Have a question about using your SDR? Check here first! These are the most common questions we get regarding using your NESDR, including utilizing software! If you have questions about the driver installation procedure, please click here. If you require technical support, please contact our Customer Support team.
My NESDR gets very hot when in use. Is this normal?
Yes, it is normal for these devices to be hot to the touch when in use. They are designed to remove heat at the board-level and distribute it away from the PCB as evenly as possible. This will necessarily result in the enclosure becoming quite warm during operation.
For example, the Nano 3 comes with an aluminum enclosure as standard, and a custom heatsink that can be applied to the SDR to dissipate heat. Our SMArt and SMArTee models also have aluminum enclosures and feature internal heatsinks and thermal pads which distribute the heat away from the PCB to keep the device running smoothly.
My SDR keeps disconnecting from my computer when it is moved slightly. How can I prevent this from happening?
SDRs are a bit heavier than most USB devices and therefore can be more sensitive to movement and more likely to disconnect when inserted into a horizontal USB port.
The solution is generally to use a vertical USB port (for example, a USB hub or the top port of computer case, if available), or to use a high quality USB extension cable, since there is no longer a downward force that can lead to disconnects.
I am finding that when operating my SDR, using a short USB extension cable, I need to touch the dongle to reduce the noise picked up. Why is this?
When operating any SDR using a USB extension cable, the quality of the cable is very important. To reduce noise and interference, make sure you are using a properly shielded, high-quality, thicker-gauged cable. The length of the cable should be as short as possible, and preferably with ferrite beads on one or both ends.
My SDR is not detected by my computer. What should I do?
Check your USB port, or change USB ports to rule out a problem with the port itself. Sometimes the housing around the USB port can prevent the SDR from being inserted fully. You should also try using a USB extension cable or USB hub instead of the port on your host device. If you're already using one of these, check to make sure the cable/hub is working properly. If none of these are successful, open a ticket using the Support bubble at the bottom of this page and one of our Customer Support Specialists would be happy to help.
How do I get my SDR to pick up FM radio?
For FM radio, you need to choose a wide bandwidth, select a "station" between 88 and 108 MHz, and select FM as the demodulation type.
Can I use my NESDR to receive MF, HF, or AM frequencies?
In order to receive these frequencies with your NESDR, you will need to use an upconverter, like the Ham It Up. MF, HF, and AM frequencies are not within the range of the NESDR on its own. The exception to this is the NESDR SMArt v5, which can receive HF through direct sampling natively.
I have a Mini and would like to make an HF modification. What is your recommendation?
We do not recommend the HF modification on this device for 2 reasons:
- The hardware modification requires soldering which carries a risk of destroying the SDR if not done properly.
- The performance in direct sample mode isn't that great to begin with. It will work, but only with limited bands.
Instead we would recommend using an upconverter, which would provide far better performance and eliminates risk of damage to the SDR.
I am using a NESDR to tune into ADS-B signals from aircraft and ground stations. Can the SDR send info from 978MHz and 1090 MHz at the same time?
No, the SDR is capable of receiving either the 978 MHz UAT signal OR the 1090 MHz ADS-B signal. You would need 2 SDRs to receive both signal types simultaneously.
Why didn't my product come with a disc with the required software?
We no longer ship discs with most of our products as most host devices no longer even have an optical drive to read them. All of the required drivers and some recommended software are available in our Installation Guide.
Why isn't Cubic SDR working on my PC?
You may have installed the wrong version. There are two versions of Cubic SDR, one is 32-bit, the other is 64-bit. Depending on your computer system, you need either one or the other. If you’ve installed the 32-bit, uninstall this and install the 64-bit instead, or vice versa.
I can't get HDSDR to work on my PC.
For this program, you need to be sure to download the zip file found in our Installation Guide. The zip file contains installation instructions, along with a library file and program file. When installing HDSDR, you need to note the location of the Installation Directory (program file) and move the library file (.dll) to this location, as per the installation instructions. Without completing this step, HDSDR will not be able to recognize your device.
I am using HDSDR and I can't seem to pick up any signals. What can I do differently?
When using HDSDR, there are a number of software settings that can be adjusted to improve the performance of your SDR. Please note that these settings are generally recommended, but will need to be adjusted depending on your signal of interest and operating environment. As with learning any new software program, some trial and error will be needed to find the settings optimal for your application. With that said, these are our recommendations when working with HDSDR:
- Disable AGCs (automatic gain controls) and adjust the gain manually.
- Ensure that you have selected the correct demodulation type for your signal of interest (for example, the setting for FM radio is FM).
- Set the sampling rate (bandwidth) appropriately for your frequency. For FM radio, the bandwidth settings should be 96,000 (input) and 192,000 (output).
- Set the LO frequency and the tune frequency slightly apart (start at about 10 kHz or so and increase depending on the bandwidth of your signal of interest).
I want to use my device for both SDR and DVB-T, how does this work?
The drivers for SDR and DVB-T are not compatible with one another and would have to be switched when using a different function. You would need to uninstall one when using the other and vice versa. A simpler method would be to use separate USB ports for each function, as Windows keeps drivers for USB devices on a per-port basis.
I have just downloaded the NESDR Driver Installer, but my antivirus software is identifying the file as corrupt and removes it. Is there an issue with the file? How can I fix the problem?
This is a common problem associated with some antivirus software. The file is an un-archived, executable file, which is capable of installing core files. This is both what it is designed to do, and also why the antivirus software is preventing you from opening it. You should disable your antivirus software temporarily to install the driver, and then re-enable it.
Can you help me to tune into a specific station or frequency in my area?
It is very difficult to assist a remote customer in tuning to a specific station in their area, as the settings within the software will vary depending on a large number of environmental factors that are unique to each individual set-up. However, here are a few things to look for to get you started:
- Select the correct demodulation type for your frequency of interest (for broadcast FM radio, it would be WFM);
- Tune the software to the correct frequency;
- Use the appropriate antenna for the frequency;
- Set the bandwidth to the correct value, depending on your signal;
- Set the gain appropriately (we recommend disabling AGCs for most purposes).
I can't get my NESDR to work with SDR#, why is that?
Please note that Nooelec is unable to offer technical support for this particular program at the author's request. That being said, we do have some recommendations.
Ensure you are following the setup instructions for RTL-SDR USB dongles. Without doing this, no RTL-SDR type of device will work. We also recommend using the gain sliders over AGCs for most use cases.
If you are using an XTR dongle, make sure you have enabled offset tuning and I/Q correction. This is important for E4000 based SDRs since they have zero-IF topologies.
Where can I find the software for DVB-T?
Please contact our support team for a download link if you are interested in DVB-T and it is available in your area.
Can't find the answer to your question? Click on the Support bubble in the bottom-right corner of the page and send our friendly Customer Support team a message. We'll be happy to help!