Software Defined Radios

I LOVE SDR! To find out why, you can click here!

A lot of people ask what equipment I use, and are interested in setting up their own SDR collection. So here is a list of the SDRs I use, with links so you can use to purchase your own.

Clicking the flag icon will take you to the Amazon store of that Country so you can make quick and easy purchases. If the items are unavailable from Amazon, you can click the icon which generally links to the manufacture page.

Purchasing through an Amazon ensures you will receive a genuine product 🙂 not a counterfeit as found on some other sites 🙁 I also make a $1-$2 commission on SDR sales through these Amazon links, which helps to support the channel.

If you would like to support the channel in other ways, see the Tip Jar page.

DevicePhotoLinkNotes
RTL-SDR v3

A $25 SDR that has been developed with the radio enthusiast in mind! Has a software selectable bias-t which greatly enhances its usability.

These are very sensitive radios that have been well tuned, and offer excellent reception across a wide frequency range.

I use these daily for monitoring everything from digital trunking systems to satellite communications.
RTL-SDR v3 Bundle

If you are just getting started, purchasing the bundle gets you a few extras that will come in useful.

The telecopic antenna dipole kit works very well for mobile use as you may have seen in some of my videos.
NooElec NESDR SMArt



A $30 / £28 SDR that offers great performance and a nice form factor that enables multiple units to be used simultaneously in laptops / Raspberry Pis.

They offer great reception across a wide frequency range.

You can't go wrong with a few of these in your SDR arsenal!
NooElec SMArt Bundle



With the basic NooElec bundle you get a magnetic mount antenna base along with 2 fixed whips and a telescopic antenna.

This enables reception across a range of frequencies and is good for beginners who do not already own any antenna equipment.
NooElec HF Bundle



If you are interested in HF monitoring in addition to VHF & UHF, NooElec offer a complete kit that will see you right.

It includes the regular antenna options found in the SMArt bundle, but adds an HF Upconverter and balun.

With this you can monitor the entire shortwave spectrum!

Other receivers are available that cover these bands in a single unit, and are similarly priced. However the other units do not include baluns.
NooElec SMArtee



While it looks almost identical to its brother above, this version has a permanently powered bias-t. Useful for active antennas / preamps, and similar performance to the SMArt above.
SDRPlay RSP1AThe $99 RSP1A is a very wide range receiver, covering 1KHz all the way to 2.0 GHz.

The RSP1a offers 10 MHz of bandwidth which is very useful when monitoring, and more than what is offered by other SDRs in this price range.
AirSpy MiniAt $99, AirSpy offer the mini. It has a similar form factor to the regular lower priced SDR dongles, but is much higher spec inside. In fact it is basically a slimmed down version of the R2.

This device offers 6 MHz of bandwidth and is well respected by satellite enthusiasts.

Designed by the same team behind SDR#.
AirSpy R2The R2 offers 10 MHz of bandwidth and is a great upgrade radio. While it doesn’t natively cover HF (you’ll need an upconverter for that) it is a well respected unit.

This was the first wideband SDR I owned, but comes in at $169 – 70% more than the RSP1A.

I regularly use a multitude of scanners as well as my SDRs. In fact it was scanners that really got me hooked into this hobby. To see my scanner recommendations, visit the Scanner Gear page.

Thanks to roundicons and turktub from flaticon for the flag & earth graphics.