Monitoring AO-73 with Minimalist Equipment

In this video Clint Bradford K6LCS demonstrates that a simple antenna is all you need to get a signal the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) telemetry beacon.

Clint writes: AO-73 just passed to the West over Southern California. With just a tape measure beam and a Yaesu FT-60R, it was received. AO-73 is transmitting at about 30 mW on 145.935 MHz today in the sun, and was never closer than about 450 miles.

Watch Monitoring AO-73 – Minimalist Equipment

In the video Clint was also using an  iPod touch, running the satellite tracking App PocketSat3 from http://www.pocketsat.com/

The AO-73 beacon uses BPSK modulation. To demodulate and decode the telemetry data you need a SSB receiver (FT-817, RTL-SDR, FUNcube Dongle, etc)  and the free Dashboard software. Clint made the video at the weekend when the beacon was in low power mode running just 30 mW. During the daylight hours on Monday-Friday the beacon runs 300 mW output so would be an even stronger signal.

WB2HOL 2m tape measure beam http://theleggios.net/wb2hol/projects/rdf/tape_bm.htm

Tape measure beam kit http://www.west.net/~marvin/wb2hol.htm

More fun with satellites at … http://www.work-sat.com/