A youtube channel has a good tutorial about installing the Nooelect SDR USB radio, but I had a problem when using Zadig which is supposed to install the driver.
I find on a website that somebody called Bobasaurus had the solution. I summarize as: The driver will not install in Windows 10 unless in Zadig you click Options, and UNSELECT Ignore Hubs or Composite Parents, and then list all Devices again if necessary, and then use TL2838UHIDIR as the device you are trying to install. Then the driver will install correctly.
Others on the youtube channel in the comments section had the solution for getting SDR sharp software to recognize the device: To make sure SDR sharp recognizes the device go to SDR sharp directory and run the install-rtlsdr.bat file by double clicking on that, then go into SDR sharp and choose RTL-SDR USB as the source. Then it’ll work with the play button as usual. CUBIC SDR is more stable than SDR sharp, but SDR sharp has great plugins. Two that you should avoid installing during the installation process is the accessibility plugin and the screen reader. They cause major instability problems. From testing I think the accessibility plugin has trouble maintaining keyboard focus and so crashes. Anyway that’s how to get SDR Sharp working.
How to receive AM radio signals In CUBIC SDR and SDR sharp : When receiving AM radio signals you’ll need the HAM IT UP accessory. Make sure it’s in line between the antenna and the dongle and flip the switch to enable upconvert.
Once you’ve done that if you are using CUBIC SDR go to settings and change your offset in CUBIC SDR to -125000 which will translate as negative 125Khz which will let you use AM frequencies without doing any math in your head. To work that way make sure offset tune is checked in the options. Make sure you are also in AM decode mode and search around using frequencies like 00.001.240.000 to start with and you’ll be in the AM radio range. If you are using SDR sharp you’ll go the radio settings and choose AM instead of FM and check the shift button and enter the number -125,000,000. The reason the number is different in SDR sharp is that it uses a different numbering system so you need three extra zeros.
Now if you are receiving a signal but it sounds really low and muffled you may want to switch to LSB or USB (lower side band or upper side band) instead of pure AM mode. That might fix the problem. If you are getting a lot of popping sounds you might try changing your sample rate. I find that around 2.56 MSPS works pretty well most of the time. But it’s a setting you’ll have to change from time to time.
General tips for receiving AM frequencies: If you still aren’t getting anything your sample rate may be too high. Go to sample rate and change to 1.024Mhz. What it appears is that the sample rate should be comparable to the frequency. If your sample rate it too high it won’t pick up lower frequencies. Also if your antenna isn’t getting a strong signal on AM but it is basically working you just need to attach a long wire like telephone wire or speaker wire to the base of the antenna and run it outside. The long the better. The recommended length for shortwave AM signals is about 100 feet and 400 would be ideal. You can wrap it around your house or run it across the yard like a clothesline or up a tree. Obviously the higher the better, but AM signals are not as easily blocked by foliage and buildings as FM signals are so those sorts of things are less of a concern here. As a temporary measure to boost your antennas reception just touching the antenna sometimes helps a lot.
If you want to decode trunked stations you’ll also need unitrunker and DSD Plus and I think two dongles, but I don’t know much about that yet.
Original video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZHJvfPrA4g
Driver for nooelec SDR USB radio https://zadig.akeo.ie/
Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR – https://www.rtl-sdr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2031
SDR sharp software – https://airspy.com/download/
CUBIC SDR software – https://cubicsdr.com/
Unitrunker software – http://www.unitrunker.com/download/