Some time ago I purchased a couple of R820T2 DVB-T usb dongles for using on 1090mhz with my home adsb monitoring station.

When hooked up to a headless raspberry pi they chug away feeding the squitters with no major issues 24/7/365. They are cheap, easy to obtain and are good fun for trying out SDR radio.

Much was written on various websites and forums singing the praises of the Noolec Blue Dongle which still sells in 2018 at circa £20+ in several online stores.

So what was the difference between the Noolec r820t2 dongle and a generic DVB-T dongle with R820T2 tuner purchased very cheaply from a Chinese electronics website  for the princely sum of $10 USD (carriage included) ?

Lets open them up and have a look.

Generic R820T2 and Noolec R820T2

Apart from the branding on the case and pcb, I cannot spot any difference what so ever.

Absolutely no difference in performance.

 

When I purchased the generic version in 2016 it was priced at just $6 usd carriage paid , now they have increased the price to $9.99 usd including delivery, Scoundrels !

Heres where I bought the cheaper model,

https://www.tomtop.com/p-v1315.html

it comes with a remote control and mini magmount antenna which you can cut the whip to  roughly 70mm long for 1/4 wave on 1090 mhz for adsb reception.

Put the magmount on a food or soup can as a ground plane (cantenna style) to achieve surprisingly good results.

 

 

For reference, a link to the Noolec version for sale,

http://www.nooelec.com/store/sdr/sdr-receivers/nesdr-mini2-rtl2832u-r820t2.html

they used to supply the steel whip antenna element which has now been changed to a telescopic one which is more versatile I suppose. Its up to you if you would consider paying double the price for this small enhancement.