Weather Satellite Operation


George Stein - NJ3H
 

Greetings,

I am having a strange happening in trying to listen to the NOAA weather satellites.

The best reception I have is with SDRC and the Elad S2.  When I use my Airspy R2, HF+ discovery, or RSPdx with SDRC or their native software, there is basically no reception.  Is the Elad that much better than the other receivers.  I am surprised that I am seeing such a disparity in signal strengths.

My antenna is a circular dipole from Stellar designed for the FM broadcast band. I am using this very non-perfect antenna until I buy a QFH antenna and a preamp.

Any ideas as to why the other radios seem to be a disappointment?

Another question: The Orbitron/WXtoIMG software can create a list of upcoming passes for the satellites that the user wants to select (days into the future).  This then allows unattended operation for decoding upcoming passes.  Is there a similar capability within SDRC to create such a list, feed it to WXtoIMG, allowing unattended decoding?  In other words, this would eliminate the need for Orbitron and use the satellite module within SDRC to handle this function.

I very much like the satellite module that Simon has developed.  Being able to use it as described above would free up one program.

To be honest, I was hoping to dedicate my Airspy R2 to weather satellite duties.  As mentioned above, this is not looking good.  So any ideas and comments to the items raised in this message will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
George


George Stein - NJ3H
 
Edited

I should have mentioned that the three radios in question are working fine the Broadcast FM band, the amateur vhf/uhf bands, and other services on vhf/uhf.  I is just the satellite reception that is giving me fits.

Also I have played with the gain settings in the software packages as well.

Thanks


Gert Gremmen
 

Hi George

Just a simple suggestion question : are all bandwidths set to the same value (35-40 kHz) ? Check by noise floor level. Must be the same.

You will probably get not much of a benefit with an preamp, unless if used for cable length compensation.

Most important is a good antenna, high placed (i build a helix) because of ground reflection nulls.

I used the dedicated receiver from EMGO of which i replaced the input circuit by a helical tuned circuit with a BF981.

The excellent selectivity got me rid of the all kind of interference from the airbands,

without notable loss of signal quality  (the helix add -6 dB of loss).

Gert

On 25-8-2022 8:45, George Stein - NJ3H via groups.io wrote:
Greetings,

I am having a strange happening in trying to listen to the NOAA weather satellites.

The best reception I have is with SDRC and the Elad S2.  When I use my Airspy R2, HF+ discovery, or RSPdx with SDRC or their native software, there is basically no reception.  Is the Elad that much better than the other receivers.  I am surprised that I am seeing such a disparity in signal strengths.

My antenna is a circular dipole from Stellar designed for the FM broadcast band. I am using this very non-perfect antenna until I buy a QFH antenna and a preamp.

Any ideas as to why the other radios seem to be a disappointment?

Another question: The Orbitron/WXtoIMG software can create a list of upcoming passes for the satellites that the user wants to select (days into the future).  This then allows unattended operation for decoding upcoming passes.  Is there a similar capability within SDRC to create such a list, feed it to WXtoIMG, allowing unattended decoding?  In other words, this would eliminate the need for Orbitron and use the satellite module within SDRC to handle this function.

I very much like the satellite module that Simon has developed.  Being able to use it as described above would free up one program.

To be honest, I was hoping to dedicate my Airspy R2 to weather satellite duties.  As mentioned above, this is not looking good.  So any ideas and comments to the items raised in this message will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
George
-- Independent Expert on CE marking EMC Consultant Electrical Safety Consultant


George Stein - NJ3H
 

Hello Gert, 
Yes I do gave 40 KHz set for each receiver. I am glad you have a setup that works well for you. 

Thank you for your message. 

Regards, 
George 


On Thu, Aug 25, 2022 at 12:20 AM, Gert Gremmen
<cetest@...> wrote:

Hi George

Just a simple suggestion question : are all bandwidths set to the same value (35-40 kHz) ? Check by noise floor level. Must be the same.

You will probably get not much of a benefit with an preamp, unless if used for cable length compensation.

Most important is a good antenna, high placed (i build a helix) because of ground reflection nulls.

I used the dedicated receiver from EMGO of which i replaced the input circuit by a helical tuned circuit with a BF981.

The excellent selectivity got me rid of the all kind of interference from the airbands,

without notable loss of signal quality  (the helix add -6 dB of loss).

Gert

On 25-8-2022 8:45, George Stein - NJ3H via groups.io wrote:
Greetings,

I am having a strange happening in trying to listen to the NOAA weather satellites.

The best reception I have is with SDRC and the Elad S2.  When I use my Airspy R2, HF+ discovery, or RSPdx with SDRC or their native software, there is basically no reception.  Is the Elad that much better than the other receivers.  I am surprised that I am seeing such a disparity in signal strengths.

My antenna is a circular dipole from Stellar designed for the FM broadcast band. I am using this very non-perfect antenna until I buy a QFH antenna and a preamp.

Any ideas as to why the other radios seem to be a disappointment?

Another question: The Orbitron/WXtoIMG software can create a list of upcoming passes for the satellites that the user wants to select (days into the future).  This then allows unattended operation for decoding upcoming passes.  Is there a similar capability within SDRC to create such a list, feed it to WXtoIMG, allowing unattended decoding?  In other words, this would eliminate the need for Orbitron and use the satellite module within SDRC to handle this function.

I very much like the satellite module that Simon has developed.  Being able to use it as described above would free up one program.

To be honest, I was hoping to dedicate my Airspy R2 to weather satellite duties.  As mentioned above, this is not looking good.  So any ideas and comments to the items raised in this message will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
George -- Independent Expert on CE marking EMC Consultant Electrical Safety Consultant


Alan G4ZFQ
 

On 25/08/2022 06:45, George Stein - NJ3H via groups.io wrote:
The best reception I have is with SDRC and the Elad S2. When I use
my Airspy R2, HF+ discovery, or RSPdx with SDRC or their native software, there is basically no reception.

Maybe the Elad is the only one that is not overwhelmed by strong broadcast signals?
I find a filter to be useful on many receivers.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


David J Taylor
 

On 25/08/2022 07:45, George Stein - NJ3H via groups.io wrote:
To be honest, I was hoping to dedicate my Airspy R2 to weather satellite
duties.  As mentioned above, this is not looking good.  So any ideas and
comments to the items raised in this message will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
George
Why not use that Raspberry Pi you have sitting in a drawer?

https://www.instructables.com/Raspberry-Pi-NOAA-Weather-Satellite-Receiver/

and later:

https://github.com/jekhokie/raspberry-noaa-v2

All automated, and you make the Raspberry Pi share the images to your Windows
PC, if you like.

Keep you SDR Console for general use...

Cheers,
David
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software for you
Web: https://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-taylor@...
Twitter: @gm8arv


David L. Wilson
 

The NOAA polar orbital satellites are easily heard with any of the receivers you have listed with any antenna. You are doing something wrong or have some problem.
--
David L. Wilson


llsteen@...
 

Elad S2 is a much better receiver than Airspy etc. Much better, it can even be compared to some of the more costly Winradios. 
Regards Lars


David J Taylor
 

On 25/08/2022 14:59, llsteen via groups.io wrote:
Elad S2 is a much better receiver than Airspy etc. Much better, it can even be
compared to some of the more costly Winradios.
Regards Lars
Lars,

When you say "Airspy", which do you find to be the best of the Airspy family?
My experience is that the Airspy Discovery HF+ is pretty good...

David
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software for you
Web: https://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-taylor@...
Twitter: @gm8arv


David L. Wilson
 

WRTH 2022  gives all three SDRs 5  stars in every category (the Elad S2 costs about 2x as much as an Airspy Discovery HF+).  Please explain your judgement as  "much better" (I am interested).


jdow
 

On 20220826 07:29:07, David J Taylor via groups.io wrote:
On 25/08/2022 14:59, llsteen via groups.io wrote:
Elad S2 is a much better receiver than Airspy etc. Much better, it can even be
compared to some of the more costly Winradios.
Regards Lars

Lars,

When you say "Airspy", which do you find to be the best of the Airspy family?
My experience is that the Airspy Discovery HF+ is pretty good...

David


He failed to mention what he uses it for. I doubt he listens to aircraft. Even an rtlsdr will do better at that.  He has not tried to receive GPS satellites, either. That's another thing that even an rtlsdr could do better. It's HF specifications are nice if you have a tiny or inefficient antenna. Otherwise "ho hum". It has a patent pending triple tuning bar.... Um, I'll be nice and not root around old discarded tools to prove prior art from the 90s. I discarded it as confusing and annoying. Instead I used a displacement tuning bar with "acceleration". It used 10^displacement as the tuning rate. Above that In place of scale markers I put tiny labeled buttons that would step tune by the appropriate amount. That worked quite nicely on both my FT847 and now defunct Pro II. For FM band it probably shows the whole band all at once, an improvement over RX888 MKII, to be sure. The "Description" page may under-serve the quality of the unit. Comments from users suggest it is a nice tool.

{^_^}



llsteen@...
 

David

I am talking about Airspy HF + Discovery. For the money it is a good radio, absolutely. I will not deny that on certain SW frequencies Airspy comes through a little more clearly, but in LW and MW area Elad S2 becomes superior. Living in a smaller town north of Copenhagen in Denmark very close to the coast, I am normally able to receive radio Manila during evening/night. Both are connected to a wellbrook loop antenna via the Elad ASA 15 antenna splitter amplifier. Here Elad S2, with or without the ASA 15 amplifying, receives the signal stronger and (hence) much more clearly, just to give you an example. On VHF I use the G305e with an VHF amplifier and antenna, both from Winradio. It may sound crazy, but this outperforms both Elad and Airspy HF+. Broad FM is a ‘joke’ in both Airspy and Elad. Further, normally using only SDRC 3, it is easier to handle Elad than Airspy, fx. in connection with NR. The same when using the ASA 15 for amplification. Satellites can come in sporadically, but I don’t have the right antenna equipment here.   
Lars


David J Taylor
 

On 27/08/2022 15:48, llsteen via groups.io wrote:
David

I am talking about Airspy HF + Discovery. For the money it is a good radio,
absolutely. I will not deny that on certain SW frequencies Airspy comes through
a little more clearly, but in LW and MW area Elad S2 becomes superior. Living
in a smaller town north of Copenhagen in Denmark very close to the coast, I am
normally able to receive radio Manila during evening/night. Both are connected
to a wellbrook loop antenna via the Elad ASA 15 antenna splitter amplifier.
Here Elad S2, with or without the ASA 15 amplifying, receives the signal
stronger and (hence) much more clearly, just to give you an example. On VHF I
use the G305e with an VHF amplifier and antenna, both from Winradio. It may
sound crazy, but this outperforms both Elad and Airspy HF+. Broad FM is a
‘joke’ in both Airspy and Elad. Further, normally using only SDRC 3, it is
easier to handle Elad than Airspy, fx. in connection with NR. The same when
using the ASA 15 for amplification. Satellites can come in sporadically, but I
don’t have the right antenna equipment here.
Lars
Thanks for your comments, Lars. Given the title of the topic, I was
considering 137 MHz alone in the comparisons.

You need an appropriate antenna for weather satellites, and given that, I would
expect the Airspy HF+ to be quite adequate for the purpose, unless you have a
very long feeder cable in which case you would need a pre-amp. I would expect
that to apply to most other receivers as well.

One issue to consider is whether you have strong local signals on frequencies
passed by your antenna. If so, without filtering, a more expensive receiver
/may/ do better than the Airspy HF+ Discovery.

If something "sounds crazy" - there may be a good reason.

Cheers,
David
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software for you
Web: https://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-taylor@...
Twitter: @gm8arv


Jim Smith G0OFE
 

The Elad S2 is a little deaf on Band 2 FM - but that's nothing that a pre-amp won't sort out. The S3 is much more sensitive.

================================
Need help with SDR Console? If you have a problem:
Go to https://www.sdr-radio.com/support
Please follow instructions in that link.
===================================
Jim, Bournemouth, Dorset. IO90BR.
Elad FDM-S2, Airspy HF+, SDRPlay and Funcube Dongle SDR Recievers
8-element OP-DES for Band 2, 8-element LFA for 2m, 3-element LFA for 6m, 20m Windom for HF,. Wellbrook 1530 Loop for LF


On 27/08/2022 17:53, David J Taylor via groups.io wrote:

On 27/08/2022 15:48, llsteen via groups.io wrote:
David

I am talking about Airspy HF + Discovery. For the money it is a good radio,
absolutely. I will not deny that on certain SW frequencies Airspy comes through
a little more clearly, but in LW and MW area Elad S2 becomes superior. Living
in a smaller town north of Copenhagen in Denmark very close to the coast, I am
normally able to receive radio Manila during evening/night. Both are connected
to a wellbrook loop antenna via the Elad ASA 15 antenna splitter amplifier.
Here Elad S2, with or without the ASA 15 amplifying, receives the signal
stronger and (hence) much more clearly, just to give you an example. On VHF I
use the G305e with an VHF amplifier and antenna, both from Winradio. It may
sound crazy, but this outperforms both Elad and Airspy HF+. Broad FM is a
‘joke’ in both Airspy and Elad. Further, normally using only SDRC 3, it is
easier to handle Elad than Airspy, fx. in connection with NR. The same when
using the ASA 15 for amplification. Satellites can come in sporadically, but I
don’t have the right antenna equipment here.
Lars

Thanks for your comments, Lars.  Given the title of the topic, I was
considering 137 MHz alone in the comparisons.

You need an appropriate antenna for weather satellites, and given that, I would
expect the Airspy HF+ to be quite adequate for the purpose, unless you have a
very long feeder cable in which case you would need a pre-amp.  I would expect
that to apply to most other receivers as well.

One issue to consider is whether you have strong local signals on frequencies
passed by your antenna.  If so, without filtering, a more expensive receiver
/may/ do better than the Airspy HF+ Discovery.

If something "sounds crazy" - there may be a good reason.

Cheers,
David
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software for you
Web: https://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-taylor@...
Twitter: @gm8arv






llsteen@...
 

David

I which you very good luck with listening to satellites. Excuse my late response, but I had a mini holiday much needed. Elad has a little lesser ground noise than Airspy and probably, very biased in mind, for me Airspy HF+ Discovery sounds a little more ‘metallic’ on AM.

Lars


David J Taylor
 

On 02/09/2022 20:18, llsteen via groups.io wrote:
David

I which you very good luck with listening to satellites. Excuse my late
response, but I had a mini holiday much needed. Elad has a little lesser ground
noise than Airspy and probably, very biased in mind, for me Airspy HF+
Discovery sounds a little more ‘metallic’ on AM.

Lars
Thanks for the report, Lars. I wonder whether audio frequency response
tailoring may differ between the two receivers, or different filter sharpness,
and whether that may account for the audible differences you are hearing?

Cheers,
David
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software for you
Web: https://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-taylor@...
Twitter: @gm8arv


llsteen@...
 

Georg

Yes, I have tried anything. Here in Denmark, time 22:30, radio Polskie from Poland on LW the ground noise on Simons S-unit, the grey needle, shows 1,5 for Elad S2 and 4 for Airspy HF + discovery. It also fades a little more. My experience with radios is that: ground noise is important. Probably, it is the reason why Airspy sound more ‘metallic’, all in all. Next, Elad is more homogenic where Airspy has more ups and downs depending on frequencies. In the SDR environment there has to be more discussion about a simple fact: all-band receivers as Airspy can never be as good as receivers developed for specific bands only.  

Lars


llsteen@...
 

Sorry: David