Sean VK7FAZE has recently been experimenting with NOAA APT weather Satellite reception and shares his experiences with us in this article
False-colour image taken from NOAA-18 showing east coast of Australia
There is not much more fascinating than getting pictures from space. And with a but of smarts and some cheap bits and pieces it’s possible to do this quite easily.
One of the display pieces at REAST’s stand at this years Festival of Bright Ideas was a display showing how to receive weather satellite photos using some fairly easily obtainable bits and pieces – a computer with a ‘USB TV Dongle’ as the now classic Software Defined Radio, a simple but impressive looking Quadrafilar Helical Antenna, and software freely downloadable from the Internet.
The antenna is built out of PVC electrical conduit and a few fittings, some 75mm PVC storm drain, and some old co-ax cable left over from an old TV installation. Some cutting and drilling, PVC glue and a couple of lazy hours on a Saturday afternoon and its done.
The software was a current version of Ubuntu Linux and the latest copy of GQRX fresh from the authors repository, with a little gentle post-processing using WxToImg to produce the ‘false colour’ images. I used the ‘gpredict’ program to track and display the various satellites passing overhead and on the day it went down quite well.
Coax doesn’t last forever. Water ingress, years in the sun and oxidation will all take it’s toll on this valuable part of your radio infrastructure. This is bad news for your signal getting out there, with increased line loss and SWR. Isn’t it time to put that aged piece of cracking RG-213 out of it’s misery? Do you want to help your club while getting a great deal on low loss coax?
REAST is seeking interest in a bulk purchase of of CNT-400 at a price of $4.50/metre for the amateur radio community. Not only is this a great price that is lower than retail but part of the money will help cover the costs to replace the ageing feed lines at the club rooms! At this price, the coax will be strictly pick up from club rooms only.
We’ve already had a lot of interest from people when we have floated the idea, so if you are interested, please Contact Us
, advising how many metres you would like to purchase! Orders will likely be placed before the end of October.
We are pleased to announce that REAST members can now enjoy a 10% discount off all purchases over $25 at any Jaycar store. For further information on how to take advantage of this, please log in to the members area and then visit the member discounts page.
We’re currently looking for great deals for our members, so if you have any ideas, why not let us know and we’ll see if anything can be done!
Last weekend numbers were down to 5 with VK7’s OO, ZMS, MO, JG and Ken VK7KRJ who is new to the group. Ken is operating with a handicap of 30 feet of thin coax and numerous adapters and while he had a good signal to VK7MO was only just detectable by VK7OO and VK7ZMS.
Ken expects to receive some adapters from ebay which will allow him to mount his transverter at the antenna and save around 10 dB which should make a big difference.
We continue straight after today’s broadcast on 1296.1, initially on FM.
(73, Rex, VK7MO)
Welcome to our new Website!
A lot of work has gone into the design and layout of the new site, which will not only make it easier for you the reader to navigate, but also provides the ability for a lot more people to contribute to the website. We would like to thank Ben VK7BEN, Justin VK7TW and Scott VK7LXX for the many hours involved in getting the new site together and editing content.
We would like to also thank Peter VK3US who has for over the past decade hosted the REAST website at no cost. Peter is now retiring the infrastructure that has hosted the REAST website for all these years which has meant an opportune time to update the site and relocate.
Take a browse around the site, and if you spot any issues, We’d love to hear from you so we can fix them!