Purchased and received 2 additional USB SDRs, as I'm having issues with my RTL-SDR and maintaining the download connection from Galaxy 18 over time. I will lose the connection over what seems to be an arbitrary amount of time. Can be a few hours, or after 12 hours...suspecting from what I can glean searching online, that this may be related to issues with RTL-SDR.

Just received the following, to see if they can hold the connection over the entire runtime of the BlockStream Satellite Receiver:

Nooelec NESDR Smart HF



Some analysis of Run/Attempt #1:
Run was started on Saturday, 4/18 at 15:27:04
Run ended on Sunday, 4/19 at 16:47:51
Lost the signal from Galaxy 18 about 11 times before finally losing the signal for good. Each time the blockstream receiver was able to acquire the signal on its own within about 10 seconds or so. Signal SNR received started out at 5.4 dB but dropped to an average of about 4.7 dB for the majority of the approximately 22 hours that the blockstream receiver was running before it lost its signal all together. I'm assuming this is due to wind and rain, due to a storm that blew through during that time.
Only acquired 1.18 GB of the blockchain at about 13.7 kB/sec.
Started Run #2, but added some low tech stability to the satellite dish, to see if I can get the dish to stop moving in the wind and to keep the signal lock more during this next run.
Some pics of the modified setup (chair added):

Weather was accommodating and we maintained the proper 6 foot social distance for COVID-19 compliance, as we really needed to capture the measurements for our research paper on jamming the satellite receiving dish/node, while connected and receiving blockstream data from Galaxy 18. Measurements took some time, but we were successful in testing the jamming as well as capturing the measurement readings at various approaches (phi) and distances between the receiving satellite dish and the mobile jammer. Measurements were taken directly in front of the dish/LNB, as well as from the sides of the dish and behind the dish. It was interesting to see how the jammer affected the receiving satellite dish's analog and digital signal reception. There were some interesting observations and findings from our efforts today, and once we have time to more deeply review and analyze the measurements captured in our log files, we will be able to make some good insights into our resulting paper!


After much trial and learning the art of tuning a small satellite dish (90 cm) to a geo stationary satellite in orbit (specifically Galaxy 18), I was finally able to successfully link my Ubuntu desktop running the blockstream receiver with the blockstream transponder on Galaxy 18! This is my first experience and had to acquire both the working knowledge of the how to fine tune to a specific satellite, as well as acquire the necessary tools to help simplify the overall frustrating process. 

A small victory, but a great feeling to see the data frames being received with no modulation errors in the blockstream receiver!

Here are some pictures of the equipment and tools I used: