This repository contains tools and instructions for running a Blockstream Satellite receiver.
The Blockstream Satellite network broadcasts the Bitcoin blockchain using the second-generation Digital Video Broadcasting Satellite (DVB-S2) standard. To receive this signal, you will need a DVB-S2 receiver, for which there are a couple of options. The receiver output will be a data stream that you will feed to a host running the Bitcoin Satellite application. This application, in turn, will decode the blocks received over satellite and keep the blockchain in sync.
Find out if your location has coverage by looking at our Coverage Map.
To assemble a receiver setup, you will need to go through the following steps:
- Get the required hardware, such as the DVB-S2 receiver, the satellite dish/antenna and the low-noise block downconverter (LNB).
- Install all software requirements, configure the receiver, and configure the host.
- Align your satellite dish appropriately to receive the Blockstream Satellite signal.
You can find detailed guidance for these steps on this documentation.
The first step to getting started with Blockstream Satellite is to gather all the required hardware components. Satellite Kits with all parts included are available at the Blockstream Store.
There are three supported options with varying levels of budget, performance, CPU usage, and form factors. They are summarized in the table below:
|Setup||Kit Available||Budget||Performance/Reliability||CPU Usage||Form Factor||Dual Satellite*|
|Software-defined Radio (SDR)||Most Affordable||Limited||High||USB Dongle||No|
|Linux USB Receiver||Basic Kit||Moderate||Excellent||Low||USB Device||No|
|Standalone Receiver||Pro Kit||Higher||Excellent||None||Standalone||Yes|
* Specific to locations that have overlapping coverage from two satellites.
In all options, the following hardware components are required:
|Satellite dish (antenna)||Yes||Diameter of 45cm or larger|
|LNB||Yes||Must be a PLL LNB with linear polarization and stability of
|LNB mounting bracket||No|
|Coaxial Cable||No||RG6 Cable|
Note that both the satellite dish and the LNB are region-specific, that is, they must attend to the specifications of the satellite that covers your region. This is because they must be appropriate for the frequency band of your satellite.
An alternative to the satellite dish and LNB is the Flat Panel Antenna, available at the Blockstream Store. This antenna includes the functionality of the LNB internally, so it substitutes the dish, LNB and mounting bracket altogether. However, note it only works in Ku band (i.e. does not work with satellite T18V C band).
Additionally, each of the above three setups has specific complementary components, which are summarized below:
|Software-defined Radio (SDR)||RTL-SDR dongle, LNB Power Supply, SMA Cable and SMA to F adapter|
|Linux USB Receiver||TBS5927 Professional DVB-S2 TV Tuner USB|
|Standalone Receiver||Novra S400 PRO DVB satellite Receiver and Ethernet Cable|
Software and Setup Configuration
Setup configurations are dependent on your receiver choice and on the satellite that covers your region. To obtain the configuration instructions for your setup, please use the Blockstream Satellite command-line interface (CLI).
First, install the CLI as follows:
sudo pip3 install blocksat-cli
- The CLI requires Python 3.
- Some blocksat-cli commands require root access, so it is preferable to run the installation using
Next, run the configuration helper:
Then, run the instructions helper and follow the instructions:
Within the set of instructions, a common required step is the installation of software dependencies, which is accomplished with the following command:
blocksat-cli deps install
A quick reference guide is available if you are familiar with the commands and steps of the process. Otherwise, we commend following the detailed user guide below:
- Frequency Bands
- Hardware Guide
- Receiver Configuration:
- Antenna Pointing
- Bitcoin Satellite
- Further Information
For additional help, you can join the #blockstream-satellite IRC channel on freenode.