Identifying the Reciever

I have a USB dongle which looks exactly like this picture, however I do not know how to identify the chip inside.

The packaging looks like this, and (vexingly) contains no information whatsoever as to a model number or any other kind of identification of the device.

Can I identify it somehow? Is there a linux (preferably) application to interface to these things and get the info off it (and to just play with it a bit so I can see how it all works?)

@rspencer I don’t know if via sw there is a method to do what you want.
Maybe if you open the dongle case and take a picture of the chip we can try to identify it…

Maybe this tutorial can be helpful
Most of these commands work in all distros
(Sorry for the formatting I am on a mobile device)

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Thanks to @elkos, I managed to find out what was what. Here is how (for any future-comers):

  • Run lsub | grep Realtek on a command line. It came up with a RTL2838 device.
  • According to here, “Many devices … have … RTL2838 as product name, but in fact all of them have an RTL2832U inside.”

Thus I deduce that my chip is indeed the required RTL2832U, so we can use this reciever.

P.S. Just in case you are wondering, we are planning to use this for the SatNOGS build at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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I’ll warn you. I have one of those. I’ve been picking up a lot of interference. On several sites they suggest the dongle with a usb cable to get it away from the pc. That and put a ferrite bead around the cable. Also good grounding, which is always a great idea. Some have even enclosed the dongle inside a grounded and shielded box. I haven’t had to chance to try any of these to see what really nails it. Probably all of it.

I hadn’t thought about it but using a laptop with just an ac adapter isn’t grounded at all. So I’ve got the usb extension cable. Now when I have time I can see how to get the best response. Just thought I’d share if you run into this too. That way you can be prepared if you need to make changes quick and at least have stuff on hand to fix it if it does.

This site tells quite a bit about the dongles and some limitations etc.
RTL-SDR Information