Cube Sat

Listening to Funcube 1

Initial Attempts with Funcube 1

I have been interested in Satellites for a while and have heard some transmissions from the ISS in the past.

I decided I would investigate the New Funcube 1 (AO-73)
which has 5 or 6 passes a day which can be heard in the UK.

See link for predictions

The satellite downlink is on 145.960 during evening passes
BSPK Telemetry is on 145.935

I have monitored tranmissions with a vertical colinea at about 12 meters above ground. To get more signal from near overhead passes I have installed a loop antenna about 1 meter above ground level.
This is simply a loop of coax almost two meters long supported by
canes stuck into the lawn, a very temporary affair, its fed via 40 cms. (1/4 wave) of 75 ohm satellite impedance to transform the loop impedance of around 100 ohms to 50 ohms.
The loop is horizontal and will give better results for horizontally polarised signals than the vertical.
I am not sure what polarity we should expect from the Funcube but suffice to say it is likely to vary.

On test the horizontal loop supplied some interesting results.
Indeed it was possible to hear several stations calling CQ on the evening passes on both antennas with the loop sometimes providing the stronger signal. Often the S meter on the IC910 did not register but calls could be clearly heard including Germany Spain and the UK.

Various other signals could also be heard on the horizontal loop which were poor or non existant on the vertical they do not drift in frequency and can be received for long periods of time so not from satellites.
I don’t know the source of these signals or even if they are images from out of band signals. There is one at 145.942 USB
S5 on the metre sounds like a burst of very fast CW every second.
At times this is a continuous carrier.

I have installed .net V4 and the Funcube Dashboard software


The software is working and can read the downloaded test file,
however as yet I have been unable to match the output from the IC910 8 pin Aux socket to the souncard.

As far as the transponder goes I may need to make another antenna for the 70 cms. uplink.
The frequency for this is 435.140 and the transponder is set up as inverting. This means that the uplink will need to be transmitted on LSB for USB downlink and tuning up on the receive side corresponds to tuning down on transmit.