New RTL-SDR dongles feature HF reception


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Aaron Kuhn, who writes:

[T]he newest v3 RTL2832U USB receivers now have HF reception via Direct sampling over the SMA antenna connector directly out of the box with no hardware modding required.

I think this might make it the cheapest, out-of-the-box HF SDR possible at this point.

9:1 balun for longwire puts the whole thing under $50 still

Wow! Now you’re making me wish I would’ve waited a few more months before finally purchasing an RTL-SDR. I like the folks over at the RTL-SDR blog, so I purchased their model.

Amazingly,  the V3 RTL2832U only costs $24.95 on What a value!  Anyone care to write a review of the HF performance? Please contact us.

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11 thoughts on “New RTL-SDR dongles feature HF reception

  1. Mario

    HDSDR is also a great software to use, has a nice big “S meter.” SDR# of course is a superb program too, with additional plugins that can be added.

    A bias-tee sends voltage to another upstream device such as an in-line amplifier to power it. Others might explain it better.

    Glad to hear of this new improved version three of the dongle, gratifying to know that their customer’s requests are important enough to implement in NextGen versions.

  2. Just Bill

    How do you use this (or any software defined radio) without noise from the wretched computer blanking all possible signals?

    1. Mike

      The Blog dongle does have some shielding being in a metal case. You would do the following for noise.

      Longer USB cable with chokes to get it as far away from the PC as possible.

      Add chokes to the coax to minimize stray RF

      Use a USB isolator.

      All 3 of these option are for extreme RF issues.

  3. John AE5X

    I’ve just ordered one – how can anyone not for $25? I will have some learning to do when I get it – bias-T…what is that? Thanks for the heads-up about this item.

  4. Ashok

    You can use SDR# with bundled tools if you want to use Bias-T with LNA.
    They have promised to supply modified Driver and utility tool to enable/disable Bias-T.

    I have used GQRX with generic RTL-SDRs with very impressive performance on linux.
    I will try this new one too when i get it 🙂

    de VU3VFU

    1. Edward

      Ok, so I have to install Linux on my PC. Last time I looked at these dongle support packages, there was a lot of configuration issues. could never mine working on XP. Although not this particular dongle, mine is still in the drawer collecting dust.

      1. Aaron Kuhn

        Hi Edward,

        These do not require Linux, but they also do not support Windows XP.

        RTL-SDR.Com has a nice Quick Start guide at:

        I have personally found SDR# (SDRSharp) under Windows the easiest software to use with these. You could use Linux and GQRX if you wanted too, but I found the setup incredibly tedious and time consuming when I tried it.

      2. Ashok

        Hi Edward,
        Linux is not necessary.
        I use linux because i am using it for last 16 years as my primary OS.
        But you can use Windows too. SDR# is good place to start as it expects not much knowledge about SDR technology.
        But Other softwares require varying level of awareness.

        I use GQRX on linux I love it…

    1. Mike

      The RTL line of dongles are supported in just about ever major frontend package by default. Not only that they are also supported across all OS platforms. In the SDR world these would be the most popular SDR’S.


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