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DIY Satellite Will Blink Morse Code for All the World to See

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:13 pm
by imartin
Saw this story on the web -

http://blog.makezine.com/2012/10/09/diy ... ld-to-see/

"A 10 centimeter cube-shaped micro-satellite called the FITSAT-1 was deployed from the International Space Station on October 5, 2012"

It follows approximately the same trajectory as the ISS. It also goes on to say that you can pick up a signal from it - Ross that is certainly something you are very adept at.

I did not see it mentioned in the report, but I wonder if its launch was connected with the 55th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik on Oct. 4, 1957!

Ian

Re: DIY Satellite Will Blink Morse Code for All the World to

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:03 am
by rwilkinson
imartin wrote:It also goes on to say that you can pick up a signal from it - Ross that is certainly something you are very adept at.
Yes, I heard it twice last night, around 437.250 MHz. It was very weak, but the Morse was quite distinct at times, although difficult to keep track of due to the rapid Doppler-shift (the signal moved by 20kHz during the pass). It seemed to be a few minutes in advance of the ISS in its orbit.

Re: DIY Satellite Will Blink Morse Code for All the World to

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:08 pm
by imartin
Good for you Ross. I know nothing about Ham radio. Is this satellite something you were aware of? I suspect it was ;) Are other people that you know who are into their radio aware / listening to/for this?

Ian

Re: Amateur satellites

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:46 pm
by rwilkinson
imartin wrote:Is this satellite something you were aware of? I suspect it was ;) Are other people that you know who are into their radio aware / listening to/for this?
Undoubtedly. But it's not a very interesting one, just sending a Morse beacon.
There are other Amateur satellites which can relay signals (voice and data) or send slow-scan TV pictures, and we even get the ISS crew talking sometimes:
http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-on-th ... ce-station

Re: DIY Satellite Will Blink Morse Code for All the World to

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:56 pm
by imartin
Yes, was aware that the ISS had a radio call sign. Part of an outreach approach I believe -to schools etc.

FITSAT-1 reception with FCD

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:54 am
by rwilkinson
I received the satellite last night using the BAS FunCube software-defined radio.
It's in a similar orbit to the ISS, but currently about 18 minutes ahead.
The signal was quite weak, but the Morse-code was very distinct, and it was a lot easier to detect and track using the waterfall display of the SDR than with the analogue radio which I used last week - and the Doppler-shift can be seen graphically too!

I've made a recording which I can demonstrate at our Show & Tell session next month.