Saturday, 12 March 2016

Video Comparison: Nooelec vs metal cased dongles

Both and Nooelec offer seemingly identical dongles: R820T2 tuner and temperature-controlled oscillator (TCXO) features are the same on paper.
As an extra, the "Silver dongle" from already comes with selectable bias-T, metal case and an useful huge antenna for the same price, so it was the overall winner in the 5-dongle comparison test.
A metal case, which was also reviewed on this blog, is available for the "Blue dongle", Nooelec's NESDR Mini 2+, was found to be tough as nails - there's a reason it costs $10, but that's ten bucks well spent.
Comparing apples to apples performance-wise, the difference is striking - on a multitude of shortwave frequencies, the Nooelec dongle is louder and noisier.

Different gain settings? Different frequency? 

Arabic voice on 15380 kHz, 8 min long video and about as interesting as watching paint dry to the uninitiated, but shows the difference between the two dongles.
Update March 15, 2016: Video starts with Nooelec dongle, then changeover to's silver dongle. It takes time to unplug dongle and pigtail. Nothing else changes, only the dongles.

Please let me know in the comment section what was this...


None. It's up to you. 

The Blue dongle is $35 with a metal case, no bias-T and MCX connector, with apocalypse-proof build quality and 2-year warranty.
The Silver dongle comes with a good accessory set and metal case for $10 less, but only 6-month warranty.

It's your choice.

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  1. So which dongle is which in the videos? Throw notepad up there and type "Here I am starting with X dongle" or something...

  2. The loudest one is the NooElec.....