The FUNcube Launch Fund

Please Help us launch our AMSAT-UK FUNcube-1 Cubesat.

Fund:  http://tinyurl.com/7t24yol

 

The FUNcube-1 micro-satellite (CubeSat standard size) will carry a UHF to VHF linear transponder that will have approx 500mW PEP output and which can be used by Radio Amateurs worldwide for SSB and CW communications.

AMSAT-UK  is working on this new amateur satellite project: FUNcube-1 is a complete educational single CubeSat project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics, will be launched with a number of other spacecraft from a DNEPR rocket sometime in the third quarter of 2012.

FUNcube Dongle Pro or “FCD” is a SDR Receiver! – The Pro version gives unlimited access to the frequency range 64MHz to 1.7GHz (1.1GHz – 1.27GHz omitted) – Similar to USB TV Dongle, the FUNcube Dongle simple fits into your computer’s USB port. It’s compatible with many radio reception programs … like the future FunSDR write by I2PHD (see below!) and it is uses standard USB drivers already integrated into the operating system! (…No drivers required!)

FUNcube Dongle Pro Prices: (for EC buyers Inc VAT at 20%): abaut £134.60/£137.22 inc. shipping! (http://www.funcubedongle.com/)

 

 

HO-68 CW beacon with Funcube Dongle and Arrow antenna

Reception of the HO-68 (XW-1) satellite beacon using the Funcube Dongle receiver and an Arrow II hand-held yagi antenna. Quisk software defined radio receiver running on Ubuntu Linux 10.10 64bit.
I was located indoors pointing the Arrow out through the window (and Doppler tuning with left hand, hence the high pitch 😉
The peak was around 52 deg elevation, range 1400 km. The CW beacon transmitter is 200mW RF.

The Funcube Dongle is a USB stick SDR receiver for 64 MHz – 1.7 GHz by Howard Long G6LVB, see http://www.funcubedongle.com/

Video recorded by Alexandru Csete OZ9AEC

Masat-1 satellite

Masat-1 satellite will use the amateur radio frequency band to downlink telemetry data. The downlink data will not be encrypted, so everyone will be able to receive it, decode and process.

Frequency bands employed

  • Earth-to-satellite (uplink) on 2 m
  • Satellite-to-Earth (downlink) on 70 cm

Masat-1 callsign: HA5MASAT
Satellite’s telemetry transmission frequency: 437.345 MHz +/- 10 kHz Doppler

 

The reason for the Doppler shift is the orbital velocity of 7-8 km/s, as when a transmitter is getting closer to the receiver the received signal’s frequency is shifted upwards, and when the transmitter is getting away from the receiver the received signal’s frequency is shifted downwards.

The satellite’s modulation scheme: (A1A) CW and 2-GFSK with 625 Hz frequency deviation (CW is clocked at 120 characters/minute, which is well-audible by ear).

Data rate of the 2-GFSK digital packets: 625 or 1250 bits/second (a PC with sound card and demodulation SW is required)

 

Minimum list of devices required for receiving Masat-1

  • antenna suitable for the 70 cm band (in open air, pointed towards the sky)
  • tuneable radio receiver with 70 cm SSB USB mode, such as FT-817, FT-897D, TS-2000, etc.
  • PC with sound card, running the telemetry packet decoder SW in JAVA environment. The demodulator software can be downloaded from this website.

Continue reading

FUNcube Group Membership Exceeds 2000

In under a year the AMSAT-UK FUNcube Yahoo Group has achieved over 2000 members.

The group was created by Rob Styles M0TFO at the end of October 2010 to provide support for the AMSAT-UK FUNcube satellite and the FUNcube Dongle (FCD) Software Defined Radio (SDR).

The FUNcube satellite project is an educational CubeSat project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics. It will support the educational Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) initiatives and provide an additional resource for the RSGB GB4FUN Radio Communications Demonstration Module.

The target audience are school pupils in the 8-18 age range. As well as providing a strong 145 MHz telemetry beacon for the pupils to receive FUNcube will also have a 435/145 MHz linear transponder for Amateur Radio SSB/CW use.

The FCD SDR was originally developed for educational outreach as part of the ground segment for the FUNcube satellite. However, it was realised it can be used for many other applications as well, so AMSAT-UK developed a Pro version which has a frequency range of 64-1700 MHz.

Similar to a USB TV Dongle, the FCD simply fits into a computer USB port and can be used with freely available Software Defined Radio software. The FCD is all-mode which this means that as well as data, it will also receive many other signals including AM, FM, SSB and CW and weather satellite images.

Join the FUNcube Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube/

SDR-RADIO software http://www.sdr-radio.com/

The FUNcube Dongle SDR can be ordered via http://www.FUNcubeDongle.com/?page_id=286

Information on the FUNcube satellite project is at http://FUNcube.org.uk/overview/

A sample edition of the AMSAT-UK newsletter OSCAR News can be seen at http://www.uk.amsat.org/on_193_final.pdf