Last year I was playing with a cheap USB dongle for weather satellite reception. Eventually though I gave up on it, as although I could receive reasonable pictures with it, the device kept causing my machine to freeze.
Anyway, I recently dropped a raspberry Pi in the shack to act as a router between my shack and my wireless network. It got me wondering as to the possibilities of running the dongle via it. Turns out, it was as easy as… pi! (Sorry… 🙂 )
It really only takes a few simple steps:
- Download the rtl tools source code via git from OsmoSDR
- Build up the tools (make sure you’ve installed the build-tools package on your pi)
- Make sure you unload an DVB kernel modules with rmmod (after checking with lsmod)
- Run rtl-tcp on the raspberry pi
- And then connect via TCP from something like SDRSharp
Doing this I’ve had no problems with anything freezing, and have captured images with as much ease as I did before – although I have a dodgy coax cable I need to fix.
Further, I’ve gone on to receive beacons (6m, 2m and 70cm) as well as the FUNcube telemetry. Actually, to my surprise I’m the only VK7 to have recorded reception of any telemetry (according to the FUNcube Upload Ranking page).
To finish, here’s a couple of images received via this setup (one from NOAA-15 and one from NOAA-19). And the title picture of New Zealand is from NOAA-19.