RTL-SDR for Inmarsat Satellite – Dish vs Patch Antenna


Fig.1 Inmarsat L Band Satellite Constellation

In the previous post I looked at using my L band equipment to receive Inmarsat satellite signals. I was able to receive two satellites from my location at Toronto Harbourfront: 4F3 (Az=206deg) & 3F5 (Az=54deg). From my home QTH, I am only able to receive a partially blocked 3F5. I did a quick test to see how the L band dish compared to the patch antenna. In previous posts, I used it for receiving GOES16 weather signals at 1694.1MHz (Ref.2), then the radio astronomy hydrogen line at 1420.4MHz (Ref.3).

Dish vs. Patch Antenna Performance

Fig.2 Dish Antenna Signal Capture -35 to -40dBFS

Figure 2 shows the signal level off the dish which is approx. 10dB higher than the level off the patch antenna as in Figure 3. However, it must be remembered the dish is not portable like the patch antenna.

Fig.4 YouTube Video RTL-SDR for Inmarsat Satellite – Dish vs Patch Antenna
YouTube Channel
YouTube Channel


#1. – “RTL-SDR for Inmarsat Satellite – Planning”

#2. – “GOES16 Weather Satellite – Signal Capture with Dish Balcony Mount”

#3. – “RTL-SDR for Radio Astronomy – Signal Capture2”

By Jeremy Clark

Jeremy Clark is a Senior Telecommunications Engineer and Advanced Amateur Radio Operator VE3PKC. He is the author of E-Books on Telecommunications, Navigation & Electronics.