iPhone/iPad/iPod app to decode NAVTEX marine transmissions
UHF SATCOM refers to satellite repeaters that operate between 240 MHz and 270 MHz. To receive SATCOM, you need a receiver that can tune the frequency range in narrow FM (most modern scanners can do this). You also need an outside antenna, and possibly a LNA preamp.
The satellites in question are operated by the US military. They are essentially repeaters in geostationary orbit. Because they are open (no access control) they are often used by third parties, most often by people in Brazil. It is very common to hear Portuguese transmissions. One listener, who spent several years living in Brazil, described it as
Portuguese slang spoken by people who never paid attention in school
Back in 2009, 39 Brazilian pirates were busted, but the activity continues.
Here’s a recording of SATCOM pirates, and another recording of SATCOM pirates
255.550 MHz is very heavily used by the Brazilian pirates. As I am typing this, I am also hearing pirates on 253.500, 253.750, and 262.190 MHz.
There is an excellent breakdown of all of the 250 MHz SATCOM Transponders By Satellite
While you can start with a basic outdoor scanner antenna, such as a discone antenna or other scanner antenna, many serious listeners eventually build a directional antenna, such as a helical. I will have construction information about one that I built in a future article.
Next, since the signal levels are often very weak, the use of a LNA preamp is highly recommended. I built one of the Down East Microwave Inc. GaAs pHEMT pre amp kits, and find that it really helps a lot.
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Hi, I have just heard the pirates on 255.55 using a 5 element DAB antenna hand held with an AOR AR8200 scanner. This was my first test of the antenna for satcom.
For the past two days, I’ve been hearing the pirates on 252.150 MHz, after making my own off-center dipole antenna from copper pipe! One side is 4 feet, and the other side is 18 inches. I have it up on my wall about 6 feet, and it receives them great at times, yet fades in and out at other times. This is my first reception of Brazilian pirates using these satellites. My radio is a Yupiteru MVT-7100. Great article!
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need some help with unids:
245.20 1306 NCG Radio Maria STL, via satcom mass (mono) STL for AM 1400khz ?
249.40 1837 ? UNID WFM Indian? Mx, via satcom qrm from satcom trfc
255.78 1827 PAK WFM BC STL, via satcom qrg: 255.7757 weak stereo carriers at +/- 19khz
261.28 1744 ? UNID WFM BC, via satcom cut up by data bursts
265.55 1334 ? UNID WFM BC, Latin America very poor (via satcom)
268.45 1352 ? UNID WFM BC, Latin America v poor (via satcom)
254.74 2207 IRN IRIB STL, via satcom (east) acapela yl song low mod
257.10 2001 WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom) v poor, rlg service?
257.60 2116 ? WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom) coldplay song: trouble
260.63 2219 ? video buzz?, via satcom (east) xmod or cable tv leakage? 260.633mhz
267.10 1634 ? UNID WFM BC STL, via satcom (east) v poor
269.65 2202 PHL UNID soft pops WFM STL, via satcom (east) not// DWKC stream
265.45 1909 UNID WFM BC, via satcom (west) qrm from Brazil freebanders
269.96 1913 NCG UNID SS RLG WFM BC, Nicaragua (via satcom) qrg: 269.957 Stereo! corkscrew drift pattern
249.45 1606 UNID WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom) satcom is rxing it off-freq
253.75 1622 UNID WFM BC, Latin America (via satcom) severe qrm from freebanders
254.07 1623 UNID WFM BC, Latin America (via satcom) v poor. qrg: 254.075
261.60 0612 WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom) severe qrm from mil comms
265.55 0619 2nd WFM BC on frq, Latin America (via satcom) distorted om tlk xf mx
268.35 1738 WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom) ex poor
269.95 1749 2nd WFM BC on frq, Latin America (via satcom) v poor
243.63 1400 ? Vatican R WFM STL, Africa? ( via satcom S.E) stereo, qrg: 243.625
252.63 2047 UNID WFM BC STL, poor qrg: 252.625mhz
254.77 1829 COD UNID FF WFM BC STL, Congo? satcom is rxing side of 295.8 blocked by Brazil open mic from 1906
254.78 1921 PRG Radio Uno, Asuncion (via satcom) football commentary qrg: 254.775 180km
257.15 2037 UNID WFM BC STL, very poor,severe qrm
269.85 1433 ? UNID WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom) terrible qrm from US Navy
249.57 1949 SS mono WFM STL, Latin America (via satcom) long SS monologue
268.44 2029 PRU Radio La Beta, Cajamarca (via satcom) Mono WFM STL
250.09 1034 UNID WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom) obliterated by legit. trfc
252.05 1027 UNID WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom)
244.27 1813 ? UNID WFM BC STL, unknown (via satcom)
249.40 1847 UNID Asian WFM BC,
249.56 1544 ? WFM BC STL, Latin America (via satcom) qrg: 249.563
265.25 1839 UNID WFM BC STL, unknown (via satcom) very distorted
257.38 1103 UNID WFM BC STL,
259.15 1705 ? UNID SS WFM BC STL, Rhumba mx (mono) strong when found then gradual decline
267.05 1742 UNID WFM BC, Latin America (via satcom) v poor
Hello, in sud ouest of France very good réception.. With sdrplay and hb9cv home made..
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Are there any tranmissions in english?
Not usually. Most of what you hear (voice) are Brazilian pirates.
bonjour recherche schema antenne pour reception sat com pirat 255.550 mhz
je vous remercie par avance
255.550 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-otjQWNIzgA
does anybody know complete frequencies? it means uplink and downlink to practical use? in europe 🙂
great greeting to all listeners 🙂
261.202 Italy pirates.🙂
Does anyone know the up link (input frequencies) or the split between input and output?
the uplink is 41 mhz higher than the downlink.