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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Following the Birds!


For quite some time I have wanted to try my hand at Amateur Satellites. Now, I plan to utilise my IC-9100 for this task - it is a full duplex radio meaning I can TX on one band whilst RX on the other.

I decided I would build myself a "proper" satellite tracking antennamabob, and here it is up in the air:

There's 3 elements on 144Mhz and 7 elements on 70cm. The antenna has both azimuth and elevation rotation capabilities using one of these:

It's a Yaesu G-5500 rotator; unfortunately they don't supply the necessary hardware to separate the azimuth and elevation rotators - so I had to fabricate something suitable. I've mounted the azimuth rotator way down the pole and utilising these brackets from Barenco and a Yaesu thrust bearing we have a suitable working arrangement with minimum weight at the top.

The plan is to develop a means of automatically controlling the antennas such that they will auto track satellites using PC based software. I've bought one of these kits from AMSAT, here in early construction:

And here ready to wire up and start to play:

So, lots to follow on this topic!

Here are a few of the feline family members:

Good, egh? Local conditions.

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