RTL-SDR Radio SMA Connector Replacement

I’ve changed my RTL-SDR radio plug with SMA female.
It is a really easy job if you have a powerful soldering iron.
The original connector has same foot print with SMA connectors, so you can easily remove the original one and solder an SMA connector there.  Also, I’ve removed the useless IR receiver.
Here is the result.

IMG_3363 IMG_3366

3 thoughts on “RTL-SDR Radio SMA Connector Replacement

  1. Hi Jonathan,

    You don’t need fine soldering skill to solder or replace SMA connectors, basic skills are enough.
    But, you need a good soldering iron with powerful output because of metal volume and heat transfer rate of the connectors.
    SMA connectors are made from brass and it sucks all energy in a second from the iron’s tip. This is why you need minimum 50W iron with big tip.
    I’m using Metcal RF Solder Stations, they are expensive professional tools. If you are not an everyday user, just buy a cheap 100W soldering iron from ebay. It works

  2. Actually, I am in the unfortunate position of owning a rtl-sdr.com dongle (the version with the SMA connector) that I loved until the connector ripped off (It was my fault… a long length of coaxial can produce quite a bit of torque).

    In any case, I was surprised how simple looking the connector was from the inside. I gently opened up the casing and the rest of the device appears to be undamaged. Which leads me to my question:

    I have minor but perhaps sufficient soldering skills… is it possible to simply re-solder the connector back to the board successfully?

    Thanks for any help.


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