Reception of NOAA using a homemade QFH antenna.

Reception of NOAA Satellite Weather using a homemade QFH antenna made out of PVC pipe.

For a number of decades I have wanted a weather satellite receiver. I had looked at commercially build antennas that cost around $300. Then you needed a receiver and decoder.

With the new rtl-sdr receivers you can now cheaply buy a tuner and use free software.

My interest in building the PVC antenna was sparked after I found details of the antenna on G4ILO's web site.

http://www.g4ilo.com/qfh.html

There are also details found on another page at instructables.

http://www.instructables.com/id/NOAA-Satellite-Signals-with-a-PVC-QFH-Antenna-and-/


Hardware

Details of the hardware used to build my QFH antenna.

I used 15mm PVC pipe and 15mm PVC crosses to build the antenna.

The PVC pipe cost $2.10 per meter, the PVC crosses cost $2.54 each.

QFH Antenna 1

Assembled frame of QFH antenna using PVC pipe and PVC crosses

QFH Antenna 3

PVC Crosses used in QFH antenna

I then added white coaxial cable, caps and white clips to the frame.

QFH Antenna 2

Assembled frame of QFH antenna with white coaxial cable and white clips added

The White Coaxial Cable cost $19.95 for a 30 meter roll.

QFH Antenna 4

Coaxial Cable used in QFH antenna

The PVC caps cost $1.50 each.

QFH Antenna 6

15mm PVC Caps

The white clips cost $11.50 for a packet of 25.

QFH Antenna 7

White clips

The PVC tees cost $1.99 each.

QFH Antenna 8

White clips

I use a 1 meter pipe with some tees and caps to mount the antenna.

QFH Antenna 9

Mounting Pipe

RG-59 Screw On F-type connectors ($1.45 each) and F-type solderable sockets (3 for $2.60).

QFH Antenna 10

RG-59 F-type termination

Soldering

I got my soldering iron out and connected the 2 pairs of cables to the feed line.

I used 4 coloured pieced of wire.

The blue wire soldered to the first loops braid.

QFH Antenna 11

First Soldered Connection

The yellow wire soldered to the first loops braid at opposite end.

QFH Antenna 12

Second Soldered Connection

Then mounted the first loop and put ends through to be connected with second loop.

QFH Antenna 13

Mounted the first loop ends

The red wire and white wire soldered to the second loops braid at opposite ends.

QFH Antenna 14

Third and Fourth Soldered Connections

Then mounted the second loop and put the ends through with the first loop.

Finally I soldered the feed line connector.

One side of the first loop to its braid and the other to the center.

Followed by one side of the second loop to its braid and the other to the center.

QFH Antenna 15

Feedline Soldered Connection

The tee connector on the mount allows the feed line to be inserted to the antenna.

I had some Belden Quad Shield RG6 cable spare and a PAL connector (cost $5.50) to connect the cheap RTL-SDR usb dongle (valued at $11.60).

QFH Antenna 17

RG6 Feedline and RTL-SDR Dongle

Installation

This is a photo of the antenna installed where I plan to mount it in my living room.

I am using the mounting pipe and then another half meter length to the antenna.

QFH Antenna 16

Mounted QFH antenna in living room