Help with SDR and Satellite Reception 137 MHz

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nvrescue
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:29 pm

Help with SDR and Satellite Reception 137 MHz

Post by nvrescue » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:34 pm

I am having difficulty with SDR Sharp receiving 137 range from APT Satellite Antenna and it receives FM Stereo just fine.

I cannot get SDR Console V2 to even turn on the R820T or the Tstick.

We are trying to set up a APT weather station for search and rescue. Any help is appreciated.

Contact info:

Laurence Kaplan
[email protected]
(415) 756-9005 Cell

rtlsdrblog
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Re: Help with SDR and Satellite Reception 137 MHz

Post by rtlsdrblog » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:52 am

What exactly is the difficulty you are facing with SDR#? What is your APT satellite antenna?

Did you set up SDR Console using the instructions on the quick start guide?

nvrescue
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Help with SDR and Satellite Reception 137 MHz

Post by nvrescue » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:50 pm

We set up SDRSHARP that works on FM Radio Channels but does not hear anything in the Satellite Range.

We have tried SDR V2 but cannot get it to even get FM Radio

We used ZADIAG and installed DRIVERS

We see the SDR Radio (R820T) in the drop down menu

We also have tried all above with the TERRATEC Stick same results.

We currently use the R2FU which receives the signal but not great.

The Antenna we currently use is made by the same guy in Germany and is a turnstyle.

I just ordered a National RF Turbo Omni with preamp and filter and should be here in a few weeks.

I am also considering ordering a APT-06.

I am very disappointed with the SDR because I cannot figure out why a 137 antenna that obviously you can hear the signal on the R2FU cannot hear the signal o the SDR all versions. SDRSHARP we have tried several versions. I give up on V2 Console since I cannot even get it to show anything even when you hit the play button of the Radio.

The current SDRSHARP version we use is SDR# v1.0.0.1275

If there is a later SDRSHARP and someone has link or can email a zip file that would be helpful. As for the Version 2 Console, I would like to get it working but from what I see most APT users use SDRSHARP.

This can be as simple as a setting but again it receives 99-107 (FM STEREO) in the WFM with 50 kHz step.....

Any suggestions or help?

Thanks.

rtlsdrblog
Site Admin
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Re: Help with SDR and Satellite Reception 137 MHz

Post by rtlsdrblog » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:25 am

Hmmm did you turn up the RF gain in the configure menu of SDR#? By default it is set at zero. At zero gain it will receive strong WFM stations, but might not receive your APT signal.

The recent changes in SDR# won't affect your reception of the signal. Though, if you want the latest sdrsharp can always be downloaded from sdrsharp.com.

nvrescue
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Help with SDR and Satellite Reception 137 MHz

Post by nvrescue » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:07 am

I played with the on the setup icon (round gear at top) for the RTL-SDR / USB. If that shows up the ZADIAG worked fine right?

If you can post any known settings for APT that would be helpful. NOAA 19 flew overhead directly today and I still was unable to hear the pinging of it through SDR??? It worked on the R2FU.....

I saw several you tube videos of people doing this. I will try soon on another computer once we receive the National RF Turbo QFH with pre amp. Maybe SDR is not sensitive enough for the Turnstyle antenna from the R2FU guy in Germany.

Just curious, I ordered the RG-213 cabling now because I was told that RG-8 and RG-58 can be not as good now since regulations have been moved to the new RG-213 cable. Currently we are using 50 feet of Radio Shack RG-58, could that be contributing to this issue?

I ordered another RTL radio too off of Amazon which should arrive shortly. Could the Terratec stick have anything to do with it? That is what we currently are using and ZADIAG did not load the name of it but it appears to work under the RTL-SDR / USB.....

nvrescue
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Help with SDR and Satellite Reception 137 MHz

Post by nvrescue » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:08 am

Also, anyway we could get help with that version 2 console. I would like to at least get that going with FM Radio to start. We cannot even get that going...... Thanks a lot ;)

rtlsdrblog
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Re: Help with SDR and Satellite Reception 137 MHz

Post by rtlsdrblog » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:46 am

The RF gain setting is in the gear icon settings. You should increase the RF gain from zero, push the slider to about 3/4 of the way to maximum, or click the tuner AGC button. Don't check the RTL AGC box. These are the most important settings for reception. If the RF gain was set to zero, you won't see any satellite signal. If you are receiving FM radio, it's safe to say that zadig worked fine.

If the Terratec an E4000 model? If it's an E4000, check the Offset Tuning box in the configure menu as well.

When a satellite pass comes look for it in the waterfall, and then click on it with the mouse once you see the APT signal. Use the WFM or NFM mode.

Many people have used a turnstile with the RTL-SDR and have had good results. The RTL-SDR is quite sensitive, so if your R2FU can receive it your SDR should be able to as well. Of course there might be other factors contributing such as PC noise (use a USB cable extension to get the dongle far away from the PC and add clip on ferrites to the USB cable). You may have also been unluckly and just received two broken insensitive dongles. Or perhaps you inadvertently destroyed the dongles by connecting them to the antenna when there was massive static build up. Always discharge the antenna of static before connecting them to the rtl-sdr.

I don't think 50ft of coax cable would contribute significantly to your inability to receive the signal.

I'm not sure what is wrong with your SDR Console install...assuming you followed the SDR Console setup guide on our quickstart page it should be working.

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