Receiving Qatar Oscar 100 satellite with SDR Console

Le logiciel de réception SDR Console de G4ELI

The SDR Console software

The SDR Console software

To use the signals from an SDR stick, we require “processing” software that will allow us to display the received spectrum as well as demodulate the signals. There are several software programs that allow this. What differentiates them, among other things, is the list of supported devices.

For my part, and especially for the reception of the Qatar Oscar 100 satellite, I have chosen to use the “SDR Console” software published by Simon, G4ELI (HB9DRV). It is available in 32 and 64-bit Windows platforms.

SDR hardware supported by SDR Console

The SDR Console software to this day, can manage nineteen hardware products. You can find the complete list on the author’s website on his Supported Radio page.

Install the SDR Console software

Download the latest version from the website (version 3.0.7 or later) and start installing the software.

Install your SDR device

At the first launch, the software offers you to search for your SDR devices, which must be connected to your computer.

On the Radio Definitions window, click Search to add your device that you have connected to the computer. Here I am looking for the RTL stick.

The software confirms that it has found the hardware. I then click on Add.

The dongle is then added to my “Radios“. Don’t forget to click on the “Save” button.

Conversion frequencies

Beforehand, we will ensure that frequencies above 9999 MHz can be displayed without any problems by the software:

  • Click on the View banner then in General on Options

  • In the options window, check ‘Show frequency and RX details’ with range = 99.9 GHz, from the Spectrum submenu.

In order to have a direct reading of the satellite frequency (10,489 MHz instead of 749 MHz) after the frequency conversion performed by the LNB, we will indicate to the SDR Console software the frequency of 9750 MHz, which is the conversion frequency of the LNB oscillator.

In the “Radios” hardware definition window, click on the Edit button positioned after the “Converter selection” line.

We will now enter the conversion frequency as 009750.000.000.000 and check Down-converter.

Don’t forget to click on the Save button to save your entry. Here, I entered several frequencies, close to 9 750MHz. The reason is explained below.

Start reception

After connecting the cable to your T-bias and dish to your SDR receiver, we will start receiving with SDR Console. Select the radio, as well as the frequency of the ‘Converter‘. Click on ‘Start‘.

The reception stabilization option

Since version 3.0.7, the SDR Console software has included a very practical reception stabilization feature. Indeed, the LNB PLL drifts slightly depending on the temperature evolution. Simon G4ELI has developed a software system for controlling the reception window by referring to the modulated BPSK beacon located at the end-of-band of the transponder. The beacon frequency is known and fixed at 10,489,800 MHz.

We will immediately start the SDR Console option which allows the frequency stabilization: In the “View” tab, click on Select of the “More options…” button.

Check the line “Geostationary Beacon” and confirm with OK.

Restart SDR Console.

The feedback window to the BPSK beacon of QO-100

Return to the View tab and now click on the ‘Geostationary Beacon‘ button

At the bottom of the screen is the window “Geostationary Satellite Beacon“.

  1. Start the waterfall of the Geostationary Satellite Beacon screen, by clicking on the first Start button (the circle)

You should see the upper band beacon modulated in BPSK. If, as in the above capture, you do not see this QO-100 beacon, this means that your LNB has a frequency difference too high for display the beacon in the 10489700 – 10489900 range proposed by SDR Console. To display the BPSK beacon, you will then need to add different conversion frequencies (reduced or increased) to the list of Down Converters, as presented above in the text.

2. On the following picture, and in my case, by selecting a Down converter frequency of 9 749 900, the BPSK beacon appears well now in the window. Click with the mouse on the beacon itself, so that the two white lines at the top and bottom of the window are aligned with the beacon. You then read live the delta of frequencies measured by SDR Console, the delta is the difference between the actual frequency and the expected frequency of the beacon. Here on this capture, it is 13,929 kHz. Considering the conversion currently in place (9749900), the delta is actually 113,929 kHz.

3. To start the frequency correction, click on the second Enable button on the side band. The button is active (highlighted). The entire spectrum is then automatically adjusted by SDR Console to place the beacon at its fixed frequency of 10 489 800 kHz, whatever the real drift that the entire spectrum is undergoing due to the drift of the LNB.

When SDR Console is launched in the future, you will no longer have to perform steps 1 and 2, but only step 3 to select the BPSK beacon and launch the locking feature (click on Enable)

SDR Console with QO-100 reception stabilization

20 thoughts on “Receiving Qatar Oscar 100 satellite with SDR Console

  1. Un grand bravo pour la qualité pédagogique de cet article à la fois synthétique et complet. C’est donc avec impatience que j’attends son équivalent pour la chaine d’émission.
    Merci pour ce travail.
    F8GHE Christian

    Congratulations for the pedagogical quality of this synthetic and complete article. So I look forward to its equivalent for the transmit line.

    Thank you for this work.

    F8GHE Christian

  2. Bonjour,

    Bravo pour votre tuto du coup je maitrise mieux SDR-CONSOLE qui est le meilleur qui soit
    merci encore
    73 de Jean-Maurice F1RXF


    Congratulations for your tuto so I have a better control of SDR-CONSOLE which is the best there is
    thank you again
    73 by Jean-Maurice F1RXF

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  4. Bonsoir,
    super papier et bravo pour ceux qui n’avaient pas encore installé la “synchro” !!! attention à une chose, le décalage de la tête …qui n’est pas le même pour tous ! pour ma part je dois rentrer 9.749.852 pour pouvoir avoir le bon calage… 73 Maurice F6CIU

    great paper and well done for those who have not yet installed the “synchro” !!!! watch out for one thing, the head shift…which is not the same for everyone ! for my part I have to go in 9,749,852 to get the right adjustment…. 73 Maurice F6CIU

  5. Bravo pour tout ce travail de défricheur de solutions qui se révèlent extrêmement performantes et la clarté du propos, particulièrement précis pour l’installation des composants tant matériels que logiciels. F6CNG Olivier

    Congrats for this great work discovering components both hardware and software with great performances and for the complete and clear user manual to install all parts with enough explainations to understand why all the steps are important.

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  7. Bonsoir Christian,
    Super Tuto, ;0)
    A + pour un autre QSO sur OSCAR 100 :0) 73,
    F4FPQ Thierry

    Good evening, Christian,

    Super Tutorial, ;0)

    Soon for another QSO on OSCAR 100: 0) 73,
    F4FPQ Thierry

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  9. Bonjour et merci pour ce superbe article que je vais mettre en œuvre.

    Une question reste en suspend:
    quel est le type de connecteur sur la Clé USB de réception TV TNT ?
    C’est pour commander le bon raccord entre la clé et le T-Bias.


    Hello and thank you for this great article that I will implement.

    One question is still pending:
    what is the type of connector on the USB stick for DVB-T TV reception?
    This is to order the right connection between the key and the T-Bias.

    Thank you

    1. Merci Stéphane pour l’intérêt porté à mon blog.
      Sur le modèle de clé TNT en photo, il doit s’agir d’un connecteur MCX femelle. Je vous laisse vérifier, cela pourrait varier en fonction du modèle.
      Il existe des adaptateurs, tel celui-ci : MCX mâle / Fiche F femelle ou si vous préférez MCX mâle / Fiche BNC femelle

      Espérant avoir répondu, souhaitant un bon montage de votre station de réception de QO 100 !

      Thank you Stéphane for your interest in my blog.
      On the TNT key model in the photo, it must be a female MCX connector. I let you check, it could vary depending on the model.
      There are adapters, such as this one: MCX male / F female plug or if you prefer MCX male / BNC female plug

      Hoping to have answered, wishing a good assembly of the QO 100 receiving station!

  10. Bonjour Christian,
    Je viens de prendre connaissance de cet article et c’est vraiment TOP !!!
    Un grand merci pour l’ensemble des explications.
    Olivier, F4EXC

    Hello Christian,
    I just read this article and it’s really TOP!!!!!
    Many thanks for all the explanations.
    Olivier, F4EXC

  11. Bonjour,
    Tout d’abord un énorme merci pour la mise à disposition de ces informations.
    Concernant l’orientation de la parabole, je ne trouve pas le satellite QO100 dans les liens que vous indiquez. Mais peut-être puis-je prendre un satellite positionné à 26° Est (tel que ARABSAT…).
    Encore merci

    First of all, a huge thank you for making this information available.
    Regarding the orientation of the dish, I can’t find the QO100 satellite in the links you indicate. But perhaps I can take a satellite positioned at 26° East (such as ARABSAT…).
    Thank you again

    1. Merci Alain pour les remarques.

      Il est vrai que Es’hail 2 (QO100) est situé plutôt proche d’ARABSAT (en réalité composé de 4 satellites BADR 4, 5, 6 et 7 placés entre 25,98° et 26,02° Est). QO100 est précisément à 25,76 ° Est. Il est donc à environ 176 km des satellites ARABSAT sur l’orbite géostationnaire (~ 35794 km d’altitude).

      Thank you Alain for the comments.

      It is true that Es’hail 2 (QO100) is located relatively close to ARABSAT (in fact composed of 4 BADR satellites 4, 5, 6 and 7 located between 25.98° and 26.02° East). QO100 is precisely at 25.76° East. It is about 176 km from the ARABSAT satellites in geostationary orbit (~35794 km altitude).

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  13. Super travail, pédagogiquement limpide…
    Le meilleur tutorial disponible à ce jour sur le sujet!


    Great work, pedagogically clear….
    The best tutorial available to date on the subject!


  14. Merci pour cet excellent tuto.
    Un conseil que je peux laisser aux interesses:
    J’ai galéré pendant 3 jours parce que sdr console et sdr sharp ne trouvaient pas le dongle.
    La cause était que je l’avais branché sur des ports USB3, ceux qui sont faits en plastique bleu.
    Il faut toujours brancher le dongle sur un port USB2.

    Thank you for this excellent tutorial.
    A piece of advice I can leave to the interested people:
    I struggled for 3 days because sdr console and sdr sharp couldn’t find the dongle.
    The reason was that I had plugged it into USB3 ports, the ones made of blue plastic.
    Always connect the dongle to a UDB2 port.

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  16. You are great well done for your excellent explanation
    peep it up
    Fortunato 9h1es
    from Malta

    Vous êtes grand bien fait par votre excellente explication
    jeter un coup d’œil
    Fortunato 9h1es
    de Malte

  17. Efficace, bravo 73

    F5JWX département 66

    Effective, well done 73

    F5JWX department 66

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  19. j’avais un grand plaisir en lisant votre article. C’était la grande joie en appliquant toutes les démarches et j’ai réussi dans 2 jours à avoir sur mon PC les QSO sur 10Ghz du satellite ESHAIL (QO 100). Merci infiniment de votre aide et la simplicité d’explication ainsi que les liens.
    Matériels utilisés : dish 1.20m / LNB universel / câble 75 ohms / ancien coupleur directionnel coaxial NARDA 3.7g 3.8g / ancien décodeur / dongle cadeau de mon ami CN8SSB / pc / logiciel sdr console v3.0.12.
    Les choses modifié :
    – j’ai isolé T du coupleur à la masse de son chassis en enlevant un petit clou est le signal reçu était sur 700 MHz.
    – à l’aide du sdr j’ai mené le signal à 10ghz comme vous l’avait dit
    Remarques : je dois suivre le spectre de fréquences par la roulette de la souris car le contrôle automatique de gain AGC du sdr console ne marche pas dans cette version.
    En tout cas merci cher ami et 73s QRO car vous avez réuni ce que j’avais sur ma tête et le bagage qu’est dans mon shack.

    I had a great pleasure reading your article. It was a great joy by applying all the steps and in 2 days I managed to have on my PC the QSO on 10Ghz of the ESHAIL satellite (QO 100). Thank you very much for your help and the simple explanation and links.
    Materials used: dish 1.20m / universal LNB / 75 ohms cable / old coaxial directional coupler NARDA 3.7g 3.8g / old decoder / dongle gift from my friend CN8SSB / pc / sdr console software v3.0.12.
    Things changed:
    – I isolated T from the coupler to the ground of its chassis by removing a small nail and the received signal was on 700 MHz.
    – Using the sdr I led the signal to 10ghz as you said.
    Remarks: I have to follow the frequency spectrum with the mouse wheel because the automatic AGC gain control of the console sdr does not work in this version.
    Anyway, thank you dear friend and 73s QRO because you have gathered what I had on my head and the luggage that is in my shack.

  20. Bonjour Christian
    SVP, comme je vous avez dit, j’ai remarqué au moment de la réception de QO100, il y a un glissement de fréquence après 15s. Je me trouve obliger de suivre la IF par la roulette de la sourie malgré le AGC en position ON. Soit j’ai mal compris le mode de fonctionnement du SDR, soit autres choses si vous avez une idée.
    Le T-Bias est au shack
    Débit du symbole du décodeur est 27500 Hz /polarité verticale.
    Encore merci et 73s qro
    de CN8MM

    Hello Christian
    Please, as I told you, I noticed when I received QO100, there is a frequency shift after 15s. I find myself obliged to follow the IF by the mouse wheel despite the AGC in the ON position. Either I misunderstood the way the SDR works, or other things if you have an idea.
    The T-Bias is at the shack.
    The decoder symbol rate is 27500 Hz / vertical polarity.
    Thank you again and 73s qro
    by CN8MMM

    1. Mustapha,

      Merci pour votre commentaire.
      L’AGC n’a rien à voir avec la fonction de stabilisation de la réception “Geostationnary Beacon”. Vérifier d’avoir bien avoir suivi les explications. Sur le bandeau, cliquer sur le bouton avec cercle “Start”. Cliquer sur la balise haute qui défile dans le bandeau. Cliquer sur le bouton avec le triangle “Enabled”. La stabilisation est réalisé, la balise BPSK est alors recalée sur l0 489 800 pile, et va y rester.

      Tout cela ne fonctionnera correctement avec un LNB PLL. Un LNB DRO ne fonctionnera pas, car les sauts en fréquences sont trop importants pour être ajustés par SDR Console.


      Thank you for your feedback.
      The AGC has nothing to do with the “Geostationnary Beacon” reception stabilization feature. Check that you have followed the explanations. On the banner, click on the button with “Start” circle. Click on the high tag that scrolls in the banner. Click on the button with the triangle “Enabled”. The stabilization is done, the BPSK beacon is then shifted to the 489,800 stack, and will remain there.

      All this will only work properly with a PLL LNB. A DRO LNB will not work, because frequency jumps are too large to be adjusted by SDR Console.

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