Because the RSP from SDRplay covers the radio spectrum from 100Kz to 2GHz for best results it''s worth taking time to rig up an appropriate antenna. Many of the people I''ve spoken see the SDRplay RSP as an ideal platform for just exploring ''radio'' or TV in general - as yet they don''t know what aspect of it will become their ''thing''. Some are lapsed radio amateurs; others are computer code wizards who have noticed there''s a lot happening on the radio airways which a) is not available on the internet and b) is location dependent. So to get started, here''s a suggestion for truly cheap but ''good enough to hear stuff'' antennas:
For 100KHz up to 30 MHz - ground the outer of the F-type antenna socket on the RSP. (a crocodile clip with PVC covered wire to the ground pin of a mains plug is one way to do this) Connect the centre pin of the the F-type antenna socket to as long a length of insulated wire as you can practically string up outside. Try to get it as high as possible - where it ties to a handy support (a drain pipe, a tree, another building, use plastic coated or nylon line for added insulation during rain. Worst case something which looks like a washing line will give you some useful results below 30MHz. Now you''re set-to-go for LW and MW broadcast and the whole of the Shortwave spectrum. For LW and MW make sure you select AM and for the amateur bands select LSB below 10MHz and USB above 10MHz. The amateur bands frequencies are listed on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_ra ... llocations There are plenty of sites with information on other interesting things to look for - weather maps, HF fax, intercontinental aircraft channels, emergency frequencies and so on.
For 50MHz up to 300MHz (this covers broadcast VHF (FM/HD Radio), private mobile (taxis, emergency services etc.), DAB radio, aircraft bands, amateur radio 144-150MHz and so on) then something like a mobile ''whip'' antenna as high as possible is what we''re trying to achieve. Actually a wire coathanger straightened out will actually be a reasonable length for the ''whip''. You''ll need to connect to the RSP using an F-type plug with a a couple of metres of coax (same as a typical satellite dish antenna plug and cable). At least try to reach from the RSP to a window sill. You can improvise how you mount the coathanger - e.g. tape to a giant plastic ''bulldog'' clip which can fix to the window sill Strip back and connect the centre wire conductor of the coax cable to the coathanger by wrapping it firmly round a few times and taping. Then to create a ''ground plane'' connect the outer conductor of the coax cable to a sheet of aluminium cooking foil which should cover the whole of the window sill (say 1 metre one way by 15cm the other way)
Above 300MHz: Actually the coathanger will also work well in strong UHF TV reception areas (i.e. on up to 800MHz) - try it and see. Otherwise a traditional TV yagi antenna pointing in the right direction will guarantee results. Another trick is to prune your coathanger to approximately 1/4 of the wavelength you''re interested in. There''s a handy calculator on http://www.csgnetwork.com/antennagpcalc.html which works it out for you - it also suggests optimised dimensions for ground plane ''radials'' which might work better than the tin foil approach!
Let us know how you get on.