Elusive E4000 RTL-SDR Dongles

Over on the Gough’s Tech Zone blog, Gough has posted about his experiences in trying to obtain an E4000 RTL-SDR. He found that finding a real E4000 on ebay was tough, with most vendors claiming to have “upgraded E4000s” which were in fact R820T’s.

The E4000 tuner is becoming rare as Elonics, the manufacturer has shut down. The newer, still in production R820T tuner is in many ways better than the E4000, but the E4000 is still useful for some applications that require the higher frequencies that it can tune to.

If you want an E4000, we know for sure that Nooelec sells a Terratec version that has the E4000 chip.

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The Nooelec NESDR SMArt XTR Bundle is a modern, purpose-built SDR dongle with an E4000 tuner. I’m not sure who makes the E4000 but it’s the real thing. It’s part of their latest line of Nooelec NESDR SMArt dongles. I was very pleased to discover that the E4000 is not dead anymore.

Andrei Moraru

Could you please share your experience so far with the Noolec NESDR Smart XTR Bundle? I plan to use it in OpenAuto Pro headunit with Welle.io software.


I got an E4000 dongle a few months back. Performance is lower than RTL2838 ini HDSDR. Some apps will not recognize the dongle. Some will, as a RTL2838 (Zadig) while others recognize it as an E4000. SDRSharp will not boot as long as the E4000 is plugged in. But SDRSharp boots and crashes if there’s no recognizable RTL2838 dongle plugged in. RTL1090 will boot but not deliver data to AdsbScope. The E4000 may have defraded over time. I think it used to work, but with frequent updates of all the different software I use, who can tell without keeping a detailed log? I’m moving up to a hier tier, maybe a HackRF, BladeRF something with a 2.4GHZ+upper limit, anyway, so the problem will ‘disappear.’


Why is it said
“The newer, still in production R820T tuner is in many ways better than the E4000”.
If we need the high frequency what should we do ?



I’ve had roughly the same experience. I paid extar to receive an E4000 (since the title of the listing said E4000). Yet when I received the item I realized that it was an R820T. I then realized that hidden deep inside the listing was a statement that it was an R820T and not an E4000. Needless to say I was pretty miffed about this since the vendor obviously knew that it was lying in the title. (This is the only time I haven’t left a positive feedback on Ebay.)