So, campGND is about to happen and I’m beginning to look forward to it.

Unfortunately for me, Tom’s told me I should have a project - I can’t just turn up and be a gin fuelled rocket for the duration. I mean, that’s going to happen anyway, but whatever, I can be productive too.

Given that my favourite toy is radios and space, I figured I should do spaceradio stuff. I’ve had the half-idea of doing a portable satellite tracking unit for a while. I want to get back into nerdy radio again, and it’s a pretty good way of doing it. Searching, stumbling and coming across things lead me to SatNOGS - A modular, open ground station built around VHF/UHF. The target platform is, of course, rtl-sdr, arduino and, surprisingly, a TP-Link WR703N.

All the structural hardware is 3D printed, and the files are available. The design work, in effect is done - all I’ve got to manage to do is assemble it in my predictably incapable state.

New things

So there are a few things I’ve never touched in the process. First and foremost, 3D printing. This is a something I’ve genuinely got no clue about, so I’m going to have to learn about it quickly. I’ve got printer access, it apparently takes about 8 hours - I just need to perform a thumb-rectal removal manouver and get down to Make Aberdeen and print the stuff off. I’ve never dealt with OpenWRT, which has to go onto the TP-Link. I’ll need to work those out before arriving at the campsite.

Shopping List

I’ll need to get hold of:

  • Stepper Motor
  • Stepper Driver
  • TP-Link WR703N
  • 3D Printed Kit
  • Anythink else that happens to cross my mind.

If it all works together, it’ll be pretty groovy. If it doesn’t work, the following few weeks will be lots of work working it out!