Realtek RTL2832U+R820T USB SDR Preview

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Check out the Realtek RTL2832U+R820T USB SDR at


Check out the NooElec RTL2832U+R820T USB SDR at

Now this is a very interesting bit of kit and will appeal to anyone with an interest in radio. I’ll go into more detail when I complete the review on this one, suffice to say it is an extraordinary Software Defined Radio (or SDR for short) with the capabilities of a receiver many times its actual cost (which is about a tenner!).

It’s original purpose and one that it performs effortlessly is as a DAB/DVB-T tuner (digital radio/TV), but some clever chap discovered its tuning chip could be manipulated via software to perform the role of a high end monitoring device.

The model featured here (Realtek RTL2832U+R820T) has a frequency range of 20.100 MHz to 1.7660 GHz (all mode via software) and is the number one choice for new comers to the wonderful world of ADS-B aircraft monitoring/tracking on 1090.000.

The receiving qualities don’t stop there though. Coupled to the right software (I’ll compile a list of the best freeware examples in the review) all sorts of things can be decoded such as AIS, ACARS, trunking systems, weather satellites, APRS, and POCSAG/FLEX pagers. Of course if you just want to listen in like a conventional scanner you can do that too!

I heard about these a while back, but only recently picked one up. I read the hype, but are they really that good?

Unequivocally, yes!

Full review here

Useful links to get you started with tuning:

… and ADS-B/Mode-S decoding/realtime aircraft tracking:

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