I read some interesting stuff online before Christmas about how people had been repurposing cheap TV dongles as multi-purpose radio receivers for a few years. I picked one up off Amazon dirt cheap last month and had been meaning to write a bit about it if/when I had something interesting to share. Mostly I’ve dabbled in the shallows of broadcast FM and AM radio which may well be the limitations of the dinky antenna provided or the environment in which I’m using it.
The dongle does have a proper MCX connector allowing hobbyists to attach better ariels to it though and searching online will turn up articles where people have been able to sub them in for their more expensive equipment to do clever stuff like recognise/detect solar flare activity, pick up weather satellite images, numbers stations, etc. All for less than a tenner!
There’s a fair few free or shareware software options out there for interacting with the dongle and you just need to be happy/capable of installing a couple of dlls from an unknown source.
If I come up with any interesting uses, sites or even nail down a decent software combo/workflow I’ll chuck another post up.