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Thread: Is My DVB-T RTL SDR Dongle Healthy?

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  1. #1
    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Toronto CYYZ

    Is My DVB-T RTL SDR Dongle Healthy?

    How To Test If Your DVB-T RTL SDR Dongle Is Healthy

    Following two options are described below:

    OPTION-1: Dongle plugged into Windows Computer.
    OPTION-2: Dongle plugged into Raspberry Pi.


    OPTION-1: Dongle plugged into Windows Computer.

    STEP 1 of 3:
    Install dvb-t rtl driver zadig if not yet done so, as detailed below.

    (1) Download Zadig 2.3.exe from

    (2) Plug the DVB-T or ProStick in your Windows Computer.

    (3) Follow the steps below:

    (a) Double click Zadig 2.3.exe to run it.
    The window below will open.


    (b) On main menu, click "Options".
    On the drop-down, place a check mark beside "List All Devices".


    (c) From list of devices, select "RTL2838" which is actually DVB-T/ProStick.
    Now click button which will either say "Install Driver" or "Reinstall Driver"

    STEP 2 of 3:
    Download from here:
    Download Link:

    Web Page:
    (scroll down to bottom of page to find download link)

    STEP 3 of 3:
    (a) First EXIT your Flightradar24 feeder, or dump1090, or RTL1090 or ModeSdeco2 or any other software which is using DVB-T to make the Dongle free for test.
    (b) Un-zip It will create a folder RelWithDebInfo.
    Inside this folder there is another folder rtl-sdr-release which contains several files and 2 folders named x32 and x64.
    (c) Go to folder x32. You will find many rtl tools in it as shown in screenshot-1.
    (d) Double-click file rtl_test.exe to run it.
    A command console will open and if Dongle is OK, it will give output as shown in screenshot -2.




    OPTION-2: Dongle plugged into Raspberry Pi.

    Install the test tools package rtl-sdr
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install rtl-sdr
    NOTE: If you have a PI24 image, the above commands sometimes fail to install rtl-sdr due to "read-only file system".
    In this case, issue following command to make the system "read and write", and after this, again run above commands to install rtl-sdr.
    sudo mount -o remount ,rw /
    Stop dump1090 to free your Dongle for test

    #choose one of the following commands,
    #depending on which version of dump1090 you have installed.
    #If you are not sure, issue all three one by one (some of these commands will say "not found")
    sudo systemctl stop fr24feed
    sudo systemctl stop dump1090
    sudo systemctl stop dump1090-fa
    sudo systemctl stop dump1090-mutability

    Now run the test command
     rtl_test -t
    If your Dongle is OK,
    Properly connected to Pi,
    you will see this output
    Found 1 device(s):
      0:  Realtek, RTL2832UFA, SN: 00001001
    Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U
    Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
    Supported gain values (29): 0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6 
    Sampling at 2048000 S/s.
    No E4000 tuner found, aborting.

    Reboot your Raspberry Pi to restart dump1090 and all data feeders, and restore to normal operation state.
     sudo reboot
    Last edited by abcd567; 2019-04-10 at 17:36.

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