A guide into SDR Sharp

Seeing how many users are having trouble understanding the convoluted SDR console, we decided to post an excerpt from our book on RTL-SDR and give you a few tips.

It’s no secret that SDR# right now is the most well-known and liked software solution in the niche that’s used with the RTL-SDR. It’s simple and intuitive and you can install it by following the easy to use Quickstart Guide. We’ll explain some of the settings and displays later on.

Once you open SDR#, you will find a few peculiar options and we’ve done our best to highlight the most important ones. When you open SDR console for the first time, you will need to perform the following steps. If you need additional info on the matter and have issues with navigation, feel free to explore dxnews forums for more details.

  1. The RF gain needs to be increased to a higher value from zero.
  2. The range slider on the right of the SDR# window needs to be reduced to -70.
  3. The “Correct IQ” setting needs to be enabled if you are using an R820T/R820T2. On the other hand, if you are using an E4000/FC0012/13, enable “Offset Tuning.”
  4. The “Snap to grid” setting needs to be turned off. You may also adjust the PPM offset.
  5. The “Mode” needs to be set to the proper setting for the signal you are trying to list to.

Plugins for SDR Sharp

If you’re looking to making the most from SDR# and its features, there are plenty of plugins available on the market to help you achieve that. You can check them out by visiting rtl-sdr.com/sdrsharp-plugins. There, you will find all available plugins and an overview of their features and applications.

Installing those plugins is easy – in most cases, you just need to copy a .dll file to the SDR# directory. There, you will need to add a text entry line to the Plugins.xml text file. To do this, you need to open the said file in any text editor (Notepad included). The text is different for every plugin, so you will need to read the readme file that comes with the plugin. You’ll need to add the text line between the <sharpPlugins> </sharpPlugins> tags.


Hopefully, our guide by 4L5A will allow you to learn much more about all available settings and presets. You can read more on dxnews forums.