Satellites for SWLs - using a loft-mounted vertical folded dipole for the 144-146MHz band and a 2m FM/USB/CW RX is sufficient for me to discern satellites.
Check out g4pvb.eu.pn/2m.htm for homebrew 2m aerial & below interface & free software to predict satellite passes.
I use a 1:1 600 Ohm audio isolating transformer -20dB interface from Line Out or Headphone socket of receiver then a resistor pad as required e.g. two resistors 47k Ohm each in series and parallel after the transformer then 2·2uF DC Blocking Capacitor for connection to Lap Top or PC. Source: eBay about £10. Thank you to Norman G8ATO of Verulam ARC for technical advice.
I use SatExe from Gabriel RIVAT F6DQM www.f6dqm.fr It requires a Keplerian data file to predict the satellite passes. My machine will not accept .all files so I visit: http://amsat.org/amsat/ftp/keps/current/nasa.all then I right click on the web page then save it as nasa.txt file then copy it into the SatExe folder. Alternativley visit: http://www.celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/amateur.txt then right click over the web page and save the amateur.txt file then copy it into the required folder. Once a week is usually sufficient except ISS which may drift frequently. Alternatively Google: 'Heavens Above' and print off daily predictions. * = sats heard.
Download freeware WYSIWYH - What You See Is What You Hear (a WAV audio file recorder) to save those precious few moments of satellite passing, for analysis at leisure, also from the web site of Gabriel RIVAT F6DQM above. Donations appreciated for his work.
The Doppler effect may cause satellite USB/FM Downlink frequencies below to ± 2·5kHz.
*AO-07 Downlink: 145·925 MHz - 145·975 MHz - batteries failed so sunlight only
*AO-73 Downlink: 145·950 MHz - 145·970 MHz BPSK 145·935 MHz - FUNcube-1
*AO-85 Downlink: 145·980 MHz - Fox-1A
EO-79 Downlink: 145·935 MHz - 145·965 MHz USB FUNcube-3 sunlight only
*ISS Downlink: 145·800 MHz - VHF Packet: 145·825 MHz & UHF Packet: 437·550 MHz
*XW-2F Downlink: 145·980 MHz - 146·000 MHz - CAS-3F
*LilacSat-2 Downlink: 437·222 MHz Machine Code - CAS-3H
UO-11 Downlink: 145·825 MHz - Beacon only rarely heard.
Those with UHF 70cm may consider ¼ wave ground plane antenna hoisted to the apex of the roof in the loft. Illustration sourced from the Internet and my dimensions added.
*FO-29 Downlink: 435·900 MHz USB 435.840MHz CW
*SO-50 Downlink: 436·795 MHz - FM ± 10 kHz Doppler SaudiSat 1-C
Kenwood TS-2000 has a 'birdie' on SO-50 frequency. YMMV. Calibrate your PC clock. Unlike most states in Europe, Iceland Summer (Daylight-Saving) time is not observed. Therefore set hobby radio PC clock to 'Reykjavik' GMT/UTC/Zulu time to ensure year round conformity of e.g. your logging program. Also applies to Monrovia in Liberia. AMSAT sats status DK3WN sats status If you are in the UK, you can listen to radio signals from the ISS when it's in range via the Southampton University Wireless Society WebSDR. http://websdr.suws.org.uk If you're to the East of the UK, you can listen to the ISS when it's over Russia on the R4UAB WebSDR http://websdr.r4uab.ru Source: Radio User magazine October 2016. In loving memory of Harry G3FHU & Des G3PTV. Updated: 28th August 2016 73 Bob G4PVB MA3053SWL
p.s. The EO-79/FUNcube-3 satellite has transitioned to amateur radio service, now that its primary mission has been completed. AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have announced that the FUNcube U/V transponder has been activated with a regular schedule. Due to power budget constraints, the transponder cannot operate 24/7, so an orbit-specific schedule has been developed. The transponder will commence operation 27 minutes after the spacecraft enters sunlight and remain active for 25 minutes. This schedule may be modified in the weeks ahead, as experience dictates. The transponder uplink is 435·047 to 435·077MHz LSB; the downlink is 145·935 to 145·965MHz USB. The output power of the amateur radio payload is about 400mW. Source: RSGB 19 November 2016.
p.p.s. Practical Wireless January 2017 reports that ISS VHF equipment broken down so now temporarily using Russian radio for packet allowing for Doppler Shift on:
Channel RX(MHz) TX(MHz)
1 *437·560 437·540
2 437·555 437·545
3 437·550 437·550
4 437·545 437·555
5 437·540 437·560
Tim Kirby G4VXE of Practical Wireless magazine: "Dear Bob, Glad you heard the ISS ok. Have you tried listening for the ISS 143·625MHz downlink? Not amateur traffic but the crew talking to Star City in Moscow. You might find it interesting. Vy 73, Tim"
Often when setting up a VHF scanner RX and/or aerial you really do want a reliable continuous 24/7 broadcast to help monitor your progress. I use the continuous aeronautical weather TXs: London Volmet (Main) 135·375MHz, London Volmet (South) 128·600MHz, London Volmet (North) 126·600MHz, Scottish Volmet 125·725MHz. Source: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/9/k/GetMet_2015_FINAL.pdf where the information codes are explained in detail.
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