Does any of the satellites cover Pakistan

In a similar query before on this forum it was mentioned that ABS-2 covers Pakistan and that a 90 cm dish and a universal ku LNB will be required to access Outernet. Then, it was told that ku band has been discontinued.
May I know about the present situation? Would it be possible to receive Outernet content in Islamabad? If yes, what Satellite should be pointed to and which hardware may be required.
I have a raspberry pi3 and have downloaded and installed the image also. I expect to receive an rtl-dsr also shortly.
The local guy is telling me that ABS-2 can be received with a 4 feet dish and a universal ku band LNB here. According to him, Hotbird is also accessible but with a 10 feet expensive dish and may receive Outernet signals with a C Band LNB.
I am not conversant well with satellite signal receiving and would be much obliged if someone can extend help.
My interest is in delivering educational content to schools in rural areas. I am already using a solar powered KA-Lite Raspberry Pi server for that. I saw a video on youtube about KA-Litehouse box that can be used for KA content from the Outernet but it does not seem to be available.

Thanks in advance

LK

Hi
You will see here https://outernet.is/tech/ that the area is covered by (possibly) two satellites.
The “patch” antenna does not need accurate pointing, just the correct direction and about the right angle.
NOTE that the system is on the L band Inmarsats not the band “tv” sats now! , so a dish is not required

Hello Threekay

Neil is correct - - you only need a small set up of an L-band PATCH antenna, LNA/SDR, and CHIP as shown here in my Alpha Lantern layout:

The funny thing with regard to Government snooping (as in China for example), is your system is composed of parts made in China, and can’t be seen when you use it. Ken in Annapolis, Maryland, USA

Thanks a lot @neil and @kenbarbi for your prompt responses.
I suppose CHIP can be replaced with a Raspberry Pi 3 that I already possess.
I do expect an SDR also to arrive, most probably today. I have not been able to find LNA and Patch antenna in the local shops around. Is it possible to substitute patch antenna and LNA with a dish and LNB combination for testing purpose only. Once I get familiar with the process, i will try to purchase the components or even the assembled unit directly from Outernet.

Thank you once again,

LK

@kenbarbi
Years ago I successfully used a DIY bi-quad antenna.
Would it be possible to change the dimensions of this antenna to make one for Outernet frequencies?
Can you point me to some good instructable on how to make a patch antenna for Outernet frequencies.
I can give a try to both DIY bi-quad and ptach antennas.
Any alternative for LNA?
http://trevormarshall.com/biquad.htm

I think if you are going to make an antenna you would be better off making a helical. They are cheap and easy to make and not nearly as difficult to point. Check out this thread:

http://forums.outernet.is/t/more-helical-madness?source_topic_id=3016

Unfortunately you are going to need an LNA no matter what antenna you use (someone will correct me if I am wrong), because the signal from the satellite is so weak.
I would highly recommend getting the DIY kit from outernet if you can, because it has everything you need. With the exception of a power supply and protective case.
Something else you should be aware of is the raspberry pi is no longer supported in the latest firmware, but the older firmware still works.
Don’t let me stop you though. LNAs can be found cheap on eBay, just make sure it has a power input if your SDR doesn’t have bias T.

Thanks a lot @demandzm. I have placed a purchase request for the LNA. Unfortunately, direct purchase from ebay is not that easy in our country. There are third parties who get it from ebay and then deliver it locally (of course with their added charges). I am also trying to arrange for the purchase of the complete KIT.

I was under the impression that a dish is used to concentrate the signal and if for experimentation i place an L-band antenna at the focal point of a dish then the signal may be strong enough to be fed directly into the SDR without the need for an LNA. Anyways, I am now waiting for the purchase order.

Best,

LK

Hi,
You CAN use a dish if you have one… for an experiment
What I would do is.

  1. Make a helical antenna like the ones described in the other thread. BUT (and this is important!) wind the “coil” the opposite way to the descriptions.
  2. mount the helical antenna at the focal point of your dish, pointing into the dish (the reflected signal will be the opposite polarisation, which is why you need to wind it the other way)
  3. point the dish as accurately as you can to one of the Inmarsat satellites as possible.
  4. Hopefully you will get enough signal!!

If you have a STABLE rtl-sdr already and a PC you could try the above antenna setup with the “Ouertnet in a box” Virtual machine to see if you get the signal OK. the software is here https://archive.outernet.is/images/OuternetInABox/Release_2/
That will show you the signal strength and save downloaded files ( it has no GUI)

:slight_smile:

wideband LNAs like this doesn’t work if any noise around you (tested). There is a reason why Outernet LNA has narrow filters.

Didn’t think about that until after I went to bed.

Hopefully your purchase request is still a request. If it is cancel it. Sorry for giving you bad information.

It may work for some people, if far away from electrosmog urban area.

Also the linked amplifier doesn’t have a bias tee power mode just external. However can be handful for some other applications as not limited to L band only.

yes, a wideband LNA would be a real issue if there is anything around at all… if you are in the middle of nowhere with no transmitters around it would be great though :slight_smile:

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exactly! once I spent about 3 days from my life hunting for the L-Band signals using HABAMP due to near by broadcast towers… :tired_face:

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Hi,
Thanks to all for valuable suggestions.
I have received my SDR and would like to know if it is the right one or not for the Outernet signals.
It is a USB dongle marked with DVB-T+FM+DAB 820T2 & SDR.
It is recognized by Ubuntu and lsusb gives me:
Bus 003 Device 005: ID 0bda:2838 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL2838 DVB-T
This unit has a little antenna also with it and the connector is a push-to-plug in type.

I have canceled the purchase of LNA, as suggested to be unfit for the Outernet.

LK

if you referring this cheap rtlsdr / dvb-t dongle, it’s not going to work with Outernet reception, because it has 20ppm crystal oscillator not 2 ppm TCXO like the dongle in Outernet kit.

It’s better if you get yourself the dongle too from the Outernet site too.

Has this anything to do with drifts in frequency with temperature changes? I am only testing and wont bother much about the stability at this stage.

Well, when you are testing you will find the outcome and you can report about it!
That is the nice thing about testing and experimenting…

Hi @zoltan @Syed

I sent an email to PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) to find about any legal requirements for accessing the Outernet. They have asked for certain technical details that I am unable to answer. I have forwarded the email to your “Hello” address. Could you please have a look at it and reply back. Much obliged.

LK

Sorry but why do you need to comply and requirement? Outernet provide a receiver only kit, for example as you can listen to SW radio too anywhere in the world this doesn’t different from it logically.