Building a simple upconverter with a NE612 IC
Upconverters are often used to extend the RTL-SDR dongles minimum receivable range down to the HF, MF and LF bands. They are available for purchase commercially, or you can build your own, which is what Tomasz of mightydevices.com has done.
By using a low cost mixer IC chip called the NE612 and some passive components Tomasz was able to build a low cost upconverter for his RTL-SDR. His upconverter uses a 100 MHz crystal oscillator that brings frequencies between 0-30 MHz up to a range of 100 – 130 MHz, which is in the receivable range of the RTL-SDR. The upconverter circuit was also designed to be able to provide inline power for a active (powered) Miniwhip antenna. Tomasz’s post explains the design choices and theory behind his circuit design.