Monday, August 22, 2016

Controlling Influence

Following on from Saturday's success with ADS-B I thought that I might try and go one better.
Satellites are a challenge mainly because of the Doppler shift in frequencies as they pass overhead. Having to manually change frequency is a pain and in some cases inaccurate. Today's challenge was to get the satellite tracking software GPredict to control my RTL-SDR via GQRX. Long story short is that it worked without too much faffing around. Result!
I tracked a couple of satellites without hearing anything which isn't unexpected as I'm using the wrong type of antenna. That's a challenge for another day. I have all the bits I need I just haven't got round to it yet.
This small success has just put that plan back to the top of the list.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Talk To Me

While HF is being a tad on the difficult side and not letting me enjoy much SWLing I needed another radio distraction.
The airband frequencies are always active so it was time for another experiment. This time it worked quite well and despite having to find some dependencies myself all the instructions were quite clear. What I did was use my RTL-SDR dongle and discone antenna to pick up ADS-B signals from planes and plot their positions on a map. All live from them to me, no internets required.
I think I have a radius of about 50 miles so there's usually something up there broadcasting its position. I have my aviation scanner running in the background too so that I can hopefully catch the pilot communicating with the ground control.
All in all good fun for a Saturday afternoon.