Monthly Archives: September 2019

Why Is Radio So Important To Me?

Thought I’d do some philosophical stuff today instead of technical stuff today.  Beware.

One of the things that first fascinated me as a little kid (besides baseball and before women) was radio.  Specifically short wave radio.  We had a world band radio in the house and it had the TV audio band.  I used to think that was so cool.  Then along came Citizens Band (CB) radio.  Oh God how I loved that.   I really find that odd because now at my advanced age of 57, and the fact I’m a licensed Ham, I really don’t care to talk.

But oh how I love to listen.  I almost don’t care what I’m listening to as long as I’m LISTENING.

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Skewing Satellite Antenna for GOES (and others)

I live in Eastern NC and have a ground station to receive GOES-16 East.  No need to skew or tilt the disk.

However, I wanted to get GOES-17 West which requires some skew of the antenna to properly receive the signal.



First you need your stats.  Go to and type in your address and the satellite you wish to track.

Awesome. Scroll to the bottom of the page that gets returned from the search and it will indicate Azimuth, Elevation, and required Skew.

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Hurricanes and Monday’s Always Bring Me Down

I’ve lived back in the USA about 5 years and now lived through my 2nd Atlantic Hurricane.  Florence put a whooping on New Bern in 2018 and Dorian which just passed was a NEAR miss on New Bern.  We caught the very edge of it.

But every big life event like this teaches you some things.  One of the biggest lessons that I learned was that the news Hurricane coverage just was not up to date.   You could be awake at 3 AM and check the news web sites and their latest updates were 2-3 hours old.  In a fast moving hurricane, headed for you, 2-3 hour old news is age old.

Prior to the storm I set up a GOES satellite receiver which pulls down data from GOES-16 EAST.  The data looks like this:

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NooElec Sawbird GOES Barebones

Just a quick blog for showing how to hook up the NooElec Sawbird GOES Barebones for those of you trying to decode NOAA GOES satellites.  Oddly enough I couldn’t find a data sheet or manual for it.  And its a bit of a head scratcher if it is your first go-round with such items.  So I’m here to make it easy.

Their webpage merely says this which gives you the info you need to hook it up:

Each module allows for 3 different power options, but you should only power with one option at any given time! The recommended power input through the SMA output port (for bias-tee capable SDRs like the NESDR SMArTee XTR) is 3V-5V DC.

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