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Monday, 22 August 2016

Some More Bird Time!


Following the progress last time, today I have finished the LVB Tracker kit.

The kit is complete and the programming of the PIC done; I had some issues with this part of the project. I couldn't get the PicProg executable as supplied as part of the fileset to function - it would appear to program OK, but the verification failed. There were way too many variables involved so I dug out the PIC programmer I purchased way back when and programmed the PIC that way. Once I had figured out all the configuration bit settings I was up and running....

The image above was taken during the calibration process. Basically the rotator control box outputs two voltages which are representative of the position of the AZ (0-360) and EL (0-180). You tell the software when the rotator is at 0 in both AZ and EL and then again when in 360 and 180. It can then calculate the appropriate voltage for anything in between.

I've chosen to use SatPC32 software for tracking the birds, controlling the rotator and also handling CAT control of the radio to automatically turn the antennas (both AZ and EL) when a selected satellite is in reach, and also control the frequency setting on the radio - including the adjustment for Doppler shift as the bird is moving towards or away from my station.

Here's a quick video of my first ever reception from an Amateur satellite. This is before getting the CAT control functional - just the antennas are moving automatically to track the bird as it passes:

And here is a quick video showing the auto tuning for Doppler (no sound):

So now it's time to do some research and some listening before I decide which satellite and how to make my first QSO. Fun egh?

Here's Miss Luna Cat asleep behind one of my monitors:

Local conditions.

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