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 announcement post on our V3 units for a full overview of all the features, or scroll down for our store. Also see our V3 users guide for information on using special features of our dongle. Our dongles come with the following improvements:

  • <1 PPM temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO) – Accurate tuning and almost zero temperature drift (2 PPM max. initial offset, 0.5-1 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 RF insertion losses.
  • R820T2 tuner – More sensitive than the older R820T tuner. 100% compatible with software for the older R820T.
  • 4.5V USB powered bias tee – Can be enabled by running a simple program (see V3 users guide). This allows the RTL-SDR to power low noise amplifiers (like the LNA4ALL and HABAMP) and active antennas through the coax cable.
  • Experimental: HF Direct Sampling Mode – Listen to 500 kHz – 24 MHz with direct sampling. Simply connect an HF antenna to the SMA port, and choose the Q-branch to use. There is a built in 25 MHz low pass filter, but additional HF filters may be required for optimal performance (e.g. to knock out strong MW AM).
  • Aluminium case and passive cooling – These units come stock with an aluminium case and passive cooling via a silicon thermal pad.
  • Various additional improvements compared to other RTL-SDRs – Higher quality passive components, a choke on the USB line to reduce USB noise, a much improved PCB design for significantly less internal spurs and noise, various break-out pads, improved ESD protection, additional bypass capacitors and ferrite power line chokes, improved front end matching circuit and a better LDO.
US ShippingInternational Shipping
Purchase on Amazon and receive FREE domestic shipping for orders over $35 and free two day shipping for Prime subscribers! Or use our international cart for FREE shipping from China.FREE economy registered air mail from China! Paid express shipping also available. Please double check your address in PayPal before payment and enter it using English characters only.

International Shipping Options

Free Economy China Post Shipping: Takes anywhere from 1-8 weeks (usually 2-4 weeks, some rare cases 6-8 weeks) to most countries. Orders from the US/UK/CAN/AUS/RUS/FR will be upgraded to ePacket which is faster. 

Swiss/HK Post: Similar delivery time frames as China Post (1-8 weeks), but generally on average at the faster end of that scale. Generally more reliable. US/UK/CAN/AUS/RUS/FR countries should stick to the free shipping for ePacket delivery.

Fast Airmail: Recommended option. Typically goes via air cargo then to a local courier or PostNL in the EU. These options are only available for some countries and are generally a few days to weeks faster. More reliable.

Express Mail: Shipped with DHL/UPS/EMS/Aramex. Fast delivery times to most countries, typically 1-2 weeks.

 

RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas
RTL-SDR Blog V3 R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas

Includes 1x RTL-SDR Blog brand R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA V3 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.

Amazon USA local out of stock – restocking by the end of June.
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio (Dongle Only)
RTL-SDR Blog V3 R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio (Dongle Only)

Includes 1x RTL-SDR Blog brand R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA V3 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.

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

Amazon USA local out of stock – restocking by the end of June.
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
FlightAware ProStick Plus (ADS-B Specialty RTL-SDR)
FlightAware ProStick Plus (ADS-B Specialty RTL-SDR)

Includes 1x FlightAware Brand Prostick Plus ADS-B Specialty RTL-SDR.

This is a modified RTL-SDR dongle made specifically for ADS-B reception (aircraft tracking – see our tutorial here). What makes it special is its built in 1090 MHz low noise figure LNA and SAW filter which significantly improves ADS-B reception. If you are mainly interested in ADS-B reception then this is one of the best dongles for the task. See our review of the unit here.

Produced by FlightAware.com for their aircraft tracking service and resold by us at RTL-SDR Blog with free shipping for international customers. USA customers can purchase it from directly from FlightAware on Amazon.

Amazon USA local in stock (Sold by FlightAware).
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
Stratux RTL-SDR (Low Power RTL-SDR)
Stratux RTL-SDR (Low Power RTL-SDR) – Limited Stock Only

Includes 1x Stratux Low Power RTL-SDR.

This is a modified RTL-SDR dongle designed for low power consumption. It uses a switch mode power regulator instead of a linear regulator which results in about 100 mA lower power usage. However, the trade off is additional RF noise.

Stratux RTL-SDR dongles are designed for use in ADS-B reception on small aircraft, but they can also be used by anyone requiring lower power usage for example on solar powered Raspberry Pi units. Note that these units have no enclosure, and do not have a TCXO. When installing in Zadig these show up as “Low Power V2”.

Produced by stratux.me and resold by us at RTL-SDR Blog with free shipping for international customers. US customs can purchase from Amazon directly from Stratux.

Amazon USA local in stock (Sold by Stratux).
Chinese worldwide warehouse in stock.

 
RTL-SDR Blog Broadcast FM Band-Stop Filter
RTL-SDR Blog Broadcast FM Band-Stop Filter

Includes 1x RTL-SDR Blog Broadcast FM Band-Stop Filter and 1x SMA male to SMA male adapter.

Blocks the broadcast FM band between 88 – 108 MHz with over 50dB of attenuation. Insertion loss is less than 0.5 dB between 0 – 1 GHz, and mostly less than 1.5 dB between 1 – 3 GHz. A broadcast FM block filter can help if you have very strong broadcasts in your area that are overloading the SDR dongle. Also known as “FM Trap”. Note, for RX use only.

See the product release page, for more information and tests.

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

 
RTL-SDR Blog Broadcast AM High Pass Filter
RTL-SDR Blog Broadcast AM High Pass Filter

Includes 1x RTL-SDR Blog Broadcast AM High Pass Filter and 1x SMA male to SMA male adapter.

Designed to block the broadcast AM band between 500 kHz – 1.7 MHz with over 50 dB of attenuation. The 3 dB roll-off point is between 2.5 – 2.6 MHz. Works great with the direct sampling mode on our V3 dongles. This is a high pass filter and not a notch, so VLF will not work. Note, for RX use only.

See the product release page, for more information and tests.

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

 
SDRplay RSP1 Aluminum Enclosure Upgrade
SDRplay RSP1 Aluminum Enclosure Upgrade

Includes 1x Black aluminum metal enclosure with two labelled side panels, 1x Broadcast FM band-stop filter plus SMA Male to SMA Male barrel adapter, 1x Black semi-hardshell carry case, 1x Thermal pad to keep the RSP-1 cool and mechanically stable inside the enclosure and 1x Accessory set including enclosure screws, GND lug bolt set and 3M anti-slip rubber feet.

Can be used to upgrade the SDRplay RSP-1 to a metal enclosure. Helps block RF interference entering the RSP-1 PCB directly.

Note that owners of the very first RSP-1’s with F-Type connectors may require an additional F-Type to SMA pigtail adapter, or a MMCX to SMA pigtail to be able to fit the SMA hole. [Installation Instructions]

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.

 
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 (ePacket 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/CAN) we will use priority mail (ePacket EMS). Shipping can take anywhere from 1 – 8 weeks, but typically it is between 2 – 4 weeks. It will normally reach the higher end of the scale during the peak season which is the months surrounding December. Please note that delivery time is also highly dependent 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 South Africa, Italy, Canada, Brazil, and middle eastern countries are known to sometimes have extremely slow postal and 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 for known slow countries) 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 for countries that don’t support priority air mail. With this option we will use either DHL, UPS, EMS or Aramex air couriers. Depending on your country your package should arrive within 2-8 business days with express shipping (plus a 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 often 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 a faster shipping method for free. We will normally only do this for larger orders.

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, PostNL 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 do any modifications to the PCB (e.g. soldering on it) 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 [email protected] if you bought from our cart. Be sure to 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 [email protected] 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.

 
Outernet L-Band Patch Antenna
Outernet L-Band Patch Antenna

If you’re wanting to get into receiving and decoding L-Band satellites such as Inmarsat, Iridium and Outernet then this is the easiest way to get started. Combine it with the Outernet LNA for best results in the Iridium and Outernet bands. 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 or even lower price compared 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.

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.

 
Outernet L-Band LNA
Outernet L-Band LNA

If you’re wanting to receive Iridium or Outernet L-band signals then this is the best LNA for the job. It works between 1525 – 1559 MHz, with a gain of 34 dB. It has an on-board filter as well to remove out of band interference.

Must be powered via a bias tee, and works fine with the bias tee on our V1, V2 or V3 dongles. See our review post here for more information.

Other Accessories

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 3
Raspberry Pi 3

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.

 

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, is much noisier and doesn’t have as many features but it 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.

 
HackRF One
HackRF One

The HackRF One is a relatively low cost TX/RX capable SDR. It is designed for radio experimenters and it has a very wide band frequency range from 1 MHz to 6 GHz, and a wide bandwidth of up to 20 MHz and an 8-Bit ADC. It is probably the most versatile SDR that exists at the moment, but in a compromise it does not have the best quality RX or TX performance. Thus it is perfect for experiments like reverse engineering and testing RF devices, but it is not intended to be used as a commercial radio or ham radio.

228 comments

  1. Z-RAY-Z

    I got my rtl-sdr.com dongle today and i tested it for short time in Direct Sampling mode.
    Testing time – 12:00 (24 hrs metric), antenna: ~10 m wire /w out Balun, from window to maple.
    1600×900 resolution images are presented.
    http://images.vfl.ru/ii/1479893171/91d7d9c8/15069245.png – generic chinese
    http://images.vfl.ru/ii/1479893197/87deacf9/15069254.png – “silver”
    When i saw an increased noise level in “silver” dongle, i wanted to start swear. But later i saw – your dongle can get signals, which i can’t get with generic even at night time, with good propagation conditions! And MCX connector in generic dongle have small “insert in\out” cycles.

  2. Dmytro Zhadan

    Hello, rtl-sdr.com owners!

    I can’t buy RTL-SDR V3 dongle from Ukraine.
    “Sorry, but your Visa x-NNNN was declined. Please add another debit or credit card to complete your purchase.”
    (NNNN is last four digits of my Visa card, not for publication).
    Paypal marks all transactions with your store as ‘Denied’.
    I can’t imagine what is I’m doing wrong 🙁

    • admin

      The payment is handled by PayPal and not us, so I don’t really have any insight into what could be wrong. Are you sure that your credit card is enabled for international use? It would be best to call your bank to investigate.

    • vasanth

      You want to have debit card that will support international transaction.Some banks don’t accept paypal addition due to their security policies.So check with bank.

  3. Boris Yordanov

    Hi,
    I’ve ordered the “RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas” kit more than a month ago. The EMS tracking says “Your item was delivered(UNITED KINGDOM GBGU 9) at 2016-10-06 08:44:00” but I haven’t received it yet. Is this normal and what should I do if not?
    Thank you.

    • admin

      No that’s definitely not normal. If it says delivered but you received nothing then its possible that your local postal service made a mistake and delivered your parcel to the wrong address. If that happens you’ll need to contact your local post ASAP and give them the tracking number to sort it out. Any problems please contact us rtlsdrblog_AT_gmail_DOT_com.

  4. Tim

    I don’t want to be an alarmist, but 3 out of 5 of my batch 2 dongles are dead. It looks to me like the RTL chip is cooking. Perhaps its my hub, but I don’t thin so.

    • admin

      Hmm that’s odd, we’ve actually be seeing a much lower return rate with batch 2 compared to all other batches we’ve made in the past, and upon testing we find that most returns are not faulty.

      If you really did get three bad ones then of course please contact us on Amazon or rtlsdrblog_AT_gmail_DOT_com to issue a return and replacement.

  5. AJ

    Is there a problem with V.3 batch 2 (NYS 2016-9)? It’s performance is lacking compared with my 4 other dongles, spurs everywhere and gain fade outs make this a disappointing purchase.

  6. Max

    My blog filter is stuck in China and there is no progress since 10/10. It doesn’t even seem to have reached the airport. Is there a way to know what’s going on?

    • admin

      Hi Max, please email us (rtlsdrblog_AT_gmail_DOT_com) your order ID and tracking number. But note that intl. airmail does take anywhere between 1 – 4 weeks on average to arrive (maybe longer now that its getting close to Christmas), and it’s very normal for there to be long periods without tracking updates.

  7. Claudio

    Now (Oct/10th) that the worldwide site has been re-stocked and is accepting orders again, could you confirm if the V3 dongles are the “Batch 2” ones as mentioned in the V3 user guide? (with a resettable fuse on the Bias tee)

    thanks!
    Claudio

  8. Terry Gaff

    Hi,
    Does the new V.3 RTL-SDR circuit board have pads to which I can attach a switch so I can manually turn on and off the Bias-T power ? Just like in the previous version.

  9. Cola

    Have you thought to make 2 separate connectors for HF and VHF? I think 95% ppl use different antennas for HF and VHF (you can do a survey).
    PS. Nice filter, if I saw only the frequency response, I never would have thought that it is based on SMD components.

    • admin

      It’s possible, but cost would probably increase and the PCB might need to be enlarged as there are people who need those mounting holes on the corners. If you look on eBay there have been some direct sampling modified dongles out for some time now that that have two SMA connectors.

      The good thing about one SMA connector is that you can use a signal external antenna switch to switch between many antennas if you like.

  10. paul

    just bought fm trap. thank you sir for coming up with all these high quality devices and addons.
    at this point i have spent enough money on rtl gadgets to have bought a nice shortwave radio. but i prefer the modular route. i can set it up anywhere and tinker with it endlessly. anyway, thanks again for a great product and a fantastic site. – paul from toronto

  11. Nicolas

    Good price for the FM band stop filter.

    I just ordered one.

    I hope you’ll keep on developping such SDR accessories in the future.

    I already get RTL-SDR dongle V2 and V3.

    A DAB band stop filter and a LNA would be usefull too.

  12. Kevin

    my kit came with a damaged antenna base. The coax connector that ties the antenna base cable to the dongle is missing the center pin so I am unable to receive any rf signals. I know this is the issue as when I take a short length of copper wire and gnetly inset it into the center of the antenna connector on the dongle, I get radio stations loud and clear. How do i get a replacement antenna base?

  13. Luciano

    Hello.
    I’m interested to order vs SDR.- “” “RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas” “”
    $ 24.95, on Italian money € ur about 23 ..
    Problem … try to order on Amazon and i see .. “Not available for shipping on ..”

    The I am living on italy …….. and Amazon is wonderful Also for no high expenses –
    How can I do to have you here in Italy, someone in germany, switzerland Italy to HONEST prices? .. Here literally make the bins, (disappointments)
    Thanks to those of you answer me in email.

    PS. When you update to better use, as they often do not recognize the drivers. v1450

    • Max

      Amazon is for US buyers, you have to click on Worldwide Add to Cart and then move to the top of page to complete the order. It arrives in Italy in less than 3 weeks with free registered airmail

    • admin

      Why can’t you use the worldwide shop that is on this very page that you commented on? Amazon will not ship overseas (and would be costly if they did), and is for USA customers only.

      I didn’t understand your last comment about updating the drivers. Seems like you’re referring to SDR#? We don’t make SDR#, that is made by others.

  14. LM

    I recently received two of the new V3 dongles from rtl-sdr and I have to say they are a huge improvement over the two NooElec dongles that I have been using, My reception and decode of a ProVoice system, using Unitrunker and DSD+ is much better with these new dongles! Also the quality of the dongles and the included antennas seem much better as well. Very happy I made the switch.

  15. Jon

    I work with wireless microphone systems and we often use active antennas or in line amplifiers in our RF equipment. The wireless receivers or antenna splitters that we use, provide Bias T power up to 15V to supply active equipment.
    I would like to use an RTL-SDR dongle connected to an output of the antenna splitter so I can see real time the signal received with the antenna in the system. Do you know if the Nooelec NESDR Mini2 I own can handle that 12-15V in it’s input? And could the new V.3 dongle? If not, what can I use to block that DC current to use an RTL-SDR with that purpose?
    Thanks!

    • admin

      I think the Nooelec models are the same as the generic ones and don’t have a DC blocking capacitor on the front end, so you’d probably blow up the ESD diode if you put voltage into it. On our V3 i’d recommend also not allowing more than 5V to enter the dongle as you might damage the bias tee. The ESD diode we use is rated up to 15V though. Ideally, you should use an external DC blocking capacitor to stop voltage from entering the dongle. Have a look at this for more info http://lna4all.blogspot.co.nz/2016/08/diy-dc-block.html.

  16. Martin

    Hello. At first thank you so much for your web! I can see that “RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio with 2x Telescopic Antennas” is sold out for international post (I am from Czech Republic, Europe Union). Will you please enable international post again? Hope yes, but if not then is it better to buy (e.g. over ebay) “NooElec NESDR Nano 2” or “NooElec NESDR Mini” or “NooElec NESDR Mini 2”? Thank you so much, Martin

    • Jan

      Hi Martin, I’m from Slovak republic so …

      I’m also waiting when they will be restocking and sending RTL-SDR to worldwide. Few days before I’ve decided to write them an email. Their response:

      ” Restocking is likely to occur next week, around August 8-12. “

      • Dmitri

        Hi everyone.
        I’m from Estonia and I’ve been waiting for them to restock it for 1 month now or so, because I think this is the best possible kit on the market. Really looking forward to it.

  17. Bill L

    Could you think about putting hardware revision numbers on the dongles. It would make it easier to keep track of the most current dongle in the reviews, promotions, etc. Thanks

    • admin

      Hi Bill, yes we are doing this for the next unit releasing in a few weeks. Before it was easy to tell the difference between revisions as we went from MCX dongles (V.0) – > SMA dongles (V.1) -> metal cased SMA dongles (V.2). But now most of the changes are internal so we’ve given it a (V.3) label on the enclosure.

    • admin

      Generally you don’t want the LNA to be right in the dongle. The LNA needs to be placed near the antenna. This is why we have the bias tee instead (for powering a remote LNA like Adams LNA4ALL). When you place it near the antenna the LNA will help overcome the losses from the coax cable and any filters, switches, connectors or adapters in the signal path. If you place it at the dongle, then none of those losses will be overcome. There is still a reduction in NF from placing the LNA anywhere in the chain, but it placing it by the antenna is significantly better. The reduction in the NF from the LNA helps the FlightAware dongle for ADS-B since ADS-B reception is sensitive to even small gains in SNR, but you need to use a separate ADS-B filter to overcome any overload caused by the extra gain from the LNA.

      Plus if we do add an LNA by the dongle, then this ruins it for people who want to do it properly and get optimal reception by placing the LNA by the antenna. Because then with an extra internal LNA in dongle there might be too much gain in the system causing overload, or the linearity from having too many LNA’s would be degraded sufficiently causing more overload, or there might not be enough power budget left for the bias tee to power an external LNA. Even FlightAware advises that their dongles should be used with a filter or overload will occur, and we don’t want to lock people into to requiring that they buy a filter for every band they want to listen to.

      In addition there’s the increased power draw and increased heat from the LNA (low NF LNA’s draw lots of power), meaning that longer USB cables may not work due to the larger voltage drop from the higher current, and the circuit life may be shorter from the heat.

      So in short, the LNA should be external to the dongle, so that you can place it near the antenna.

      We are working on selling our own remote bias tee powered LNA, but it is still taking some time to get into manufacturing.

      • Max

        Very good, and don’t forget the external FM band stop filters; possibly with two options: 1. single pieces complete with SMA/F connectors, 2. lot of 5 pcs. without SMA connectors

      • Terry Gaff

        Hi,
        Does the new V.3 SDR circuit board have pads to which I can attach a switch so I can manually turn on and off the Bias-T power ? Just like in the previous version.

  18. Leandro

    Hi I just got my rtl-sdr from amazon, but its not working.
    I get Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) .
    Tried on USB 2 and USB 3 ports on two different computers (both windows 10, laptop / desktop)
    I also tried a raspbery pi , but when I connect it the pi hangs, when I reboot, lsusb shows nothing:

    [email protected] ~ $ sudo lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0424:ec00 Standard Microsystems Corp. SMSC9512/9514 Fast Ethernet Adapter
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0424:9512 Standard Microsystems Corp. LAN9500 Ethernet 10/100 Adapter / SMSC9512/9514 Hub
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

    What can I do ?
    thanks

  19. Junior Vaz

    Hello, I wonder if you sell the separate telescopic antenna since I already have a dongle and plan to buy only the telescopic antenna and aluminum case

  20. leandro

    Hi, when is the dongle kit with 2x Telescopic Antennas going to be in stock in amazon? , it says June 12 but its still out of stock. Can Someone recommend similar antennas on amazon so I can buy just the dongle? , thanks!

    • admin

      It should be soon, the products are with Amazon now, we’re just waiting on them to process the boxes and put the units on the shelves ready for shipping. However, the time they take is somewhat unpredictable which is why we write around June 12.

  21. singsonn

    Hi, Does anybody know a good replacement for the MCM FM trap filter? It seems this one is not available for sale anywhere now…
    Thanks!

    • AD5NL

      NooElec blue aren’t bad but I recommend putting them in a metal case with a heatsink.

      Aluminum foil will work but it blocks air flow which can make it get hot.

      An Altoids tin and a thermal pad should work OK. Be sure to ground the case to the USB and antenna shields.

      • AD5NL

        Also the RTL-SDR.com dongles are better, in my humble opinion, simply because they use an SMA connector. The adapter from MCX to whatever is going to cost you some money (I used a $10 SMA-MCX cable) and also some signal loss.

  22. Ash

    Hello Admin, i sent already 2 messages, but no response, can you please reply ?

    can you please let me know if i buy “NooElec NESDR Mini 2 SDR & DVB-T USB Stick (RTL2832 + R820T2) with Antenna and Remote Control.”

    will this work supports all features as “RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA” the first itme in this page ? please suggest as i am unable to get that from amazon at my location ? please suggest.

    Or can you please let me know if i order this to UAE how long it will take to deliver ?

    Thanks

    • admin

      Hi Ash,

      Sorry, I thought I already replied to you elsewhere. That unit is functionally the same ours but ours comes with extras like a TCXO and metal case which may be useful to you, or not. Why don’t you use our international store on this very page? Our specs and shipping info are listed on this page too, and you can compare and check.

      International air mail shipping times are impossible to predict, it’s unfortunately just the way the world works. It could take 1-4 weeks usually. Please use express shipping if you need it faster. Amazon will also probably ship via international air mail, but from the USA.

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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 ?

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

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