Software Defined Radio Receiver USB Stick - RTL2832 w/R820T (ADA1497)

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If you’ve ever been curious about software defined radio (SDR), this USB stick is the easiest way possible to have fun with a powerful, configurable receiver. Packed … read more

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Do you have a solution for mapping VHF signal strength? I’m trying to devise a way of showing comparative signal strengths to relay towers so planning which tower to use is less hit and miss.

Hey Rob,

Welcome to the forum!!

I haven’t had the chance to play around with this part in particular yet but did track down this guide, under the recording heading it mentions you are able to save a 2 MHz frequency band which might have enough range for your application: SDRSharp Users Guide

Let us know how you go!

You’re probably better off with something like an RF explorer, with a YAGI antenna. That way you’ll be able to find direction of the signal and you’ll get much better gain out of a directional antenna for reception from a fixed tower.


Hi Rob

Oliver’s statement is pretty spot on. You are going to need a directional antenna to sort out which tower you are looking at unless you can demodulate and the towers in question transmit some sort of ID. A good spectrum analyser is great if you have access to one but not usually available to most hobbyist.

What might be available though is an analog type tuneable signal strength meter such as a Konig or Promax (I have a KONIG). They are both the same. Frequency coverage is 48.25 to 168.25 MHz, 175.25 to 463.25 MHz and 471.25 to 855.25 MHz. Measurement range +20 to +110 dbµV (10µV to 316mV). Meter scale dbµV. Basically used to align TV antennas. A directional antenna is still needed.

Tracking and recording. For simplicity you can’t go past pen and paper. Get back to the good (???) old days.
Cheers Bob


The USB dongle is not mounting on either PC I have available (Windows 10 and Windows 11).

any suggestions?

Hi Neale,

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

The USB dongle should be autodetected by the REALTEK 2832U driver. Which you then override the default driver with an alternative to access all the features. It is discussed in Adafruit’s tutorial which you can find here:

Have you been working through the tutorial and attempted the ‘driver fix’ step, or did Windows just not detect the stick at all when it was first connected?

If you are using any sort of USB hub it might be worth removing it and trying a direct connection to the PC first, incase a USB hub is interfering.

Windows appears not to have detected the stick at all. I’m not using any USB hub so no easy fix there.

I was able to install a REALTEK 2832U Device using the ‘add legacy hardware’ action but the result was
Screenshot 2023-05-05 155636

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Hi Neale,

I’ve just checked another unit from stock with my Windows 10 machine and it was able to detect the device and install using the REALTEK 2832U driver then become recognisable as an IR receiver.

It’s possible the unit you received has a hardware fault, can you please reply to your order confirmation email and include a link to this forum thread? Then we can get underway with the RMA process and get a replacement sorted out for you.