[amsat-bb] Re: AO-73/FUNcube-1 videos, observations
Mark L. Hammond
marklhammond at gmail.com
Sun Dec 1 06:12:58 PST 2013
Great sharing of your experiences---thanks! Nice to have AO-73 operations futher characterized.
Regarding the Funcube Dongle Pro Plus (FCDP+)---you should enjoy the experience of learning how to use it! It's such a neat receiver.
Some quick thoughts/pointers/questions:
Are you planning to capture telemetry and work the transponder simultaneously during evening passes? It might work, depending on your antenna system, especially if you can get buy with only 500mW uplink. I'll be interested in your experiences with this...
There is one thing to remember--you'll need two audio streams decoding at the same time. SDR-Radio V2.1 will do this, with "VFO A" and "VFO B". They each have separate audio out selections, so you can pipe the telemetry to something like VB Audio Virtual Cable into the Dashboard, and the other VFO and audio stream to your laptop speakers or headphone jack. SDR-Radio V2.1 also has built in satellite tracking for doppler correction, and you can record the pass at the same time!
On the other hand----if you don't want to try to do telemetry and the transponder simultaneously, you have some more options...
SatPC32 has great DDE support, and you can use that with either HDSDR or SDRSharp to tune your FCDP+ as a separate receiver. It works great, and it's pretty easy to do, if you want your receiver following the Doppler/frequency from SatPC32.
Now, if you want to use your FCDP+ as a receiver AND be able to click on a frequency and have the transmit match it---that's another trickier setup involving HDSDR, SatPC32, and virtual comports. It works and is slick, but it's not for the faint of heart. You can read about that setup here: http://www.tomdoyle.org/FUNcube-SatPC32/FUNcube-SatPC32.html
I did similar to that writeup by Tom, but found I could do 56k serial port speeds just fine.
So, lots of options..
At 12:46 AM 12/1/2013 -0800, Patrick STODDARD \(WD9EWK/VA7EWK\) wrote:
>Over the past few nights, I've been working the new AO-73
>satellite from my back yard. Most of the time, I have been
>using my normal portable all-mode satellite station - two
>Yaesu FT-817NDs, Elk handheld 2m/70cm log periodic
>antenna. Last night, I replaced one of the FT-817NDs with
>a Kenwood TH-F6A - using its all-mode receiver to copy the
>downlink. Tonight, I used an Icom IC-R20 receiver for the
>downlink. I have used these radios in the past on other
>satellites, and for some hamfest demonstrations on VO-52
>I have used the FT-817ND/TH-F6A combination. I have
>made a series of videos (satellite audio combined with
>slideshows) from several AO-73 passes I've worked this
>week, and those are available at:
>One of the AO-73 videos I recorded contains audio from two
>passes, and is about twice as long as the others which have
>audio from a single pass.
>After working these passes, I am convinced that this new
>satellite performs as well as VO-52, for both its uplink and
>downlink. This is a very good thing! AO-73 hears very well,
>as long as I'm careful to match the polarization of the satellite's
>antennas. The downlink is strong enough to allow me to use
>any of these radios as the receiver on higher passes. For
>lower passes, I would probably use my second FT-817ND for
>the downlink receiver. It is good to know that, at least on the
>higher passes, there are lots of options for a downlink receiver.
>On the same higher passes, I know that I can cut my power
>down from 5W to 1W and even 500mW. High power is not
>necessary to be heard through the transponder.
>Next project for me with this satellite: using a FUNcube Dongle
>Pro+ that I have had for a few months as the downlink receiver,
>for both the transponder and telemetry, while working the
>transponder with an FT-817ND as my transmit radio. I reinstalled
>HDSDR and its ExtIO DLL for the Pro+ dongle on my 64-bit
>Windows 7 laptop, and it is working well. I have downloaded the
>FUNcube-1 dashboard software, and need to get that installed.
>I also have an old netbook with Linux on it, and am curious to
>see how the dongle works with that operating system. I am
>hoping to be able to use the dongle and a laptop as the downlink
>receiver, without being wiped out by the 5W signals from an
>If this is successful, I may have a new combination for my all-
>mode satellite station I can use for upcoming demonstrations.
>Using the dongle and dashboard software during daytime AO-73
>passes at hamfests would be something different, and a great
>thing to show off to the hamfest crowds.
>Thanks, again, to all who worked on getting this satellite built
>and launched. Even with the transponder on only for the nighttime
>passes, it has been fun to be on a new satellite so soon after
>its launch. Time for bed... 73!
>Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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