Using Magix USB-Videowandler 2 on Linux

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Videowandler 2 is an USB analog video capture card. There is no official driver support for Linux and the device does not work when you plug it in. According to lsusb, the device is Afatech, which is totally wrong. The kernel only loads modules for USB audio - and this is the only thing that works (the audio input appears as a separate sound card).

Videowandler 2 is based on eMPIA 2861 USB chip. Video conversion is done by SAA7113 and audio conversion by EMP202. The IDs of the device are 1B80:E349. When opening the case, you may find printed on the board UB317 Ver:A or UB315 Ver:C. The latter my be identical to Kworld UB315 but I’m not sure.

Magix USB-Videowandler 2 board. Photo by Christian Enders.

Turn RTL-SDR dongle into RTL2832U breakout board

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The most popular RLT2832U dongles are the ones with E4000 and R820 tuners. This is due to the high frequency range these tuners have. Elonics E4000 covers 52 to 2200 MHz with a gap at about 1100 MHz and Rafael Micro R820T covers 24 to 1766 MHz.

But there are also RTL2832U based dongles with other tuners. One example is FCI FC2580 tuner (found in Trust 16738 dongle) which is capable of receiving 146 - 308 MHz and 438 - 924 MHz, limiting its use to DVB-T only! It can't even receive FM radio 88 – 108 MHz.

If you’re having such a dongle don’t throw it away. There are situations when you don’t need a tuner at all (the direct sampling mode of RTL SDR that allows direct reception of signals on frequencies lower than 28 MHz). There is also the possibility of changing the existent tuner with, for example, a satellite receiver tuner that will receive 950 to 2150 MHz.

So, I wanted a universal RTL2832U breakout board that I could easily connect to with different tuners. This is how the USB dongle board looked like.

RTL2832U dongle board

RTL2832U dongle