Tagged: LNB

Receiving Satellite TV Beacons with an RTL-SDR and LNB

Thank you to an anonymous contributor for sharing his experiences with trying to receive satellite TV beacons with his RTL-SDR. Satellite TV is typically up at 10.7 to 11.7 GHz which is far too high for an RTL-SDR to receive. So to receive these frequencies with the RTL-SDR he uses a satellite TV LNB (an LNB is essentially a downconverter and satellite dish feed), a DIY Bias T and a 90 cm dish. He writes:

Almost all television satellites have a special frequency for transmitting a beacon signal. The beacon signal is a reference signal with fixed frequency, power and [maybe] without modulation that is sent usually by satellites. One of the most important techniques used for satellite wave propagation studies is satellite beacon signal measurement. (http://eej.aut.ac.ir/article_433.html)

I used an universal LNB, DIY bias-T and a fixed 90cm dish pointed at 26 degrees East. By connecting 18 volts DC to LNB I am able to activate the 9750 Mhz local oscillator and horizontal operating mode of LNB.

Means that anything received with LNB between 10.7-11.7 GHz can be easily seen in 950-1950 MHz range, using RTL-SDR.

I used this set-up to receive the GEO satellites beacons. A list of beacon frequencies" http://frequencyplansatellites.altervista.org/Beacon-Telemetry_Europe-Africa-MiddleEast.html.

It is useful for measuring attenuation caused by heavy rain in Ku band or accurate dish positioning or even measuring frequency drift in LNB local oscillator caused by wind and temp change during a timespan.

It seems that the right signal is Eutelsat 21B and left Es'hail 1.

In picture 4 signal captured immediately after turning on LNB. but all others are captured after at least 5 hours of warming up.

MAYBE oscillator needs a stabilize time or temp change may caused the drift.

If you are interested in receiving these beacons, Daniel Estevez has also performed similar experiments with his RTL-SDR and an LNB as well, and has written about it on his blog.

Below we show some images of beacons shown in SDR# that the anonymous contributor received with his setup.

sattv_beacon_3
sattv_beacon_4
eutelsat-21b-beacon-zoomed-in
signal-drifted-after-1-hour-passed

Receiving Satellite TV Beacons with an RTL-SDR and LNB

Thank you to an anonymous contributor for sharing his experiences with trying to receive satellite TV beacons with his RTL-SDR. Satellite TV is typically up at 10.7 to 11.7 GHz which is far too high for an RTL-SDR to receive. So to receive these frequencies with the RTL-SDR he uses a satellite TV LNB (an LNB is essentially a downconverter and satellite dish feed), a DIY Bias T and a 90 cm dish. He writes:

Almost all television satellites have a special frequency for transmitting a beacon signal. The beacon signal is a reference signal with fixed frequency, power and [maybe] without modulation that is sent usually by satellites. One of the most important techniques used for satellite wave propagation studies is satellite beacon signal measurement. (http://eej.aut.ac.ir/article_433.html)

I used an universal LNB, DIY bias-T and a fixed 90cm dish pointed at 26 degrees East. By connecting 18 volts DC to LNB I am able to activate the 9750 Mhz local oscillator and horizontal operating mode of LNB.

Means that anything received with LNB between 10.7-11.7 GHz can be easily seen in 950-1950 MHz range, using RTL-SDR.

I used this set-up to receive the GEO satellites beacons. A list of beacon frequencies" http://frequencyplansatellites.altervista.org/Beacon-Telemetry_Europe-Africa-MiddleEast.html.

It is useful for measuring attenuation caused by heavy rain in Ku band or accurate dish positioning or even measuring frequency drift in LNB local oscillator caused by wind and temp change during a timespan.

It seems that the right signal is Eutelsat 21B and left Es'hail 1.

In picture 4 signal captured immediately after turning on LNB. but all others are captured after at least 5 hours of warming up.

MAYBE oscillator needs a stabilize time or temp change may caused the drift.

If you are interested in receiving these beacons, Daniel Estevez has also performed similar experiments with his RTL-SDR and an LNB as well, and has written about it on his blog.

Below we show some images of beacons shown in SDR# that the anonymous contributor received with his setup.

sattv_beacon_3
sattv_beacon_4
eutelsat-21b-beacon-zoomed-in
signal-drifted-after-1-hour-passed

RTL-SDR Based Itty Bitty Radio Telescope

On his website, David has posted a page showing his results with an “Itty Bitty Radio Telescope” connected to an RTL-SDR dongle. The Itty Bitty Radio Telescope is a small radio telescope that can be used for simple and educational radio astronomy experiments. The telescope consists of an 18 inch directv satellite dish with low noise block (LNB), a satellite finder and an RTL-SDR dongle connected to a laptop.

The LNB converts input frequencies of 12.2 GHz to 12.7 GHz down to 950 MHz to 1.45 GHz which is a range that the RTL-SDR can receive. In his YouTube video posted below David points his Itty Bitty Radio Telescope at the sun and shows the associated increase in the noise floor on SDR# due to solar radio emissions. More information and possible experiments with the Itty Bitty Radio Telescope can be found in this PDF.

Itty Bitty Radio Telescope

Using the RTL-SDR as a Cheap TV Satellite Finder

Finding the correct direction to point a satellite for TV reception can be difficult without the right equipment. YouTube user MegaOscarVideos shows us in the video below how he uses an RTL-SDR to accurately aim his satellite for TV reception.

He uses a TV satellite dish with an LNB connected to a bias-T circuit as the receiver, which is then connected to the RTL-SDR. As the satellite is moved he looks for the direction at which the signal level in SDR# increases the most.

RTL SDR as cheap TV Satfinder

Visualizing Broadcast Satellite Signals with the RTL-SDR

Over on Gough’s Tech blog, Lui Gough has posted about his experiences with visualizing broadcast satellite signals with the RTL-SDR. In his post he shows how to receive broadcast satellite signals by using a LNB, or low noise block downconverter, which allows the RTL-SDR to receive satellite frequencies which are typically out of the range of the RTL-SDR.

Later in the post he also shows what several broadcast satellite signals look like on the waterfall, as well as some of their telemetry signals.

Visualizing Satellite Signals
Visualizing Satellite Signals

Rain Scatter 10 GHz Reception with the RTL-SDR

YouTube user feri67000 who last month showed us that the RTL-SDR can receive 10 GHz signals with a cheap avenger LNB PLL now shows an interesting experiment where he uses a technique known as rain scatter to receive a 10 GHz beacon with his satellite dish pointed in the opposite direction of the beacon transmitter.

Usually communications at 10 GHz are line of sight only, but by using the rain scatter technique, the 10 GHz signal can be bounced off a precipitation cloud and received with line of sight to the cloud, rather than the transmitter.

rain scatter 10ghz LX1DB beacon