA4ALL
LNA4ALL

The LNA4ALL is a very affordable wide band low noise amplifier that is very commonly used with the RTL-SDR. Has the ability to be powered externally from any voltage between 6V – 9V, or with a simple modification with 3V – 5V in bias tee mode.

We have tested the LNA4ALL in bias tee mode with the activatable bias tee in our units and found it to work well.

 
Other LNA's
Other LNA’s

There are also several low noise amplifier circuits that can be found very cheaply for sale on eBay and most will do a good job. Unfortunately most don’t provide a bias tee option like the LNA4ALL or HABamp does.

 
ADS-B HABamp LNA + Filter Combo
ADS-B HABamp LNA + Filter Combo

We also highly recommend the ADS-B HABAmp for receiving ADS-B signals. This is a filter + LNA combination that works very well and will significantly improve ADS-B performance.

We’ve tested these ourselves with the activatable bias tee in our units and found them to definitely work very well.

Other Accessories

MCX Dongle Aluminum Case
MCX Dongle Aluminum Case

This aluminum case fits the older styled MCX dongles. An aluminum case can help shield the dongle from signals that are received from sources other than through the antenna. Can really help to reduce out of band interference.

Note that we are currently working on a similar aluminum case for our own SMA TCXO units.

 
Active USB Extension Cable
Active USB Extension Cable

Ideally you want to get the RTL-SDR dongle as close to the antenna as possible. Normal USB cables have a length limit of about 5m before they stop working, but with an active USB cable this can be extended up to 10 to 15 meters.

We recommend these Monoprice cables as they have been reported to work successfully with the RTL-SDR dongle.

 
Active USB Extension Cable
RG6 Coaxial Cable

We recommend using RG6 coaxial cable for most links between your antenna and RTL-SDR. RG6 is low loss cable and it is also very cheap because it is used commercially with satellite TV installations.

RG6 is 75 Ohm cable. Note that the mismatch between 50 and 75 Ohm impedances is completely negligible for RX applications.

 
Clip on USB Ferrite Core
Clip on USB Ferrite Core

Noise and interference can sometimes be induced in the USB cable itself which can show up in the RF spectrum. To stop this noise use clip on ferrite cores on the USB cable. These cores help to suppress unwanted currents in the USB shield.

 
Raspberry Pi 2
Raspberry Pi 2

A Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer that runs Linux, or even Windows. With it you can connect an RTL-SDR, run a server, and then remotely send a signal or processed data such as ADS-B aircraft locations back via WiFi or Ethernet cable.

 
USB OTG Cable
USB OTG Cable

A USB on-the-go (OTG) cable is required to use the RTL-SDR on Android phones with software like SDR Touch and Wavesink. We recommend trying to find cables that come with power plugs so that you can use it with a power pack. Using an RTL-SDR can increase CPU usage which can quickly drain a mobiles battery.

 
9:1 Balun
9:1 Balun

If you are using a long wire or random wire antenna with a HF modded RTL-SDR or an upconverter you should use a 9:1 impedance transformer to get good SWR.

There are also several other alternatives available on eBay that use a larger iron core.

 
Wideband Noise Source
Wideband Noise Source

A wideband noise source can be used together with an RTL-SDR dongle to perform measurements on filters and to measure the SWR of an antenna.

See our tutorial here for more information.

 
Wyrd USB Decrapifier
Wyrd USB Decrapifier

If you want the best performance with any SDR you need to find a way to isolate the SDR from any USB/PC noise.

The Wyrd USB Decrapifier does the job of cleaning up any USB signal. When buying a USB isolator then you need to ensure it can handle the speed (Hi-Speed 480 Mbps) and current (260 mA+) needed by the RTL-SDR dongles. We have not tested it, but this unit appears to fit the bill.

 

Recommended alternative SDRs

Airspy
Airspy

We think the Airspy is the SDR with the best RX capabilities in the mid priced SDR market right now. It really shines when used in tough RF environments, such as those found in city and suburban areas. The Airspy is an excellent upgrade from an RTL-SDR dongle. Requires the SpyVerter upconverter add on to receive HF signals.

See our review post for a comprehensive comparison between the Airspy, SDRplay RSP and HackRF.

 
SDRplay RSP
SDRplay RSP

Another good mid range SDR is the SDRplay RSP. This SDR is great value for the price and can receive HF frequencies without an upconverter, but it not as good as the Airspy when running in tough RF environments with many strong signals.

See our review post for a comprehensive comparison between the Airspy, SDRplay RSP and HackRF.

 
Nooelec Nano 2+ RTL-SDR
Nooelec Nano 2+

This is an alternative RTL-SDR to the version we sell. This RTL-SDR is very small and is great for using with portable equipment such as mobile phones and tablets. Costs more than ours but also comes with a TCXO.

 
E4000 RTL-SDR Dongle
E4000 RTL-SDR Dongle

The E4000 is more expensive as it has become rare since it has gone out of production. It has a frequency range of 52 – 2200 MHz with a gap from 1100 MHz to 1250 MHz.

The E4000 RTL-SDR dongle can still be bought from Nooelec on Amazon as well. Due to its rareness, the cost of the E4000 is slowly rising. These dongles used to sell for $20, but are now going for around $50-$100! Best to get them now if you need them before they sell out completely. Though note that for most cases an R820T2 unit is usually better.

138 comments

  1. Valeriy Gamzatov

    Hello. I transferred money for 4 dongle 3 days ago but have not received the letter sending yet. Tell me please with whom I can contact to find out the transaction details?

    • admin

      Hello Valeriy, I see your order was only placed two days ago on the night of May 4 (China time) and it was put into processing for packing and shipment by DHL on May 5. DHL usually begins the export process the next working day after packing & processing and then gives us the tracking 1 working day later, so you should receive the tracking number on Monday. It will come in a shipping confirmation email from PayPal. Hope this info helps you, if there are any problems please see the “Shipping Information” section on this page, or contact us directly at rtlsdrblog@gmail.com.

  2. SwineOne

    Quick newbie question:

    I’m looking to receive broadcast AM using the direct sampling mod. Can I directly solder a loop antenna (similar to those found on boomboxes or A/V receivers) to the breakout pins? Or do I need anything in between the antenna and the RTL-SDR, like a transformer or balun? Thanks.

  3. Nick

    The R820T2 dongle with TCXO works very well, but the lowpass IF filter doesn’t work compared to the older R820T dongles. I am using the SDR driver with IF bandwidth control and it works well on my old R820T, reducing the bandwidth for better out-of-band rejection, but the bandwidth is wide open on the new R820T2 dongle. With SDR#, I can see a narrow bandwidth when set to 2.4 MHz sampling and 350KHz IF bandwidth on the R820T, but not on the R820T2. Was something changed to disable the IF filter ? Can it be changed back ?

  4. Mike

    Please can someone provide close up of the pcb with the bias tee modification completed.
    I take it that this is a link at RF1 on the pcb, is this a reference for “re-setable fuse 1″ and a smd component would be required or is this mod done with just a wire link ?
    Also notice there is a protection fuse on the pcb near inductor L13.

  5. Pavel

    Hi,
    I bought R820T2 RTL-SDR dongle recently. I have tested it on Linux system by GQRX and various other utilities.
    The dongle is able to receive FM radio for example. But I get [R82XX] PLL not locked messages.
    The same time my old E4000 dongle works without such messages.
    It looks like the osmosdr utilities/driver cannot read the PLL lock indicator of the R820T2 chip correctly .
    Or my dongle is broken?

    • admin

      PLL not locked is a common message that can be safely ignored. It means the tuner could not tune exactly to the specified frequency, but it will usually tune to a neighbouring frequency that can be locked.

  6. Al K.

    I just purchased the latest RTL-SDR Blog revision NSY 2015/12 from Amazon. I’m experienced with RF design and was curious about these dongles and liked the bias tee implementation. I won’t revisit the cosmetic issues, mechanics, or circuit layout, but there’s definitely an issue involving the TCXO.

    It creates a spectrum of powerful n-th harmonics from 28.8 MHz all the way up to +1.7GHz. I’ve used comb generators that don’t work this well. This increases the noise floor by ~20dB. So useful spectrum analysis is really limited to a 35dB dynamic range. I found a 50th harmonic broad spectrum of the clock @1.44GHz and what looks like a mirror at 960MHz that is HUGE. The modulation aspects might be USB leakage related. Running Kalibrate kept giving me strange results or none on a GSM tower less than 2 miles away, so I spent a few tedious hours snooping with SDR# and then verifying with RTL Panorama. E-field probing the PCB verified a very hot oscillator so I may play with some localized shielding and other tricks since moving around anything smaller than 805’s isn’t any fun, especially without a good schematic. The TCXO’s WTL International PN is “S5 28.8″ and can’t find its specific data sheet (custom?) but there are similar 28.8MHz products in their catalog.

    • admin

      What you’re seeing at 960 and 1440 Mhz is actually harmonics from the USB on your PC, you’ll probably see the same at 480 MHz as well. Spurs are a problem, but the TCXO doesn’t create more spurs than a regular RTL-SDR dongle with a normal oscillator.

      • Al K.

        Yes, I agree the USB is likely causing some intermodulation at the clock harmonics. However, all the rigid spurs are very real, very big, steady, everywhere, and deflates my enthusiasm for the Spectrum Analyzer aspect or monitoring frequencies near those clock harmonics. If regular dongles using standard crystals are also this poor, then it’s moot. Yet I have not seen end-to-end spectral displays of other users like this either.

        Note that crystals and clock oscillators are two different entities and NEVER drop-in replacements. If an oscillator is not treated differently in layout or matching elements things can easily go bad. Drive, loading, and layout are very different. I’ve mitigated dozens of non compliant products from “drop-in clock flops”. If I have some time to chase it down and can fix it, I will post my results. -Best Regards-

    • P to the R

      Funny you mentioned this since I noticed exactly the same thing with mine (I own two). These harmonics start immediately at 28.8 MHz and go right up there. Never witnessed anything like that with my regular rtl-sdr, except for the USB induced harmonics. For my use it’s acceptable but understand that for spectrum analysis will suck big time.

  7. Terry Gaff

    Bob I… Here’s a link to an image of the latest RTL SDR dongle showing the pads for power injection https://www.dropbox.com/s/ik5pv051ipv2byd/RTLSDR%20R820T2.jpg?dl=0

    I got mine only yesterday morning and I modified by installing a miniature latching on/off button for the power injection and replacing the short legged LED with a long legged device so it peeps out the same end to show me when power is on. Later on, last night, I notice that the printed text on the surface had nearly disappeared. It was not subjected to any solvents or chemicals etc. just heat generated inside the SDR itself. Use of a better paint/ink should be considered. https://www.dropbox.com/s/s2jcac3wj3fgd29/20160126_191422.jpg?dl=0

    Terry

  8. Bob l

    Any pics or directions available of the two pads that have to be soldered to provide 4.5v through the SMA connector to power a Spyverter without using the USB connector???

    • admin

      Hi Martin, please check our Shipping Information policy on this page (just under the book sale link). Basically it’s very hard to predict how long a parcel will take. Some countries in the EU will receive it in 1-2 weeks. Other can take up to 4-5 weeks. It is highly dependant on many factors such as global postal load (eg around xmas and NYE delivery is very very slow), your countries customs agencies efficiency and your local post efficiency. On average delivery is around 15-20 days.

  9. Nikolay

    I want to thank the owner of this shop, clear and fast work, I recommend everyone to buy here. Today I received the dongle in the aluminum case, excellent item at a very reasonable price. Measured temperature frequency drift per hour – 0,053 ppm – great result, it’s better than I measured with big Chinese TCXO 0.5 ppm (0,078 ppm per hour). Works well heat radiation on the case, the case is very hot. Like stylish look, I can’t help myself, happy like a kid with a new toy.

      • Chris

        You guys are the best!

        It’s kind of a shame that all the design work is already done. I just read the newly-posted article regarding passive cooling, and it would be nice to have a heat sink integrated with the aluminum case. In fact, the entire bottom of the case could probably serve as a heat sink, and the cases could come with a strip of thermal padding to make it super easy to mount the PCB inside.

        Oh well, maybe for Version 2.0!

        • admin

          Actually we’ve already been looking into methods of passive cooling with the case and a thermal pad is one of the things we are considering, and it’s probably the most likely solution at the moment. It would simply attach to the bottom of the PCB and make contact with the metal case inner wall. It would be nice to have some actual metal sticking up and touching the hot points, but with extrusion moulding only simple linear designs are possible.

          I should say we have no guarantees on having any passive cooling implemented though, but we are definitely looking into it, and if not now then definitely for v2.

  10. Robert

    Is the “RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas” still on track to being in stock by weeks end at Amazon?

    • admin

      The stock arrived at the Amazon warehouse today (about a week later than we expected). Hopefully it will be put on the shelves by tomorrow, but it’s hard to give an accurate timeline as sometimes they’re slow and sometimes they’re fast.

  11. Paul

    Just a quick word on support: When I received mine, it was broken. I sent an email to Carl with proof of the problem, and he instantly sent me a new one. I received the replacement today, and now the fun begins :)

    Thanks for the quick replacement!
    -Paul.

  12. Edo Dijkgraaf

    L.s.,

    I am an editor for Hoek van Holland Magazine. I want to buy two sets of the: RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas for a review.

    Can you please send me an email once the sets are available for the Netherlands again?

    Cheers!

    Edo Dijkgraaf

    • admin

      Thanks for the interest!

      We’re just in the process of repackaging the units with antennas because the international postal system was much rougher than we anticipated. We found that they tend to crush parcels a lot, which pushed some of the antenna base screws down into the base (easily repaired with a screwdriver, but definitely not in the state that we want customers to receive them).

      We should be back to selling them normally by the end of this week, or early next week.

  13. demian

    I somehow managed to screw up the driver for the R280T trying to fix my Folio keyboard on my Winbook. Now it shows up as Bulk Interface 0 and Bulk Interface 1. Is there anyway to get it back to R280T?

    • admin

      Are you seeing that in Zadig? In Zadig the RTL-SDR should show up as Bulk in, Interface (Interface 0), or something like RTL2832. Just use Zadig to reinstall the WinUSB drivers on that interface 0 to get it working.

  14. Bob H

    Hey guys, I just bought your improved rtl-sdr dongle and it works great, but the only antenna I have is the telescopic antenna it came with, I also have a small unused radio dish. I tried to receive NOAA 19 with limited success. To actually receive a signal I needed to hold on the the antenna cable which reduced the static and allowed me to receive it for a small period of time. I cannot buy a different antenna at this time.

    What can I do to so I don’t have to hold the wire to get reception?

    • admin

      The telescopic whip antennas aren’t really designed for receiving satellites. Telescopic whip antennas can receive terrestrial signals well, but not ones from space. For NOAA you should build a QFH or turnstile antenna.

      That said you might be able to squeeze a bit more from the telescopic antennas by extending them to the correct length for 137 MHz (about 0.52 m), placing the antenna on a metal sheet like a cookie tin lid, and making an “ugly balun”. Coil up a few turns of the coax around a pencil (or preferable a ferrite rod) near the antenna base. That should reduce the noise a little.

      • Bob H

        Thanks for the quick reply, but the telescopic antenna that came with it has a fairly high noise floor on almost any frequency unless I hold on to the cable itself, by this I mean there are tons of strong signals that were wide, solid lines (Not FM) and then I held the antenna cable they go away for the most part and weaker signals show up like NOAA 19 and it improves the signal so much that it was static and then the signal was almost clear as day and I could actually receive NOAA 19 for a while and it gave me a clear image (I can post a picture if you want and I was at max gain, as that is what I needed to pick the signal up NOAA 19)

        Also when you say place it on a metal sheet do you mean the base or the antenna itself, and when you say near the antenna base do you mean the cable around the base, and is there a specific number of coils I should make?

        Sorry for the stupid questions, and thanks for the reply.

        • admin

          Sorry for the late reply. Yeah I mean put the base of the antenna on top of a metal sheet. Whip antennas like these are designed to be placed on top of a metal surface. There’s a magnet on the base for this purpose that will hold it there. I think that when you hold onto the cable you might be helping by acting as the ground, so adding a real ground plane should help as well.

          For the coil I mean to get say a pen and maybe make 3-4 turns of the cable around then pen, then tape it to keep it secure. Make the turns close to the base. If you have a ferrite rod then do it around this rod. It shouldn’t be needed, but in some cases this can help.

    • Ares

      Why don’t you replace the antenna? They’re cheap and plentiful. BTW, the R820T2 dongles perform worse in tests (especially in the experimental mode) than the old R820T ones and it would appear that in the advertised models the 1ppm claimed TCXO is actually a passive (no power) 20ppm smd crystal – it’s to do with the design of the R820T2 tuner.

      • admin

        What tests have you seen or performed that show the R820T2 is worse? All the results i’ve seen from other experimenters and our own tests have shown that the R820T2 is a little better than the R820T. Just search for R820T2 on this blog.

        Also these new units (not the old model linked by Jacob) really do have a real powered 1 PPM TCXO, it is not passive. There is a power trace for these units going into the TCXO to power it.

        • Ares

          I have not tested the model you are trying to sell, but I will ask the Chinese manufacturer for a few samples. The R820T2 tuner is designed with the ultra amateur people in mind who cannot be bothered to even get a good antenna for their setup. Any one of my R820T dongles has shown better stability than the new R820T2 ones and all the new so called TCXO dongles have so far been sold with a 20ppm SMD passive resonator. That said, would it be possible to get a link to some pictures to support your claim? I’d like to see that power trace and perhaps you could also tell us what TCXO is used in the design?

          • admin

            The main difference between the R820T and the R820T2 is the wider filters (whose width should have no effect on the 3.2 MHz RTL-SDR), but a side effect of the different filters appears to be slightly better RX.

            Not sure what you mean by the “ultra amateur people?”, the R820T2 is also used in the Airspy, a high performance SDR.

            Frequency stability has little to do with the tuner itself, it is all dependant on the oscillator. Close up of the power trace here http://www.rtl-sdr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/power_trace.jpg. 3.3V is tapped from one end of C2. The TCXO has no brand, but it is almost identical to the one used in the previous ThumbNet models which are also 1PPM temp drift, 2PPM initial offset.

            • Ares

              Please let me help you identify your quartz – http://www.s383778432.websitehome.co.uk/upload/1.JPG and regarding the power trace I shall contact the manufacturer to confirm everything. (The reel was obtained from the dongle manufacturer)
              Thank you for your kind offer, but for what it does I have decided that I may buy your Airspy only when you’ve lowered your price a tad. Until then I’ll be happy to either use the Chinese dongles or make my own SDRs.

              • admin

                No its not that one, those look like passive XOs. We source our own TCXO’s from a separate supplier, they are 1PPM and powered like all TCXO’S need to be.

                Just to confirm we aren’t the designers of the Airspy, they are made by someone else.

                • Ares

                  By your own words you do not know what the brand of the quartz is. I helped you identify it as that is what the Chinese use. The rest is your blurb trying to save your sales.

                  • admin

                    It’s definitely not that XO in the image you posted. I 100% guarantee that the oscillator we use in the new units is a powered 3.3V 1PPM temp drift, 2PPM initial offset TCXO.

                    There is no brand, the TCXO is custom manufactured by our crystal supplier who have their own network of factory partners to choose from. 28.8 MHz TCXO’s are not very common, so they need to be custom ordered in the thousands. The closest thing to a brand is the supplier name, but I won’t reveal the supplier as that is trade secret (and I think you might be an RTL-SDR retailer too? since you talk of contacting the factory), but there are many similar XO suppliers to choose from in China.

                    Not sure why it is so hard to believe in a RTL-SDR with TCXO? Anyone can confirm the 1PPM drift by watching the drift on a signal over time. Other vendors have had TCXO RTL-SDR’s out for some time too, including ThumbNet, Nooelec and custom hand modded ones by someone in Japan.

                    EDIT: Screenshot of the relevant parts of the datasheet http://www.rtl-sdr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/tcxo_ss.png

                    EDIT 2: Photo of the TCXO temperature drift test data from our prototypes http://www.rtl-sdr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/tcxo_test_data.jpg

                    • Ares

                      Blurb. I’ve had the NooElec dongle here straight from China (NooElec written in silkscreen on the PCB) – came with the 20ppm crystal as pictured in my link above.

                      How can you tell everyone there is no brand? Someone manufactures those crystals after all and you don’t know who it is. Well, I got a reel full of those so called TCXOs from the same manufacturer you are talking about and they are not 1ppm.

                      I’ve had enough of all of you ripping people off by saying things that are not true about those products, ie. your claims about home modifying the PCBs, etc. The dongles are manufactured in China, all the printing is done in China and every board is modified in China.

                      I have no problem disclosing who makes them, do you?

                    • admin

                      Replying to your last comment here because the comment thread went too deep. The “brand” is the supplier name, but they just order the crystals from one of their factory partners.

                      Yes all the dongles are made in China, most by Newsky, the factory we and other vendors use. They have their own standard oscillators that they use on their standard units (the 20PPM SMD ones your talking about, and the 100PPM+ CAN package ones) – we used the SMD ones on our old models as they drifted a lot less than the through hole XO’s. But for these new ones we’ve gone ahead and ordered 1PPM TCXO’s from a crystal supplier, given them to Newsky, told them the required PCB changes needed to give them power, and then had them manufactured. To be clear, ours are not hand modified.

                      There really are hand modified ones for sale though, by Nobu in Japan (he sells them on Amazon.jp), and there was also a US company doing similar hand mods who sold on eBay before.

                      EDIT: To comment below, yes NS may be traders, but they are the biggest gateway to the factories of these units.

                      EDIT 2: What the?! The base URL of the site this commenter linked in the picture he posted in an earlier comment (http://www.s383778432.websitehome.co.uk/upload/1.JPG) redirects to a business that sells RTL-SDRs in the UK. We know this business as one that was actually selling and mislabelling the passive 20PPM XO dongles as TCXO’s before on eBay…http://www.ebay.com/itm/121574210111. I don’t like putting other sellers down as they provide a valuable service with local shipping, and will often promote them in posts if they provide a superior product, but really what on earth is going on here?

                    • Reverend Mik

                      What is going on here is he is deliberately baiting you to keep replying to the reply thread, to keep up the traffic to this “image”, which then he changes into a redirect to his own business website.

                      He gains traffic, tries to put doubt in the consumers’ minds about your product, and he hopes this translates into sales for his own product.

                      It’s a very old advertising gimmick.

  15. Pedro

    Hi there. Am quite new with SDR and this site is awesome. Congratz!

    I really wanted to work something out with a new Radio I bought, so I ask: What is the recommended equipment to work with AM, FM and SW transmissions?

    Best regards

  16. Jim

    When will the amazon USB sticks with antennas be back in stock? Is there a source for the antennas separately?

    • admin

      Hi and thanks for the interest. Due to the long Chinese New Year holidays we weren’t able to get our stock manufactured in time, and there are still big back logs that the factories are dealing with. We expect to be back in stock around early April, hopefully late March. Also, there’s no separate source for our telescopic antennas as we get them custom made for us. Sorry for any inconvenience!

  17. Dutch N0RDC Thurman

    Bought an Amazon dongle but there was ZERO documentation. Installed and ran SDR# but either I am doing something wrong or the HF is dead. Goes to 24mhz then gets quiet. Have a decent HF dipole Slinky that works great on my ICOM PCR100, but I want the better software control and support as my PCR100 is hard to find software for.
    Any ideas?!?

    • admin

      Most dongles won’t come with documentation, but all the set up info needed can be found on our quickstart guide. The R820T/2 RTL-SDR has a range of about 24 MHz – 1.7 GHz, so HF reception below 24 MHz is not possible. But it is possible to run experimental HF drivers (see the software menu at the top), do a hardware mod or buy an upconverter.

    • admin

      Yes you can get them that cheap, but remember they will take around 2-4 weeks to arrive vs a few days if buying from a local seller. Also the cheap ones won’t have any improvements made to them.

      • youp

        Okay, I think I’ll go for the cheap one, was going to order some stuff from aliexpress tonight anyway. I’m buying it for experimentation/fooling around, if I end up liking this stuff I’ll probably buy the R820T2 version, a quick google told me there’s a shop about 500M from my dad’s work that sells them. Also, I’m in the Netherlands, so buying them from your store won’t be an option probably. Thanks for the info/fraud check!

    • Randy M.

      As far as AliExpress, you may, or may not, get counterfeit product. I have ordered 3 items from them. 2 of the 3 were obvious counterfeits, with pretty bad silkscreening of the “real” manufacturers name. I’m talking about ordering a Neo Hybrid case for my phone, and getting a Neo HYB RID instead, lol. You get what you pay for though. Their dongle is probably “ok”, but I’d spend the extra to get one with the upgraded components if you get bitten hard enough by the sdr bug. Quality components will give you a much quieter noise floor.

  18. Dalton

    When are you guys going to have the SDR dongle sets with the telescopic antenna in stock? I saw the message saying they will be in a few days but its been weeks. Thanks!

    • admin

      There have been a few delays due to the holidays, but if everything goes to plan with the shipping from China, we should be in stock again by the end of this week. We’ll make a promotional post on the front page when they’re ready for sale.

    • admin

      Not much other than ours come with the 2x telescopic antennas which is good for beginners who don’t have any antennas to use. On the other hand Nooelecs’ have phone support and they also sell more expensive models with the R820T2 chip which has slightly better sensitivity. They also ship outside the USA which we can’t do at the moment.

      We’re restocking ours in a few weeks and ours will also have the R820T2 chip and some other small improvements applied to them.

  19. Josep

    Hi,

    I’ve tried to buy the R820T RTL-SDR in Amazon following your links, but it’s not possible for Spanish customers. I’ve find in the Amazon Spanish site and I found several vendors. While all of them have prices around 15-20 EUR, one from NooElec costs 308 EUR !!!. Where is the difference? I thought that almost these dongles where equal. All of them are RTL2832U+R820T.

    Thanks!

    • admin

      Our branded ones are currently only available in the USA due to Amazon restrictions. All dongles are almost all the same, the Nooelec ones have slightly better component tolerances and better support, but not worth 308 EUR, they must have made a pricing mistake there. Go for any reasonably priced R820T.

  20. Leopoldo

    Hi! I am close to buy my first SDR hardware but I have not decided yet between NooElec RTL-SDR kit (with Ham It Upconverter) and the DX Patrol Ultra Wide Receiver. My last due dilligence to finally decide is about tuning of ISDB Digital TV (the standard for most of Latinamerica).

    Usually RTL2832U R820T is offered like DVB-T tuner (standard for Europe) but there is no mention for ISDB TV nor ATSC (North America standard for digital television). In the white paper of Rafael Micro R820T (http://www.rafaelmicro.com/downloads/R820T.pdf) one can read that this chipset is also for ISBD and ATSC but my confusion comes from the advertisement of this dongle which is always as DVB-T shown on its plastic case, the antenna and the tiny remote control…

    Some days ago I did ask to DX Patrol manufacturer about if its dongle could tune ISBD TV and he said me that “by changing the software, you change the type of (SDR) receiver. You can still receive TV with it, but you will have a drivers conflict. You would need use different PC or so, but would be possible”. Unfortunately his answer was no so clear for a SDR beginner like me :s

    By the same way a sales representative at NooElec told me that she believes “the R820T has to be configured to receive ISDB and a slightly different circuit board is required. As such, I do not believe you can use these for ISDB”.

    What advice can all you folks give to me about this conflict :p ?

    Thank you all in advance!

    Leopoldo

    • admin

      EDIT: I’m not 100% sure on this, but I think the RTL-SDR R820T based dongles are compatible with ISDB-T, assuming you install the correct drivers for TV watching.

      The DX patrol guy was just warning you that you cannot have the SDR drivers and the TV drivers installed at the same time.

      • Leopoldo

        Hi again admin!

        Such driver’s conflict may be the reason why some SDR hobbyst recommend not to install the software that comes in the CD package if I will not use this device for TV purposes? In my case is very obvious that I won’t because DVB-T is not the standard in Latinamerica (but ISDB), so the CD and the remote control is useless for me.

        Regarding the white paper of Rafael Micro R820T which mention that this chip features for DVB, ISDB and ATSC standards, so it appears to be a driver design issue as you (admin) mentioned. But certainly it is very rare that northamericans, latinamericans or japanesse SDR enthusiasts didn’t have created any drivers to take advantage of ISDB/ATSC USB TV dongles… (?) Why the DVB-T dongle is so advertised and associated to SDR?

      • Leopoldo

        Hi again admin!

        Such driver’s conflict may be the reason why some SDR hobbyst recommend not to install the software that comes in the CD package if I will not use this device for TV purposes? In my case is very obvious that I won’t because DVB-T is not the standard in Latinamerica (but ISDB), so the CD and the remote control is useless for me.

        Regarding the white paper of Rafael Micro R820T which mention that this chip features for DVB, ISDB and ATSC standards, so it appears to be a driver design issue as you (admin) mentioned. But certainly it is very rare that northamericans, latinamericans or japanesse SDR enthusiasts didn’t have created any drivers to take advantage of ISDB/ATSC USB TV dongles… (?) Why the DVB-T dongle is so advertised and associated to SDR?

        • admin

          Yes the conflicts are why you can only use one driver at a time.

          The RTL2832U chips SDR capabilities are kind of an accident which hasn’t been able to be replicated in ATSC dongles as they do not use the RTL2832U.

          DVBT and ISDB are pretty similar which leads to believe that the DVB-T dongles are the same as the ISDB ones, but Nooelec might be right that there are small differences in the circuitry which could cause it to not work on ISDB.

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  26. dani

    Hai Admin… i want to buy a SDR. I have some doubts about it
    1,All DVB SDR same? ( multiple RTL SDR on ebay&Amazon)
    2, What is different R820T&E4000?
    Thanks
    dani

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  28. René WELTER

    Nooelec has now a nano usb stick and they say that he is better than the normal USB stick

    Did any one compare ?

    Tnx for info

    René

  29. René Welter

    There is now a Nano stick awailable at Nooelec.
    They say even that he is better than the normal stick.

    Has anyone compared . .

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  32. 9V1SV

    I have bought a E4000 Terratec t stick+ and Ham it up converter from Nooelec. My PC Windows 8, i7
    After I realised it is not compatible for Windows 8. Now I don’t know what can do with this device.

  33. Rolf

    I have just bought a dongle and have the software installed.but can not find the stick name in the field next to Play.
    Have find in the AUDIO tag the Input that shows MME ,s two with a REALTek name but can not reciev ant radio station can you advice me Cheers Rolf

  34. ik3ery

    The plugin “Auto Tuner” does not exist in the file “Release-latest.zip” how to download Plugin of this site.
    Where can I find this “Auto Tuner” ?
    Help me
    Sergio

    • admin

      Hi, I just tested that download and it’s there, but a little hidden. You need to scroll down on the left menu, and click the [+] next to the Auto Tuner button.

  35. Hao Doan

    RTL-SDR can get spectrum upto 2200 MHZ ?and How many tolerance of rtl-sdr ?I want get spectrum of range 2110 -2170 Mhz of a RF generator,Can i do ?Thanks!

    • admin

      Only the E4000 RTL-SDR can go up to 2200 MHz maximum, so make sure you get one with the E4000 tuner chipset. RTL-SDR has 3.2 MHz maximum bandwidth, so you won’t get the entire spectrum all at once. The oscillator PPM tolerance is usually somewhere between 10-100 PPM error.

      • Hao Doan

        Thank you ! I can question more .Have type other of rtl-sdt that bandwidth about 100Mhz ? If with bandwidth 3.2Mhz and range measure frequency is 2110-2170 Mhz software can indentify start and end frequency that needn’t display spectrum all on screen ?Thanks!

        • admin

          All RTL-SDR’s have 3.2 MHz max bandwidth. Sorry, I don’t quite understand the final question, but you can tune to any frequency between 2110-2170 MHz and look at 3.2 MHz of the spectrum.

          • Leopoldo

            Hi!

            When you say to look at 3.2 MHz of spectrum you mean that at maximun zoom out of spectrum you will only see signals between two frequencies B – A = 3.2MHz ? (at maximum zoom out). For example: at the websdr.org, the server of JO32KF (http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/) allow me to see from 0kHz to 29,160kHz —> this imply that the bandwith of his SDR receiver is almost 30Mhz (or 29.16MHz)?

            • Leopoldo

              Hi!

              When you say to look at 3.2 MHz of spectrum you mean that at maximun zoom out of spectrum you will only see signals between two frequencies B – A = 3.2MHz ? (at maximum zoom out). For example: at the websdr.org, the server of JO32KF (http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/) allow me to see from 0kHz to 29,160kHz —> this imply that the bandwith of his SDR receiver is almost 30Mhz (or 29.16MHz)?

            • Mark B.

              In the DVB mode, the tuner demodulates the signal, and in the IQ mode, it passes the samples to USB. The maximum sample rate is 3.2M as noted above. But the highest stable sample rate is approx 2.8M.

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