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Old 23-01-2017, 11:21   #1
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All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Hi!

I have this idea for an all-purpose radio solution for different simultaneous applications like:

Download Weatherfax from Satellites
AIS, both RX/TX (VHF)
SSB Hamradio (HF)
..and probably much more?

Software Defined Radio

Raspberry that multitask
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Active Antenna (9 KHz - 3 GHz)
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HackRf One (1 MHz - 6 GHz)
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Is this a realistic idea for an all-purpose radio solution?

//Thanks Jonas
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Old 24-01-2017, 05:41   #2
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

If you transmit AIS, marine VHF, or marine SSB channels, then your radio must be certified by the FCC for that service. I expect that is going to push the cost way beyond what you are hoping for. Transmitting on ham frequencies would be allowed, with a ham license.
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Old 24-01-2017, 14:08   #3
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Note that the sdr units are receivers only.
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Old 24-01-2017, 14:35   #4
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

The HackRF 1 is said to be tx/rx..... HackRF Initial Review - rtl-sdr.com

That said .. 299USD for the HackRF.... say $70USD for the Rasberry which will need a screen at ??$$

Then there is the small matter of 399 Euros for the Ant

An interesting concept for the hobbyist but I think I will stick with my current 'fit.
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Old 24-01-2017, 14:54   #5
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Segelplaner View Post
Hi!

(...)

Download Weatherfax from Satellites

AIS, both RX/TX (VHF)

(...)
Do satellites send out weatherfax?

How do you TX AIS from this kit?

Would such a transmission be legal?

b.
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Old 24-01-2017, 15:01   #6
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

TX is in milliwatts and not certified for any bands so transmitting is a bit of a non starter.
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Old 24-01-2017, 17:14   #7
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

I have the RTL receiver on the boat and sometimes I play with it. It is much easier to use than dedicated units as it is software based. It is a toy though. May be one day I will configure it to receive raw satellite weather.
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Old 24-01-2017, 17:27   #8
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Do satellites send out weatherfax?

How do you TX AIS from this kit?

Would such a transmission be legal?

b.
LEO Satellites transmit weather faxes on VHF (around 138 MHz ), and higher altitude satellites transmit weather faxes in the 1.6 GHz range (IIRC).

LEO satellite reception might be doable on a boat using a helical antenna and I think a few people have tried it. That's meaning a small yacht. I'm sure the big guys do it all the time, but probably using the GHz birds.
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Old 24-01-2017, 20:15   #9
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor_Hutch View Post
LEO Satellites transmit weather faxes on VHF (around 138 MHz ), and higher altitude satellites transmit weather faxes in the 1.6 GHz range (IIRC).

LEO satellite reception might be doable on a boat using a helical antenna and I think a few people have tried it. That's meaning a small yacht. I'm sure the big guys do it all the time, but probably using the GHz birds.
Don't the leo satellites transmit images, not weatherfax?
Weatherfaxs are predictions from national weather centres.

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Old 24-01-2017, 20:40   #10
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Don't the leo satellites transmit images, not weatherfax?
Weatherfaxs are predictions from national weather centres.
.......
I use a Wraase turnstile ant ( left hand first pic) rather than a QFH although I also have a QFH down on the campo ( 99 cents on Ebay a few years back) . I have known a few yachts to use QFH's but they are a bit bulky.

Radio in both locations is an Icom R-1500 and I use WxtoImg software...I've known people to use Bearcat/Uniden scanners successfully.

I've used SDR dongles , I think they are fussy and not truly seaworthy .. but they are a cheap option.

Sadly the NOAA LEOs are legacy kit.... only three still transmitting and when they eventually stop that -I believe- is that. So you wouldn't want to be spending too much $$$$$$
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Old 24-01-2017, 20:53   #11
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Hi,

I am doing exactly what you want I use an RTL-SDR for AIS and LEO satellite receive and an SDRPLay for wefax receive. I have the AIS and Sat weather automated on an Orange PI2 (similar to a Raspberry PI3. You don't need the expensive active antenna, but you will need to build a dedicated crossed dipole for the satellites. I tried without it and the reception was not satisfactory. I use the same antenna for AIS receive and it works fine. (not as well as the vertical on top of the 70 foot mast but you can't expect that)

Cheers, Eric
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Old 24-01-2017, 23:01   #12
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Whichever way you go - RTL-SDR or a $$$$ receiver I reckon access to the NOAA sats is a 'very good thing'

This afternoon's offering as observed from Campo Pinguino... two passes of NOAA 19 some 2 hours apart
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Old 25-01-2017, 00:20   #13
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Whichever way you go - RTL-SDR or a $$$$ receiver I reckon access to the NOAA sats is a 'very good thing'

This afternoon's offering as observed from Campo Pinguino... two passes of NOAA 19 some 2 hours apart
Nice they are indeed I've just managed pull some in before only with a ic7000 ham radio and 2m/70cm antenna but not really got the band width. Good to have access to indeed but not weatherfax which imho is high up the ladder (if not even top rung) of weather to have offshore.
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Old 25-01-2017, 03:00   #14
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Thanks for all great input, very much appreciated!
My conclusion is that the solution is something to play with, to learn more about radiosolutions.

Development for software defined equipment and open source is something to keep up with. There are amazing solutions developed out there. It's just a matter to put all those components together, like a DJ, in new smart pipelines.

Maybe the whole solution is illegal, but the parts is probably legal.
The "brain" -Raspberry Pi- can easily be stripped and distributed all over the boat in case of an inspection from a authority.



Jonas
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Old 25-01-2017, 13:30   #15
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Re: All Purpose Radio Solution: Gig Activ GA 3005, HackRf One, SDR-RTL, Computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Nice they are indeed I've just managed pull some in before only with a ic7000 ham radio and 2m/70cm antenna but not really got the band width. Good to have access to indeed but not weatherfax which imho is high up the ladder (if not even top rung) of weather to have offshore.
I like to have access to all three...fax, grib and sat.... all have their strengths.

Sat is good for seeing where fronts actually are in real time... and for picking up small 'weather events' that might not show on the fax for some time... thinking cheeky little lows that can turn real nasty real quick.

Some areas aren't covered very well with Fax... central Sopac frinstance ( first pic).. and gribs are good there...

West Coast So America on the other hand is well covered by Armada de Chile out of Valpo..... they even put out the NOAA sat piccy as a fax... how megacool is that

( I cheated with these fax... downloaded them from internet...doesn't make me a bad person... excellent site for Chile stuff here http://web.directemar.cl/met/jturno/indice/index.htm )
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