E4000 and RTL-SDR Dongles

I purchaser the E4000 receiver, L-Band Amp, Patch Antenna, and RavPower pack from
Amazon. It all appeared to work Ok. The SNR hovered around 2.0 db and did receive several
files but everything deteriorated after a few says.

I ordered another E4000 and L-band Amplifier to swap out. I also ordered a RTL-SDR Dongle
to try out. I ran into the same problem with the new components. Low signal with no files
received. Only seeing a signal lock and one bar now and then.

The RTL-SDR dongle was like night and day. I fired up the setup and saw a SNR of 6 to 8 db.
My signal quality was showing 4. Now I was seeing 4 bars at the top. I let the system run for
a few hours and received over 8000 packets with no packet failures.

I also tested both L-Band amplifiers with identical results. I am amazed with the performance
of the RTL-SDR dongle Vs the E4000. It seems to me the E4000 receivers are almost deaf
compared to the RTL-SDR.



Thanks for info. I have E4000 and no SNR. I will buy RTL-SDR.

I’ve had 5-6 dB SNR with the E4000 dongle, but just tried the RTL-SDR v3 dongle after you mentioned this. It’s getting 8 dB SNR now.

With the two E4000 dongles I had my SNR was about 2.5 db. It would drop down at times and lose
signal lock. I saw over time I received less and less files and then none. I first thought the receiver
or the amplifier board may have gone bad. I ordered another set. I also thought maybe their was a heat
issue and something was shutting down. I was powering the setup with the wall power supply and
switched to the DC power pact but that made no difference

After trying out the new parts it made no difference. I tried the RTL-SDR and what a difference. I was
seeing SNR of 6 too 8 db. Signal state was 4 and I had 4 bars at the top. My patch antenna is looking
into a window with plastic vertical blinds and a plastic window screen. At night The signal strength is
slightly better.

Here is another problem I observed. With the low signal I was seeing on the E4000 receiver it was
completely wiped out when I fired up the computer and 27 in monitor that sits about 5 feet from the
set up. I also live in a large apartment complex with about 60 units and may also be getting some
interference from cable and the many WiFi setups in the building. But the RTL-SDR sees little or no
problems when I fire up the computer. Its now showing a SNR of 5 to 6 db with the computer and
monitor on and its mid day. I have yet to assemble a more portable unit and try it away from the

Today, I ordered a set of the new LNA and SDR. When it arrives, I plan to replace the components in my Alpha Lantern with the new stuff, and report the results here. Ken

I was very excited to read this post. Back in September I had purchased the E4000, L-Band Amp and Patch Antenna and after getting everything up and running with my Raspberry Pi setup, was disappointed to only get a SNR which hovered around 1.8 db. I live in the northeastern part of Vermont, USA and have a clear, unobstructed view to the satellite from my outside deck.

Disappointed, I returned everything to Amazon for a refund.

When I happened to read this forum entry I thought maybe it was due to the E-4000 dongle, especially after visiting the Outernet site and seeing they no longer listed the E-4000 but instead were carrying the RTL-SDR.com dongle.

I reordered everything and was excited to try again, now using the RTL-SDR.com dongle. The result hovered around an even worse 0.6 db.

Unless someone can tell me what the problem might be I will reluctantly be retuning everything to Amazon yet again and giving up on Outernet.

Please take a look at my positive comments in the New LNA Amplifier and RTL-SDR thread. Ken

I had a similar problem a month ago with loss of signal and discovered a loose SMA connection between the antenna and LNA .

Also, I believe someone else had a broken SMA pin. So you might want to check those areas. I live in Annapolis, MD, and look at Americas 98 W too. Ken

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Hey Ken, I think Radio Propagation at 1539.875 MHz is still a big factor for me. Earth weather can contribute, but more so electromagnetic Space Weather. Two weeks ago I had very poor SNR, well below 2. Earth weather was mild. But last 5 days, SNR has been 3.5 to 5.5, sometimes near 6. Did not change any parts. The recipe for good reception is very complicated. All play a part, even our blood pressure. :slight_smile: