[amsat-dc] Amateur Satellite Ground Station Budget Task

Pat Kilroy Patrick.L.Kilroy at nasa.gov
Mon Nov 27 09:35:55 PST 2006

Hello Bill W3HXF,

I think it is great that you are helping the
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
Technology of Alexandria on their quest in
satellite technology.  It's great news to
hear of such a newly active school in our
local area!  Seems like more and more are
popping up around the country.

To answer your questions and address your
comments, I hope the information below is
helpful and not "too much too soon" ...

First, a lot of the information you seek for
ground station equipment can be found in the
"Amateur Satellite FAQ" on the AMSAT web
site at

This is your best start.

Next, you will note that the equipment
identified there does not include price or
inter-connection block diagrams.  The prices
vary widely, especially for new and used gear.
Current pricing can be found by surfing the
web at amateur radio outlets.  See the ads in
QST magazine and in the AMSAT Journal!  Or
Google on "amateur radio equipment" anytime.
Visit local hamfests for previously owned ham
gear and check eBay and others.

The station equipment block diagrams are
available from many sources, including The
Radio Amateur's Satellite Handbook by Martin
Davidoff, K2UBC, author of the highly
acclaimed predecessor, The Satellite
Experimenter's Handbook.  Available at:

Block diagrams are nice, but you'll want to
tap into people who know this stuff in their
heads.  So don't forget to tap into fellow
experienced hams that each and every school
will want to have on hand (not just Thomas
Jefferson High).  To find another one you
may start by looking up an AMSAT Area
Coordinator.  Check at:

A Note: Each CubeSat has different operating
modes and frequencies, tailored to their own
experiment.  Go to the university or group
that sponsors a particular CubeSat to find
their specific information.  (Links below.)

Remember: The "dual use" capability of this
equipment.  You can also use it for local
high-altitude balloon experiments and other
activities too.

Come to our next local AMSAT-DC meeting and
space symposium in the late winter or early
spring.  Invite your school group members
too.  Watch for the announcements after the

Tap into the local group of satellite guys
through amsat-dc at amsat.org.

I believe with this advice you are now several
steps closer to achieving your budget task
objective and more.

See the links below for your next steps.

Let me know when you have more questions.
Maybe the amsat-dc guys will chime in with
their advice too.  Take care for now.



Pat Kilroy, N8PK
AMSAT Area Coordinator
Maryland-DC Area


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AMSAT Member Services


At Friday 11/17/2006 11:34 AM, W3HXF at aol.com wrote:
Re: Please forward this to whoever in AMSAT
>Please forward this to whoever in AMSAT may someday be forming a list
>of equipment/materials for school(s) to participate in future OSCARs.
>73, Bill, W3HXF
>Budget task A:
>Please provide a list (better yet a kit, for a cubesat-capable 
>ground station),
>so I can compile budgetary information.
>For a later year:
>Budget task B:
>  AO-13 or AO-40-capable ground station:
>145.880 MHz USB + 145.920 MHz USB Up & 435.300 MHz High to listen
>FM (S) mode:  2401.200 MHz to listen.
>Uplink: 1268.700 MHz USB transmit.
>Please provide a list (better yet a kit for an AO-13 or 
>AO-40-capable ground station),
>i.e., AMSAT's Project Eagle plans call for an mode U/V transponder
>for SSB, CW and other modes.
>  I wish to leave the budgetary information for The Excelsior Team 
> <excelsior.tj at gmail.com>
>Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is located 
>on Braddock Road.
>The address is: 6560 Braddock Road Alexandria, VA 22312
>What satellite(s) have their eastern USA pass between
>12:45 pm is a good time because lunch would have ended (which equals 
>1745 UTC)
>and 4 hours later.
>For a much later year, Eagle could launch by 2010:
>Budget task C:
>Specification  would make the satellite's S2 band uplink and C band downlink.

Patrick L. Kilroy                                             WK
Integration & Test (I&T) Manager    301-286-1984 Voice
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center    301-286-1673 Fax
Building 5, Mail Code 568           Patrick.L.Kilroy at nasa.gov
Greenbelt, Maryland  20771          http://patkilroy.com/balloon/

       "A problem well stated is a problem half solved."
                   -Charles F. Kettering

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