Techminds: Building a V-Dipole for Weather Satellite Reception
A new video showing how to build a V-dipole for weather satellite reception has been uploaded over on the Tech Minds YouTube channel. A V-dipole isa dipole antenna arranged in a 120 degrees "vee" shape, and mounted horizontally. It was first popularized by Adam 9A4QV who realized that such a simple antenna would work well for low earth orbit satellites like the NOAA and Meteor weather sats.
The video shows how to use some steel rods, a plastic pipe and terminal block to build the v-dipole. After building and mounting the antenna in the required North-South orientation he shows how he's using Gpredict with SDR# and WxToImg to decode the NOAA satellite image.
How To Build A V Dipole For Receiving Weather Satellites
one of the issue with terminal block is it do not hold wire elements from moving, which alters v angle. No one explained how to arrest this.
While I haven’t recorded or decoded the transmissions, I’ve been able to see NOAA weather satellite transmissions with an old fashioned set of rabbit ear antennas from on old TV set oriented as the article describes. This was done using GQRX and an Airspy.
This is a comprehensive & very well-made video. However, just to help others who may be beginning with NOAA polar orbiters: I agree with Jeff C. I’ve decoded and produced excellent images using just the RTL-SDR V3 dongle and the small telescoping antenna that comes with the V3 dongle (when you buy the kit). And, my location is far from ideal since my antenna is placed between two condo roofs (picture a U-shape: antenna is at the bottom of the U about 3 meters below 2 roofs: one to the north, one to the south). This is without any filters such as the FM or Sawbird seen in the video.
So, before you invest in any other hardware, try your SDR with just a simple antenna. You will get some results just using a couple of pieces of 20 gauge wire oriented at the 120 degrees mentioned in the video. Then you can refine things once you get a recognizable signal.