[amsat-bb] video: stand-alone tracking and tuning with Arduino

Bruce Robertson ve9qrp at gmail.com
Tue Dec 1 07:02:41 PST 2009


The following one-minute video shows my breadboarded Arduino
(ATMega328) tracking two satellites and tuning an FT-817 in response.
It also shows the chip periodically announcing the location of the
bird in CW, and, as a bonus, you'll see AO-51 being received with a
simple dipole directly connected to a low-noise preamp.


This is an application of the Arduino FT-817, Plan 13, CW and Tle
EEPROM storage libraries available at:

One long-term goal is to port this to the Arduino mini-pro, here
http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardProMini, add a clip-on
real-time-clock and battery, and make a 10 satellite tracking dongle
for the FT-817 and TH-D7A that is not much bigger than a USB key, and
suitable for portable use. (In that version, the location will be
stored in EEPROM, not derived from the GPS unit.) Long, long term, I
hope that demoing this technology will inspire ham radio manufacturers
to make stand-alone doppler tuning a built-in feature in rigs like the
ones above.

Right now, however, the code only tunes the downlink, and I have to
spelunk through the code for Instanttune to see how to deal with the
FT-817 on transmit :-)

(For the many people new to this list and this wonderful corner of ham
radio, I should mention that his project is an experimenter's
platform, not a fully-functioning trackbox. For the latter, you want
the LVBTracker, available from AMSAT-NA's shop.)

73, Bruce

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list