A Discone is a wideband antenna that is a great starting antenna for general RTL-SDR use. Over on instructables.com, user cyfus has created an instructable showing how to build a 55 MHz+ home made discone antenna for his RTL-SDR dongle. His instructions show how to build it out of parts and tools sourced entirely from hardware and electronics stores.
Using this antenna cyfus was able to receive signals from 25 MHz to around 900 MHz.
On YouTube Eric William has posted a video showing him unboxing two new antennas that he intends to use with his RTL-SDR. He unboxes a new QFH antenna for use with receiving NOAA weather satellite images, and a new Discone antenna for general wideband receiving. If you are interested in buying commercial antennas for use with your RTL-SDR, this video may be useful at giving you some idea of what’s available.
New Antennas for my SDR Setup- Mailbag Monday
Eric also recently posted a video showing an overview of his RTL-SDR setup which is also an interesting watch.
USB Software Defined Radio- PC Software & Cloud Storage
YouTube user Eric William has posted a useful video explaining the different types of antenna adapters he had to buy (all for under $10) to connect his RTL-SDR (E4000 and R820T) and Ham-it-up upconverter to his antennas.
Everyday multiple NOAA weather satellites pass above you. Each NOAA weather satellite broadcasts an Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) signal, which contains a live weather image of your area. The RTL-SDR dongle combined with a good antenna, SDRSharp and a decoding program can be used to download and display these live images several times a day.
This tutorial will show you how to set up a NOAA weather satellite receiving station, which will allow you to gather several live weather satellite images each day. Most parts of this tutorial are also applicable to other software radios, such as the Funcube dongle and HackRF and Airspy, but the RTL-SDR is the cheapest option. Hardware radio scanners can also work, provided the radio has a large IF bandwidth (30 kHz +) and a discriminator tap.