A Solar Powered Raspberry Pi + RTL-SDR NOAA Weather Satellite Receiver

Over on YouTube user Fuzz has uploaded a video showing his solar powered NOAA weather satellite receiver.

The system is based on a Raspberry Pi connected to an RTL-SDR.com dongle. The front-end input of the RTL-SDR dongle consists of an LNA and FM reject filter, and this is all connected up to a QFH antenna in his front yard. The electronics are completely solar powered, with the solar system consisting of solar panel, solar controller and four 12v batteries used for energy storage. A 12V to 5V step down converter is used to power the Raspberry Pi, with the 12V LNA being powered directly by the batteries. The system is able to be accessed remotely via the Raspberry Pi’s WiFi connection.

Over on his Facebook page Fuzz has uploaded some additional photos, and some of the images he’s receiving.

Fuzz's solar powered NOAA weather satellite receiver.
Fuzz’s solar powered NOAA weather satellite receiver.

13 comments

  1. me

    Not clear to me, is receiving (tracking sat, tuning sdr, saving IQ) and decoding all automated on the PI? Would be interested in seeing the workflow automated so it just dumps JPG’s to some folder throughout the day.

  2. Juanro

    The FM bandstop filter should be placed first and then LNA to avoid overmodulations and intermodulations, and will have less noise. Ant -> Filter -> LNA -> SDR.

      • G1RNB

        This is often a contentious issue and there is no single “right” answer in my experience.
        My optimized Chebyschev 7-th order FM band-stop from Greece has almost no effect outside of it’s design band stop region.
        However, the weak signaller in me tells me the first thing a signal should see is a low noise amplifier !
        Probably best to investigate using a spectrum analyzer / SDR tool to look for modulation/overload products and optimize from there.
        Watch for damp and this project build is pretty nifty.
        Wonder what the neighbors think of the giant egg beater antenna !!!

        • admin

          Yep it definitely depends on what you’re doing, the quality of your LNA and filters and the local RF environment. If the LNA never overloads then there’s no need to put the filter first, maybe you just need to prevent the RTL-SDR from overloading then by putting the filter in the middle. If the LNA does overload, then put the filter first.

  3. DE8MSH

    Hi mod.

    What I don’t get: Why are you posting links to closed FB pages? That makes no sense for ppl that don’t use this gnikcuf FB.

    Thank you.

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