Why USB cable quality matters

Several RTL SDR dongles, accessories and most higher-class SDRs use an USB cable to connect receiver to computer.
Every cable is the same, right? No.
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Two cables with same RTL-SDR dongle, waterfall changes:




Only RTL-SDR dongles? No, SDRplay RSP2, only cables swapped:


Receiver in same location during testing, 1 metres away, but I had to move laptop closer to be able to use the 0.3m cable.

USB hubs, ferrites, chanting medieval prayers


Did several tests, and adding ferrites to USB cable did not hurt. USB hubs were temperamental, had 0.3 dB better performance with one, worse performance with other, then roles and figures changed in a different location, so it's not a clear-cut case of this or that is better.
Listening to medieval music helps a lot, primarily to lower your blood pressure level and to relieve frustration.
Final advice is: see a compatible cable, buy it. Impossible to know, or recommend one, get as may cables as you can, then test actual reception performance.
Length, diameter, ferrites, make or model will not guarantee excellence.

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