Equipment

The picture shows a VHF receiver circuit board, available in the U.K. as a kit costing about 40.00. Produced by 'Cirkit' they unfortunately ceased trading during 1999.




The Remote Imaging Group (RIG) had a very good kit, the RX2, available until the end of year 2000, but this is now no longer available (see below) as a kit although second user examples maybe available as over 2000 of them were sold !

I believe RIG produced a further batch during 2004 and also reprogrammed the PIC controller so as to accommodate the problematic NOAA 18 proposed transmitter frequency of 137.9125 mhz. This is very close to a strong pager signal in the U.K. and from my location the pager signal totally corrupts the satellite picture. A temporary fix, by changing the frequency, was put into operation in 2006 which moved the signal onto 137.10 mhz. This lower frequency has been allocated to another satellite and can only be a temporary change. It should be noted that NOAA have made this change to benefit the UK amateur, only the UK has the problem. (bad planning by the UK authorities?)

After realigning my antenna to point east at twenty five degrees elevation these transmissions were decoded
on 29th May 2008.

They are composite pictures produced from the visable and infared data and show the cloud cover over the UK. In the first picture the UK is totally obscured by cloud but the Channel and Bay of Biscay are visable. The second picture shows northern UK and Scotland with Spain and part of Italy obscured by cloud.







The life of the analogue satellites is drawing to a close, another four years or so and the signals will be digital and at high data rates. Currently much interest is being shown in the MSG-1 satellite. Due to failure of a power amplifier the data obtained is being re-transmitted using a commercial satellite, Hotbird-6. This has been a blessing in disguise for amateurs as no equipment has become available for receiving the data directly. By utilising a TV satellite reasonably priced receiving equipment is available. It should be noted that the signal is encrypted and a 'key' has to be obtained along with the software. A fast PC is required if the data reception and display is to be run on the one system, originally two computers were recommended. For more details try these links:-



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