RTL-SDR easy cooling and antenna jack mods

Version 2 of the RTL-SDR dongles came with an aluminum enclosure, a good upgrade from the original. I still noticed it ran hot enough to induce frequency drift as was very warm to the touch. Inside the case, the circuit board has some contact with the case for a heat sink effect but there’s no air flow. And it still has that weird little antenna connection. I de-soldered it from the PCB and enlarged the hole in the case to accommodate a type-F jack. I also added some spacer washers to the end caps to create small slits for air flow. I plugged it into a USB base to maintain a vertical air flow.

 

RTL-SDR mods RTL-SDR mods RTL-SDR mods
It runs much cooler now and frequency does not drift. As an added bonus, the power LED is now visible through the vent slits. The Type-F connectors are durable, available, inexpensive and perform well across the RTL’s frequency range when using RG-6 coax.

 

-Kenn Ranous

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