I bought patch antenna, LNA and RTL-SDR dongle from Outernet via Amazon back in October 2016; I’m using with it an Rpi3 with the Outernet image.
Unfortunately I’ve never been able to get it to work. I had always thought it was just my positioning it wrong, or being impatient, but I had a couple of hours today and check it I’m fairly sure I have it pointed correctly. I’ve let it idle for several hours and it hasn’t picked anything up.
I’m hoping someone can take a look at what I have here and let me know if I’m doing something grossly wrong, of if it does seem like an issue w/ my HW. I’d also like to understand if there’s a better way to troubleshoot which of the three parts of the receiver chain is the problem: Antenna, LNA or RTL-SDR.
To determine positioning/pointing I used a combination of my car/phone’s compasses as well as the sun’s position, I then in additionally used my relative position to unique features on the horizon (shape of a nearby building) to be fairly sure I’m pointed at 98W.
My LNA is connected directly between the patch antenna and SDR dongle. I have a small ~6" USB extension on the dongle.
My SNR on the Tuner Settings page is always +/- 1dB around 0dB. I’ve never had a signal lock.
I’ve carefully inspected the SMA connectors, no obvious signs of damage.
I’ve tried repeating the test both on the dash (behind windshield glass, which has no metals in it) and on the hood–it’s the same behavior. I’ve also tried other parking areas far distant from this one by this time, so I don’t think it’s something local interfering. I only took the “inside” photos below because it happens to be very cold today
The vehicle is not running BTW, and the RPi3 is connected to a 2.5A 12V-5A adapter which I have plugged into an 18Ah 12V jump pack (so it’s not running off the car’s electric system).
As it sits on my dash pointed toward a unique feature of that building:
Note the two curved shapes on the building, I’m pointing at the correct curve:
This is the “Sunseeker” app which I use for some solar stuff, but it lets you get a very good idea of your azimuth using the time of day, location and position of the sun:
I’ve also confirmed w/ another augmented reality sat-finder app that I’m pointed at 98W.