I am considering to purchase an RTL SDR dongle for some hobby purposes, but I have some questions regarding health safety and instructions, if any, that are to be adopted. This is the dongle that I'm looking at, along with the official antenna that they sell of their site.


My questions are as follows:

  1. Are these dongles safe to be used for prolonged periods of time in near proximity? For example, maybe around 30 mins or an hour while working on your laptop?

  2. Do they, by any chance, emit or leak any harmful radiation?

  3. Are there any additional health safety instructions that need to be followed while using these dongles?

I understand I may sound naive, but I'm a total amateur and a total beginner in the fields of radio.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It's a radio receiver so what is the problem? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jun 1 '18 at 12:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ In case there might be a malfunction, could it leak or emit any radiation? Like damage by dropping etc? \$\endgroup\$ – user148898 Jun 1 '18 at 12:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you not consider that you could ask the same question about your laptop or your mobile phone or any piece of electronics you have in your abode? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jun 1 '18 at 12:22
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Don't use it underwater. Don't stick it in your nose (or any other orifice). Don't buy it on credit and let the interest accumulate until it bankrupts you. That covers all of the hazards. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil_UK Jun 1 '18 at 12:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was going to say"don't stick it up your nose or swallow it" but Neil beat me to it. It's safe. As pjc50 says, emitted radiation level is very low compared to many everyday devices. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Jun 1 '18 at 13:18

The standard "RTL SDR dongle" is a re-purposed TV receiver. It has essentially the same safety properties as your TV set; it's a receiver and not capable of emitting human-harmful levels of EM radiation.

(They will emit a detectable amount of EM, but with sensitive instrumentation you'd still have trouble detecting it over the EM coming from the laptop, let along the comparatively huge spikes from a mobile phone)


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