RTL-SDR Blog Active L-Band Patch Antenna for Inmarsat, Iridium, GPS Back in Stock

Just a quick note to say that the second batch of our Active L-Band Patch Antenna for receiving Inmarsat, Iridium and other L-Band satellites is now in stock, available to be shipped from our warehouse in China from early next week. Amazon will be stocked within the next 1-2 months as the freighter will take time to arrive.

Please see our store for ordering details.

Apologies as we've had to temporarily suspend sales of this product as a manufacturing defect has been discovered in this batch. The defect is that on a number of units the plastic around the screws is cracking, and this was caused by a factory worker over torqueing a pneumatic screwdriver.

The antenna itself will work fine, and it probably won't even affect weather tightness, but it is certainly a defect. If your unit already shipped out and your unit has these cracks, please let us know at [email protected] and we will get the factory to ship you a replacement enclosure. For unshipped units we will be issuing a refund within the next few days.

Update: The units have been repaired and are available for shipping again.

Pricing remains the same at US$49.95 including free worldwide shipping to most countries. A reminder to EU customers: please order from our Aliexpress or eBay stores as due to the new IOSS laws we need to now use those marketplaces to collect and remit VAT upon your purchase, instead of upon import at the border.

This second batch comes in a gray color as feedback from the previous batch indicated that a lighter color is preferred to avoid excess heating from the sun.

If you are hearing about this patch antenna for the first time, please see our original release post for more information. In short this is an amplified patch antenna designed to be used with bias tee capable SDRs that can provide 3.3V - 5V power, such as our RTL-SDR Blog V3 dongle, Airspy, SDRplay or HackRF.

The antenna allows for reception of L-band satellites that transmit between 1525 - 1660 MHz, such as Inmarsat, Iridium and GPS. Please note it is *not* for receiving weaker signals like HRPT and GOES which require a dish antenna.

The patch comes with useful mounting accessories including a window suction cup, bendable tripod and 3M RG174 coax cable. The patch and active circuitry is enclosed in a weather proof enclosure.

What can you do with this antenna?

10 comments

  1. admin

    Unfortunately we discovered cracks in the plastic on many L-band units produced during this manufacturing batch 🙁 So we need to send them all back to the factory for repair first. Hopefully repaired and back on sale within 2-3 weeks. The cracks were caused by a factory worker using a pneumatic screwdriver and over torqueing it.

    If you were early and ordered before we recalled the stock, please carefully check your product for cracks around the screw holes when you receive it. If there are any, please email us at [email protected] and we will get the factory to send a replacement enclosure. The cracks won’t affect operation, and probably won’t affect weather tightness, but they are certainly a defect.

    • admin

      Unfortunately we discovered cracks in the plastic on many L-band units produced during this manufacturing batch 🙁 So we need to send them all back to the factory for repair first. Hopefully repaired and back on sale within 2-3 weeks.

    • admin

      If you’re able to receive all the signals that you’re interested in with V1 then no need. For most people in most locations V1 was more than fine. V2 just makes these signals a bit easier to receive overall.

  2. Mario

    Sounds great. Is there any reliable software for decoding these transmissions, either free or something you’d pay for?

    • admin

      Please check out the links at the end of the post, and use the search function on the sidebar to search for your transmission of interest. There’s also newer programs like Scytale-C for STD-C. Most programs are free. Some like the Iridium decoders might require a bit of reading and Linux work to understand and get going.

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