WXtoImg
software to decode APT and WEFAX signals from weather satellites

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Hardware

A small sample of some of the receivers and antennas best suited to weather satellite reception. WXtoImg will work with just about any receiver capable of reception in the 137-138MHz FM band (but for best results requires a 30kHz - 50kHz bandwidth). It is not advisable to purchase just any scanner (most of which only support 15kHz or 230kHz bandwidths) if you intend to use it for weather satellite reception. However if you already have one available it is certainly worth trying. A good, special-purpose antenna is needed no matter what receiver you choose.

You do not need a tone decoder, hardware demodulator, or PC interface to use WXtoImg. These items are generally expensive, unnecessary, and produce inferior results. WXtoImg uses the 16-bit decoding capabilities of your computer's soundcard and the power of modern processors to produce optimal results.

You need only a receiver, an antenna (and cable), and a cable to connect the receiver line/audio out to your computer's soundcard. A pre-amplifier is generally unnecessary but may help when used with general purpose communication receivers and scanners.

  • Receivers
    • Dedicated weather satellite receivers:
      • WeSaCom APT-06 fully assembled dedicated weather satellite receiver with computer control and high-Q helical filters,
      • R2FU fully assembled, computer controlled weather satellite receiver with strong filtering,
      • Hamtronics R303-137 (an excellent performing, dedicated weather satellite receiver board without computer control),
      • EMGO RX134141MHZ (kit and fully assembled weather satellite receivers with LCD display and computer control),
      • WIsat-100 fully assembled weather satellite receiver (en español).
    • Scanners with a bandwidth setting (30-50kHz) for weather satellites:
      • AOR AR2300 (very expensive, general purpose communications receiver suitable for satellite reception, has built-in PC control),
      • ICOM PCR1500 (no longer available, general purpose PC based scanner suitable for satellite reception where interference is not a problem, has built-in PC control),
  • Antennas
    • Quadrafilar Helix (QFH, QFHA, QHA): one of the best performing antennas:
      • WX-137Q Turbo-tenna National RF pre-built, stainless QFH antenna,
      • UC-1374-531R +4 dBic VHF APT Weather Satellite Antenna,
      • PHQFH (popular, excellent performing, home-built antenna with outstanding instructions, may be able to be purchased completed),
      • Tall Narrow QHA (easy-to-build, excellent reception to the horizon),
      • The Bill Sykes and Bob Cobey QFH (Taming the Quadrifilar Helical Antenna: detailed instructions for building a QFH antenna from G2HCG and G0HPO),
      • QFH LU2HAM (en español),
    • Other high-performance and specialty antennas:
      • KX-137 crossed dipole antenna which may outperform QFH antennas,
      • MX-137 small antenna suitable for use on board,
      • K5OE Eggbeater II nice RHCP antenna with high gain at low elevation, and
      • WSP-137 RHCP but at low angles horizontally polarised for improved reception.
    • Lindenblad (excellent performance at low elevations):
    • Turnstile: good performing antennas which are generally less expensive:
    • Antenna Rotor Contollers (optional): when used with a large 137MHz yagi, WXtoImg can control azimuth-elevation antenna rotors to give unprecedented reception. Upgraded versions of WXtoImg can currently control the following rotor controllers:


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