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If you would like to submit something that relates to cheap SDR (a project, blog post, something interesting you have found), please email us at [email protected].

We will look at your submission and if we think it is a good fit for our blog make a summary post about it, making sure to link and credit your original source. If you don't have your own website or blog, don't worry, just write about your project in an email and we will host any images or documents related to your project for you. Usually we will get to your submission within a few days.

Please note that we will not accept payments or incentives in return for any type of post except for product samples for an honest review. If you are interested in writing a non-commercial guest post for us, please also contact us on the above email address.

Product/Shipping Support

If you have a general question about RTL-SDRs or SDRs or third party software we ask you to please ask in our forums. If you email us we may not respond to questions about third party software as this should be asked in the forum.

If you need troubleshooting support please first ensure that you have been through our Quickstart guide and the troubleshooting section on it, as well as our V3 users guide. Common questions like how to use the HF mode and how to activate the bias tee are explained on the V3 users guide. 

If you have a question about shipping of an item please first read the shipping policy on our store and see if it answers your question. The shipping information is just under our product listings. If it is a request for tracking details please first check your old/deleted/spam mails for the order confirmation email which contains the tracking details. There will have been two emails from our email at [email protected] that contain tracking details, and you may also receive a third mail from our logistics company with the same tracking details.

If you suspect a lost postal item please contact your local postal agency first and inquire there. They have more information than we have. If they confirm it as lost or not received after a long time then please let us know and we can open an investigation on this side as well. Usually we must wait at least 6 weeks from the date posted before we can open a lost parcel investigation.

For everything else such as confirmed lost postal items, warranty claims and support inquiries that aren't covered by the quickstart or troubleshooting guide then please contact us at [email protected]. We aim to always reply within 1-2 business days. If we don't respond within 3 business days then the mail may have gone to our spam folder. Please try to email again using different keywords. We do check our spam filter once a week just in case, but some messages could still be missed. Remember, if you have questions about third party software, please ask in the forums only.

Posted in

234 comments

  1. Virender

    Hello Admin,
    Is there any way, shop or service through which we can repair our SDR dongle which not working properly or may be damage due to stupidity. Actully i have a nooelec sdr E4000 mini stick which is not working I bought it through eBay in last December but return it to nooelec for repair is not possible. May be there are lots of different kind of SDR user who experimenting with this stick and I am pretty sure they also want to repair it instead buying a new one.

    I am thankfull to you if you have any solution for this.

    • admin

      What is the problem with it? The only real way for a repair would be to return it to them, or if its a simple problem give it to a friend who has good soldering skills.

  2. m.seekamp

    Where the hack can I buy the : ” RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio (Dongle Only) in Germany?? From Amazon and eBay there is no shipment to Germany ???

    Yes from China perhaps with triple freight costs??

    • admin

      We don’t have any store in Germany, but there are distributors in the UK you could use (see the store page for those links). Amazon stock is in the USA, and Amazon fulfillment won’t allow that stock to leave the USA. But why not buy from our Chinese warehouse? Shipping is free with China Post, or if you pay for the slightly better airmail for $2 we will use Deutsche Post from China to Germany which usually takes 1-2 weeks.

  3. Chuck Cram

    I submitted a registration but have gotten no response, though I see my username “charcbait” is now “inactive”, so you must have received it. In the FAQ you tell me to contact an administrator if I can’t login…but how do I contact an adminstrator if I can’t login? Maybe here?
    I bought a Nooelec blue dongle that installed fine but receives zero signal, and I’m just trying to get help. There’s a great forum here, but I can’t post. Please help me connect with somebody. …c

    • admin

      You should have got an account activation email – it may have gone to your spam folder. But anyway i’ve manually activated your account now.

      • Chuck Cram

        Thank you very much for activating my account. I really appreciate it. The spam folder on my email account is empty, but I know there are some anti-spam activities at a higher level that may be to blame. Now I can proceed to the Troubleshooting forum for some help getting my SDR working.
        Cheers, Chuck

  4. Virender

    Hello Admin,

    Why you are not building hackrf, after all it is a open source project and in bulk production price may be go down such as your cheap rtl-sdr dongle. There are so many enthusiastic to buy this device at lower cost & i am also intended to buy this dongle between $100 to $50 price range (I am also watching Budgethackrf ). I am asking this question to you because you have lot of knowledge in not SDR only but it’s working, production, selling & marketing your rtl-sdr dongle also.

    • admin

      We will consider it, but building the HackRF and sourcing the many components that go into it is a job many orders of magnitude more difficult than producing a simple RTL-SDR dongle!

    • Craig

      Even when purchasing in bulk, the parts used in the HackRF come in at about $110, then there are the costs of actually manufacturing them (soldering all the parts) and you also need to take into consideration the failure rate (some boards won’t work and it’s very expensive to diagnose something like this so usually cheaper to just throw them out). Then whoever is doing this also needs to make at least some kind of profit. In reality, the HackRF will never be less than about $150, it’s not possible. Someone may design a cheaper SDR of course, but I;d say the HackRF will be the cheapest in its class for at least a few years.

  5. Klaus

    Oh, I am so happy to watch the new Slideshow on top, and wait ages to load the (too long) Blog…
    Yes, and I pay for the Megabytes to load the redundant staff.
    Sometimes on the bottom of some Pages there is a block with “Recent Posts” and some of the last Titles.
    Could You please make a separat page and a link from this, so the Phone-User get an overview of the last (maybe) 10 or 20 Articles ?

  6. Ash

    Hello, can you please let me know how can i buy it from your-side ? will it be delivered to my address ? at Amazon its not available for shipment for my country, please let me know need it in Dubai Middle East.

    Thanks

  7. Virender

    Hello Admin,

    Due to lower bandwidth of RTL2832U dongle it is not possible to watch decent analog television transmission, It’s only capable of receiving blank & white picture. My question is if more bandwidth capable SDR (such as Hackrf, Airspy) is used for this purpose then it is possible to watch decent video including audio also will be possible.

  8. Tom Clancy

    hello Admin
    i just saw the new alu-case dongle.
    where we can buy the new empty alu case for your rtl-sdr-dongle ? i have tcxo-4 dongles with a plastic case and i want your empty alu case ? do you offer the alu case alone ?

  9. Tim sweitzer

    I ordered your dongle from the chinese warehouse. UPS is the shipper. Tracking# 1Z3X825E6750127305.

    Dongle was originally scheduled to arrive at my door on Dec 16. It never arrived. UPS says that it hasnt been put on the plane. Reason not given. There is no information as to what the delay is or when it is expected to ship, if at all. There is also no mechanism to cancel/refund my purchase. I am not impressed. Your $24 dongle already cost me over $60CAD. Please tell me my next step here as i am now at a loss on how to proceed.

    • admin

      Hi Tim,

      Sorry for the issues with UPS. Please remember that as stated on the store page that due to Christmas there are some very heavy delays with all the world’s parcels at the moment. Unfortunately there is of course nothing we can do about this, and we can’t change how UPS operates, but I will try to inquire with UPS on the cause of this delay. As for the cost please remember that we also offer free shipping via registered air mail.

      In the mean time please contact us at [email protected] with your order details. If the parcel truly gets lost we will of course refund or resend your parcel and try to claim compensation from UPS.

      • admin

        I was able to get in contact with UPS via the fulfillment warehouse we use. UPS said the same as what I said before, that there are huge delays at the moment because of Christmas, but they also said that your parcel is in the queue waiting for a flight out. It will hopefully go out in the next few days.

        • Tim sweitzer

          Thanks for the info. After 9 days wait it is now in the US. I read today that Shenzhen had a landslide that wiped out over 20 buildings in an industrial park. This is the city where the Dongles are shipped from. Sounds like even longer delays now. My heart goes out to the survivors. Disaster like that makes my purchase rather insignicant. Thanks again.

  10. Alyx

    I would like to report that apparently the Meteor-M N2 satellite stopped transmitting on LRPT! i checked both 137.1 and 137.9 and cannot see a thing in recent days!

  11. virender

    Hello admin,

    First i would like to thanks to your previous expedite response to my query. Now i need your guidance to improve my understanding between up converter, I have a rtl-sdr which is buy from ebay which link is here for your perusal “http://geb.ebay.in/g/ImportHubViewItem?itemid=131492551147&Upgraded-100KHz-1-7GHz-Full-Band-RTL-SDR-USB-Tuner-Receiver-R820T-2832U-Radio” . As it has written that it already built in upconverter. Therefore my question is that it is pertinent to buy another upconverer to improve my signal reception to use with this rtl-sdr such as “NooElec Ham It Up v1.3” here is link for kind perusal “http://geb.ebay.in/g/ImportHubViewItem?itemid=281867895768&NooElec-Ham-It-Up-v1-3-NooElec-RF-Upconverter-For-Software-Defined-Radio-W-” also tell me what is the difference between both up converter comparatively.

    I am waiting for your response.

    • admin

      If you have that all in one unit, then you won’t need a separate upconverter. I’m not sure what the difference would be as I don’t know what type of architecture that unit is using, but i’d guess that the ham-it-up would be better, though probably only by a little bit. The SpyVerter is another upconverter that i’d recommend that has very good performance, but unless you’re receiving very strong signals from a good HF antenna, you probably won’t see much difference.

  12. Anonymous

    I want to buy this, i am from Bangladesh. How can i buy and which shipping method apply for me. Is free shipping applicable for me?
    Can i get it by Cash on Delivery?

  13. dan suto

    hi there
    is there any plugin or would any one know how to make a plugin to use MIDI events to control SDR programs like this ?

    i would like very much to use a physical MIDI rotary dials controller units like Behringer’s BCR2000 or any other which are normally used for controlling audio and musical instruments but here it would be used for tuning frequencies and control any desired SDR parameter without having to use the mouse nor keyboard.
    does this exist anywhere ?
    thanks

  14. Philip Ertman

    Good Afternoon.
    I ordered your SDR-RTL from Amazon. But I messed up. I wanted the one that had the 2x telescopic antenna. What I bought was the SDR by itself. Would it be possible to order from you directly, or can direct me to the place on Amazon where I can order it? Please. I am just starting out so everything is new to me. UP, BNSF, an CN run on the lines around my house. I like listening to the railroad chatter. So for right now that antenna would work the best for me. If I told you I could here the wheels on the freight cars you would realize I don’t need a bunch. Once I figure out how to extract the software I am anxious to get started. Maybe later I will get a roof mount antenna.

    • admin

      Hi Phillip, i’m sorry but we don’t sell the antennas separately, they only come as a beginners bundle.

      But you can easily find antennas on Amazon that might be a step up from our antenna bundle anyway. Rail freq’s are usually around ~160 MHz so a 144 MHz antenna could work. For example this might work: http://amzn.to/1l9TaqH, but you’d need to also buy a SMA male to male adapter (http://amzn.to/1l9Tiq6). Of course a roof mounted antenna would be best.

  15. Virender

    Hello admin,

    Can you tell me how to watch clear live T.V. through sdr. I have two dongle, one with E4000 chip & other with R820T Chip. I used E4000 for audio and other with TV sharp but the video clarity is not decent. Is there another way to improve video clarity. Audio and video signal is transmitted on different frequency. audio is transmitted through WFM and video with AM modulation.

    Please give your comment on this.

    I am vigorously waiting for your response.

  16. Luciano ,dr.ing.

    Maybe it is a good idea to replace the switching regulator inside the dongle with a linear one.The working frequency is about 1.1 MHz an I can see it and the armonics on the spectrum, in the direct sampling mode.Non a very big problem,but..

    • admin

      We did a test with a linear reg but didn’t really see any improvements apart from the reduction of a small number of spurs. The trade off with a linear reg is much higher power usage and greater heat generated.

  17. farid

    hi
    i know rtl-sdr can’t send anything
    but is it possible to transmit voice to police frequency with any dongels?
    hackRF , USRP and etc can do this but they are realy expensive i need something works with rtl-sdr

  18. TEAM ITALIA

    Dear Sirs,

    I bought one USB TV Radio Tuner from you (we’re in Italy) but I didn’t receive the invoice, just the pro forma, which has no use with italian law… can you please forward the real invoice to the a.m. email address, please? Thanks
    Your pro forma invoice reports No. of Packages: WT9014509160010 and it has been bought using a Credit Card in the name of Massimo Minnella.
    Please let me know.
    Thanks

  19. Jeppe Gade

    Is there a restriction for sending equippment to Philippines?
    I was trying to order and checkout an RTL-SDR unit with Paypal but the country Philippines can NOT be selected. Philippines does NOT show up on the selection list.
    Kindly give me a hint how to solve this.
    Regards / Jeppe Gade, Olongapo, Philippines

    • admin

      There is no restriction. I just did a test an the Phillipines does show up properly on the PayPal country list. I’m not sure why it is not showing up for you. Maybe just make an order and add a PayPal note with the address.

  20. virender

    Also if we attach any RTL-SDR hardware with Computer then SDR# not give proper feedback of connecting hardware properly or not if not then not provide failure details in logs. I suppose that rewrite the SDR# from scratch for windows OS. From my experience i found that if you can not connetc your hardware on a popular OS such as window with SDR# than how you explore different kind of signal.

  21. virender

    The main issue with SDR# is that it is not well develop application for a specific hardware and operating system the drivers do not come with SDR#. It says install driver from other sources such as Zadig which again not provide a particular driver for specific hardware on window 7. The community of RTL-SDR is not giving proper attention to this problem. The main reason of most user not able to connect their dongle or hardware with operating system is that they not getting all necessary software in one package. Connecting RTL-SDR with SDR# or other SDR application is a challenge against most user.

    • admin

      CosyCave is a known good seller. But I’m not sure why they’re writing that theirs use a TCXO. I don’t think that theirs have a TCXO at all. There’s no PCB traces for powering the TCXO and it looks exactly like the same passive crystal that we used on our older models that we sold on Amazon.

      The frequency offset at their test frequency of around 1Mhz is going to be very small no matter the crystals PPM offset.

      • TC

        afaiu, they have designed a custom pcb, thus the direct sampling via holes / pads
        maybe the crystal voltage line is on another layer? i dont know much about, hwvr

        • admin

          I really doubt that its a TCXO, though I could be wrong. It’s not really their custom PCB, anyone can order those special PCBs if they order in high enough quantities. I’ve seen the PCBs made for TCXO’s and they have a visible 3.3v trace going into one pin of the TCXO.

          Maybe you could contact them first and ask if it really is a TCXO? Or perhaps ask on the Reddit RTL-SDR board if anyone has one and can confirm http://www.reddit.com/r/rtlsdr.

  22. Vishnu

    Hi,

    I would like to know can we use Laptop Wifi Card in gnu radio to capture 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band ?

    regards

    Vishnu

  23. me1900

    I have a room in Paltalk that is meant for RTL-SDR. This room we can play on mic what we hear on our RTL-SDR dongles and discuss it on mic or text. We also have webcams in the room to display in real time and discuss on mic ideas, projects, and how-to-s. The room is named RTL SDR Eavesdroppers Live Audio.
    You need to download and instal Paltalk from http://www.paltalk.com and register for a free nickname.
    I am looking for a few room admins. as well. This room is not meant to be like IRC. We want to set up a friendly outgoing atmosphere with actually helping people in mind. Always some action. Never a quiet moment. The room admins can open the room when not opened and be able to perform admin responsibilities.
    these include:
    Be entertaining
    Have fun
    Help those asking for help with their RTL SDR and other associated devices.
    my Paltalk nickname is LIL BITTY BIG BEAN.
    Room open!

  24. Henry Abbott

    Quick set-up comment:- When installing SDR# I have several time struggled for days. I finally found not to rename the install zip at all, otherwise no sdrSharp directory is created, or created in a funny place where I can’t find it. I thought to be clever, added version to end of zip, eg sdr-install 1248.zip, Caused hours of struggle on Win 7 (64). Sometimes you download a new version and download handeller will automatically add sdr-install-1.zip and cau8se the same problem. Main issue is that sdr-usb does not appear on the source menu and gives some exclusion error message.

    Hope this helps some-one or the install can be improved to solve the problem.

  25. Peter

    hope this may help someone. I installed tv tuner dongle and SDRsharp on my laptop using windows 7 and everything was fine for about a month then one day SDRsharp said device not found or driver not working, I re-installed everything and still the same. I bought a new dongle still same, at this time noticed that under devices and printers it said my RTL2838UHIDIR was a keyboard, I saw that under install guide it said that only OS has control of keyboard so for weeks I tried to find a solution without luck.
    Then I had a thought and put two USB keyboards on laptop and on the third USB the TV dongle and to my surprise SDRsharp saw dongle and all works again, removed keyboards it still working, so windows got confused? don’t know but I’m happy now

    • Ron

      I see from your comments you had a problem installing and having your laptop recognize the SDR# program. I hope you can try and help me.I have been trying to install the SDR Sharp program on my windows 7 computer which has an AMD Athlon II 635 Quad-Core processor. When I get to the part where you replace the driver. I open the options box and scroll down to the appropriate bulk interface 0 and the USB ID is 0BDA (vid) and 2838 (pid) which it is suppose to be. I then reinstall the driver and get out of Zadig. I then click on the SDR# icon to open the program but I get the following message all the time:
      SDR Sharp stopped working
      Windows is checking for a solution to the problem
      And then the message box closes and nothing happens. I have tried everything but nothing seems to work. I have SDR# running on a windows 8.1 desktop and I just finished installing it on a Toshiba laptop and it works great on both. For some unexplainable reason I cannot get it installed properly on my windows 7 computer. If you can come up with any suggestions I can try I would appreciate it. I have deleted all the files related to the sdrsharp program and tried reinstalling it but I get the same results. Any suggestions would be appreciated in solving this problem. Thanks in advance for your input.

  26. Ian M

    Just wondering if anyone has posted about setting up multiple RTL-SDRs on one USB hub then running multiple instances of SDR# or doing ADSB# while listening to ATC Band, etc…..on windows 7. Im trying to do it and not having much success. In zadig it sees two “bulk-in int. 0″s, zadig has installed drivers to both “ports”? but when i pull up SDR# (It does run) it shows no noise floor or signals at all. I tried to install the driver to the “USB Hub” using zadig but the installation fails…..tried to uninstall the windows driver then install the zadig driver….no joy.

    Searched around for a guide on this but havent found anything for my specific case…..any ideas?

    • Tim C

      I’ve had luck connected and simultaneously running three RTL-SDRs and one HackRF in SDR# (4 separate instances) at max sample rate (Windows 7, old HP desktop, using an AmazonBasic powered USB hub). I installed the drivers for each RTL-SDR (one at a time) with zadig. If I recall, the key was to have only one plugged in at a time during install. It’s still annoying because all 3 RTL-SDRs have the same name in SDR#. I think there’s a way to change that, but I haven’t tried yet.

  27. anonymous

    I haven’t seen this posted on the blog, not sure if it is worth an article or if you don’t know about it, but thought it was worth letting you know if you weren’t.

    Development of a Low Cost Spectrometer for Small
    Radio Telescope (SRT), Very Small Radio Telescope
    (VSRT), and Ozone Spectrometer

    • Colin Schulz

      Hi James…

      I too am very keen to follow up on using the RTL-SDR units for EMWIN. Hope someone may be able to assist in this.
      I have a commercial EMWIN system here using a PC soundcard as the digitizer and works well. Just need to get the right outputs from the RTL-SDR unit into that software. Documentation on the existing system is available. Any one want to assist. ??
      Thanks in advance

      C Schulz

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