Having Fun Experimenting with RTL-SDR Receivers

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.

W5KUB Live Webcast Tonight – 10/30/14

From The Desk Of: Tom Medlin, W5KUB  http://w5kub.com

arduino ham radio projectsThis event will be webcast from W5KUB’s personal ham shack on Thursday, October 30th at 8:00 PM CT (0100 UTC).  Arduino devices are powerful and inexpensive microcontrollers, and they are an easy way for ham radio operators, students, and professionals to create devices that interact with their environment using sensors and actuators.  Glen will discuss Arduino and its many applications. Glen will show and demonstrate projects from his book.  He may even bring some surprise projects not in the book.

Glen’s projects include:


Random Code Practice Generator Talking GPS/UTC Time/Grid Square Indicator
CW Beacon and Foxhunt Keyer Iambic Keyer
Fan Speed Controller Waveform Generator
Digital Compass PS/2 CW Keyboard
Weather Station Field Day Satellite Tracker
RF Probe with LED Bar Graph Azimuth/Elevation Rotator Controller
Solar Battery Charger Monitor CW Decoder
On-Air Indicator Lightning Detector
Talking SWR Meter CDE/Hy-Gain Rotator Controllers


To join the webcast go to http://W5KUB.com where the fun begins!  For the first time, there will be a telephone line for viewers to join the webcast.  Viewers can ask questions or discuss their own Arduino projects.  During the live webcast, viewers can chat with us or other ham radio operators from around the world.


Viewers can win prizes, including autographed Arduino for Ham Radio books and some Arduino items donated by Glen Popiel.  To be eligible for prizes, you must have a registered chat room login account on W5KUB.COM.  If you don’t already have a login, go to “W5KUB” and click on “Live Events and Chat Room” where you can either log in or set up a new user account.  This year over $10,000 in prizes have been awarded to viewers of our webcast!  Of course, no purchase is necessary to win a prize because we don’t sell anything!!  W5KUB is not affiliated with any products or companies.


Following Arduino, our guest will be John Amodeo, NN6JA, Producer of ABC’s hit TV show Last Man Standing featuring Tim Allen.  John will provide an update of the recent K6H Special Event.


Please join our group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/w5kub/ for more details and to keep up with our webcasts.


Also, please help spread the word by posting this announcement in Facebook and forwarding this message to your ham radio friends that may not have received this message!