Is line of sight that important?

Hello. I have been playing with my setup for about 5 hours now and the best snr I can get is .24. besides the fact that this number is WAY below the 3.0 required, I got this with the sdr unplugged. I have a Raspberry Pi 3, RTL-SDR sdr and just received the patch antenna and lna from outernet today. With everything plugged in, I was getting a snr of -.27. Removed the lna (patch antenna strait to the sdr), -.13, removed the patch antenna and got .15, unplugged to sdr and got the .24. my latitude is about 43 deg north and I live in Michigan, USA. used various websites to find the direction I should be pointing towards. Ive tried it outside and inside, with no improvement. We are having some on and off snow, but that does not seem to affect the low numbers. I do have trees to the south that are at about 35 degrees. I guess my questions are; am I doing something wrong or is the signal so weak that you need to be standing on a desert island at the equator for this system to work? The reason I am working on this system is we have a number of missionaries in our church that do work all over the world. I thought that this would be an awesome tool for them to take with them. But at this point I feel this is a bust.

1 Like

Hmmm… I am in pennsylvania and if I point the metal plate at the big tree out front in the rain (223° on the compass), I get around 3.0dB snr. In michigan I think you should point southish, but I just pointed it at the same satellite for the obsolete Ku band and it worked.
The angle does matter though. I would use an android app to find the angle to point it at and then swivel it until you get ~2dB. I noticed that it can start downloading at 2.5 dB, and the highest I’ve gotten (through trees) is 5dB. The branches swing across every now and then, but I never really lose the signal lock.
Also, make sure to select the right satellite! Use the one that starts with 98 in the tuner settings!

I tried that. And yes the red light is on the lna (noticed in a lot of other posts that question was asked) Could this be a software issue since my best levels were with the sdr unplugged from the raspberry? I think I am going to flash the card and re-install tonight.

Assuming that there is nothing in front of you and you are pointing south, with the antenna at a 45-degree angle, then the next thing we need to do is check the radio. Can you download SDR# and provide a screenshot of the FM range–without the amp or antenna?

Depending on how far you are from an FM station, you might be able to pick up a channel without an antenna.

I think it might have been a software issue. I flashed the card and tried it again. through the trees I’m getting a snr of 5.24 to 7.25 and its downloading files. Thanks for the input and help.

1 Like