Category: News

Interest Check for an ADS-B Folded Monopole Antenna

Adam, manufacturer of the LNA4ALL and LNA4HF is putting out an interest check for an ADS-B folded monopole antenna. The antenna can efficiently cover the 1030 MHz to 1090 MHz frequencies that are used by ADS-B.

The major advantage to Adams antenna is that it uses a DC grounded design, eliminating static build up problems that can potentially fry your LNA or RTL-SDR dongle.

If there is sufficient interest, Adam will sell the antenna for 20 Euros.

ADS-B Folded Monopole Antenna
ADS-B Folded Monopole Antenna

Nooelec Ham It Up Upconverter Metal Case Now For Sale

Nooelec, manufacturer of the popular Ham-It-Up upconverter has now begun selling metal enclosures for the upconverter. The Ham-It-Up is an upconverter which allows the RTL-SDR to receive HF (0-30 MHz) signals.

  • High-quality custom aluminum enclosure for Ham It Up v1.1 & v1.2.
  • Metal case helps to protect PCB from stray EMI, improving sensitivity.
  • Includes all required hardware to mount your PCB!
  • Ample room inside the case to make modifications and even include a dongle inside the case if you are so inclined.
NooElec Ham-It-Up Upconverter Case
NooElec Ham-It-Up Upconverter Case


Native RTL-SDR Support Coming to Linux

Linux will soon contain native support for software defined radio devices like the RTL2832U RTL-SDR. These new drivers written by Video4Linux developer Antii Palosaari should be included in the next Linux kernel version 3.15. Antii Palosaari was one of the first people to discover the SDR capabilities of the RTL2832U. In the image below Antii shows SDR# running in Linux with Mono with the Video4Linux gain control screen brought up.

Video4Linux Gain Controls and SDR#
Video4Linux Gain Controls and SDR#

Register your interest in Airspy

You can now register your interest in purchasing an AirSpy software defined radio dongle on the new AirSpy website. AirSpy is a new software defined radio similar to the RTL-SDR currently under development by the creator of SDR#.

AirSpy promises to be an improvement on the RTL-SDR with its large 10 MHz bandwidth, 24-1750 MHz tuneable range, 12-bit ADC and a programmable Cortex M4F @ 204 MHz on board CPU. In comparison the typical RTL-SDR has ~2.4 MHz of usable bandwidth, a 24-1750 MHz tuneable range and an 8-bit ADC. A higher bit ADC can help in receiving weaker signals. AirSpy is expected to sell at around the $100-$150 mark, with it being on the cheaper end if there is greater interest.

AirSpy Dongle
AirSpy Software Defined Radio Receiver

LNA4HF Now for Sale Plus Review

Back in November last year we posted about the possibility of an “LNA4HF” low noise amplifier (LNA) for the HF bands being made available for sale. The LNA4HF is now available for purchase.

The LNA4HF is a low noise amplifier with built in low pass filter that runs on a 6-12 V power supply and covers a frequency range of 150khz to 30MHz, with a 18-20 dB gain and 1-2 dB noise figure. It costs 20 Euros. The low pass filter can also be disabled with a small board modification which will allow the amplifier to be useful at up to 2 GHz.



LNA4HF Block Diagram
LNA4HF Block Diagram

Akos from the SDR for Mariners blog has reviewed the LNA4HF on his latest post. His results show that the low pass filter significantly reduces broadcast FM interference and that the amplifier also increases signal strength by around 20 dB as advertised.

LNA4HF Comparison
SDR for Mariners LNA4HF Comparison

RTL-SDR Now Supported by MATLAB

The Communications System Toolbox in MATLAB 2013b now supports the RTL-SDR dongle. MATLAB is a scientific computing software product which scientists and engineers use for complex technical computations and simulations.

The RTL-SDR radio support package enables you to design wireless receivers using real world signals. Using Communications System Toolbox™ in conjunction with an RTL-SDR USB radio, you can design and prototype systems that process real-time wireless signals in MATLAB® and Simulink®.

Wireless engineers, students, and hobbyists can learn to receive and decode real-world radio signals using this low cost RTL-SDR hardware connected to your computer.

Key Features:

  • RTL-SDR radio as an I/O peripheral to receive streaming RF signals
  • Configurable center frequency and sample rate
  • NooElec™ NESDR Mini USB Stick (R820T) and NooElec NESDR Nano USB Stick (R820T) SDR devices with frequency range 30MHz – 1.8GHz
  • Compatible with other RTL-SDR USB radios (eg., Terratec T-Stick E4000)
  • Several application examples for getting started:
    • FM Mono / Stereo with RTL-SDR
    • FRS Receiver with RTL-SDR
    • Spectral Analysis with RTL-SDR radio
    • Frequency offset calibration with RTL-SDR

KN0CK and KF7LZE Custom HF RTL-SDR Receiver Revision 5

Update: KN0CKs products are now available at

Previously on this blog we’ve seen KN0CK release his custom modified RTL-SDR tuners which have built in upconverters for accessing the HF bands. Revision 5 of the KN0CK receiver is now almost ready for sale, and will be sold over at KF7LZE’s webstore

Revision 5 promises to be lower priced as it will run using the direct sampling mod instead of using an upconverter which would require more components. It will also use a Mini-Circuits MAR 8 wideband amplifier to improve weak signal performance.

Kn0CK and KF7LZE RTL-SDR HF Receiver Rev. 5
Kn0CK and KF7LZE RTL-SDR HF Receiver Rev. 5

TCXO RTL-SDR Soon Available Internationally

Andy, programmer of the RTL1090 ADSB decoder software, and owner of the 1090Mhz webstore has notified us that he will soon be selling to international buyers the TCXO RTL-SDR dongle modified by Nobu Saitou. We recently featured a story about the TCXO RTL-SDR and also gave it a review on this blog. From the review we concluded that the TCXO RTL-SDR is a good product and will be useful for applications that need good frequency accuracy and stability.

Interested buyers can look for the contact us link on the 1090MHz shop TCXO page description to contact Andy for a reservation and notification on when the TCXO RTL-SDR becomes available for sale. Andy expects the first batch of TCXO RTL-SDRs to arrive in January.

Nooelec RTL-SDR Giveaway on has teamed up with to give away RTL-SDR packages to 10 hams. To be eligible to enter the competition, you must be a registered amateur radio operator, and you must comment on the competition page. The prizes are

Two (2)
Complete HF sets including:
NESDR Mini receiver
Ham It Up upconverter
SMA to MCX cable
SMA to BNC adapter
SMA to PL259 adapter
SMA to F adapter

Two (2)
Complete Touch SDR sets including:
NESDR Nano receiver
SDR Touch license (for Android tablets)
USB OTG micro & mini cables

Three (3)
NESDR Mini receivers

Three (3)
NESDR Nano receivers

The competition runs until the 11th of December.

Nooelec Giveaway Prize
Nooelec Giveaway Prize

AirSpy – A New 12Bit, 20Msps SDR Dongle Prototype by the Author of SDRSHarp

AirSpy is a new SDR Dongle currently being prototyped by the author of the popular SDRSharp software receiver platform. The technical specifications are as follows

- 24 – 1750 MHz range
– 12bit ADC @ 20msps
– Cortex M4F @ 204 MHz
– 10 MHz panoramic spectrum view
– Highly programmable / customizable

AirSpy also uses the R820T tuner, which is commonly used in the RTL-SDR as well.

Compared to the RTL-SDRs 8bit ADC@3.2msps, this is a large improvement, but we hope it will not cost much more than the RTL-SDR or FunCube.

Currently, if you want more information on the dongle there is only an AirSpy Yahoo Group available.

AirSpy Prototype Front