Software Defined Radio (SDR/RTLSDR)

@ozbark Probably best to continue here.

I’m using Windows 10.

The one I have is this one:

I’ve been meaning to get the dongle. I see that it’s 8-bit too but should be of better quality right?

I tried QIRX and could not get it working. I can try SDR-J out.

I moved the cable and plugged it into my other antenna wall port. I can get 99.9 in good quality now so might have made a difference somewhere.

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No worries.
Maybe try a enquiry post below if you can’t fix the timezone(?) RDS CT issue.

Petarko> I’ve been meaning to get the dongle. I see that it’s 8-bit too but should be of better quality right?

No I wouldn’t think you would notice a difference in all honesty & I’d save my money by not purchasing it. I purchased a 2016 era Noo-Elec SDR dongle. Then either in 2018 or 2019 I purchased the better spec & later release NooElec dongle which rivals the later RTL-SDR. I couldn’t detect any noticeable improvement with the later. Forget the 8 bit cheapy devices. If you need an SDR for DAB+ & can afford it consider a Airspy R2 or SDR Play if your budget is less than A$250. I’ve no idea how the Airspy Mini performs, but R2 is fairly good for price from several reports. Im keen on seeing its successor in future for better DAB+ performance & wideband monitoring of the FM band.

QIRX instal is an unwanted overly complex instal product from the author’s description & options (shouldn’t be so difficult) - I eventually got it going in Windows 7. I think I had to add ALL the required third party files etc to get it working properly.
Under my Win 10 machine I recently installed it & had lots of issues, trying to remember how I got it all going under Win 7 without all the errors etc. Have some of it going in Win 10, but lots of start up errors.
It is a nice program when it works & after getting though the hurdles…
Been too busy to tackle it again.

SDR-J has an ugly GUI, but it works (except for not displaying one type of Slideshow image file type from memory) & is flexible & the author is very helpful

Good. PAL connectors have given me issues in the past, unless new, clean & tight fitting.
F is the better, but not as fast to unplug/plug etc.

I use SDR-J for DAB at home and I love it. My SDR is mainly for listening to trunked radio (I have 2 dongles for this reason)

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I don’t know if shows the quality of my USB dongle but even if I run it at -9.9db:

I still get imaging from stronger stations where lower signals are being received, for example Smooth 95.3 is being heard here on top of 93.2 (Koori Radio):

WSFM is a common culprit here.

Any tips for this? @ozbark or @NRN11?

Make sure your ppm is set to whatever the dongle requires.

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Oh yes, I usually use the Sydney ATIS for this.

That is now set:

An 8 bit device gives you limited dynamic range. There’s a limit to what you can achieve with these devices for FM BCB reception in a hostile 150kW environment here in Sydney.
Overload is common sorry to say. Config gain setting experimentation, ppm experimentation, usage of a tunable FM BCB filter/preselector at input, attenuator(s) at RF input, directional antennas, the list goes on.
In brief you get what you pay for.
I initially bought my dongle for DAB+ usage & as a intro to the world of SDR.
It is a play toy device, but it can be a nice DX tool too. Just don’t expect it to perform to same or near standards as a SDR costing over $100.


Just wondering what these settings mean in the FMPlayer? If anyone can explain to me that would be great :slight_smile:.

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I would say that M/S Blend refers to Mono/Stereo. As the FM signal gets weaker and the stereo signal picks up more noise, you can gradually blend in a static free mono signal to make the station easier to listen to. My guess is that the 5 refers to a signal level where this starts to first kick in.

Also assume that the alternative to this is the M/S Switch where at a designated signal level the radio will switch from stereo to mono.

Soft Mute would refer to muting the static hiss on FM frequencies where there is no signal. This is usually on but for DX’ing you would want it to be off so as not to miss faint signals. Also assume that you can set a (very low) signal level where this takes effect.


I have now gotten 2 of the RTLSDR blog dongles and it’s much better. I can receive Nine’s channels again and there are no dropouts on other channels.

I also brought an FM band filter along with it just in case.

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