RTL-SDR & Static protection.

Okay, I also got myself an rtl-sdr dongle and it rocks. However, just a tip.
If you ever think of connecting an external antenna – have a GOOD look at the PCB. Some dongles are missing ESD protection. Like the one I got myself from ebay.

If so, connecting a big external antenna will result in a dead dongle. The ESD Protection is BAV99, according to the reference schematics.
Thnkx for exception13 for drawing my attention to this issue.
You can get those for about 7 bucks for 100pcs at aliexpress with freeshipping.

11 thoughts on “RTL-SDR & Static protection.

  1. I haven’t opened up my RTL from DealExtreme to check the diode presence, but I use an electrically shorted antenna which doesn’t let static build up across hot/cold terminals.

    Isn’t it so?

    Well, there’s static build-up against Earth, but that can burn the computer too.

  2. I have the same dongle, thanks for the tip.
    I can’t receive a whole range of frequencies, specifically around the 800-1200mhz range. This means I can’t use it for ADS-B.
    Do you get those frequencies on yours?

    1. @Gerrit: There’s a gap at about that frequences, and that AFAIK depends on the tuner. I haven’t tried those freqs myself. Not till I get the static protection and hook a better antenna.

  3. Thanks for the tip, I’ve fried one dongle already. Just got ten from Deal Extreme none have protection diodes.

  4. Hi! I’m new at this SMD things, but how to solder the BAV99 without damage the other components?

    Best regards,

  5. Hi! could you please let us (newbies) how to properly solder the ESD protection? a youtube video would be great 😉

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