Welcome to Russells-World



My grandfather in law, Wendell Anderson, made the first ground receiver station for APT satellites long before the USG got theirs working; and he did it out of his kids playset. Ever since then, I’d been fighting the ability to replicate so may other folk’s work in this space because I have a lot of trees. The next best thing was to be able to receive the GOES satellites, which I was able to do. Here’s how I did it.

Let’s get started!

Material Needed/Suggested:
This Kit: https://www.amazon.com/Nooelec-GOES-Weather-Satellite-Bundle/dp/B08HGQXC7C/
Atleast one small waterproofish box like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075DKJ3LX
Raspberry Pi 4 (Bonus, I use a PoE shield)
Mount for Mast like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00068YUN4
Waterproof Joints like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MFF7FZU
Weather sealing tape like this: https://www.amazon.com/3M-88-Super-3-4x44FT-Vinyl-Electrical/dp/B0002FTGEE
A precision level like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NQ95Q9L
A compass like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QR3LOO0
A NAS or place to offload all the images
Socket wrenches of various sorts

Step 1: Setup the Raspi You’ll need to setup a headless Raspi and do the normal setup steps of

#update the sucker
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

#install deps
sudo apt install git build-essential cmake libusb-1.0 libopencv-dev libproj-dev
git clone https://github.com/steve-m/librtlsdr.git
cd librtlsdr
mkdir build
cd build
sudo make -j2 install
sudo cp ../rtl-sdr.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/
sudo ldconfig
echo 'blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu' | sudo tee --append /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-dvb_usb_rtl28xxu.conf
sudo reboot

#install goestools
git clone https://github.com/pietern/goestools.git
cd goestools
git submodule init
git submodule update --recursive
mkdir build
cd build
sudo make -j2 install 

Youll then want to create a goesrecv.conf file. Here’s mine:

mode = "hrit"
source = "rtlsdr"

frequency = 1694100000
sample_rate = 2000000
gain = 30 
bias_tee = false

max_deviation = 200e3

bind = "tcp://"
send_buffer = 1048576

statsd_address = "udp4://localhost:8125"

Step 2: Wire up the antenna Follow the instructions from Nooelec on how to connect the antenna to the SDR. I’d recommend first having all the components laid out and then running the GOES software first to ensure everything works on the ground before putting things into boxes, dealing with tape, and other misc hazards. Connecting everying in a simple way, you should go from the antenna, to the LNA to the long cable, to the SDR which is plugged into the Pi. The LNA’s power supple should have a GREEN LED turned on. If it doesn’t, the Bias-T power injection from your SDR may be bad; this happened to me. If you need to test that, you can use a voltmeter on the SMA connector, setting the voltmeter to DC, placing the black probe on the outside of the SMA connector, and the red probe on the middle pin. You should see 5 Volts. If not, then your SDR’s Bias-T power injector is bad, and send it in for an exchange.

Once you’ve confirmed the basic operation of the system, go to https://www.dishpointer.com/ and plug in your info. This site will tell you where to point your antenna. Take careful note!

Once you know where the dish needs to point, you can freehand ‘test point’ it if you’d like, or use a tri-pod, or whatever. However, the command you’ll want to use as you align the antenna is:

goesrecv -v -i 1 -c ~/goesrecv.conf

Pay attention to the ‘vit’ value. If it is over 2000, then there’s no signal. Mine comfortably hovers around 200. With some more work I should be able to get it to 80 or so. You’ll be able to decode data at maybe less than 400. If you can verify that before mounting it all, then wunderbar!

Step 3: Prep for install I placed the LNA inside the weather proof box, had the feed cables go into it via the waterproof joints, and used the Scotch tape on the antenna input ports. Additinally, for my specific install, my RasPi is in an outdoor waterproof box like this one.

Step 4: Install! This part sucked. You gotta get the J-Pole installed, use a lot of locktite, use the compass and elevation meter to point the dish, and then use the debug from the command line to make sure you’re pointed in the most ideal configuration. You’re on your own for this one; it’s going to be a unique experience.
Step 5: Software Glue I noticed quickly that there’s almost 4GB of data a day, and that was going to hurt the storage on my Pi. This is why I offload all the data to a NAS. So what’s next, pictures, stats and more!

Description=goesproc decoding for the GOES-R satellites
After=network.target goesrx.service

ExecStart=/usr/bin/goesproc -c /home/pi/goesproc-goesr.conf -m packet --subscribe tcp://



Description=goesrecv reception chain for the GOES-R satellites

# EnvironmentFile=/etc/default/goestools
ExecStart=/usr/bin/goesrecv -i 10 -c /home/pi/goesrecv.conf 



Description=goes statistics
After=network.target goesrx.service





import pycurl
import socket
import json
import time

udp_ip = ""
udp_port = 8125


goesStats = {
"packets_ok" : 0,
"frequency" : 0,
"packets_dropped" : 0,
"gain" : 0,
"reed_solomon_errors" : 0,
"omega" : 0,
"viterbi_errors" : 0

goes_json = json.dumps(goesStats)

sock = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, # Internet
	socket.SOCK_DGRAM) # UDP
sock.bind((udp_ip, udp_port))

while True:
	data, addr = sock.recvfrom(1024)
	if("packets_ok" in values[0]):
		tmp = values[0].split(":")
		tmp2 = tmp[1].split("|")
		goesStats["packets_ok"] = goesStats["packets_ok"] + int(tmp2[0])
        if("frequency" in values[1]):
                tmp = values[1].split(":")
                tmp2 = tmp[1].split("|")
		goesStats["frequency"] = tmp2[0]
        if("packets_dropped" in values[1]):
                tmp = values[1].split(":")
                tmp2 = tmp[1].split("|")
		goesStats["packets_dropped"] = goesStats["packets_dropped"] + int(tmp2[0])
        if("gain" in values[2]):
                tmp = values[2].split(":")
                tmp2 = tmp[1].split("|")
		goesStats["gain"] = tmp2[0]
        if("reed_solomon_errors" in values[2]):
                tmp = values[2].split(":")
                tmp2 = tmp[1].split("|")
		goesStats["reed_solomon_errors"] = tmp2[0]
        if("omega" in values[3]):
                tmp = values[3].split(":")
                tmp2 = tmp[1].split("|")
		goesStats["omega"] = tmp2[0]
        if("viterbi_errors" in values[3]):
                tmp = values[3].split(":")
                tmp2 = tmp[1].split("|")
		goesStats["viterbi_errors"] = tmp2[0]
	goes_json = json.dumps(goesStats)
	if (time.time()>=next_update):
		influxstr="packets_ok value="+str(goesStats["packets_ok"])+"\nfrequency value="+goesStats["frequency"]+
"\npackets_dropped value="+str(goesStats["packets_dropped"])+"\ngain value="+goesStats["gain"]+"\nreed_solomon_errors v
alue="+goesStats["reed_solomon_errors"]+"\nomega value="+goesStats["omega"]+"\nviterbi_errors value="+goesStats["viterb
			crl = pycurl.Curl()
			crl.setopt(crl.URL, 'http://{ip}:8086/write?db=GOES_STATS')
			crl.setopt(crl.POSTFIELDS, influxstr)
			print("failed upload")

Command for making Gif’s

FILE=`find /[path to here]/fd/fc/ -mtime -1 -type f -exec dirname {} \; | sort --unique | head -n 1`
convert -resize 720x720 -delay 15 -loop 0 "$FILE/*.jpg" /[outputpath]/1.gif