A $38.99 RTL-SDR with 100 Khz – 1.7 GHz coverage

RTL-SDR

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill, who recently shared a link to this very affordable RTL-SDR with wideband coverage.

I am not at all familiar with this model, but I do like the enclosure and the fact it has both an HF and UV antenna jack. This must be one of the least expensive SDRs on the market with HF coverage.

Here are a few details per Radioddity.com:

Features:

  • 100% Brand New And High Quality
  • Using the RTL2832 idle channel, broadband connection impedance isolation transformer provides the signal to the signal receiver HF HF bands.
  • Increased input low-pass filter to improve noise performance of the machine. At the same time, it retains the original V / UHF band reception, creative use of studded way to achieve RTL2832 + R820t circuit board assembly and connecting circuits increases
  • Further improve the overall performance of the circuit.
  • In the homemade circuit board also surrounded, surrounded reserved some help to further develop the pads. The entire circuit is loaded inside a small aluminum to further improve the performance of the overall circuit interference by aluminum shielding.

Package Contents:

  • 1 x 100KHz-1.7GHz full band UV HF RTL-SDR USB Tuner Receiver/ R820T+8232 Ham Radio
  • 1 x USB cable
  • 1 x antenna

Post Readers: If you have experience with this little SDR, please comment!

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10 thoughts on “A $38.99 RTL-SDR with 100 Khz – 1.7 GHz coverage

  1. Michael Fortner

    I got mine today and found out Airspy.com has been down for the last two days, so I can’t download SDR# from there. Anybody know of a good alternate site for this? I have HDSDR up and running, but I don’t know how to set it so I can tune the shortwave bands when hooked up to my 25′ vertical I use for ham radio.

    Reply
    1. Michael Fortner

      Ah, I figured it out. You change the sampling mode BEFORE you start sampling. Direct sampling (Q branch) gives you HF while Quadrature gives VHF and up. So now I got that settled. You can change just by stopping sampling, changing the mode, then starting it back up again. Now to find the latest version of SDR#.

      Reply
  2. Steve

    What do the “UV” and “HF” stand for? Also, I have one of these running on OSX with GQRX software. It works at 24 MHz and higher, but I can’t figure out how to tune HF frequencies. Do you just move the antenna to another terminal and divide by 100 or something? Sorry, I’m new at this.

    Reply
  3. Robert

    Thomas – I have one of these (or basically the same) which I picked up from eBay some months back (~$45). My experience with it has been very good. In fact, the very day I hooked it up I basically swapped it out with the dongle I had plugged into the USB port and the unit was recognized (your mileage may vary!). What I found really cool was that when I swapped it I immediately saw 7 or 8 more planes on my RTL-1080 software screen, and that was with the included little mag-mount antenna from the package – the dongle had been hooked up to an outside antenna!
    All I can figure is this unit, because it is encased in metal, has less local interference, and therefore can “hear” better. I have consistently received significantly better signals now for 6 months or more, and this is by comparison with several dongles used over the course of a couple of years.
    I highly recommend them as an inexpensive upgrade to the dongle, plus of course they have HF coverage AND two antenna inputs, which some do not. 73!

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      This is most encouraging, Robert! I imagine the enclosure does help shield the SDR from noise to a degree. I certainly love the price of this little unit.

      Reply
  4. 13dka

    Thats very likely the assembled version of the BA5SBA direct sampling mod kit. Besides the direct sampling mod (which is basically a connector soldered to a pin of the tuner to enable SW reception in lieu of an upconverter, something you can do with an RTL stick yourself) it has an impedance matching thingy onboard and a nice metal case with 2 antenna connectors, other than that it’s more or less just an RTL2832U/R820T/2 stick.

    Just don’t expect it to pick up QRP stations from the other side of the world all the time, and you need to be able to mentally cope with images if you attach some reasonably sized antenna, then you might be happy about the purchase.

    Reply
  5. Mike Churchwell

    Had one of these for several months now, works well with hdsdr. Strong local am stations can cause intermod. Works well for shortwave listening. Good value for price i think.

    Reply

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