[amsat-bb] Re: AO-73/FUNcube-1 videos, observations

Hector, CO6CBF co6cbf at frcuba.co.cu
Sun Dec 1 10:20:16 PST 2013

Hello Patrick and Mark

I already have experimented with SDR - Radio Console V2.1 and the FCD Pro+
to capture telemetry and work the transponder simultaneously. Despite, the
low power of telemetry signal during evening passes, it works wonderful!

My ThinkPad laptop `s CPU is not able to run both VFOs in the SDR - Radio
Console, plus the Dashboard simultaneously. So, I record the raw IQ data
while I am operating on the transponder and after the pass, I playback the
recording and pipe the telemetry audio to Virtual Cable into the Dashboard.

I have made some tests with different operating systems (Linux and Windows),
and it looks like the SDR - Radio Console needs a least a 2.2 GHz Pentium
CPU to run the basic functions with the FUNcube Dongles.

Patrick, as for my experience, telemetry reception is a very interesting
thing for the crowds. During the first AO-73 orbit over my country, I made
an AO-73 demo at my University and everybody was fascinated. It is really
amazing get live measurements from the satellite and notice the variations
depending the live satellite environment.

I am very confident that you will have a great success in your AO-73 demos.

Hector, CO6CBF

-----Mensaje original-----
De: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] En nombre
de Mark L. Hammond
Enviado el: domingo, 01 de diciembre de 2013 9:13
Para: amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net; amsat-bb at amsat.org
Asunto: [amsat-bb] Re: AO-73/FUNcube-1 videos, observations

Hi Patrick,

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:
I did similar to that writeup by Tom, but found I could do 56k serial port
speeds just fine.

Have fun!


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!
>Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
>Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
>Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
>Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb
Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list