The satellite is sending High-Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT) data which provides a higher image quality than Automatic Picture Transmission (APT). APT is at 137 MHz, but HRPT is at 1698 MHz and typically requires a better receiver and antenna system.
If you decide to make a pot antenna yourself, we’d be careful drilling through non-stick finishes. Polymer fume fever requires the PTFE to heat to almost 600 degrees, so probably light machining isn’t going to cause a problem, but then again, why take a chance? Work in ventilation and protect yourself from inhaling the dust.
Usually, satellite rigs are a bit more complex. On the other hand, the pot antenna isn’t decoding images yet, either. We’ve seen a variety of APT projects in the past. Everyone’s seen antennas made from Pringles cans. We’ve even seen them made out of spoons and Tupperware, so we guess a pot isn’t all that surprising.
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