Low-Cost 10 GHz SSB Receiver

Graham G8HAJ demonstrating 10 GHz SSB

Graham G8HAJ demonstrating 10 GHz SSB

Despite the Bank Holiday Essex Skills Night attracted 55 people to the Danbury Village Hall on April 17, 2017. The busy evening consisted of a wide range of activities, among them was 10 GHz SSB by Graham G8HAJ.

Low-cost 10 GHz SSB receiver

Low-cost 10 GHz SSB receiver

He demonstrated how you can start with a simple low-cost 10 GHz receiver using a just a standard Sky satellite LNB (£14:99) and a FUNcube Pro+ SDR or RTL-SDR dongle. This set-up should be capable of receiving the amateur radio transponder on the geostationary satellite Es’Hail 2 that is expected to be launched in early 2018.

The Es’Hail transponder should be receivable on a 60 cm dish with no tracking needed. The downlink will be 10489.550-10489.800 MHz which will equate to 739.550-739.800 MHz on an SDR with the Optima LNB down-converter.

For 10 GHz transmit Graham showed the popular DB6NT transverter and interface board which used an IF of 144 MHz.

G8HAJ 10 GHz operating handout Download Here

Es’Hail 2 https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geosynchronous/eshail-2/

GM1SXX – A Cheap 10 GHz Receive System
http://gm1sxx.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/a-cheap-10ghz-receive-system.html

A full  report of the evening is now available on the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society website at http://g0mwt.org.uk/skills/cars-skills-apr2017.htm

The next Essex Skills Night takes place on Monday, May 15, this free event is open to all.

CARS run amateur radio training courses, to find out more contact training organiser Christopher G0IPU
Mob: 07908-107951
Email: training2017 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

Israeli High School Students Build CubeSat

28 QB50 CubeSats were launched to ISS on April 18, a further 8 are to launch on a PSLV in May

28 QB50 CubeSats were launched to ISS on April 18, a further 8 are to launch on a PSLV in May

Over 80 Israeli high school students have built a CubeSat called Duchifat-2 as part of the QB50 Thermosphere research program.

Duchifat-2 is one of 28 QB50 CubeSats from 23 countries launched on April 18, 2017 to the International Space Station (ISS) from where they shall be placed into orbit in six weeks time.

QB50 ISS LogoSpace Watch reports:

Duchifat-2 and its companion CubeSats will measure the plasma density of the Thermosphere between 85km and 300km altitude above the Earth’s surface. Israeli students will study the data from the CubeSats at the Herzliya Science Centre, where signals from the orbiting satellites will be received.

Israeli Minister for Science, Technology, and Space, Ofir Akunis, said in a government statement that, “Duchifat-2 is not only an educational venture that brings space closer to youth and lays the way for tomorrow’s generation, it is also an international research project. This is Israeli pride for the future generation, and an opportunity to increase public awareness about space.”

Read the full story at
https://spacewatchme.com/2017/04/israeli-high-school-students-build-duchifat-2-cubesat/

Times of Israel
http://www.timesofisrael.com/nanosatellite-built-by-israeli-high-schoolers-blasts-into-space/

A further eight QB50 CubeSats are planned to launch in May on an Indian PSLV rocket into a 500 km orbit.

All the CubeSats in the QB50 project will mainly operate on frequencies in the 2 m and 70 cm amateur bands. To avoid interference to terrestrial amateur radio activity the frequency was coordinated by the IARU Satellite Adviser and advisory panel http://amsat.org.uk/iaru

QB50 project https://www.qb50.eu/

JE9PEL QB50 CubeSat Frequency Spreadsheet
https://amsat-uk.org/2015/11/08/je9pel-qb50-cubesat-spreadsheet/

PocketQube Workshop presentation slides released

OzQube-1 LogoIn March Stuart McAndrew gave a presentation on OzQube-1 a tiny PocketQube satellite which aims to transmit images of the Earth from space.

OzQube-1 will be just 5x5x5 cm (1P) in size and the aim is to keep the hardware costs down to under $1,000. The satellite structure is being developed by Jo Hinchliffe MW6CYK.

Stuart’s talk titled ‘Building a Satellite from Scratch: The DIY Engineering behind OzQube-1’ describes some of the challenges he’s faced in building his own low-cost satellite.

Watch OzQube-1 Presentation at TU Delft PocketQube Workshop

Download all the workshop presentation slides including OzQube-1 from
https://t.co/GS5v8FFK0K

Delfi Space hosted the PocketQube satellite workshop at the Delft University of Technology on March 24, 2017 http://www.delfispace.nl/pocketqube-workshop

Stuart McAndrew OzQube-1
https://twitter.com/ssshocker
https://twitter.com/OzQube1
https://www.facebook.com/ozqube1/
http://ozqube-1.blogspot.co.uk/
https://www.gofundme.com/ozqube1

Jo Hinchliffe MW6CYK
https://twitter.com/concreted0g
http://concretedog.blogspot.co.uk/

South African QB50 CubeSats

CubeSats being deployed from the ISS on February 11, 2014

CubeSats being deployed from the ISS on February 11, 2014

Two South African built satellites are about to be launched to the International Space Station as part of the QB50 project.

SARL News reports:

The South African satellite industry is taking another step forward as a player in the international space arena with the launch of two South African built nanosatellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida USA.

Two CubeSats, ‘nSight1’ (QB50 AZ02) designed and manufactured by Cape Town-based SCS Space, a member of the SCS Aerospace Group and ‘ZA-Aerosat’ (QB50 AZ01) designed and manufactured by CubeSpace of the Stellenbosch University, are to be launched as part of a batch totaling 28 CubeSats from 23 different countries

The launch is set for April 18, 2017 at 15:11 GMT. Their initial destination is the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be unloaded by the ISS crew with the help of robotic arms. The satellites will eventually be deployed into low-earth orbit over a period of 30 to 60 days as the ISS orbits the Earth.

Both the South African satellites are part of the QB50 project funded by the European Union and managed by the von Karman Institute to conduct research in the lower thermosphere between 200 to 380 km altitude. The data collected from this experiment over a period of 18 months will be used to complement current atmospheric models especially applicable to re-entry trajectories of spacecraft. All CubeSats will eventually burn up at the end of their operational lifetimes.

All the CubeSats in the QB50 project will mainly operate on frequencies in the 2 m and 70 cm amateur bands. To avoid interference to terrestrial amateur radio activity the frequency was coordinated by the IARU Satellite Adviser and his advisory panel http://amsat.org.uk/iaru

QB50 project https://www.qb50.eu/

JE9PEL QB50 CubeSat Frequency Spreadsheet
https://amsat-uk.org/2015/11/08/je9pel-qb50-cubesat-spreadsheet/

ISS Packet Digipeater Back On 145.825 MHz FM

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

ARISS is pleased to announce that Packet Radio from the International Space Station is back on 145.825 MHz FM.

A few months back, the ARISS Team did the foot work and paperwork to launch the final copy of the Ericsson VHF handheld radio to the ISS.  This work was began in October after the unit onboard the ISS failed.  ARISS has been using the Ericssons for 16 years. In the last days of February, the launch vehicle, SpaceX 10’s Dragon, flew to the ISS.  Then the ISS crew had the odious job of unloading and unpacking 5,500 pounds of cargo along with the Ericsson HT.

ARISS got word this morning that we now have VHF capability back in the Columbus module.  Followers of ISS Fan Club have already posted that they’ve heard and used packet, and are thrilled.

In 2015, ARISS began its first fundraising campaigns.  It relies on NASA, ARRL, AMSAT and individual donors, along with ARISS volunteers to pay the day-to-day operations expenses and everything related to the hardware, testing, and certification.  Donors can go to http://www.amsat.org and http://www.ariss.org to support the program.

EMike McCardel, AA8EM
Rotating Editor AMSAT News Service

Almost any 144 MHz FM rig will receive the ISS, you can even use a general coverage VHF scanner with an external antenna. As far as the antenna is concerned the simpler the better. A ¼ wave ground plane has a high angle of radiation and works well. Large 144 MHz colinears are not as good because the radiation pattern is concentrated at the horizon while the ISS is above 15 degrees elevation for most of a pass.

You can receive the ISS outdoors using a 144 MHz hand-held with its helical antenna but a 1/4 wave whip will give far better results.

In the UK we use narrow 2.5 kHz deviation FM but the ISS transmits using the wider 5 kHz deviation used in much of the world. Most rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation filters so select the wider deviation. Hand-held rigs all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

How to work the ISS using APRS Packet Radio
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-work-the-iss-on-aprs-packet-radio/

5 GHz – RSGB respond to Ofcom

The RSGB has published its response to the Ofcom statement on increasing the amount of the 5 GHz band that can be used for WiFi. The Amateur Satellite Service has a Space-to-Earth allocation at 5830-5850 MHz.

Annex 6 of the Ofcom 5 GHz statement says regarding Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) operation in 5725-5850 MHz:

“…once it becomes clear that this band will become used for Wi-Fi worldwide it will become less attractive for new satellites.”

“In Table 2 below we show the impact that different regulatory regimes for Wi-Fi might have on the exceedance of the protection criteria of the most sensitive satellites in 5.8 GHz assuming a comprehensive Wi-Fi roll-out across Europe and Africa.”

“As discussed previously, the risk of interference is an aggregate of all Wi-Fi use and so will rise slowly over a number of years rather than appearing suddenly.”

“The UK cannot cause interference to 5.8 GHz satellites on its own but it is fairly likely that Europe and Africa will follow our lead. This is likely to be driven by the potential for 5.8 GHz to become a worldwide Wi-Fi band.”

Response of RSGB to the Ofcom 5 GHz Statement
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2016/08/170411_RSGB_5GHz-WT-Regs-2017.pdf
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/spectrum-forum-posts-overview/spectrum-forum-papers-consultations/2016/08/01/5ghz-wi-fi/

Ofcom 5 GHz consultation and statement page
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-1/5-GHz-Wi-Fi

Direct link to Ofcom statement PDF
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/98159/5p8-Regs.pdf