Originally Posted by Scannerfan15
I have a RTL-2832 SDR and am having poor performance and have a few questions.
Is this a good Pre-Amp for it?
You didn't mention what antenna you're using.
My SDR dongles were relatively deaf with the tiny antennas they came with.
For VHF/UHF and above, a preamp 'may' help, but there are a lot of caveats with that.
Just a little too much gain can overload the input to the point where you'll hear almost nothing at all, or a lot of self inflicted garbage.
I wouldn't use a preamp with the small indoor antenna.
With an outdoor antenna you probably will need an FM trap and a variable attenuator like those sold at Radio Shack if you want to try a preamp.
Since you can see what's happening in the spectrum analyzer part of the display, you adjust the attenuator for stable operation.
I find amplifiers useful under the right conditions (I have around 30 of them).
However, they can also be your worst enemy if not used wisely.
36dB is a LOT of gain and will almost certainly cause problems.
And there is no noise figure specified, so I don't think it's something they're very proud of.
Since the one you referenced has a gain control, it may or may not work for you on an outside antenna.
It depends on how low the gain can be adjusted.
For the $17 price, it's a cheap enough experiment.
Typically a good starting point is about 10dB more than the loss in your coax at your preferred frequency.
By the way, this is what they're capable of with an outside antenna, preamp, fm trap, and variable attenuator.
In this case I had the AGC turned OFF and the rf gain turned way down.
Here is the approximate range for the various tuner chips; (in order of preference by some users)
• E4000 - Tuner. 60MHz to 1700MHz (with a gap somewhere around 1100 MHz (varies between units, run 'rtl_test -t' to find what it is)
• R820T - Tuner 24MHz to 1850MHz
• FC0013 - Tuner 50MHz to 1700MHz
• FC0012 - Tuner 50MHz to 1000MHz