Realtek RTL2832U R820T DVB-T Tuner ReceiveFor some reason I still can’t figure out, I recently got interested in the RTL-SDR Tuner Receiver craze. As you may already know, these (toys) can be found on eBay for well under $20.

Like everything else there is a wealth of information about this gear, software, experiments and more all over the Web but I began with the Quick Start Guide.

Not knowing much about it, I started off by grabbing one of these Dongles from eBay with the standard accessories.

Next step was to follow the guide and install the free SDR# on a Windows 10 Preview System I have. This receiver worked well for the standard stuff above 50MHz and I got a kick out of listening to local repeaters, police and fire calls for a few minutes. However, I really wanted to find out how well these toys could tune down on the low bands.

100KHz To 1.7GHz SDR Tuner ReceiverListening to the HF bands required a different receiver. There are plenty of receivers listed on eBay which cover 100KHz to 1.7 GHz. Poking around on eBay, I found one here for around $55. Since I had an SMA to SO-239 adapter in the junk box, it was easy to connect the receiver up to the G5RV. 

After getting the unit going with the SDR# software I noticed that I didn’t hear diddly-squat on the low bands. Going over the Quick Start Guide didn’t help since it is only set up to get you up and running.


Sampling Rate and Mode Change For HF Tuning
I had to poke around for awhile and found the answer back at the source, the eBay page where I bought the receiver. If I had been a bit more observant up front and scrolled down the page, it would have saved me time Googling.

The settings within SDR# software requires that the Sampling Rate and Sampling Mode have to be temporarily changed for listening in on the low bands. —>>>

Once these settings were made, the receiver played well when connected to the outdoor antenna.

I’d have to add that if you want to experiment with these receivers it’s a minimal investment to get started. Like anything else, it’s also a fun learning experience.