Reprogramming a Audio Knob to build a SDR VFO Knob

Thn sdrvfoknob

I recently wanted to get a VFO knob to be able to better adjust the Frequency of my SDRs for SSB Signals on Shortwave or QO100 for example. You can use the Mouse Wheel on a PC, but on a Notebook or Tablet you are out of luck. After a quick Google Search i wasn't able to find anything like i wanted for a reasonable price, but i found a Audio Dial for only 15€ including Shipping on Ebay. I thought that for the price it was worth a try, even when there is no chance of changing the Audio control to something else, i at least will have a nice looking USB Knob with a metal Case and a Long micro USB Cable.

After it arrive i first gave it a try on Controling the Audio on my PC and it worked nicely. The Base is quite heavy and has some rubber pads, so it stays in place very nicely. The Knob also turns okayish, the one on my Yaesu Radio is a lot nicer of course, but it's more then good enough for a SDR Frequency Adjust. Sadly there is no Software included to change the Buttons Mapping, so what now?

Upgrade any MP3 Device with DAB+ for 15€

Thn dab%2Bstick

I found a cheap USB Stick online (eBay) for around 15€, that can be used to upgrade any MP3 capeable device with a USB port with DAB+! As long as your Device can play MP3 files from a USB Stick, this thing will work awesome for you.

Just Plug it in, press the Button to search for channels, play your favorite Channel.mp3 File.

Here is a quick Video about it including a Teardown:

Teardown Images:

ESP8266 Weather Station - with Wind and Rain Sensors

Thn Wetterstation

I don't know you, but i like to look at statistics from some local weatherstations around my area. Only Problem is that most of them don't have nice graphs and also don't give the raw data to process on your own. Looking at some commercial Options, i quickly realized that they are just to expensive for me.

So i wanted to Build my own Weatherstation that also has Rain and Wind Sensors on it. It would also need to somehow connect to my Network so i can access the Data from it easily and it should not be to expensive of course.

First thing i found in the DIY Space after a quick Online Search was the Weatherstation froM Sparkfun. It was perfect i thought at first, but the Weather Sensor pack seems to be not Available anymore, the Hardware used is quite complicated and old and with 250$ not really cheap either.

So i Build myself a cheaper and better Version :)

First QO100 QSO - with a indoor 60cm Dish

QO100 firstQSO TX

Yeeees! I got my first QSO over the new QO100 Amateur Radio Satellite Today with DK8KW. It also was my first ever CW QSO, so that are two first for me Today, great!

I used a 60cm Dish i had laying around for RX and TX that was standing indoors and looking out of the window. It had a Octagon Oslo PLL LNB for RX and a small Patch Antenna above that. The Patch was only helöd by a pair of "Third hands" btw.

Received Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin aboard Soyuz MS-12

Thn Receiving Alexey on ms12

On the 14th march 2019 at 19:14 UTC the Soyuz MS-12 started from Baikonur, Kazakhstan with Astronauts Nick Hague, Christina H Koch and Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin Aboard. The flight to the ISS only took around 6 hours this time, and docking was planned for around 1:00 UTC the next Day.

There was a good pass of the ISS over my QTH here near Cologne, Germany just the Orbit before the planned Docking of the Soyuz MS-12 to the ISS. So i quickly tuned my SDR, that was connected to my QFH at the Roof as usual, to the VHF Frequency of the Soyuz capsule. And i got something!!!

Carbon Arrow Yagi Antenna - 20€ dual band yagi

Thn arrow carbon yagi

A lot of ham radio operators use an Arrow Dual band Yagi that is made by a company in the USA to make contacts over satellites. The Antenna has enough gain for use with a low power 5w handheld radio and is relatively light.

It costs around 150$, what is not cheap. If you live in Europe you pay even more because of shipping etc. I found two German ham radio operators that published information online to build Yagi antennas. The first one DK7ZB has some information about single band yagis and a simple match. DL3RTL used his plans and made a Arrow style dual band yagi out of it. I used these informations and designed a carbon version that is ultra light and simple to build because of the use of 3D printed parts.

I made a video describing how to build it here:

Race4Friends 2018 - Eine Runde im Rennwagen für den guten Zweck

R4f blogthn

Das Charity Event Racing4Friends auf dem Nürburgring ermöglicht körperlich und geistig eingeschränkten Personen aus verschiedensten Institutionen, ein paar Runden als Beifahrer in einem Rennwagen zu erleben. Dabei stellen größtenteils Privatpersonen ihre selbst aufgebauten Rennwagen oder Sportwagen zur Verfügung und drehen mit den Teilnehmern ein paar Runden auf der für diesen Zweck zur Verfügung gestellten Rennstrecke in der Eifel.

Ich habe ein paar Wochen vor dem diesjährigen Event von einem bekannten, der als Fahrer daran teilnimmt, davon erfahren und war von der Idee begeistert. Natürlich bekam ich sofort die Idee auch am Event Teil zu nehmen um Fotos bzw. Videos zu machen, sowie meinem Bekannten rund ein wenig zu unterstützen z. B. beim Auf und Abladen des Rennwagens.

So haben wir uns also gemeinsam am 12. November in der früh samt getunten und für Rennen umgebauten Fiat 500 Abarth auf den Weg in die Eifel gemacht. Das Wetter im Umkreis Köln/Bonn war mit starken Regen eher ernüchternd, zu unserem Glück war dies in der Eifel aber anders.

Mir so wie auch wohl allen anderen Teilnehmern hat das Event viel Spaß gemacht, dank meiner Media Anmeldung hatte ich die Chance hautnah dabei zu sein und auch an der Strecke Fotos zu machen sowie Videos in der Boxengasse zu drehen.

HRPT over The Ocean - Germany to Canada

Thn HRPToverTheOcean

I had a small project with one of my followers in canada where we tried to make a combined HRPT image over the atlantic from Europe to the american continent.

Watch the Video Below for some more informations and images, hope you enjoy it :)

You can take a look at the full Resolution image as well at the end of this page.

SSTV from the ISS - MAI75 - June 2018

The ISS is sending SSTV Images again on the 6th and 7th of june on Orbits that pass over Moscow. As always they use a 145,8mhz Downlink and PD120 modulation that uses around 16khz of bandwidth (FM Wide).

I will use my DIY QFH Antenna at the Roof with my Airspy mini to receive the Signal for this short SSTV event.

A great ADSB LNA for only 25€

Thn adsb lna rtlsdrblog

I run my ADSB Radar now for over a year and started out with a Flightaware Pro Stick that worked very well. A few months ago i bought the very well known ADSB filtered LNA from UpUtronics that seems like it is the favorite of the community around the World.

Some weeks after i had my new LNA, the producer of the high quality RTL SDRs that many people use released a ADSB LNA. RTL-SDR.com developted a 3 time filtered LNA with two gain stages that has a gain of 27db and attenuates all out of band signals at least 60db.

SSTV from the ISS - Cosmonautics day - 40 year anniversary

MI pass3 img2

The ISS is sending SSTV images from the 11th April for 3 Days on all orbits insted of only moscau passes. Mode is PD120 on the common 145.800mhz Downlink frequency.

I will mostly use my QFH and my Airspy Mini to receive the images this time. More information on my QTH page.

I will update this post at least once a day with the images i was able to receive.

Results:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

(Green = Received | Blue = partly | Black = not received)

I got all images at least once and only one is not complete. I'm very happy with that result because i only used my QFH and Airspy mini without any amplifier.

SSTV from the ISS - MAI75 - April 2nd and 3rd 2018

MO pass1 img1

The ISS will transmit images over SSTV on the 2nd and 3th April on passes that go over Moscow, Russia. They use the PD120 mode and transmit on 145.800mhz as always.

I will use my QFH on the Roof as well as my Airspy Mini sdr to recive the images. You can find more about my QTH here.

I will update this post regularly with all the images i was able to get.

HRPT - optimizations and great images!

Thn hrpt verbesserungen

I made some changes to my HRPT setup and was able to get very good images from NOAA19 for example. Take a look at my Video about the changes below:

HRPT - first images! - and my setup

Thn hrpt first images

I got into HRPT some time ago and was able to receive some nice images so far. My setup is not optimal at all, but it works quite well already. I post most of my HRPT images and other sat related stuff on my Twitter profile, follow me if you are interested :)

If you have questions, just send me an Email or contact me on Twitter etc.

First of all here is my Video about it, additional information and a few images follow further down this page.

SSTV from the ISS - MAI75 - December 2017

There is a ongoing SSTV event on the ISS from the 6th December to the 8th where the ISS is sending images in PD120 in the VHF band at 145.8mhz.

Note that it is planned to be only active on orbits that reach Moscow on the 7th and 8th.

I will update this post with my recent received images as soon as possible.

ARISS school Conatct 28th nov 2017 - Canada, Huntley Centennial Public School

There was a ARISS school contact between the Huntley Centennial Public School, Carp, ON, Canada and Paolo Nespoli on the ISS. They used the Telebridge IK1SLD in italy for making the contact to canada, while the iss was over europe, so I was in range and was able to receive most of the contact.

I used my QFH Antenna on the Roof that is connectedt with an 5m cable to my Airspy mini.

DIY AZ/EL Antenna rotator for under 150€

Thn blog diy tracker

First of all, you can find the STLs of the 3D printed parts on Thingiverse.

I was searching for a AZ/EL Antenna Tracker for my Dish and all I found was quite expensive. After some search I found the Satnogs Project and the Tracker they developt. I then started designing a rotator that follows the same principal as the Satnogs one, but with bigger and stronger stepper motors and a smaller overall size.

Listen to Astronauts on the ISS - ARISS contacts with Paolo Nespoli

After the SSTV Event on the ISS I discovered that the italian astronaut Polo Nespoli will make a few amateur radio contacts for the ARISS programm to stations around Europe in august. On these contacts the participents on earth will ask the astronaut questions, that they collected before the contact, over the amateur radio link. All voice contacts from the ISS are made over the same frequency as SSTV on 145.8 mhz. The modulation is standard FM, so almost any radio can receive it. Even a cheap Setup with either a SDR or Baofeng, like I used, works quite well.

SSTV from the ISS - ARISS 20th Anniversary - July 2017

ISS SSTV02 22 07 2017

ARISS celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a SSTV event from the International Space Station. he ISS is sending SSTV images from the 20.07.2017 (~21:25 UTC) until the 24.07.2017 (~18:00 UTC) on 145.800mhz. This time they are using the PD120 protocol, so each image only takes 2 instead of 3 minutes.

Like many others around the World, I will try to get as many images from the ISS as possible during the weekend. Unfortunately all passes of the ISS are in the middle of the night for me (and anyone around Germany) what is not that great. As the day go by, i will update this blog ost with my received images and what else was happening around it.

3D printable Universal Outernet Case - for the DIY Kit

The DIY Receiver Kit from Outernet inc. unfortunately comes without any type of case. So how you mount everything and point it to the satellite? Rubber bands and the box it comes in?

Because of that I sat down and used Fusion 360 to design a 3D printable Case for the Outernet Hardware. My goal was to make a case that can hold the CHIP, SDRx and the Antenna but is as small as possible. Also, the elevation angle of the antenna, that changes around the world, should be adjustable so it can be used everywhere. Beside that it also should look nice :)

ODC render 1

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