2596 CNU-EENG: Undergrad EE Group Groundstation Build

We’re setting up a Raspberry Pi 4 to be part of the SatNOGS network with a team of 7 undergrad EE students as a 2 week project. We have an RTL SDR and RTL SDR brand LNA powered via bias t to a QHF antenna. The goal is to receive NOAA satellite imagery by next Monday, March 28.

The Raspbian SatNOGS image has been flashed to the Pi, and I followed the tutorials through for the rest of the setup. The SatNOGS client service is running (verified via systemctl). It shows as online on the SatNOGS Network. We’re connecting via SSH for convenience, but can connect a display and keyboard + mouse to the Pi for testing. The plan is to run gigabit through a tp-link wall adapter so we can plug the pi in on the roof. Then we can take the ethernet out from the tp-link powerline adapter, inject it to become POE, and have the single cable running to the Pi.

Is our next step to schedule a test on the SatNOGS Network while the Pi is online?

We also have a problem trying to run gqrx. Since the Raspbian SatNOGS image is running tty (in command line), gqrx gives an error that it can’t connect to any X display. How can we get gqrx running? Could someone please link me to a tutorial if I’m missing it?

We were hoping to get gqrx up as a visual aid and also to follow the “Adjusting the SatNOGS Client” tutorial. If it doesn’t need adjustment, then it may be fine to go without gqrx.

Yes, start with scheduling some observations while in testing mode to see if the station is working and check the reception.

Greetings @cnu-eeng, you should be able to use X forwarding via ssh.

ssh -X satnogs@pi

That should allow the gqrx’s GUI on your RPi to remotely display to your workstation… Keep in mind, however, that an in-progress satnogs observation will put a lock your SDR (via rtl_fm) until the observation is over. That is, you can’t have an active SatNOGS observation in process and also run gqrx at the same time. Forwarding the audio from remote gqrx instance is another story.

A basic visual aid that will show the both the spectrum and waterfall for a SatNOGS observation in near real-time is satnogs-monitor. I use this for my 3 ground stations, all of which I log into remotely. It will even show the antenna rotator’s position if you have one (via rotctld).