Observation 5555729: RamSat (48850)

Regarding Observation 5555729 …I have been messing around with this for a few days and so far I have nothing that looks like meaningful data. Is this just a matter of fussing with my antenna?

@jodonnell There appears to be no signal from Ramsat in that waterfall. The wavy lines are probably from a terrestrial source.

Here’s a link for successful Ramsat observations with valid data frames to give you an idea what to look for.

Looking at all your observations, it appears you may have a antenna/cable issue. Although there may be a faint signal around the 150 sec mark in your SHAONIAN XING observation

Try testing against METOP-C or SARAL in the 70 cm band. These signals would be booming in even with a coat hanger antenna :wink:



Thanks so much for you input. I have toyed with it a little and now have the gain turned all the way up to 48.0 I assume this would fall under what you characterized as “a antenna/cable issue”. It is now up to 48, I can only pump it up on more notch to 49.6 I have 4 observation scheduled in the next 24 hours on the satellites you recommended. I do have a few that I have made in the last 24 hours with smaller increases in the gain settings. I am just using a bunny ear dipole antenna I got from rtl-sdr (would a picture be useful?) I do have a coat hanger is that would be better.

I was kind of kidding about the coat hanger antenna :grinning:

antenna/cable issues like:

Are the dipole antenna lengths set for the 70 cm band? Is the antenna mounted outside? Up high? down low? How long of a cable run between the antenna and the SDR? All connectors tight and sealed from rain/ice/snow? Can you receive FM stations and NOAA weather radio okay with that antenna?


  • Large Antenna, 5 Sections, 100cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~70 MHz
  • Large Antenna, 4 Sections, 80cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~87MHz
  • Large Antenna, 3 Sections, 60cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~115 MHz
  • Large Antenna, 2 Sections, 42cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~162 MHz
  • Large Antenna, 1 Section, 23cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~ 285 MHz
    > * Small Antenna, 4 Sections, 14cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~445 MHz
  • Small Antenna, 3 Sections, 11cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~550 MHz
  • Small Antenna, 2 Sections, 8cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~720MHz
  • Small Antenna, 1 Section, 5cm + 2cm is resonant @ ~1030 MHz.

Looking at your METOP-C and SARAL observations, you have signal!


I am super excited that I do have a signal. I am very appreciative of all your help. I do still feel a little out of my depth. I did not understand how to listen to NOAA weather radio. I also have no idea what the signal that I can see on my waterfall diagram means. I have seen some observations that have hex codes in the data tab. Any way; I guess it is a start. I got my HAM license a couple years ago, and have not really done anything with it until this project.

Re: NOAA weather radio.

Nothing to do with SatNOGS but rather just tuning in via SDR# – or whatever software you use to manually tune your rtl-rdr. – to listen in on a strong signal to make sure your antenna/cables are passing signal through. Should be one of these here in the USA :

162.400 MHz, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, 162.550

Re: what the waterfall graphs represent, check out


You may need to tweak your antenna to get more signal before you can decode. frames but you are on your way. Careful, this can be an addictive hobby. :slight_smile:

This is my first try with SDR (well except for about a year ago I set up an aprs system on a rpi) so I think I will just put up a vanilla listening post next. I am super excited about my ground station and I want to work on the antenna incrementally. I am still a little puzzled also (maybe this should be a new question). Will the frames be decoded automatically once my reception is good enough? Does the status of the observation (waterfall needs vetting) change automatically if the data is strong enough or does it always have to be clicked manually? thanks so much.

In most cases, yes. Some satellites require add-on decoder(s) and some have no decoders available to the public (although you can still see their signal).

non-CW observations may be flagged as having a “Good” status if there are data frames but technically they waterall itself still needs to be manually vetted by a human.

Like this GRIFEX observation, I never got around to vetting: