Tagged: antenna

Instructables Post on Building a Discone Antenna

A Discone is a wideband antenna that is a great starting antenna for general RTL-SDR use. Over on instructables.com, user cyfus has created an instructable showing how to build a 55 MHz+ home made discone antenna for his RTL-SDR dongle. His instructions show how to build it out of parts and tools sourced entirely from hardware and electronics stores.

Using this antenna cyfus was able to receive signals from 25 MHz to around 900 MHz.

Home made Discone Antenna
Home made Discone Antenna

Interest Check for an ADS-B Folded Monopole Antenna

Adam, manufacturer of the LNA4ALL and LNA4HF is putting out an interest check for an ADS-B folded monopole antenna. The antenna can efficiently cover the 1030 MHz to 1090 MHz frequencies that are used by ADS-B.

The major advantage to Adams antenna is that it uses a DC grounded design, eliminating static build up problems that can potentially fry your LNA or RTL-SDR dongle.

If there is sufficient interest, Adam will sell the antenna for 20 Euros.

ADS-B Folded Monopole Antenna
ADS-B Folded Monopole Antenna

Antenna Performance Comparison for the RTL-SDR

Akos from the SDR for Mariners blog has put out another post this time comparing various antennas cut for 121 MHz with the RTL-SDR. He tests monopole, dipole, two radial and rubber ducky antennas on their signal to noise ratio performance on an ATIS signal in SDRSharp.

It is important to note that different antennas will have different gain directionality, so your own experimentation may still be required for your own RF environment.

Main Antenna Comparison Results
Main Antenna Comparison Results

YouTube: Unboxing new Antennas for use with the RTL-SDR

On YouTube Eric William has posted a video showing him unboxing two new antennas that he intends to use with his RTL-SDR. He unboxes a new QFH antenna for use with receiving NOAA weather satellite images, and a new Discone antenna for general wideband receiving. If you are interested in buying commercial antennas for use with your RTL-SDR, this video may be useful at giving you some idea of what’s available.

New Antennas for my SDR Setup- Mailbag Monday

Eric also recently posted a video showing an overview of his RTL-SDR setup which is also an interesting watch.

USB Software Defined Radio- PC Software & Cloud Storage

Beginners Antenna Guide

Akos from the SDR for mariners blog has just written another post that is a guide on constructing and buying beginner level antennas for the RTL-SDR. The post shows how to build a simple ground plane antenna out of wire coat hangers, and also discusses monopoles, telescopic antennas, rubber duckys and discone antennas.

Simple Coat Hanger Groundplane
Wire coat hanger ground plane Antenna

RTL-SDR Tutorial: Receiving NOAA Weather Satellite Images

Everyday multiple NOAA weather satellites pass above you. Each NOAA weather satellite broadcasts an Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) signal, which contains a live weather image of your area. The RTL-SDR dongle combined with a good antenna, SDRSharp and a decoding program can be used to download and display these live images several times a day.

This tutorial will show you how to set up a NOAA weather satellite receiving station, which will allow you to gather several live weather satellite images each day. Most parts of this tutorial are also applicable to other software radios, such as the Funcube dongle and HackRF and Airspy, but the RTL-SDR is the cheapest option. Hardware radio scanners can also work, provided the radio has a large IF bandwidth (30 kHz +) and a discriminator tap.

Note that if you have success with this tutorial, you may also be interested in decoding Meteor M N2 weather satellites which provide much higher resolution images. Also, an alternative tutorial for decoding NOAA satellites that uses rtl_fm can be found here.

NOAA Weather Satellite Image


YouTube user GaitUutLiern shows an example of receiving NOAA satellite weather images with a RTL-SDR, SDRSharp, a decoding program called WXtoImg and a QFH antenna.

Receiving NOAA weather satellite using SDR# and WXtoImg

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