Jul 14, 2014

RTL-SDR Improvements

The $20 RTL-SDR dongles are great little software defined radios that will allow you to tune in to a large portion of the frequency spectrum below 2Ghz, but unfortunately by default lacks most of the HF bands.  This can be rectified by using an up-converter like the Ham-It-Up, but now you are left with multiple cards and adapter cables which can be a bit of a mess.

With a few small modifications, and a couple extra parts you can turn this mess into a nice finished product that will not only make using your sdr easier, but will also improve the performance.

The first step is to remove the SMA connectors from the Ham-It-Up and the USB and MCX connectors from the RTL dongle.  Now that you have removed the original connectors from the boards you can hard wire the two boards together, and substitute your antenna connector of choice for the input (I chose BNC).  Once hard wired together this can all be put into a small metal project box to block out most noise.

Now you have a nice and compact sdr platform that is easy to take with you and performs better than it did before.  What more can you ask for :)

Credit goes to micah for the original idea also more pics and information at (http://thisisnt.com/put-it-in-a-box/)