Cheap & simple UHF FM receiver - how?

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 29, 2017
I want to build a simple and cheap FM receiver for a fixed frequency in the 863-865MHz band. This would be as an additional radio mic receiver to feed a second speaker, to give better audience coverage in a particular venue or to feed headphones for the hearing-impaired. I'm looking for suggestions for the best approach.

I've tried a cheap RTL2832U/R820T dongle in a Raspberry Pi running rtl_fm, and whilst this works, the latency is unacceptable. A more powerful processor would undoubtedly reduce the latency somewhat but it'd no longer be cheap. I therefore have to discount an SDR-based solution.

There are single chip FM broadcast receivers for the 88-108MHz band but can any of these be made to operate in the UHF?

I believe some GSM chipsets include FM broadcast radio functionality, the front end of which typically goes up to 1900MHz, but can they be hacked to receive FM outside the broadcast band? And even if they can, I guess they might actually be implemented as an SDR.

All ideas welcome!
(I'm happy to hand solder SOIC but don't gave the faciities for anything smaller, or for BGA packages.)