How to install SDR – Easy steps straight from the experts

install SDR

If you are looking to set up your SDR, you have come to the right place. Since it is not a simple plug-and-play device, many users have difficulty in the initial steps. Worry not, though! We have word from the experts that it is easier than you think. We have also garnered steps that are easy to understand and implement. You definitely don’t need to be a pro to follow them. 

How to install SDR

SDR is a popular program that Windows users use. It is also the easiest to set up, which is why we are going to talk about it today. Let’s go through the detailed steps on how to install SDR without confusion.

  1. Get the RTL-SDR dongle. You can buy a cheap one too. It shouldn’t cost you a lot of money.
  2. Remember, if you want to use this software, you will need Microsoft .NET 4.6 at least. Make sure that’s in place. If you have Windows 10, this shouldn’t be a concern for you. If you have older versions of Windows, we advise that you check before proceeding.
  3. Now, you should download the SDR Software Package. To do this, head over to
  4. After downloading it, unzip it into a folder. This may seem obvious, but it is a crucial step that many people completely forget about. You must extract the files into a folder and not in the Program Files directory. 
  5. In the files that you extracted, you will find a file named install-rtlsdr.bat. When you double-click on this, you will see a command prompt that enables the downloading of the required files. After the download is complete, you will see zadig.exe and rtlsdr.dll on your system.
  6. Now is the time to plug your dongle in. Beware not to install any software programs that it may have come with. Once you plug it in, it will attempt to download and fail. So, give it some time.
  7. Go to the folder you extracted in a previous step and right-click on zadig.exe. Then choose to Run As Administrator.
  8. Now, choose Options in Zadig and then select List All Devices. Windows 10 users will also have to deselect Ignore Hubs or Composite Parents. In the drop-down list here, you will see Bulk-in Interface (Interface 0). This is what you should select. 
  9. Select the WinUSB driver in the same dialog box beside the green arrow and click on the button that says Replace Driver. This is an important step because it will install the drivers you need to run the SDR. 
  10. After this, you can go ahead and open SDRSharp.exe and choose the Source as RTL-SDR (USB). You will find in the drop-down box as well.
  11. Now, play it. 

That’s it. You have successfully installed the RTL-SDR software radio. Check out various frequencies to be sure that the SDR setup was done correctly.

Enjoy now. You have earned it! 

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