[amsat-bb] Receiving with an rtl-sdr, desense on transmit

Eduardo PY2RN py2rn at arrl.net
Sun Apr 30 20:26:43 UTC 2017

Hi Koos, I suggest not using preamp since the RTL-SDR has way too much gain already, unless your preamp is narrow band (has a built in pass-band filter, ie: 144 -148MHz) it may be useful as a filter, but in any case you need to adjust manually RTL-SDR AGC to a minimum necessary gain. AO-85 uplink freq 435.180 ST 67.0hz, dwlink 145.980.
      From: Koos van den Hout <koos at kzdoos.xs4all.nl>
 To: amsat-bb at amsat.org 
 Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2017 4:57 PM
 Subject: [amsat-bb] Receiving with an rtl-sdr, desense on transmit

I am trying to go full duplex 'on the cheap' by using an rtl-sdr on the
receiving side, keeping an ear on the downlink while transmitting.

Software wise this all seems to work. I use a linux setup, with gpredict to
track the satellites and calculate doppler shift. The gqrx sdr software can
act like a radio that gpredict can control so the receiving frequency is
correct. It controls both gqrx as receiver and my ft-857 as transmitter.

Hardware wise I bought an rtl-sdr with a small preamp and built the pre-amp
into a metal case.

This works up to the level where I received AO-73 and received a weak
Fox-1A and recorded the pass.

But when I pressed the transmit button on the FT-857 (tuned to the 70cm
uplink frequency) the receiver (tuned to the 2m downlink frequency) went

Some testing with the arrow antenna and transmitting on 70cm shows the
preamp turns deaf on 2 meter. Even without the preamp but with the internal
amplifier of the rtl-sdr this happens. Setting the gain to 'automatic'
causes a huge drop in signal and takes time to recover.

Complete details, experiences, pictures of my setup and details I left out
start at

- has anybody done anything with an rtl-sdr as the receiving side, how do
  you setup the gain? Is there a solution to fix this?

- specific to fox-1a: I am reading somewhat different reports of the
  downlink and uplink frequencies when I search with google. I hope
http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=4690 is right. I did notice the signal is
weak even with an amplifier.

Thanks for any insights and tips,

                                      Koos PE4KH

Koos van den Hout          PGP keyid 0x5BA9368BE6F334E4 via keyservers
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