Forum: Virtual Classroom - Need Help In Collecting Weather Satellite Picture From NOAA 15, 17 And 19

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Need Help In Collecting Weather Satellite Picture From NOAA 15, 17 And 19

Dear Bobbie and Wade, thumbset radio station setup has been success at Jigme Namgyel Engineering College and students are excited to learn from the experience. But we have been not able to get the APT of Weather Satellite though it gets activated when the NOAA reaches in our region. Instead of RTL-SDR we are getting the option of MyDDE during the set up.Therefore I would be glad if you can kindly share your experience of setting up the RTL-SDR for Weather Satellite.Sangay Chedup 1st Aug 2016
Hello Sangay.

I'm glad your students are so enthusiastic. It makes the whole project more enjoyable and educational!

Capturing NOAA images is a pretty straight forward task, although you will have to build a different style antenna. I chose to build a QFH style antenna. Initially, I just put it out in the yard, but eventually, I hung it up in the attic and left it alone. (There is not need to point the antenna at the NOAA satellite if you're willing to accept a bit of weak signal in the beginning of the pass.)

Here is my QFH antenna:

I captured the following image from NOAA 15 on only my second or third attempt:

There are some very good tutorials for SDR and NOAA weather satellites here:

I highly recommend them.

If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask!

Don't forget to take photos of your student as they progress and share them with all of us!!

Thanks Sangay.

Wade Wade 1st Aug 2016
Dear Wade,

Thank you so much for your guide and hopefully I can overcome the problem. Currently my students has designed Double Cross Antenna and installed on rooftop.

I will see to the problem following your guide and will let you know if further help is required

Thank you

Sangay Chedup Sangay Chedup 3rd Aug 2016
Hi Sangay and Wade

I am recovering from surgery last week and have not been online here for a few days... Hopefully, this is the last surgery for quite a while.

I do not have an antenna for the weather satellites, but have been looking at a couple of antennas that I think are easy to build. Since PVC pipe is plentiful here, my plan is to build a double helical using #6 copper wire and 1/2 inch CPVC pipe.. CPVC pipe is stronger and more infrared resistant than standard PVC, and it is easy to work with.. There are several programs that will decode the satellite signals, but the one that Wade has listed in the software library works great. There are a couple of settings for the RTL dongle that are critical since the signal from the satellite is very wide. But, the settings are in the software and are the last things you will be working with. If you are using one of Thumbnet's dongles, the frequency accuracy is close enough without calibrating, but if you are using one of the cheaper TV dongles, you might need to calibrate the receiver frequency. It is not hard, and will be glad to help if you have a problem..

As soon as you get the antenna installed and the software loaded, please post here again and I am sure someone can help get the weather pictures printed.

I am glad to see your students so enthusiastic.

I will send a private email concerning a message that I received about ham radio stations in your area...

Bobbie 8th Aug 2016
This website might help... it is very good information.

Bob Johnson 20th Sep 2016
Hello Friends,

It's my first day in the Forum, and am finding it very vibrant. I would strongly suggest for a turnstile antenna instead of a QFH, because it is fairly easy to make. Along with I would strongly suggest for a BPF to tune to the NOAA (@137.xxMHz) frequencies.

I tried this setup sometime back and it works quite well especially during cloudy days (because it enhances the fade margin).

Sudip Sudip 29th Sep 2017
Hello Sangay,

Greetings ..!!

Hope your NOAA project is going well. I would be more than happy, if I could be a party on this effort of yours. I have tried this quite sometime back and could gather excellent pictures.

Please remember me if I could be of any help to you.


Sudip Sudip 4th Oct 2017