RTLSDR Scanner Satellite Dish Examination

I have a Ku-Band Multibeam Offset Satellite Dish at my apartment that is tuned to Optus D2, Optus D1 and Intelsat 19.

Ku-Band Multibeam Offset Satellite Dish

Ku-Band Multibeam Offset Satellite Dish


Decoding Hardware

I used two types of decoding hardware connected to the loop out of my satellite receiver.

The first is a NooElec E4000 Rtl2832u USB dongle.

The Elonics E4000 tuner is capable of going as high as 2200MHz. However there is a gap between 1100MHz and 1250MHz. Due to the 10750 LNBF I use for Optus D2, I need the higher frequencies to tune the satellite downlink.

NooElec E4000 Rtl2832u USB Dongle

NooElec E4000 Rtl2832u USB Dongle

The second is a NooElec R820T USB dongle.

The Rafael Micro R820T tuner is capable of going as high as 1766MHz. For the 11300 LNBF (I use for either Optus D1 and Intelsat 19) thus needing the lower frequencies to tune on to these satellite downlinks. The above E4000 tuner has a gap right in the middle of this downlink thus making it unsuitable and hence why two dongles are required.

NooElec R820T USB Dongle

NooElec R820T USB Dongle

Both the dongles are connected to an ASUS Nettop PC running Ubuntu x64 OS. I use a signal splitter to connect the loop out of the satellite dish to both dongles simultaneously.


RTLSDR Scanner Scan of the Dish

I use the RTLSDR Scanner Python code to plot the Frequency Spectrogram.

By selecting a channel on my Satellite Set Top Box that is on Optus D2 I can pass thru the satellite transmissions to my E4000 sdr receiver. As I have a Diseqc switch this tells the switch to the select the Optus D2 LNB too.

A scan is run when a Horizontal channel is selected, then again repeated when a Vertical channel is selected on the Set Top Box.

An example two resulting scans of the output of the satellite dish LNB are shown below.

Frequency Spectrogram of Optus D2 Horizontal Ku-Band Reception

Frequency Spectrogram of Optus D2 Horizontal Ku-Band Reception

Frequency Spectrogram of Optus D2 Vertical Ku-Band Reception

Frequency Spectrogram of Optus D2 Vertical Ku-Band Reception

I performed scans of the Horizontal outputs of Optus D1 and Intelsat 19. Vertical outputs are not generally used to Australia and hence are not shown here.

Frequency Spectrogram of Optus D1 Horzontal Ku-Band Reception

Frequency Spectrogram of Optus D1 Horizontal Ku-Band Reception

Frequency Spectrogram of Intelsat 19 Horzontal Ku-Band Reception

Frequency Spectrogram of Intelsat 19 Horizontal Ku-Band Reception