Design Notes on Satellite Stations

CampGND Draws closer, and I’m worried about ‘the project’.

Having got really excited about SATnogs, it’s been really frustrating to learn that the project is currently just a shell of what it could be. As far as I can see, there’s some STL files describing items to be printed, some software and some other things, but a complete lack of documentation. Poking through other branches of the main software, I did find what looked like a kind-of-incomplete bill of materials.

Before I go through with any 3D printing I’m going to have to know more details. Things like what materials the ‘rest’ of it is made of, what materials would be required for antenna construction, what model stepper motors have been tried and tested. Even just the order that things go together on the antennas (there is a nice exploded view of the gearing box).

As such, I’m putting that project on hold. I’m going to still do satcom and I’m going to still build things, but my antenna builds and the like will be on location and held together in sketchy and interesting ways.

Current plans:

I’m going to build at least 1 yagi for 2m, and potentially a second for 70cm. These will be simple and rustic as hell - my current design has numbers pulled from here and will be built from plumbing tube and possibly coathanger material.

This is going to require some thought. I need to get audio from a computer of some sort into the back of the radio. With the current target being the FT-7900, this shouldn’t be too difficult, just sourcing the parts might be a panic and for V1 I may need to bypass using audio transformers. Safety is overrated.

For this kind of thing GPredict will be required. And a good sense of direction. Prototype # 1 is going to be very much “Point there! I can’t hear it! Point there now!”

Because, quite simply, why wouldn’t you when you’re camping.

Hopefully it’ll all come together. Failing that, I’m going to get hilariously drunk and embarass myself to my lovely new friends at 57North


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