RTL-SDR Dongle dead/dying?

bobruzzo

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I was at a friends house today troubleshooting his rtl-sdr installation. He said it receives nothing...all 3 sites (The local P25 simulcast state system) he had programmed were "IDLE". He uses SDR Trunk in an MX Linux laptop. It was working fine at one point. I took dongle home and ran it on both my Linux and Windows PC's....only to see only ONE site working. Is there a way to troubleshoot these things? It seems strange that I was able to hear the 1 P25 simulcast site. There are 2 more sites programmed in SDR trunk. But they both read "IDLE"......
 

GTR8000

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If you're able to get software to communicate with the dongle, and you're able to decode at least one site, then no it's obviously not dead and is probably not dying. Sounds like you have to either improve the antenna/gain to actually pull in more than just the local site, or temper your expectations and realize that the signal may not be good enough to decode. Oh and of course PPM needs to be zeroed out before you can expect any reliable decoding.
 

bobruzzo

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If you're able to get software to communicate with the dongle, and you're able to decode at least one site, then no it's obviously not dead and is probably not dying. Sounds like you have to either improve the antenna/gain to actually pull in more than just the local site, or temper your expectations and realize that the signal may not be good enough to decode. Oh and of course PPM needs to be zeroed out before you can expect any reliable decoding.
OK the dongle was pulling in the other sites perfectly before. All of sudden its not. I would like to find the ppm so I can set it in the SDR Trunk program.
 

slicerwizard

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Why wouldn't you test a dongle by just tuning it to some known local signals? The spectrum display would show if it's got poor sensitivity or high SNR, as well as showing how much it's off frequency.
 

bobruzzo

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Why wouldn't you test a dongle by just tuning it to some known local signals? The spectrum display would show if it's got poor sensitivity or high SNR, as well as showing how much it's off frequency.
I did. The way we have the dongles set up is using sdr trunk and the RI P25 simulcast state system. We get 3 of the 4 sites pretty good. The 4th site is further away. So normally when we run sdr trunk on that system with dongle the signals are decent and everything works fine. But all of a sudden this particular dongle seems deaf. I was able to get it to receive 1 of the 3 sites but the other 2 sites IDLE. And thats with an outside 800 mhz yagi. I can normally use a remtronix indoors and still get good reception.
 

Dirk_SDR

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I did. The way we have the dongles set up is using sdr trunk and the RI P25 simulcast state system. We get 3 of the 4 sites pretty good. The 4th site is further away. So normally when we run sdr trunk on that system with dongle the signals are decent and everything works fine. But all of a sudden this particular dongle seems deaf. I was able to get it to receive 1 of the 3 sites but the other 2 sites IDLE. And thats with an outside 800 mhz yagi. I can normally use a remtronix indoors and still get good reception.
You could check, what another working RTL-SDR does running with your 800 MHz Yagi.
 

Dirk_SDR

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Yep. I have 2 other rtl-sdr dongles that work perfectly. Maybe this bad one got overheated or a spike? Well they are cheep enuff to replace.
I meant: does one of the other RTL-SDRs work with the antenna connection of the "deaf" one?
Just to be sure that the problem is not located in the antenna or splitter...
 

bobruzzo

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I meant: does one of the other RTL-SDRs work with the antenna connection of the "deaf" one?
Just to be sure that the problem is not located in the antenna or splitter...
OK Sorry if I misunderstood. Yes the 2 fully working dongles are fine using both base antenna and remtronix.
 
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