The Audacity of Spacecraft

I have no Morse skillz (yet), but I managed to use my iPhone to capture the audio of the CW beacon of the XW-2A cubesat as it passed through the skies to the West of our home, loaded it into Audacity and looked at the waveform to find the signature “CAMSAT” word that the spacecraft includes in its CW transmission:

XW_2A

Too cool 🙂

XW-2E

Using CubicSDR, a rtl-sdr dongle and the tracking software I’m developing (and a nice Arrow II dual band yagi), I picked up the CW beacon for the recently launched XW-2E cubesat this morning (see the portion of the waterfall display circled in red

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 9.06.33 AM

Preamp Progress

I’m making progress on the 440 MHz preamp kit.  Should be up and running soon.  Will make hearing the 70cm satellites a lot easier I hope.  (The kit is by Ramsey, fancy aluminum case by Hammond.)

preamp

That Happy Moment When

the demodulator you’ve been working on starts outputting meaningful data instead of gibberish (T7RPUR WIDE1 WIDE2 are valid packet radio strings).

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 8.45.48 AM

I’m writing the demodulator in C++ and it uses the Goertzel algorithm.  Need to continue to flesh out the framer, and hook up STDIN to accept sound from rtl_fm and my new SDR dongle.

The goal: automated reception of Space Station packet radio, powered by Raspberry Pi.

First WX Image from NOAA-18

I received my first WX image from NOAA-18 as it passed overhead just a few moments ago.  I was alerted to the pass by the Raspberry Pi based ground station-in-a-box I’ve been working on (far left in the picture) and used the WXtoImg software (center) to decode the signal from my radio, piped through the sound card box I like to use.

FullSizeRender 9

This was with a simple 2m J Pole antenna, but I plan to build an eggbeater or maybe a helical antenna soon.  I need to build a pre-amp too I think.

Here’s a video of what it all sounded like

Here’s my final image:

2015-08-16-0010z-noaa-18-as-received-in-snohomish

and an image from about the same time from the NOAA website for comparison:

2015-08-15-2315z-goes-na-visible