First, I'm very new to SDR. This may turn out to be really obvious. I just want to verify my thoughts before I spend more dollars.
I have a USB dongle with the RT28xx in it. Works great. Side by side I have a 35 year old Azden 2 meter receiver. What I'm noticing is that the Azden seems to be able to pull in somewhat weak signals while the SDR doesn't even register a signal in the waterfall view. This is true even when I hook the SDR dongle up to the same antenna that I've got on the Azden.
To my mind there are two possible issues. First, the noise in the dongle is so high that the signal is way below the noise floor. Second, the dongle simply does't have the sensitivity to pull out the signal.
I'm leaning toward option 1 (noise in the dongle) and I see some 30 to 50 dollar shielding arrangements for the dongles. From my description of what I'm seeing, would any experts agree that 1 is the more likely option?