HamRadioNow: Carl Laufer's RTL-SDR Dongle

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KN4AQ, Jun 11, 2017.

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  1. KN4AQ

    KN4AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    HRN 328 RTL-SDR POSTER Carl CU 250.jpg
    Carl Laufer isn't a ham (yet), but he got caught up in the RTL-SDR craze in his home town, Auckland NZ, as he was completing his PHD. He began writing about them, and selling them, on his blog at www.RTL-SDR.com, and soon discovered that the little SDR receiver dongles could stand some improvement. So he designed ways to make them work better, and contracted a Chinese manufacturer to build them with his mods. That just about doubled the price, from $10 to about $20. Yeah, big deal.

    TAPR invited Carl to come to the 2017 Dayton Hamvention to talk about them at both their Friday Forum (part of HamRadioNow Episode 324) and as the main speaker at the TAPR/AMSAT Banquet.

    And we got him for a conversation with HamRadioNow's KN4AQ and PhasingLine's Chicken With Fries in the SIB back in Tent City.

    Podcast listener's celebrate: this is another talking-head show with just a few graphics to spoil the perfect score. Makes you wonder why Gary even bothers with the cameras, doesn't it? Radio Rating: A+.
    K2NCC and K0PIR like this.
  2. KB9MWR

    KB9MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    It should be mentioned that what enables the RTL-SDR to be such a useful device (outside of its original closed source TV use), is the handy work of Antti Palosaari, Eric Fry and Osmocom, who crafted the open source driver.

    Carl's website does give the history / credit:

    In my opinion, someone ought to applaud the efforts of http://osmocom.org/, and encourage more of that sort of thing.
    K2NCC, K0PIR and 4X1DA like this.
  3. K0PIR

    K0PIR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I purchased an RTL-SDR at the Hamvention TAPR booth and am using it now. I purchased it because it was the latest (v3) and I thought I'd be able to use it on HF frequencies. Carl cautioned me about having local FM stations closeby, but I took the chance anyway. The FM stations are a little bothersome, but I can get by with it. I am running it with HDSDR and using it as a panadapter for my Icom 7300.

    Truthfully this small purchased has convinced me to go out and buy something better. For me it was worth the investment. You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette.

    Nice clip and thank you for putting it on.
    K3SX likes this.
  4. KB9MWR

    KB9MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    A FM trap/ band-stop filter isn't very expensive and should take care of the high power FM stations nearby. Radio Shack (sigh) used to even sell them.
    K0PIR likes this.
  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    MCM is still in business. :)

    I use a antenna tuner to limit what the frontend of the SDR sees.
    K0PIR likes this.
  6. K8AI

    K8AI Ham Member QRZ Page

    OR, you could cobble up some filtering and/or a trap on your own. There is usually an ARRL radio handbook at most local libraries.
    K0PIR likes this.
  7. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an RTL2832U that used to work with SDR#. Air Spy has disabled the driver for this in the latest version. I gave my notebook computer to my sister that was setup for monitoring local aviation VHF AM radio and I can't find SDR# that will work with the RTL2832U. All links wind up at Air Spy. HDSDR is fine for a panoramic adapter but not too good for a scanner. It's a clever way for Air Spy to sell their $95 dongle. Make sure you find software for the cheap dongles before you get too excited about the $20 units. All the applications I tried were inferior to SDR# and I would need to write a TCP/IP script to enable the RTL dongles for SDR#. Zadig is not working any more.
  8. K0PIR

    K0PIR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am new to the RTL-SDR and I bought one of the v3 dongles at the Hamvention and got SDR# working. I don't use SDR#, but it seems to work. From the dropdown list it shows a Generic RTL2832U. What is different with yours? Am I missing something here?
  9. K0PIR

    K0PIR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good to know. I may try that, but I have another SDR on the way.

  10. AF7UF

    AF7UF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just got my dongle today 6/19/17 and downloaded the software from airspy and installed it according to the instructions on rtl-sdr.com and it worked just fine.
    K0PIR likes this.

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