NOTE: This was written some time ago and hasn't been checked or updated since, so things may be slightly different for recent versions.
One-time driver setupDon't install the "official" USB drivers that came with your RTL-SDR device. No harm if you do, but they're not used as the "Zadig" step below tells Windows to use a different driver instead.
Plug in your RTL-SDR device, don't let Windows install any drivers for you.
Minimal selection is:
- Support files
- VC++ Runtime
Run "Zadig", if it isn't run by the setup program.
Select your RTL-SDR device, and hit "Install Driver".
SDR# InstallationDownload the SDR# application and the RTLSDR plugin from here: http://sdrsharp.com/index.php/downloads
Unzip SDR# to somewhere.
Unzip RTLSDR plugin to the same place.
From the "config" folder in the plugin zip, copy the SDRSharp.exe.config to the main folder, replacing the existing configuration file. This enables the option of choosing the RTLSDR plugin for input.
Download this: http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/raw-attachment/wiki/rtl-sdr/RelWithDebInfo.zip
Open that, and find the file "rtl-sdr-release\x32\rtlsdr.dll". (x32, even if you're using 64 bit Windows). Put that DLL file in the SDR# folder as well. This is the DLL that the plugin uses. Due to licensing reasons, it isn't bundled with the plugin.
Quick StartRun SDRSharp.exe.
Choose "RTL-SDR / USB" at the top.
Check that the center and frequency is set to something sensible (not 0). e.g. "94500000".
Click "Play". An easy test is a FM radio station, so tune to its frequency, and choose "WFM" (Wide FM).
If you're doing signal strength comparisons, turn off the two AGC options in the dialog that opens when you click "Configure" at the top.
If you have limited CPU power, turn down the sample rate in the "Configure" dialog, and choose a lower resolution on the FFT.