My ‘lockdown project’ for during the recent coronavirus lockdown was to finally get myself on the QO-100 satellite. It was one of those projects I had bought various bits for but never had the time to assemble and sort them out.
On Monday 27th July, I gave a talk about this as part of the RSGB’s ‘Tonight @8’ webinar series. It was quite a challenge as I battled an unseasonably blustery evening in my garden, but I think we got the idea across!
Most of my setup was strongly inspired by M1GEO’s post on the same setup
During the Q&A at the end, I mentioned hearing an M7 licencee on the satellite recently, and also said that QO-100 could be a good starting point for someone new to the hobby.
It has been pointed out to me that the 2.4GHz (13cm) uplink frequency is not permitted for Foundation licencees, and so they aren’t able to use the satellite.
The component parts of my setup included:
- Lime SDR-mini
- 90cm Satellite dish
(I recommend getting this style of arm so the PotY antenna has sufficient clearance)
- PotY antenna kit (designed by G0MJW, PA3FYM and M0EYT)
- Domestic PLL-locked LNB
(These are supposed to be as good as the well-regarded Octogon LNBs but I find mine can drift a bit)
- Heatsink (designed for the Raspberry Pi) and 12V fan for the SDR
- 12V – 5V regulator and heatsink for the driver boards
- LNA amplifier driver boards (SPF5189Z)
- Wifi amp
- Project box
- Decent coax from Wifi Antennas
You’ll need as short a length as possible RP-SMA Male (Wifi amp end) to SMA Male (PotY end). I got CLF-200 cable as anything thicker may not clear the PotY clamping arrangement.
On the RX side, you’ll also need some standard satellite TV coax terminated in ‘F’ connectors. This doesn’t have to be so good quality.
- USB3 A/B lead to go from the LimeSDR to your laptop
- PotY ring reducer and LNB cover
Download 3D printer files for these – You can also now purchase the reducer as an option with the PotY.
You’ll also need a copy of SDR-Console. Thanks to Simon G4ELI for this work on this.
As I mentioned several times during the talk, my approach is not the only way to get on QO-100. It is one of the cheaper routes, but it is a little more QRP than other users.