Listening to EPIRB Distress Beacons with the RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube user Tom Mladenov has recently been using his RTL-SDR to listen to EPIRB distress beacons transmitted by the SARSAT payload carried by the NOAA 18 satellite. To do this he uses a 6.5 turn helix antenna that is resonant on 1.5 GHz.

An EPIRB is a maritime device that is used to send out a distress beacon for vessels in serious trouble. The EPIRB beacon transmits data that contains GPS coordinates of the vessel at 403 MHz to the satellite. The data is then retransmitted to a mission control centre at 1.5 GHz.

Note that the professional version of MultiPSK can be used to decode EPIRB signals.

(YouTube Videos Removed)


3 comments

  1. GiamMa-based researchers SDR R&D IoT

    Test on Android decoder EPIRB Distress Radiobeacon 406Mhz (Digital) only audio tests
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLCC14b5wqU

    App name “Décodage de balises de détresse 406MHz (F4EHY)”, link http://jgsenlis.free.fr/

    Using the audio file to test audio decoder:

    http://jgsenlis.free.fr/406.htm

    http://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Distress_Radiobeacon_(Digital)

    If you want to try it with a SDR radio, just leave the app on and the receiver set to the frequency of 406Mhz without external audio interference (you can best the receiving technique with minor modifications and devices, the use of an audio adapter for the mobile phone in order to split the microphone and headphones in order to reinsert the sound from the headphone into the microphone (note that an additional modification might be required with resistances to overcome audio bug due to various Android OS smartphone or various versions or standard audio)).
    Second option of test, transmit the audio signal with an FM transmitter at low cost (look in my video) and try to decode via rtl-sdr radio.

  2. GiamMa-based researchers SDR R&D IoT

    Test on Android decoder EPIRB Distress Radiobeacon 406Mhz (Digital) only audio tests

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLCC14b5wqU

    App name “Décodage de balises de détresse 406MHz (F4EHY)”, link http://jgsenlis.free.fr/

    Using the audio file to test audio decoder:

    http://jgsenlis.free.fr/406.htm

    http://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Distress_Radiobeacon_(Digital)

    If you want to try it with a SDR radio, just leave the app on and the receiver set to the frequency of 406Mhz without external audio interference (you can best the receiving technique with minor modifications and devices, the use of an audio adapter for the mobile phone in order to split the microphone and headphones in order to reinsert the sound from the headphone into the microphone (note that an additional modification might be required with resistances to overcome audio bug due to various Android OS smartphone or various versions or standard audio)).
    Second option of test, transmit the audio signal with an FM transmitter at low cost (look in my video) and try to decode via rtl-sdr radio.

  3. GiamMa-based researchers SDR R&D IoT

    Test on Android decoder EPIRB Distress Radiobeacon 406Mhz (Digital) only audio tests.

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLCC14b5wqU

    App name “Décodage de balises de détresse 406MHz (F4EHY)”, link http://jgsenlis.free.fr/

    Using the audio file to test audio decoder:

    http://jgsenlis.free.fr/406.htm

    http://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Distress_Radiobeacon_(Digital)

    If you want to try it with a SDR radio, just leave the app on and the receiver set to the frequency of 406Mhz without external audio interference (you can best the receiving technique with minor modifications and devices, the use of an audio adapter for the mobile phone in order to split the microphone and headphones in order to reinsert the sound from the headphone into the microphone (note that an additional modification might be required with resistances to overcome audio bug due to various Android OS smartphone or various versions or standard audio)).
    Second option of test, transmit the audio signal with an FM transmitter at low cost (look in my video) and try to decode via rtl-sdr radio.

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