Tagged: satellite dish

Building a Tracking Mount for HRPT Weather Satellite Reception Part 2

Earlier this month we posted about The Thought Emporium who uploaded a video to YouTube where they documented the first steps of their construction of a tracking mount for a 2.4 GHz grid WiFi dish which they intend to use for HRPT weather satellite reception.

If you didn't already know, receiving HRPT weather satellite signals is a little different to the more commonly received NOAA APT or Meteor M2 LRPT images which most readers may already be familiar with. HRPT is broadcast by the same NOAA satellites that provide the APT signal at 137 MHz, but is found in the L-band at around 1.7 GHz. The signal is much weaker, so a high gain dish antenna with motorized tracking mount, LNA and high bandwidth SDR like an Airspy is required. The payoff is that HRPT images are much higher in resolution compared to APT.

In this video they document the steps required to finish the physical build and add the electronics and motors required to control and move the dish. The final product is a working tracking mount that should be able to track the NOAA satellites as they pass over. In the next video which is not yet released they plan to actually test reception.

DIY Satellite Tracker/Radio Telescope - Part 2

Building a Tracking Mount for HRPT Weather Satellite Reception

Over on YouTube channel The Thought Emporium recently released a new video where they show the first steps they've taken towards building a home made satellite tracking mount for receiving HRIT and HRPT low earth orbit weather satellites. In their build they use a 2.4 GHz WiFi parabolic grid antenna, gears and mounts made from milled wood, and some metal supports. The build is not yet finished, but they intend to show their progress in future videos. Note that we're not confident that the 2.4 GHz grid antenna will actually work for them. In the past people have had success with 1.9 GHz Grid antennas however.

If you didn't already know, receiving HRPT weather satellite signals is a little different to the more commonly received NOAA APT or Meteor M2 LRPT images which most readers may already be familiar with. HRPT is broadcast by the same NOAA satellites that provide the APT signal at 137 MHz, but is found in the L-band at around 1.7 GHz. The signal is much weaker, so a high gain dish antenna with motorized tracking mount, LNA and high bandwidth SDR like an Airspy is required. The payoff is that HRPT images are much higher in resolution compared to APT.

Actually, it's not entirely true that a tracking mount is required, although it certainly makes things easier. We've seen in the past that 'Tysonpower' was able to receive HRPT by tracking his dish by hand.

The Thought Emporium also note that they hope to use their tracking mount in the future for other purposes like amateur radio astronomy. In one of their previous experiments they've build a smaller version which was able to create a heat map of WiFi signal strengths in their area.

Building a Motorized Satellite Tracker for HRIT/HRPT Reception and Radio Astronomy - Part 1

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