For around $20, the NooElec Dongle is way too much fun! It’s not for everybody, but for the tech that doesn’t mind spending a little time with it, the benefits pay off.

I’ll admit at first it seemed like it wasn’t going to do anything. The error was on my side. The NooElec Dongle does work well and it’s a lot of fun, but there’s a small learning curve to begin with.

The drivers have to be loaded properly or there will be a few glitches. It helps to have someone tech savvy to get the SDR software downloaded. I must say that the process is not overwhelming, but it’s a bit tedious.

As with any type of police scanner antenna or FM radio yagi, a good antenna is a must. Also, good cable and good jumper cables are necessary. I had a short with a jumper that gave me problems.

The little antenna that came with the dongle is not all that great, yet I would not throw it away because it is good for the higher frequencies. Most probably will not use it, but it would serve well as a mobile antenna.

The SDRSharp software is not only worthy, it is free. What a nice little setup for free! It’s nothing really extravagant, but the screen looks okay and the functions are spot on. It’s really a nice package to cost nada. And it works. I promise.

I am new to the SDR scene, so I have not mastered the apps that can be added on, nor have I tried other software.

I ordered the RF coaxial coax cable assembly F female to MCX male. My police scanner antenna is a homebrew and I have television cable running into the house. This is the F female to MCX male pigtail. It is solid enough to do the task.

I have a short piece of television cable coming from a signal booster (4 Port Cable TV/HDTV/Digital Amplifier Internet Modem Signal Booster Internet AMP) into the dongle. So I am using an amplifier.

The main thing is not to get confused when hooking the dongle and implementing the software. Patience is a must here. The process is a bit confusing running out of the gate.

I got the FM radio to work on my trial run and and slowly I gained enough know-how to get the police scanner frequencies to function. I do not have the software acting as a scanner per se. I basically have a storage of chosen frequencies that I can choose at will. I’m sure the dongle will scan, I just haven’t got around to that part yet.

The frequencies on the software were not exact, as compared to my Uniden police scanner. There’s probably a way to correct this. I just haven’t found that out yet.

There’s another problem that I haven’t resolved yet. My computer froze up on me and I did get it to play after shutting it down. But, after using the dongle and software for some time, my computer seems more sluggish than it should. I’m sure there is a fix for this. I wish somebody would give me the heads up on this one. Is my processor just too slow? What’s the deal?

I can say that for so little investment a techie can have a lot of fun. The dongle does work but patience is required. The SDR# software is fantastic. So what is not to like?