Watch out for new RTL-SDR Blog V3 Counterfeits

Over the past few years our company has been targeted by counterfeiters who copy our RTL-SDR Blog V3 logos and put it on inferior or old RTL-SDR designs. Up until now determining a fake from an original unit has been possible due to obvious differences in the enclosure.

However, we've now recently seen new counterfeit products appearing on marketplaces with enclosures that look almost exactly like our originals. The counterfeit units copy our logos on the front and back, and text exactly. They also now use rounded enclosures, green PCBs and two screws on the side panels. The only real defining features of the more sophisticated clones are that the side panel screws are not diagonally offset, and that there is no NSY QC sticker on the back noting the batch date.

Again, we want to reiterate that anyone can manufacture and sell RTL-SDRs in general as there is no owner of the RTL-SDR idea itself. However we do have our own specific circuit design and trademarked branding that has become popular over the years due to the features and improvements that we designed and implemented whilst still maintaining a reasonable cost. Other manufacturers/sellers should not trick people into thinking they are ordering an RTL-SDR Blog V3 and they should obviously create their own PCB design and branding.

If you want to ensure that you purchase an original RTL-SDR Blog V3 unit, please use the links on our store page to our official global marketplace listings, or the links to our official local resellers (also on the store page), or order direct from our store if your region is supported. Please note that we cannot provide email support or the two year warranty for counterfeit units.

We are doing our best to enforce our trademark and logos on marketplace sites, but it is a never ending task as once one listing is removed, 10 more appear. If you find that you were tricked by a marketplace listing and received a counterfeit, please be sure to report that store and try to get a refund.

Thanks to all our customers and blog readers for your support over the years! We still have a lot of ideas for new products, tutorials and posts and your support helps us keep this all going!

15 comments

  1. Bob

    If they are bought from fleebay, ask for a fleebay refund to create headaches and a bad reputation for the seller of fakes. Open them up and check first. I did this 3 times before I realised I need to buy from the real source of the genuine supplier.

  2. IT

    Thank you for the warning. Been a fan of the V3 ever since my first one way back in 2017. Got over 20 of the things deployed across various projects now. Probably back for more soon, keep it up.

  3. G1RNB

    I’m not impressed with even the genuine product…
    Used a V3 for about three days and now every time the device tries to do any IO the 2832U chip crashes and loses it device descriptor. WTF.
    I’ve owned the Funcube as well as the pro+ for ten years or so, along the Airpsy and Blade, none of those have ever skipped a beat.
    I suppose it’s because the RTL-SDR is at heart a repurposed device…
    Won’t be buying another.

    • admin

      Hello, if a genuine device is faulty we do have a 2 year warranty. The RTL2832U chip that is used in all RTL-SDRs can have silicon defects that show up after a few hours of usage (just like any silicon chip), but it is relatively rare amongst each batch. Please contact us at [email protected] with the problem description and your order details.

    • Ladislav OK1UNL

      Hi. me have a multiple RTL-SDR v.3 original version only. Also recommend using of heatsink from Raspberry Pi on body of “dongle”. Works fine for some years.
      GL 73! Ladislav OK1UNL

    • Lou

      Pretty much what ChineseCopyCat said. Everyone involved gets what they deserve.

      We’ve known about IP theft, poor QC, lackluster performance, and outright lies with Chinese made/sourced gear for years but people keep buying it and companies keep doing business with Chinese factories.

    • JR User

      Producing in EU/US won’t do much about IP theft. Whilst I agree with ‘reshoring’ production, many wouldn’t be happy about the associated purchase price increase.

      • ChineseCopyCat

        Haa not happy about increase price … always the bad argument !
        No … if you tell me i must pay 5 euros / USD more because produced in EU/US i buy it !

        What you want to force is … it is less cheap because this is produced in china ?
        … Really ?
        So why clone are less expensive Vs original ? Explain us ?
        Ha … yes , Will you explain us Quality has a price ? … ?

        • Lloyd

          Obviously you’ve never been in manufacturing. I’ve been involved with manufacturing widgets for US companies for years. $5 increase? I chuckled. Full US manufacturing would end up with retail pricing being 2-3x or more. Realistically most components and manufacturing would need to still be sourced and done in China with final assembly and QC in the US. Then you can claim ~uS mAdE~ with a $5 premium. But is that *REALLY* US made, or a sly trick?

  4. SA5CHW

    Yes, Please continue with your hard work.
    Really love your blog and products, I look at the website daily 🙂 <3
    73 de SA5CHW

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