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.

  1. Download and install HDSDR
  2. Download  the BorIP  setup package. Also download  librtl2832++.zip
  3. Plug in your dongle to a USB port.
  4. 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.
  5.  Extract the librtl2832++.zip to the same folder where you installed HDSDR.
  6. Start HDSDR
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10.  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.
  11. 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.
Note – Since everyone has a different PC, OS,Dongle etc. You may not get these instructions to work for you. If you run into trouble you may want to post your question in this Forum. Maybe some nice person can help you out 🙂


6 thoughts on “Simple Instructions to Setup Your RTL2832U / E4000 Dongle for SDR Use”
  1. Hi, I just go in trouble try to install in this way.
    ExtIO give to me like nothing.
    is also good to remark, the rtl dont react with the own soft, that one for tv, tv soft say device in conected wron.
    Was tested in 3 different pc and wind versions, do I forget something? help by mail, thanks.

    1. Don’t forget to press the “START” button on the right in HDSDR… it took me some youtubing to figure this one out.

  2. Thanks for the info! I got it to work on Windows 8.1, but it would be helpful to find a comprehensive installation guide for Linux.I had installed HDSDR using Wine and it worked just fine. It would be very nice indeed to have a native HDSDR linux compilation available· Zadig doesn’t work trough Wine. I had tried to put the ExtIO.dll there, but it says “Device not find”. I had used HDSDR on Fedora once, but I can’t remember what is needed to succeed again. If anyone knows it, please leave a note here. Thanks!

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