Simple Instructions to Setup Your RTL2832U / E4000 Dongle for SDR Use
Even though the instructions below for installing a RTL2832U stick are valid. You might want to try the instructions provided in this article first. This method is simpler and seems to provide better performance. If they don’t work out for you, then try the method below.
How to get a RTL2832U Stick running with HDSDR under windows.
- Download and install HDSDR
- Download the BorIP setup package. Also download librtl2832++.zip
- Plug in your dongle to a USB port.
- Extract the ExtIO USRP file to a folder and run the installer that should be in the extracted folder. When asked where to install, select the same folder that HDSDR was installed to on your pc. During the install process, you will be asked to install the Zadig drivers. If your dongle doesn’t automatically show up, select Options then List all Devices (usually the case). This is where you things may vary depending on your dongle. There is a possibility that you may just see a RTL2832U device listed if so select that one. If not you may need to Select Bulk in Interface 0 (NOT 1 if that shows up). Click Install Drivers or Replace Drivers. Close the Zadig installer and complete the rest of the install.
- Extract the librtl2832++.zip to the same folder where you installed HDSDR.
- Start HDSDR
- If you have used HDSR with another ExtIO controller, you will be asked to select the ExtIO file you would like to use. For the RTL2832U device you should select ExtIO_USRP.dll. If you havent used HDSDR with another ExtIO controller you won’t be asked to do this. Once HDSDR starts, there should be two windows that open, on for HDSDR program itself and Device Control window.
- Select the Device Control window and under “Device Hint” put “RTL readlen=8192 tuner=e4k” without the quotation marks. Click Create. You should see a message in the lower part of the Device Control that the device was successfully created.
- Check the Gain setting. It is usually set too low by default, so you may not receive anything. Setting it too high will also affect reception negatively. Try starting it at a little less than 3/4 gain.
- You can now close the Device Control window if you want, but it can be useful to watch the status messages from the RTL2832U dongle.
- Start HDSR and try tuning around in the FM broadcast band to start with. Be sure to set the modulation in HDSDR to WFM. You should see and hear some local FM stations. However, HDSDR does not do a great job of demodulating WFM. Once you are comfortable that everything is working you may want to download the latest version of SDR Sharp beta. SDR Sharp should work by selecting the FRONT END button and selecting RTL SDR as the front end device. SDR Sharp has its’ own custom ExtIO driver that has an automatic gain control for the RTL3832U dongle, but you can adjust it manually. SDR Sharp also does a great job of demodulating WFM and in Stereo. Note: See Post A word about SDR Sharp.