New RTL-SDR Tuner Chip R828D

A new tuner known as the Rafeal R828D has become officially supported by the main software branch of RTL-SDR. Comments on the initial testing from this thread on the Reddit RTL-SDR forum show that there is no real improvement over the cheaper R820T tuner, and that a hardware mod is required to get acceptable results from the tuner.

On the Reddit thread user metropolis_pt2, the developer of the driver for this tuner writes

Internally it seems to be almost identical with the R820T, the only real difference is that it has 3 inputs instead of only one (Air-In, Cable1, Cable2), of which two are connected on the Astrometa DVB-T2 stick. Air-In is connected to an external (probably LC-)highpass which seems to have a cutoff-frequency around 320 MHz, and Cable1 to a low-pass with a similar cutoff-frequency. The driver I’ve added will switch automatically to Air-In if you tune > 345 MHz. The filters are not sharp at all though (not surprising given their low order, I only see a few capacitors and inductors in the input path), and their added benefit is a bit questionable. You might get a bit less WFM interference at, say, 900 MHz, but that’s about it…

In Antti’s LinuxTV blog, Antti talks about the internals of the device and shows many pictures of the insides.

Dongle containing the new R828D


  1. Priyasloka Arya

    i have been using this dongle more than a year or so. It works good. Moreover, it can be used for DVB-T2 reception (in India , digital TV reception is in DVB-T2). It is costly compared to normal DVB-T RTL SDR dongle. 7$ versus 22-25$

  2. blackdragon

    R828D tuner works with very good results. I have been used it to scan any frequency without no modification at all. The most important part was the antenna design and the coaxial cable that you use for receiving frequency. The frequency range for this tuner was actually from 25Mhz to 1.2Ghz.

    • GN

      If I understood you correctly, you say that the designed frequency range of this between 25 MHz to 1.2 GHz, but yet you can tune to SW and AM frequencies without any ‘mod’ in the dongle. Is this a correct interpretation of what you wrote? Could you please clarify , what exactly you mean by “The most important part was the antenna design and the coaxial cable that you use for receiving frequency. “

    • Anonymous

      Can you please clarify if you meant it worked in AM and SW frequency range without any mod inside the dongle and only the type of antenna and the coaxial cable used mattered?

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