USB->RTL->upconvertor->antenna, plus another USB to power the upconvertor. Just didn’t seem right. Also it was obvious running the setup anywhere near my computer resulted in tons of wideband noise being picked up.
So I bought a Hammond project box and stuffed it all in there.
As you can see, instead of using connectors, I pulled the RTL USB connector off, as well as the SMA connectors on the upconvertor board and wired it up directly. Instead of an SMA antenna input, I switched to BNC which matches more of my stuff, and wired a panel mount to the upconverter board.
The USB connection was the uglyest:
I originally intended to solder directly to the leads on the RTL USB connector, but that didn’t work out very well, so I pulled the connector off completely. You’ll also see a small toroidal choke that I ran the cable through which was recommended to limit the harmonics from the digital signal I assume. I put it inside to be clean, but I’m wondering if it would work better if I kept it outside the case. I can use a clamp on choke outside as well I suppose.
Since the RTL board didn’t have any mounting holes I just used half of the clamshell case to cradle it, and mounted that to the case with a single standoff.
Overall I think it looks okay, and is much more functional. I’ll post some screenshots of spectrum once I test it connected to an antenna.
Hammond Box: 1550B I think.
USB Pinout: http://pinouts.ru/Slots/USB_pinout.shtml