plane spotting; some quick notes on a new software-defined radio setup

A couple of years ago, I got one of the first-generation RTL-SDR USB software defined radio units. These inexpensive devices are originally designed as TV tuners, but clever radio hackers figured out how to turn them into software-defined radios that tune to a broad spectrum of radio. After some experimental use I managed to cook the original unit which in its death throes no longer listened. The vendor (Nooelec) generously offered a modest discount on my next purchase, so I took them up on the 2d generation unit. »