The first transmission from amateur satellite I heard was a beacon on 10m. It got me hooked. Having been inactive for some years I lost touch with what was happening. True, I did hear about the Funcube project but did not do much other than follow progress on the web.

At the RSGB convention a couple of weeks back I went to several lectures given by AMSAT UK having re-joined a couple of weeks before. The progress is truly amazing, and it was fascinating to hear about Es’hail 2 and other new projects. I also got to hold a cube sat!

In the last couple of weeks, I decided to have a go at working some LEOS. The first step was tracking software. Lots to choose from but I have been playing with gpredict which has worked well. With some near overhead passes there were strong signals from around Europe and I heard SV, UA, F, on a handheld with the standard whip antenna. The next step was to build an antenna, more details here or follow the link below.

With the launch of Es’hail 2 imminent I am thinking about a more complex ground station. The 10Ghz downlink is relatively easy – the RSP1 SDR RX, a good quality satellite TV LNB and a small(ish) dish. The 13cm uplink is a bit more complex and I guess a transverter is the way to go. More on this later.

Antenna for LEO satellites