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Thread: Decoding Weather Satellites

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    Default Decoding Weather Satellites

    Ok, I am picking this up from what I just stated in the Linux thread.


    Anyone done any satellite tracking, weather decoding on and on. I am trying to play with wxtoimg. This lets you plug in your radio at set frequency and at the right time you can get the map info from that said satellite. I am really new at this but I thought I would see if someone else has crossed this bridge yet.

    On a side note I have listened to police scanners for about 15 years. Well this area went to digital trunking and I had to get a scanner capable of doing that. I am using a Radio Shack Pro-106 to listen to and trying to use that to get at the NOAA satellites. I have my old pro-67 that can sit on the same frequencies but I haven't tried it.

    My problem is I need to make an antenna that does the job better than what I have.

    I will leave a link to the software and see what any of you guys think.

    http://www.wxtoimg.com/

    I am not sure if the radios I am using have the correct bandwidth to do this sort of thing. Even at that and just using my telescoping antenna and adjusting it to what works best I am picking up map outlines at times but nothing really to spectacular such as the example on the website.

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Yep, I've done it all. I'll get back to you shortly when I can.
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Quote Originally Posted by AGEUSAF View Post
    Ok, I am picking this up from what I just stated in the Linux thread.


    Anyone done any satellite tracking, weather decoding on and on. I am trying to play with wxtoimg. This lets you plug in your radio at set frequency and at the right time you can get the map info from that said satellite. I am really new at this but I thought I would see if someone else has crossed this bridge yet.

    On a side note I have listened to police scanners for about 15 years. Well this area went to digital trunking and I had to get a scanner capable of doing that. I am using a Radio Shack Pro-106 to listen to and trying to use that to get at the NOAA satellites. I have my old pro-67 that can sit on the same frequencies but I haven't tried it.

    My problem is I need to make an antenna that does the job better than what I have.

    I will leave a link to the software and see what any of you guys think.

    http://www.wxtoimg.com/

    I am not sure if the radios I am using have the correct bandwidth to do this sort of thing. Even at that and just using my telescoping antenna and adjusting it to what works best I am picking up map outlines at times but nothing really to spectacular such as the example on the website.
    Morning.

    I have NOT used this particular piece of software but I did use some stuff under windows a few years back. Don't remember what it was now.

    I had a lot of issues picking up the satellite frequencies on a scanner though because I had (have) local noise on those frequencies I could never precisely locate. Even after turning off all the computer systems, and pretty much everything electronic in the house, and even running things off DC (to eliminate AC hash noise) I couldn't get a good enough signal to actually decode the stuff.

    On another note, I am and always have been able to use various Fax programs for windows and linux to decode HF fax stuff on screen.

    Also, with the Internet it's not to difficult to pull together a bit of stuff quickly to see what the maps say.

    On another side note here... I use something called "Airmail" over the radio, HF and VHF, as well as telnet over the Internet to pull down something called "GRIB" files which can give me localized data, maps and other weather information

    it will actually be part of my main source of weather data when we start cruising. I've tested it here in Colorado over all three systems (HF, VHF and Telnet) and it works pretty well. However, it requires a ham radio license to set up and use. You can't even just "use it" over the internet without a license because it is also capable of other activities, email and such.
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Ok... on the antenna. This particular antenna, a "circularly polarized" antenna is also known as a helical.

    You should be able to locate some information on a homebrew type antenna. They aren't too difficult to build.

    What I DON'T remember off hand is the satellite parameters. But I THINK they are geosync sats and thus you would only need to aim the antenna once at the satellite with perhaps occasional adjustments for best signal strength.
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Oh... a little checking. No they are NOT geo sync satellites. You have to aim at them so you have to track the buggers and catch them when their footprint over flies you.

    I've done a lot of tracking but not for several years now. I would highly recommend an ARRL book: http://www.arrl.org/shop/The-ARRL-Satellite-Handbook/

    I have a much older version, which might be found in a local library. Check that out before you purchase anything.

    Anyway, it will explain everything from Keplerians (and where to get them pretty much on a daily basis, via email) to making your own tracking grids, using various programs and how to design and build azmuth-altitude tracking setups (usually from regular antenna rotors and such from say, radio shack).
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    I got to looking at this, and I suspect the issues I was having now (having let a few years slip under the keel) that I might have been trying to catch satellites when they weren't in view or something.

    Plus my antenna back then might have been crappy

    I've got something like four scanners, none of the digital type like you mentioned (we went a few years ago to that on the police frequencies locally).
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    AGEUSAF - just thought I'd give some quick information on GRIB files.

    http://globalmarinenet.net/grib_downloads.php

    Basically they are digitized files that give a massive amount of information. They are superimposed over maps to give you winds, speeds, directions, and many other pieces of data.

    I use them for "predicting" the local weather for me and giving me a basic idea of what to expect if I'm going sailing for instance. Since I sail on a very small lake (about 4miles long by 1-2 miles across) I don't need a LOT of data, but need to get an idea what my max wind speeds will be and roughly when (and when the minimum will be as well).

    These are NOT the same as the satellite photos you're looking at with the weather stations and so forth though. Just thought I'd clarify that information a bit more.
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    This is good stuff. I will reread this a few times. The wxtoimg program since going to the latest ubuntu isn't working like it did on 10.04. From what I am reading something about sound card kernel was left out for the latest and greatest. I will try running it in wine but if I don't like it I will just use the windows laptop instead.

    I think this year I will read up and get my ham license this will give me some more options I think as I get into this stuff more and more.

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Nice. Ham licenses are cool.

    BTW- Ryan... how's that coming along? hehe
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    I want to get a ham license...next year maybe after my big home project is completed.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Nice. Ham licenses are cool.

    BTW- Ryan... how's that coming along? hehe

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    I know we haven't done much in this thread in a few days... and I'm actually in the middle of studying several books on storms and handling storms at sea.

    While I was going through them I was remembering some data I used to collect using HF radio - weather surface analysis charts for instance, typically sent over fax machines.

    Just thought if you're pretty interested in weather AGEUSAF you might want to drop in on this site: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfmarsh_links.htm

    This is the actual site with the fax charts that get shipped over HF radio (frequencies listed on the page).

    If you have access to a laptop/PC, with sound card, and a shortwave radio, you should be able to pick them up over the radio using software from here: http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/Weather_and_FAX/

    Or you can click on the link on the page to see the actual pages over the internet!



    These are almost all forecasting charts and not actual satellite images by the way.
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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Cool, I will check this out.

    I'm in the middle of building a QHA antenna http://perso.wanadoo.es/dimoni/ant_qha.htmso I haven't given up this.

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    I added some pictures of the antenna I built and a few noaa passes that I have saved. The pictures are with the antenna at ground level won't put it up where I want until I paint that part of the house. I have synced up the software a little better but have alot more fine tuning to do yet.

    I have no idea how to add pictures directly to the thread, a little help there would be nice.

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    You can upload your pictures to your user photo album (linked above in the nav bar at the top) or you can use a free image hosting service like PhotoBucket or TinyPic.

    If you use your user photo album, at the end of uploading, you'll see a link that starts with [ IMG] (without the space). Copy that URL and paste it into the thread.

    If you're using PhotoBucket or TinyPic, you'll get a similar link with the [ IMG] tags. Copy that URL and paste it into the thread.

    In any event where ever you decide to upload the photo, just take the photo URL and put it inside the image tags like this - [ IMG]http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com/image.jpg[ /IMG]. Again, without the spaces.

    If you are using the WYSIWYG message editor you can also click on the button at the top that looks like this and it will ask you to enter the URL of the photo and then insert it automatically for you.

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites



    Thats the antenna.

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites



    One my early tries, I have since got it synced up a little bit better. More of the same stuff on my photo album.

    Thanks for the help on adding the pics Ryan.

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    You are able to decode satellites signal

    but

    you need help to add pictures here...
    I know, I know....I thought about that after a bit and it is funny. In reality I got lazy for a second there I think but sometimes I am the kind of guy who can read a print a mile long but have a hard time understanding what street signs actually mean.

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    Default Re: Decoding Weather Satellites

    Name:  noaa-19-01012016-msa.jpg
Views: 78
Size:  647.1 KB



    I got this off of NOAA 19 this past weekend. Used my QFH antenna mounted on the tower. Signal was received using and RTL-SDR (more on that) decoded with WXtoimg.

    I had a bug or two to work out using an RTL-SDR but once I overcame an operator error things worked out really well.

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