The ThumbNet N3 is now Shipping

The latest RTL-SDR receiver from Thumbnet, the Thumbnet N3 is now shipping out. Back in October we received a sample of one of their prototypes and found it to have a very low noise floor since they have replaced the 1.2v switching regulator with a linear regulator.

ThumbNet is a company that is hoping to provide low cost satellite deployments, and make use of volunteers around the world with RTL-SDR’s to help track them. The RTL-SDR’s and antenna kits are provided to schools and educational institutions for free by ThumbNet, in exchange for students setting up and monitoring a satellite tracking station.

In their release email they wrote:

ThumbNet would like to send a very large “Thank You!!” to all of you who have supported us by purchasing one of our surplus N3 SDR receivers, and we wanted to take a second and let you know that we’re excited to announce that the N3’s have left the factory and will begin shipping.

The support has been tremendous and we have a backlog of many hundreds of receivers to get out. We will be working extremely hard, over the coming days to get them all delivered as quickly as possible (Orders will be shipped in the order they were received.).

Don’t forget that there are accessories in the ThumbSat Store ( ) that may be of value to you, such as adapters, cables or power supplies to let you get the maximum performance from your ThumbNet N3. 

A handful of independent tests have been done on the Qualification Models of the N3, and the results have been quite positive.  If interested, you can read some of the reviews at the following links. –


Thank you again for supporting ThumbNet and we hope the N3 exceeds all of your expectations!!

The Thumbnet N3 with its metal case add on.
The Thumbnet N3 with its metal case add on.
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when it has the same spikes as the tested one…. i send it back…


I’m interested in seeing what’s up with that too.

It looks like the solution for the spikes is known — as I understand it, the V2 had these (and I own three of those) too, but they went away when they changed the production process to a 4-layer PCB. If that is the case, then it seems like the traces for clock and signal need to be separated and/or shielded.

I don’t know if this change was incorporated or even considered by the ThumbNet team, but I hope it might be in the future.

(Also, I wonder if the team adopts some of the TN concepts for V4… I’d much rather have clean power and low noise on the receiver than a built-in LNA… the LNA belongs near the antenna, anyway… but it would be really cool to combine low-noise functionality of TN with things like the software bias-tee in the V3… ::all aboard the speculative hypetrain!!::).


yes, the questions come up, why the team don’t design new V4 box receiver with clean power and ultra low spike…the sdr-user like a seperate box with low spikes…


Ordered one out of curiosity. Seems like the low-noise attributes could be useful for NOAA/METEOR reception


Lower noise won’t help as much as a good LNA, especially that the improvement is only 1 to 2 dB.