Your source for daily hacks

Published on: August 26, 2013 / Comments: 1

Receive weather satellite imagry with your SDR

Around 800 km / 500 miles above your head, weather satellites circle Earth, continuously sending back what they see.

You may or may not know, but there are weather satellites pushing un-encrypted images down to earth all the time.  With the right equipment and know-how you can capture these images and take a look.  The guys over at SDR for Mariners put up a little write up on how to do so.

They’re using the infamous cheap RTL-SDR dongle, but almost any SDR would work as long as you can capture the right frequency and have enough bandwidth.  This is being done on windows using SDR Sharp.  This is a great way to learn more about using your SDR, besides aren’t you tired of tuning FM with your SDR ?

Read the full post here.

Published on: July 25, 2013 / Comments: None

PCB antenna design, for dummies… well almost

I love how this article starts out, the age-old saying about RF and analog being taboo… so true!  Anyhoo, Colin takes you on a quick rundown of antenna basics, focusing on tuning PCB antennas.  This is one of those articles you see AFTER you need it, personally I totally could have used this months ago.  So we’ve all seen these PCB antennas, those little squiggly lines on your board that do the voodoo RF magic, but what do you do when you need to tune it ?  Well start by reading this article.

With the recent boom of cheap SDR’s flooding the market, more people are getting back into RF design.  Although I wouldn’t recommend using a fixed-tune antenna for a SDR, the theory by its self is worth the read.  Of course the biggest hurdle here for a DIY’er is going to be having access to a spectrum analyzer.