Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year.....I Hope!

Thought I'd get an early start to the well wishes.

Don't stay out too late tonight, and DON'T drink and drive!

My wife and I were joking about how late we'd be able to stay up tonight. The consensus was maybe 11pm.

I have some errands to do today, and some other running around, but I'll be back here before 6pm.

And the weight loss is coming along nicely since my Doctor told me I had to drop 30 pounds by July. My wife has some very good diabetic cookbooks, and I knocked off eating most of the junky stuff I'd been nibbling on during the day. I think this will be the first Christmas season that I didn't gain 5 pounds, but rather lost 5 pounds!

I probably won't make it to the rifle range over the holiday, as I have a new project coming up, but I did field strip my M1, clean it, and properly grease it with some moly-based wheel bearing grease that most of my Garand books recommend. A dab here, a dab there, and an 'extra' dab where the Operating Rod slide back and forth in the channel.

Took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, but the extra time was spent learning all the parts, and inspecting them in their "as new" condition so I can spot wear patterns as they develop, and catch any parts that start to go bad. One of the things I have to do is get some spares for it so I can keep it running if it ever breaks down, something that shouldn't happen if I take care of it, and maintain it correctly. Still, I'm big on having spares (usually double spares!) on hand to minimize downtime if a failure occurs. It's worked well before, and I always replenish my stock of parts asoon as I draw one out for repairs.

So, hope you all have a safe New Year's Eve, and here's hoping we can get things back on-the-rails for 2014!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How You Speak Reveals Where You're From

As if we all didn't know this.

Jeffro over at the Poor Farm found this, and it nailed my hometown so close it's scary!


For some reason when I copied the image it left the cities off, but the darkest red around and a bit South West of where Chicago is is where I grew up.

Yep, I knew "Joilet Jake" and his bother Elwood......

Greg Lake ~I Believe In Father Christmas~

One of my favorites, with Ian Anderson on flute!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Chamber Brothers "Time Has Come Today"

Love it or hate it, this song was one of the defining songs of "my" generation.

Working on the "Honey Dew" list today while the wife is out visiting friends.

Have to recaulk the bathtub seal to the tile on thee wall, fill in some holes the little dog created, and start cleaning up/organizing the Radio Room, which I have let totally get out of hand over the last several months of working on projects and such.

Hope y'all have a good weekend, and I'm off work for the next SIXTEEN days.

YAY!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

YAY! Finished With Training Classes!

And I'm now "Certified" in various areas of Electrical Bonding, Resistance Measurements of Bonds, Connector Engaging and Disengaging ("Mate" and "Demate" are no longer allowed to be used!), Moldable Plastic Shims (basically epoxy spacers used in structural applications), Electrical Torque, Basic Torque, and Soldering.

I aced all the written exams, and the other students kept coming over to look at my finished soldered connections (turret terminals, bifurcated terminals, hook connections, solder lugs, and connector pins) to see how they should look, and were asking me as many questions as they were the instructor!

He was really good about it, and told my manager the other day that I was probably at least as qualified as he was to teach the class, a nice little pat on the back.

These are training courses I'd taken several times in the past when I worked for the company that started the enterprise, so they were nothing new to me, but more of a refresher, always good to take, as with shooting, some of these are perishable skills if you don't exercise them often.

And speaking of shooting, my two former workmates that I helped instruct during the recent "NRA First Steps Pistol" class have taking to their new hobby with great zeal and enthusiasm. One of them called me yesterday to ask about renting the range we use for a day so she could "sponsor" a "Day At The Range" for a group of friends. I checked with the range, and while they're willing to rent the range for $2500 per day, my friend thought that was a bit out of her price range, and decided to get an accurate headcount of attendees, and only rent two or three lanes for several hours. Most of the people she mentioned have some firearms experience, so I wouldn't be flooded with 10~12 complete rookies, not that I mind, but at least the people would have some idea of Range Safety and the Four Rules.

I'll still go over these important items with them before we step onto the range, and I'll see if I can get another instructor friend to give me a hand.

Monday, December 16, 2013

NOAA APT Satellites with A FUNCube Dongle, Gqrx, and WXtoIMG

WELL.....in case anybody's been wondering, I've been adjusting the parameters (high-tech talk for "messing around with") on the Gqrx SDR receiver program, while making some antenna adjustments.

I still don't have a 137MHz bandpass filter, but by carefully adjusting the software RF gain control in the receiver program, along with a few antenna tweaks, I've got this process fairly well nailed down.

First, the antenna.

I came home from work Friday ("Moldable Plastic Shim" class...MESSY!), and as I turned down the street, I didn't see the eggbeater sticking up.

Uh-Oh!

WELL.....the dogs (Pebbles, I'd bet on it!) decided the extra length of RG-6QS coax I had coiled up where it came into the house looked like a great tug-of-war toy, and they (she?) yanked on it hard enough to destroy the connector before it pulled through my bulkhead pass-through, and pulled the antenna over!

Fortunately ( ? ) it laded across the telephone and FiOS cable drops from the utility pole in the back yard, and didn't come crashing down to the ground.

Since I had just cable-tied it to my "portable" satellite mount and antenna, I had to take all that stuff apart, cut the super-duty cable ties I used, and get everything separated,

Since I now had the mount completely stripped, I was able to get the mast with the eggbeater on it mounted parallel to the large diameter mast on the mount, and secure it with some large stainless hose clamps. I was then able to get the whole shebang vertical again, and this time I put four concrete blocks on the base to keep it vertical!

I took about 90 minutes to get  that "almost disaster" was averted, and the antenna back in the air where it belongs.




Gqrx Configuration

This is what I've found works acceptably well with a FUNCube dongle, and the antenna I have. This only applies to the "Gqrx SDR" program I'm running, which is freely downloadable for Linux of Mac OSX. He includes the source code on his website, so you might be able to compile it for Windows, but that's beyond this little post.



This first part concerns controls on the "Input Controls" tab.

#1. Calibrate the frequency! You do this by tuning in a known station, and adjusting the "Frequency Corr." to get the carrier of the station centered on the red fiducial line. I used NOAA Weather Radio on 162.550 MHz to do this. Click either the "up" arrow or "down" arrow to adjust the frequency as required.
In my case the dongle needed a -17ppm correction to center NOAA on the red line. Your dongle will be different.

The screenshot below shows the correct Frequency Correction, along with the RF Gain slider being reduced, and the "DC Cancel" box checked, so the next two steps are included in it,. You don't need to drag the RF Gain slider with your mouse. Just click it to change the focus, and use the left and right arrow keys for better granularity in adjusting it.


#2. Set the RF Gain slider (in the "Input Controls" tab) to no more than 5 "ticks" to the right of the "zero" setting. You might be able to get away running more gain if you live in an area with few strong signals, but here in the "RF Alley" of Los Angeles, any more than this will cause you grief if you don't have some decent bandpass filters between the antenna and receiver. I was able to verify this by inserting a DCI-146-4H 2 Meter bandpass filter between the receiver and antenna to listen to the Amateur Radio satellites with 2 Meter downlinks. It pretty much eliminated all the crud and spurs that get internally generated by the dongle when the RF Gain slider is higher than about half way.
The box with the "A" in it to the right of the slider sets the AGC to "Auto", but this isn't supported by all devices.

#3. Check the "DC Cancel" box. This (mostly) gets rid of the "spike" in the center of the screen when no signals are tuned in. The "Swap I/Q" and "I/Q Balance" controls aren't need for this application, so leave the check boxes UNchecked.


This part concerns the controls on the "Receiver Options" tab.

The sceenshot below shows how I have mine set up.




#4. Set the mode to "Narrow FM". Ignore the "Filter" choices as you'll be setting the to a "User" value. Click the little box that looks like a crossed screwdriver and wrench to open the "Mode Options" menu. Set "Max dev" to "APT (17k)", and tun the "Tau" to "OFF". "Tau" is another term for the de-emphasis time constant, and since we want the flattest audio we can get, turn it off.

#5. Grab one side of the gray window in the upper display (it shows the bandwidth), and pull it wider until the "Filter" box changes to "User (40k)". This indicates you have set the receiver bandpass to 40 kHz, wide enough to recover the audio properly, and a little bit more so the Doppler tuning isn't so critical.

#6. The "AGC" and "NB1/NB2" boxes don't need to be adjusted, as they have little effect on FM.

#7. Slide the "SQL" (squelch) slider all the way to the left to turn it off.
This part concerns the "FFT Settings" tab.

#8. These control the spectrum and waterfall displays. The "Averaging" slider controls how fast the spectrum display updates, while the "Panadapter" slider controls how much of the screen the waterfall takes up.
I leave the "FFT size" at the 4096 default, and the "Rate" at the 15fps default.
The "Zoom" "Color" and the "F" in the box are cosmetic, so play with them to see what they do.


This part concerns the "Audio" tab.

And here's the screen you get after you pick or create  file save location.



#9. SET A LOCATION TO RECORD YOUR FILES! 
If you don't, the default is a null string, and the program will terminate if you click the red button under the gain slider to start recording the received audio. To select a director, click on the crossed wrench and screwdriver box to open the "Audio Options" menu. The default is the "Documents" folder in your /home directory, but you can save them anywhere.

This should get you set up well enough to hear the satellites, and record them, if you have a decent antenna.

Today's images came out quite well. I suppose I could write some scripts to automate all this, but that would mean leaving a PC running 24/7, something I'd rather not do.



Here's some images from today:


NOAA-18 "A" Channel enhanced:






NOAA-18 "B" Channel enhanced:





NOAA-18 color IR:




NOAA-18 Multi-Spectral:




NOAA-18 Sea Surface Temp:




NOAA-18 Thermal:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Too Busy To Write

Been going nuts with training classes at work in such mundane things as Fiber Optics, Electrical Bonding and Ground, and Aircraft Tubing and Hose Installation.

BLECH!

But so far I've scored 100% on all the written and practical exams.

Anyway....here's one of my favorites.

Enjoy!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

First Good Decoded Image From NOAA-15

After penning my diatribe about badly these "SDR Dongles" need some front-end filtering, I noticed NOAA-15 was coming up with an almost overhead pass. Passes this high in elevation have very strong signals, and by turning the RF gain (software) control down quite a bit, I started recording the pass as it came over the horizin.

I was still seeing phantom signals in the waterfall display, but with the RF gain turned down, they weren't as bad, and none of them "broke through" and completely wiped out the receiver.

Here's the image, in what the decoding software calls "MCIR_Color" format:



It's no too bad, and the "Noise Bars" at the top are caused by nulls in the antenna pattern, where the antenna gain drops off. Due to where my antenna is mounted, and other factors, I don't get a strong signal at low elevations to the South, so the image doesn't extend very far South.

The black band running across the picture towards the bottom is the result of a strong signal blocking the receiver. Even with the RF gain cranked down to the point where I thought I might not get anything, something still clobbered the front-end of the little radio.

With a better mounting of my antenna, and some additional filtering in front of the receiver allowing me to turn the gain up a bit, I should be able to get almost horizon-to-horizon coverage.

Still, this one came out pretty well, and I was surprised that I was able to get something this good with the RF gain turned down so far.

THIS Is Why You NEED External Filters With "$20 SDR Receivers"

By now you're all used to me harping about how while these little $20 dongles are interesting, they need some external help to make them useful in real world situations.

WELL.....here's a little proof of what happens when strong signals outside of the passband of your interest occur, and I wasn't even using my "$20 RTL-bought-on-eBay" little stick radio. I was using my "$200 FUNCube Dongle", which has better RF performance. I'll try the $20 unit, but I'm pretty sure I know how that will turn out.....

I was setting up to record a pass of one of the NOAA APT weather satellites, and man, was I getting clobbered with out-of-band signals.

This screenshot shows what I was hearing while waiting for NOAA-18 to come up over the horizon:



The center of the screen is at 137.9125 MHz, and on either side of it, in the waterfall display, you can see some HUGE signals that are not even in the 130~140 Mhz band.

I'm not sure what the one right on the center is, but the one off to the right a bit is a paging transmitter. It was so strong, I could clearly hear it, and since I know what they sound like, that's how I know what it was.

One of the times it broke through I could also hear FM modulation riding in along with it, and it was a person I know on the 145.380 MHz repeater.

That's TWELVE MHz removed from the center frequency!


VHF paging transmitters operate in the 152~158 MHz range, TWENTY MHz removed from what I was trying to receive!

This would be COMPLETELY unacceptable performance in a "real" receiver, but I guess since these little guys are so doggone cute, cheap, and (relatively) easy to use, most people give it a pass.

Here's another screenshot of the actual satellite pass, again with extraneous signals shsowing up:



If you look at the waterfall, you'll notice that each of the non-desired signals also has a "mirror image" of itself higher in frequency, a sure indication that these are internally generated by cross-mixing with other signals that don't appear in the passband.


Where and how these spurious signals get generated is beyond this little blog post, and it can get quite complicated, so I wont go into it here.


SO.....what's the bottom line on all of this?

Well, for casual use, it's rather annoying, but if you jump on the "ZOMG!! A $20 DC-TO-DAYLIGHT SPY/INTERCEPT/MAGIC RADIO!!!!" bandwagon, like I see being promoted on several "survival radio" websites, you're severely deluding yourself.

If you're using these to listen to transmissions, you might be able to tolerate an occasional loss of audio due to something big clobbering the front end of these little radios. After all, the "Between-The-Ears DSP" that God gave us can do remarkable things to fill in the blanks, as anybody who knows and uses Morse Code can tell you.

If you're using these things to decode transmissions, then all bets are off.

You WILL suffer data loss, dropouts, and other mysterious artifacts if you use these things "As Is".

The recording of the pass I was trying to capture when the paging transmitter fired up was useless to decode, and that's after I spent some time over the last week or so playing with all the software adjustments that give you a certain amount of control over how these operate.

They're very sensitive to the amount of RF gain dialed in, and will go from being usable to being overloaded easily.

The fact is that these things were not designed to be wide-range surveillance or communications receivers, and they have definite shortcomings for that use.

The same thing occurs with most of the newer, wide-band hand-held transceivers  being sold today. My old Radio Shack HTX-202 2 Meter only hand-held was pretty much immune to any out-of-band interference, while my newer radios will definitely take a hit in performance when in the presence of very strong out-of-band signals.

It all comes down to the amount of discrete filtering on the front-end of the radio. Very small radios are difficult to impossible to stuff full of the coils and capacitors need to make effective bandpass filters that protect the front end from getting hammered by RF.

The preamp I have mounted at the antenna is an exceptionally good one, with a very low Noise Figure (about .7dB, measured), and also has *some* helical filtering in it, but it's not very much, and since I'm using it well outside of it's design parameters, it might not be helping very much.

So, until I can come up with a specific, dedicated filter and preamp, I'll just have to put up with the fact that a $20 dongle radio cannot perform as well as a "real" radio for certain uses.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor Day

I spent almost the entire day on the Battleship Iowa today operating the Amateur Radio station. 10 Meters started off with a bang, faded out around 1330 local time, and then I went to 15 Meters for the rest of the day.

Since I was there alone, I was pretty beat by 1600, so I shut down early, packed my gear up and came home.

I also had my radio club "First Saturday of the Month" breakfast, which I got to late because it was raining, and then the breakfast ran late, which made me even later to the Iowa.

Comm Central was dark when I arrived, and it took a while to find somebody who knew which switches turned on the overhead lights, so I set up by the light of the few fixtures that were on. At least I now know which switches control all the lights!

I only made about 75 contacts, as I try and spend some time with each person so I can explain to them what we're doing on the Iowa, and the status of the ship, and that slows you down from operating in full-blown "Contest Mode" where you can knock out 75 contacts per hour, and the really good operators top 100 per hour. That's not Amateur Radio to me, which is one of the reasons I don't usually operate in contests, although I have in the past, and probably will in the future, but not as a "120 Contacts per Hour" type of Ham.

I talked to people from all over the United States today, and most had forgotten that it was Pearl Harbor day until I told them why we had the ship on-the-air today.

The rest of them, most the Old Timers, and all of them Veterans, knew why we were on-the-air, and thanked me for taking the time to make sure the ship was represented.

Several of them had talked to other "Museum Ships" today, but I didn't have any luck in talking to our friends on the Hornet; band conditions just weren't favorable for the path from San Pedro to Alameda today.

All in all, it was a good day, and it's always good to be on the Iowa.

Friday, December 6, 2013

NOAA APT Decoding Success!

WHOO-HOO!

Got home from work and some errands just in time to catch the last "good" pass of NOAA-18 for the day.

I fired up my "Daily Driver" Linux box, and started the GPredict satellite tracking program. Since I already had the three operational NOAA satellites loaded, I saw that NOAA-15 was overhead, with NOAA-18 a minute or two behind.

Since I wouldn't have time to power up the Windoze 7 PC I normally use for my Ham Radio stuff, I took a chance and launched Gqrx, an SDR program that will work with either a FUNCube or RTL dongle. Since I already had the FCD plugged in, I set the mode to Narrow FM, and tuned to the NOAA-15 frequency of 137.620 MHz.

Since Gqrx either didn't remember the settings I used for the APT satellites, -OR- I had changed them, it took a minute or so to get them sorted out. There's an "APT" selection in the available filter parameters, but it's only 17.5 kHz, so I grabbed the filter window edge with the mouse, and stretched it out to 40.8 kHz, wide enough to cover all the "tracks" in the waterfall display, but not so wide as to let other signals in.

This screenshot was taken during the pass after I had everything set up, and was satisfied it was recording:




When the pass finally got weak, I stopped recording, opened Audacity, converted the stereo recording to mono, and resampled it down to 11025 kHz.

Then I fed it to WXtoImg, and it decoded clean!


This is the first decode, called "Normal":




The "steps" or "jumps" in the gray-scale data blocks along the edges are most probably caused by my manual adjustment of the Doppler as I was recording the audio.


Here's one in color, produced by using the information in each of the two pix above, along with certain data sent down:





For the sailors out there, here's the sea surface temperature:






And lastly, here's one called "Thermal":


There are a bunch more "Enhancement" options available on the version of WXtoImg that's on my Windoze PC, as that's a "paid for" registered version, while the Linux version is "freeware", and doesn't look like it even has a place to enter a registration code, so WYSIWYG!


I'll try to use the $20 RTL dongle on the next pass, about 40 minutes from now (0105 UTC), and see how that one receives. Since I now know how to change the "front end" sample rate on the RTL unit, I can cut down on the amount of spectrum it samples and converts, making it easier to tune the unit, and cut down on signals I *don't* want to receive.

I won't have time tomorrow to record any passes, as I'll be on the Battleship Iowa all day operating the Amateur Radio station for Pearl Harbor day, but I'm sure going to try and snag some nice, full passes on Sunday!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

NOAA Satellite Recording Decoder Problem SOLVED! Well, solved for now........

Well, well, well.......

I "solved" my problem in kinda-sorta in a back-handed way, but at least now I know what I was doing wrong.

Earlier today I replied to Silicon Graybeard that I was going to try an old program I used to use to decode the audio recordings I made from the NOAA APT satellites. I tried installing WXsat on my Windows 7 PC that I use for my Amateur Radio activities, and it simply wouldn't run, regardless of whatever "compatibility mode" settings I tried. I then installed it on my Linux machine using Wine, and it ran!

The first snag I hit was that since this old program was meant for Windows 95, it couldn't handle long file names, and errored out when trying to load the recorded wave files I had. I renamed the files, and then the program informed me it could only handle MONO files. Using Audacity, I converted the recording to single track mono, and tried again.

It then threw another error, saying the files had to encoded at an 11025 Hz rate, which I remembered from looong ago, so back to Audacity to resample them from the 48kHz rate down to 11.025kHz.

Lo and behold, it accepted the file, and processed it, producing this image:


The right-to-left shift in image was caused by me doing something (I don't remember what) during the recording.

The "stripes" on the edges of the image are synchronization and telemetry frames, explained in this drawing:



Here's an image of both channels, which is easier to relate the above drawing to:




Switching to NOAA_IR (Infrared Mode), produced this image, where you can see the California coast down the approximate center:




SO....not having anything else to lose, I fed the  "remastered" file into WXtoImg, and it worked:



I still don't have the hang of flipping the images to "get them right", so until I get a longer recording, that shows more of the coast, I'm not sure what to do to "normalize" them so they look like I'd expect them to, like you're looking at a map in an atlas.

Now the interesting thing about this, is NOWHERE in the docs for WXtoImg can I find a warning, or caution, about how you have to feed the program an 11.025kHz, mono audio file, and in fact, all the things I found about "piping" the audio to the decoding program from the SDR receiving program via a Virtual Audio Cable say to leave things set at 48kHz.

It *might* accept a stereo file in some rate other than 48kHz, or it *might* accept a mono file at 48kHz, or it *might* require an 11,025 Hz, mono file, just like my "old" program.

Or, I *might* be able to get the SDR programs to save the audio from the dongle in the correct format of whatever, and not have to mess around converting the files after I've recorded them, I just don't know at this point.

And it's 2145 local time, and I have to be in to work tomorrow at 0600 for more training (we had Fiber Optic stuff today) and certification classes tomorrow, so good night, and hopefully I'll get a nice long pass recorded tomorrow so I can mess around with the decoding options now that I know I have something usable.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

NOAA Weather Satellites and the FUNCube Dongle

SO.....When I got home tonight I decided to see if my FCD ("FUNCube Dongle) would work any better that the $20 RTL dongle I have.

The FCD has a much narrower bandwidth, about 80kHz, than the RTL dongle. The software I use with the RTL will allow you change the sample rate, which cuts down on the amount of spectrum it decodes, but I didn't see any difference in doing that.

I only had a couple of passes of the NOAA birds, so the only software I tried was SDR#.

The first thing I noticed was that it was very easy to set the filter bandwidth to include *only* the signal from the satellite. Doing this cuts out any strong signals that might degrade the desired signal, and it's always worthwhile doing if you can.

The screenshot below shows the received spectrum of NOAA-18 earlier today. If you look at the bottom pane of the display you'll see the "tracks" of the signal, and looking at the upper pane, you see the grey area corresponding to the receiver filter bandwidth, in this case about 50kHz:



All the extra area covered by the grey that doesn't have the "tracks" in it just allows unwanted noise to be recorded along with the signal.

Here's a shot of NOAA-15 a few minutes later after I adjusted the filter bandwidth down to 40kHz:



Notice how the grey area has narrowed, and includes just a bit of spectrum outside the "tracks". This is pretty much what you want, and is why my fellow Ham Operators love narrow filters when receiving weak signals; match the filter bandwidth to the incoming signal, and the extraneous crud gets cut off.

You can also clearly see the Doppler Shift causing the "tracks" to shift left-to-right as the satellite passes over. There's a single, bright, blue line running under 137.630 MHz, which is internally generated in the little receiver, and it doesn't change frequency, so it's a good fixed reference to compare the actual signal to, and observe the Doppler shift.

Now compare this to the next screenshot which I made over the weekend. This one was using the RTL dongle, with approximately 800 kHz of bandwidth in the display:



Quite a bit easier to determine what filter bandwidth to use when the display isn't crammed together so much! If I hadn't adjusted the bandwidth of the RTL unit for that particular pass, the display would have been about three times as crowded!

ANYWAY....today's experiment was to see if the FCD makes it easier to tune in the NOAA satellites (it does, although SDR# will let you adjust the bandwidth of the RTL unit), and to make an attempt to determine what a good filter bandwidth would be.

40 kHz looks about right, and that falls in line with all the things I've read about what filter bandwidth works best for receiving the NOAA APT satellites.

As far as using WXtoImg to decode the received signals.......well, still no joy. I'm going to take all the files I've recorded so far and run them through "xwxapt" on my Linux machine and see if I have any better luck. From listening to recorded APT signals at various places around The Web, mine sound at least as clean, and I'm pretty sure they should decode. I've done this before, with a Hamtronics R-139 receiver, a receiver specifically designed to receive APT transmissions, and it worked quite well with a homebrew turnstile antenna.

I just downloaded the older program I used to use "WXsat", and I'm going to give it a try, too.

And it looks like I might be cutting some PVC pipe this weekend to make another turnstile antenna........

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NOAA Weather Satellites and RTL-SDR Dongles, Part II

Arrrggghhh!!!

I raised the antenna yesterday to 20', and now I'm getting a SOLID signal. Some directions I pick it up at 2*, and other directions from about 6*.

The spectrum display in SDR# looks solid, and I figured out you need the squelch DISABLED, other wise you get 'popping' noises that mess up the recorded audio, and the filter set to 48kHz.

Here's a screenshot of the last session I recorded:



The highlighted area of the spectrum is the filter width, and you can see in the display panel below it that all of the signal is within the filter's bandpass. I was cutting it off before, and losing some sync and telemetry information from the satellite.

With the antenna at 20', these birds are LOUD, well out of the noise by about 20dB.

With SDR# you manually have to adjust for Doppler Shift, but it's pretty easy to check it every minute or two, and 'nudge' the frequency a bit.

The recordings I've made so far sound great, BUT WXtoImg doesn't process them correctly. All I get is the proverbial "Black Cat In A Coal Bin" pictures, with a bunch of white noise thrown in for good measure.

So, I'm able to record the audio files, but I still have to figure out what I'm doing wrong to decode and display them.

I might have a sample rate error between how I'm recording them, and what WXtoImg expects, or some other problem. I'm still hesitant to setup my Virtual Audio Cable paths to feed WXtoImg directly, as if I mess it up, I'll wind up spending more time than I want to getting them squared away for use with my Flex 5000 SDR transceiver.

Oh, well.....I'm about done for this weekend.

See you all later.

Can't Fill Jimmuh Cahter's Shoes

Says it all.....