RTL SDR Hardware Architecture

Steve Markgraf steve at steve-m.de
Thu Aug 1 20:07:22 UTC 2013


On 01.08.2013 21:25, Lucas Ingles wrote:
> Which is the actual receiver architecture used in the RTL-SDR dongles? I
> mean, do we have a Hartley receiver, a Weaver receiver, a zero-IF
> receiver, a low-IF receiver?

Depends on the tuner, the RTL2832 can be used both in zero-IF and in
low-IF mode. For the R820T it's low-IF, for all the other tuners
(including E4K) zero-IF.

> Also, the E4K tuner has two outputs: one output is the in-phase
> component and the other output is the quadrature component. So, does the
> RTL2832U has two ADCs to sample the two components? Or just one ADC and
> it samples the two components interleaved?

It has two ADCs, one for the in-phase and the one for the quadrature

In the low-IF mode only one of them is used, which one can be selected.
The generation of the I/Q signals then is done by an internal DDC.


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