C-band Sats – Part 8: ~154E Mystery?, 166E Intelsat 19, 169E Intelsat 805

By now, we’re at the satellites which are pretty much at the highest elevation in Sydney. Owing to the fact that satellites aren’t covering the entire belt, even though we’ve only looked through about 50% of the arc, it covers about 80% of the satellites known to broadcast into our region. There’s not much advantage in putting satellites directly over a vast ocean without many customers to serve – land masses at the extreme edges of the footprint will need larger dishes and face bigger difficulties in getting sky access to see the satellite due to terrestrial obstruction and atmospheric effects.

Mystery Satellite? ~154°E

I was moving my dish through a number of mystery satellites in the previous part, so I probably lost track of where I was exactly on the arc. It was a bit of a struggle going “nearly” blind to find the next one up in the arc when there are gaps, but then the spectrum analyzer seemed to show a decent set of signals so I stopped to check.

Using CrazyScan, it seems to show a few carriers near 3700Mhz in the horizontal, in the regular C-band with a few other waves nearby.

No matter which carrier I tried, they all seemed to have an SNR too low to lock. This was rather curious, but I didn’t follow it up on the spectrum analyzer that morning. If I had, then maybe I could have found some beacons and come a little closer to solving the mystery …

At this stage, my best guesses might be:

  • JCSat 2B at 154°E
  • Intelsat 5 at 157°E
  • ABS-6 at 159°E

Two less likely candidates with known services that don’t really line-up are:

  • Intelsat 1R at 157°E
  • Telkom 2 at 157°E

166°E Intelsat 19

The main aim of the day was mainly to find Intelsat 19, which was a fairly popular satellite in Australia for Ku band direct to home, especially for TVB (Chinese) viewers. Interestingly, TVB have moved to an IPTV-only platform, and other pay-TV platforms which used this satellite in the past have gone under (e.g. SelecTV), so the reasons for tuning in on Ku band are dwindling to some degree (with the exception of occasional feeds). It seems that it’s still fairly lively on C-band though. I still remember when Intelsat 19 replaced Intelsat 8 in this slot, despite having solar array issues with the satellite.

As expected, the services are in the regular C-band area, fitting within the OCS-LNB frequency range for convenience. The spectrum is busy with services!

TP N: 1
Frequency: 3724.482 Mhz
Symbol rate: 5184 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S/QPSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.35
RF-Level: -45 dBm
Signal/Noise: 10.9 dB
Carrier width: 6.999 Mhz
BitRate: 7.167 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 2
Frequency: 3734.002 Mhz
Symbol rate: 2999 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S/QPSK
FEC: 7/8
RollOff: 0.35
RF-Level: -46 dBm
Signal/Noise: 9.0 dB
Carrier width: 4.049 Mhz
BitRate: 4.838 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 3
Frequency: 3737.000 Mhz
Symbol rate: 2963 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S/QPSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.35
RF-Level: -43 dBm
Signal/Noise: 12.9 dB
Carrier width: 4.000 Mhz
BitRate: 4.096 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 4
Frequency: 3748.128 Mhz
Symbol rate: 11199 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 5/6
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: off
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -42 dBm
Signal/Noise: 11.6 dB
Carrier width: 13.439 Mhz
BitRate: 27.762 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 5
Frequency: 3760.897 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29999 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -40 dBm
Signal/Noise: 9.6 dB
Carrier width: 35.999 Mhz
BitRate: 66.868 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 6
Frequency: 3781.117 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29999 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -40 dBm
Signal/Noise: 10.1 dB
Carrier width: 35.999 Mhz
BitRate: 66.868 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 7
Frequency: 3806.510 Mhz
Symbol rate: 3959 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Inverted
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/QPSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -44 dBm
Signal/Noise: 6.1 dB
Carrier width: 4.751 Mhz
BitRate: 5.891 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 8
Frequency: 3812.071 Mhz
Symbol rate: 14999 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 5/6
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -41 dBm
Signal/Noise: 10.3 dB
Carrier width: 17.999 Mhz
BitRate: 37.183 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 9
Frequency: 3816.043 Mhz
Symbol rate: 4399 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S/QPSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.35
RF-Level: -44 dBm
Signal/Noise: 9.0 dB
Carrier width: 5.939 Mhz
BitRate: 6.082 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 10
Frequency: 3852.064 Mhz
Symbol rate: 10799 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 3/5
RollOff: 0.25
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -41 dBm
Signal/Noise: 9.1 dB
Carrier width: 13.499 Mhz
BitRate: 19.222 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 11
Frequency: 3881.036 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29999 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/QPSK
FEC: 3/5
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: off
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -37 dBm
Signal/Noise: 10.0 dB
Carrier width: 35.999 Mhz
BitRate: 35.669 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 12
Frequency: 3901.079 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29999 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 2/3
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -40 dBm
Signal/Noise: 8.6 dB
Carrier width: 35.999 Mhz
BitRate: 59.428 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 13
Frequency: 3921.100 Mhz
Symbol rate: 28799 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/QPSK
FEC: 3/5
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: off
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -35 dBm
Signal/Noise: 9.4 dB
Carrier width: 34.559 Mhz
BitRate: 34.242 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 14
Frequency: 3941.135 Mhz
Symbol rate: 27689 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S/QPSK
FEC: 7/8
RollOff: 0.35
RF-Level: -37 dBm
Signal/Noise: 10.7 dB
Carrier width: 37.381 Mhz
BitRate: 44.656 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 15
Frequency: 3955.675 Mhz
Symbol rate: 3555 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S/QPSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.35
RF-Level: -41 dBm
Signal/Noise: 8.2 dB
Carrier width: 4.800 Mhz
BitRate: 4.915 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 16
Frequency: 3981.110 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29999 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -35 dBm
Signal/Noise: 9.7 dB
Carrier width: 35.999 Mhz
BitRate: 66.868 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 17
Frequency: 4041.018 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29999 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -35 dBm
Signal/Noise: 11.2 dB
Carrier width: 35.999 Mhz
BitRate: 66.868 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 18
Frequency: 4081.080 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29999 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -36 dBm
Signal/Noise: 11.3 dB
Carrier width: 35.999 Mhz
BitRate: 66.868 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 19
Frequency: 4141.047 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29909 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/QPSK
FEC: 2/3
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -40 dBm
Signal/Noise: 8.6 dB
Carrier width: 35.891 Mhz
BitRate: 39.570 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 20
Frequency: 4147.506 Mhz
Symbol rate: 5631 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Inverted
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S/QPSK
FEC: 3/4
RollOff: 0.35
RF-Level: -44 dBm
Signal/Noise: 7.8 dB
Carrier width: 7.603 Mhz
BitRate: 7.785 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 21
Frequency: 4161.612 Mhz
Symbol rate: 3448 KS
Polarization: Vertical
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/QPSK
FEC: 3/5
RollOff: 0.25
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -46 dBm
Signal/Noise: 8.2 dB
Carrier width: 4.310 Mhz
BitRate: 4.100 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
TP N: 22
Frequency: 4181.083 Mhz
Symbol rate: 29999 KS
Polarization: Horizontal
Spectrum: Normal
Standard/Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK
FEC: 2/3
RollOff: 0.20
Pilot: on
Coding mode: CCM
Long frame
Transport stream
Single input stream
RF-Level: -40 dBm
Signal/Noise: 9.9 dB
Carrier width: 35.999 Mhz
BitRate: 59.428 Mbit/s
----------------------------------------
Total Scan Time = 1320.145s

The BLScan report concurs, with a lot of DVB type services found.

There seems to be many services on the satellite, but most of them are encrypted. I suppose it’s nice to see ArirangTV (although that can also be received via the Ku service on this satellite in Sydney) and NHK World HD (which I’ve missed for a long time, ever since GlobeCast stopped carrying it on Optus D2).

Spectrum Analysis

The spectrum in horizontal and vertical are above. Not much to report, as most of the signals were DVB, and other signals that were found were of similar types to those previously seen.

Beacons

It seems a CW beacon may have been present at 3701.46209Mhz in the horizontal polarity.

Another possible CW beacon was found at 4200.45175Mhz in the vertical polarity. As this is a dual-band satellite, it seems likely that the Ku beacon may serve as the primary modulated beacon. This seems consistent with this data which claims beacons on 3700.5Mhz H and 4199.5Mhz V in the C-band.

169°E Intelsat 805

Intelsat 805 seems to living out its final years in inclined orbit service, parked in a more quiet spot in the sky. Launched in 1998 with an expected 14 year lifetime, it’s definitely lived a long life spent mostly at 55.5°W outside of view. As a satellite formerly serving the Americas, it has circular polarization, and I wasn’t aware of this so I probably did not put in the dielectric plate (I didn’t actually write down if I did).

I saw nothing in the extended C-band area, so I focused on the main regular C-band area only. Unfortunately, despite the appearance of a few signals, nothing actually locked. The separation between the polarities seems to imply I have the skew correct (if linear) or dielectric plate installed – or maybe somehow I’m picking up on stray signals from a nearby linear satellite?

Spectrum Analysis

The spectra, showing horizontal (or LHCP) above and vertical (or RHCP if I did insert the plate) below. Nothing unusual was spotted sweeping through the transmissions.

Beacons

A few candidate beacons were spotted in the horizontal. These appeared to be:

  • 3948.627921Mhz (Modulated)
  • 3949.832421Mhz (CW)
  • 3951.134421Mhz (CW)
  • 3953.135421Mhz (Modulated)

Switching to vertical, I could see the same pattern except for the 3949.832Mhz CW beacon disappeared. This seems consistent with expectations that there be a CW beacon at 3950Mhz V, if I got the skew out by 90 degrees. Telemetry is expected at 3947.5/3948.0Mhz RHCP and 3952.5/3952.0Mhz RHCP, which also seems consistent with the above measurements when accounting for LNB drift.

The two beacons are similar – both AM type with a wide subcarrier, one at 48khz (common on both) and the other at about 72khz (only on one of the two beacons).

Conclusion

The mystery satellite was not identified, although if I had used my spectrum analyzer and taken down some information, it may have been possible to distinguish from the candidates that I had identified. Unfortunately, when you’re in a rush, you can overlook things. As for the other two satellites, they’re more well known, with Intelsat 19 also providing strong Ku band service into Australia, whereas Intelsat 805 is living out its last few years in inclined orbit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure if I had used the dielectric plate, as I wasn’t aware that IS 805 was a circular-polarity satellite, so maybe my inability to lock any signals was down to trying to receive them linear and thus both losing signal and mixing noise into the input.

If you’re getting tired of satellite stuff, never fear … as there is only one more part to come in this series before I move onto other things. That’s right – just three more satellites left to look at and I can say I’ve scanned the belt in the C-band.

About lui_gough

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