Listening to AM radio

Main forum to discuss RTL-SDR related topics.
LogicalUnit
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:15 pm

Listening to AM radio

Post by LogicalUnit » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:14 am

Hi guys, I'm sure this is a very noob question. I tried searching, but all my terms were too common.

I've got my sky-blue 820T2 & SDR module installed and working (shows up as RTL2838UHIDIR in Windows device manager), and I'm happily listening to my local FM radio stations in SDRSharp. I would like to listen to AM radio, specifically a station that broadcasts on 666 khz (Canberra ABC). I've set the radio button in the radio panel to AM and tuned to 666,000 but I'm only getting static. Is my module capable of receiving this frequency, and what settings do I need for it?

Thanks

alanzfq
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:18 am

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by alanzfq » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:03 am

It depends on what exactly a "sky-blue 820T2 & SDR module" is.
Is it advertised as doing direct sampling? Does it have an upconverter? Ordinary RTL modules go from 24MHz upwards.
Alan

LogicalUnit
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:15 pm

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by LogicalUnit » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:51 am

I've attached a photo. Looks like this device probably can't do AM frequencies.
Attachments
sdr.png
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radiolistener
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:48 pm

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by radiolistener » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:15 pm

This one doesn't support frequencies below 24 MHz. You're needs RTLSDRv3.

But this blue also can be modified in order to use frequencies below 24 MHz, but it's not easy and it will be much more easy to buy RTLSDRv3 which support it out of the box.

LogicalUnit
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:15 pm

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by LogicalUnit » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:10 am

I have another question: I'm having a look at the 10m Ham Band, the 2m Ham Band, and the 70cm Ham Band. SDR# is clearly displaying spikes, but I'm not receiving any audio. Can anyone help with the settings I need to listen to Ham radio?

alanzfq
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:18 am

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by alanzfq » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:52 am

No easy answer.
The RTL is a poor receiver, is wideband, overloads so gain setting is crucial.
And may need filters to keep out of band signals away.
Spikes are common, often just spurii, not actually real signals.

See the shop, ebay, Google

Alan

LogicalUnit
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:15 pm

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by LogicalUnit » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:37 am

alanzfq wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:52 am
No easy answer.
The RTL is a poor receiver, is wideband, overloads so gain setting is crucial.
And may need filters to keep out of band signals away.
Spikes are common, often just spurii, not actually real signals.

See the shop, ebay, Google

Alan
Thanks for the reply.

So, what can I do with the RTL in SDR# besides FM radio?

If I wanted to listen to ham radio signals, what hardware should I buy?

K3RLD
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:43 am

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by K3RLD » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:35 pm

You should be able to listen to ham signals with that dongle. Take a look at the signal wiki (the sister site to RTL-SDR.com) to see what a good signal looks like. Most of the action in 2m and 70cm will be Narrow FM, or digital. Note that just because you see a spike, doesn't mean that it's a ham transmission - it could just be a "birdie" in the dongle, or a spurious emission from a local electronic item (my laptop cpu puts out a spike right at 144.39 which makes APRS difficult, for example).

Username
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:27 am

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by Username » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:42 pm

You need an Upconverter than you can Hear something on the Lower Bands.

Enceladus
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Listening to AM radio

Post by Enceladus » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:42 pm

As a side note on listening to the Ham Bands, there is currently very little activity on the 10 and 12 meter bands. The 11 year sunspot cycle is at a low right now and consequently there is very little propagation on the higher bands.

You could listen on the 20 m band (14-14.35 MHz), during the day, or 40 (7-7.3 MHz) or 80 (3.5-4) in the evening. But that would take the RTLSDRv3,

As for an antenna, I would suggest a long wire, connect up just the center of the antenna connection to a wire 20 feet or more in length, and put it outside if it all possible.

Enceladus

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