Tag Archives: RTLSDR

Some LNA tests for HRIT/LRIT

So I was talking with @luigi on OSP RocketChat and he noticed that one of the LNA’s I suggested alogn with the LNA4ALL (the SPF5189) got a comment on ebay saying that it doesn’t work on L Band.

So that was weird to me, since I have 5 of them, and one currently in use with my GOES setup. So I decided to do a small and crude benchmark for L Band comparing no LNA with LNA4ALL and SPF5189.

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New 2.2m dish from Embrasat!

It has been some time since I posted something here about my satellite projects. So now I finished assembling my new dish! Previous (on GOES Satellite Hunt) I use a 1.9m TV dish that was cheap (R$200 or about US$70) and got really nice results (about 6dB SNR on LRIT and 10dB SNR on EMWIN). But I was willing to get the new GRB Signal from GOES-16 (previous named as GOES-R) that went up to Geostationary orbit last month. The GRB is the replacement for the GOES 13/14/15 GVAR signal. Basically GVAR is a rebroadcast of the partially processed data from the satellite. It is basically the raw sensor data packed in a format so the users can get and process by their own. The disadvantage of GVAR system over LRIT is that it does not have any error correcting methods. So either you have a very good signal, or you don’t have anything at all. The GRB signal that is on GOES-16 will send same raw data as the GVAR (actually it will send more data than GVAR, but thats another point) but now it will use DVB-S2, a market standard, for transmitting their data. Being DVB-S2 it does have error correcting like LRIT signal ( wikipedia has a good info about DVB-S2). But the bandwidth of GRB is much higher than LRIT and GVAR (LRIT is 600kHz wide, GVAR is 2.5MHz wide and GRB is 9MHz wide) so I would need a bigger dish to get a good signal.

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137MHz Bandpass filter for NOAA / Meteor Satellites

Yesterday I saw a new blog post by Adam (9a4qv) in LNA4ALL. The post (here) talks about a band pass filter he did for Weather Satellites and I decided to try as well.

Unfortunately I don’t have a exact match for that components at home, so I tried to do something with the components I have. So the lower value I had for capacitors was 10pF, and the needed values for Adam’s Filter is 1pF, 4.7pF and 15pF. I decided then to use 10 in series to do the 1pF, 2 in series for the 4.7pF (that will be 5pF) and then one in parallel with two in series to give me the 15pF. Its a very close match, and I’m unsure about the effects of serialization of capacitores in the filter (increase inductance maybe?). So here is the results.

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New way to measure filters and my new filter

So I’m still mad about the FM Spectrum (88-108MHz) noise I get when using a LNA or something else. So I’m still looking for a nice and easy way to filter out these signals.

Last time I posted about a TV/FM Diplexer, that works great, but doesn’t attenuate enough the signals. So the solution would be cascading several of them, but I found that is very hard to find one Diplexer or FM Trap filter those days.

So I started looking out how to make my own filters. So I reopened Adam’s Website (LNA4ALL) that have a small filter he did for FM Trap and tried (again) to make my own.

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FM/TV Diplexer Test

So it has been a time since my last post (again). Today I’m writting about a TV/FM Diplexer that I bought to address a issue that I’m having here with my NOAA stuff.

So the biggest problem is that in São Paulo the FM Radio (88-110MHz) are VERY strong. I can receive a -40dBm signal with a RTL-SDR with no gains in almost all channels. This is a big issue since the RTL-SDR does not have a input filter (actually it has, see my patches at https://github.com/librtlsdr/librtlsdr ) the LNA gets very easily saturated when getting gains over 25dB (usually needed by APT Signals). So I start to search for a FM Band Stop Filter. But it turned that it was not so simple to do a good FM Band Stop Filter.

So I started searching for a commercial filter, and I noticed that most of the FM Filters were discontinued a few years ago and the only thing I could find was a FM/TV Diplexer.

FM/TV Diplexer

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GQRX NOAA 18 Signal

GQRX NOAA 18 Signal

So you all saw my last posts [ Play with SDR and Intel Edison! QFH Antenna and my first reception of NOAA! ] but I actually didn’t explained how to capture and decode APT Signals using your computer (in this case, with Linux). So here it is! For this article I’m using Ubuntu 15.04, but actually any distro will work well (I think most of them have the needed packages)

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Play with SDR and Intel Edison!

So some people already saw in my facebook that I started playing with SDRs (Software Defined Radio).

I always wanted to do my own radio receiver, and I did some in the past. But it’s very hard to adapt the radio for anything new you want do to, and also when you want to process data in your computer things become harder.

So a few months ago I found a nice tutorial of how to get NOAA Satellite Images using a cheap DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcast – Terrestrial) dongle that can be used as SDR. It costs about R$70 (roughly US$10) and the model I got (with R820T2 tuner) can tune from 24MHz to 1.74GHz!!!

What is inside this spectrum?

Actually a lot:

  • FM Audio Radio Broadcasts
  • VHF / UHF Television (Both Digital and Analog)
  • Weather Satellites (APT, LRPT, HRPT)
  • ADB-S (Air Traffic Telemetry)
  • FM Air Traffic Radio
  • And more

So my goal was to receive NOAA APT Signals (I even made a decoder!) but I don’t have a good enough antenna (yet).

The problem

So I made up a piece of antenna with two copper pipes (I call a piece, because its a dipole from a Double Cross Antenna) (I will make a tutorial later how to do it) to have better reception for the 2m band (~135Mhz) but every time a satellite was in range, I would need to go outdoor and turn on my laptop and start capturing. This was annoying.

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