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

GPS and Arduino UTC Clock Boxing

IMG_0870.JPG

After sitting (and running) on my desk in a breadboard for forever, the GPS and Arduino powered UTC clock is finally getting properly housed in a project box. Now just waiting on a couple connector blocks and some wire for the harness.

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

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