Categories
Ham Satellite news

Tracking Artemis-1 with PstRotator

Thank you Codrut YO3DMU of PstRotator for the following info:

You can use the DSN module of the PstRotator program for Artemis-1 tracking. The program automatically download the necessary files from Horizons and use them to control the rotator and the radio with Doppler corrections.

At this moment the ephemeris are not yet available, but these will be at a short time after a successfully launch.

You can find here the Artemis 1 mission frequency allocation: https://sgcderek.github.io/blog/artemis-1.html 
The Omotenashi satellite will be interesting as it will use UHF (437 MHz).

Categories
Beginners and operation

Working satellites with IC-9700

This is a guide how to work satellites with the Icom IC-9700. When trying to understand the IC-9700 I needed to write down how to use it – so this is how this post was born. Several different user scenarios are explained below.

The IC-9700 satellite memory examples and file can be found here.
Please contact us if you see anything that will not work in the following user cases.

Setting up PstRotator and OmniRig

The PstRotator manual is very good so please read it, very important is the section how to use IC-9700 with PstRotator satellite functions.

The file for OmniRig is delivered with PstRotator and is named IC-9700PST.ini. Do not forget to copy this file to the OmniRig folder.

My settings for OmniRig is like this:

And a typical layout for PstRotator Satellites Tracking is like this:

Case 1: Using IC-9700 stand alone without computer control

Read the IC-9700 Basic Manual section 7 “Satellite communication”. It has all the information you need.

I have tested linear satellites with manual tuning (RS-44) and it worked very good. My uplink TX signal (VHF) was fixed and I tuned the downlink signal (UHF) when needed. The VFO tracking/untracking function of the IC-9700 is outstanding.

Some basic rules I learned from skilled operators:

  • “Tune the highest frequency”
  • “Always tune UHF to VHF” – the same as fix the VHF frequency and tune UHF.

Case 2: Using IC-9700 with PstRotator

Once again – first read the excellent manual of PstRotator and the section about satellites and IC-9700. Then – read it one more time!

Some operating hints:

  • Select the satellite from PstRotator Favorites. Correct frequency, mode and subtone (if needed, for FM) are now set to IC-9700, and the radio goes into Satellite Mode. The filter selection, for example if you have chosen FIL2 for USB, should not be changed from PstRotator.
  • The first time on a satellite you may need to correct the offset with the +/- and then click Save.
  • Press the “UP+DN” on PstRotator. Doppler is now adjusted on both RX and TX. You can use the VFO knob on the IC-9700 to tune around on the passband with full doppler control, very nice! Just transmit and you should hear yourself.
  • If a station you would like to receive, or your own signal, is off frequency it can be good to use the RIT on the radio to adjust RX frequency in a smooth way, without changing the PstRotator settings. Also the PBT (Pass Band Tuning of RX filter) can be good to use during RX.

Case 3: Using IC-9700 as TX with SDR-Console v3 as RX

In this case the IC-9700 is working as the transmitter with full doppler control and SDR-Console with a SDR (or panadapter for IC-9700) as receiver, also with doppler control. Be sure to set the correct band for TX to the MAIN VFO in IC-9700 and do not use the Satellite Mode. Then use the same setup as described in this post.

It is possible to use the VFO knob on IC-9700 to tune the TX frequency.

Case 4: FT4 with IC-9700 and PstRotator

Be sure to use DATA mode settings in PstRotator. Then the IC-9700 is using the filter you have selected for DATA.
Then use it just like Case 2 above.

Case 5: FT4 with IC-9700 as TX and SDR-Console v3 as RX

Use the IC-9700 as transmitter and SDR-Console with SDR (or panadapter for IC-9700) as receiver. Be sure to set the correct band for TX to the MAIN VFO in IC-9700 and do not use the Satellite Mode Use the same setup as described in this post.

This is the setup I’m using when running FT4 because I think it gives better control over the QSO than using PstRotator.

Categories
Beginners and operation

Working satellites with IC-705 PstRotator or SDR-Console

This is a guide how to working satellites with the IC-705 or similar rig. When trying to understand the IC-705 I needed to write down how to use it – so this is how this post was born. I will try to explain 3 different user scenarios, each have a case for FM- and linear satellites :

  • Working stand alone (portable) without computer control
  • Working with SDR-Console for doppler adjust and a SDR as receiver
  • Working with PstRotator for doppler adjust

The IC-705 satellite memory examples and file can be found here.
Please contact me if you see anything that will not work in the following user cases – I have limited knowledge.

Setting up PstRotator

I will not explain how to use and set up PstRotator – the PstRotator manual is very good. The settings for Omnirig is like this:

And a typical layout for PstRotator Satellites Tracking is like this (and for reference image for the text below):

Case 1: Using IC-705 stand alone without computer control

FM satellites

  • Select split memory for the satellite in IC-705.
  • If needed adjust the RX frequency with the VFO knob (look at the waterfall).
  • Adjust the TX frequency for doppler when transmitting with VFO knob. Use a printed frequency chart for help.

Linear satellites with SSB transponder
(I have never tried semi-duplex on linear satellites before so not sure if this works)

  • Select split memory for the satellite in IC-705.
  • Adjust the RX frequency with the VFO knob to find a free space on the transponder (look at the waterfall).
  • Adjust the TX frequency (press PTT and use the VFO knob) to the correct frequency on the uplink. Use a printed frequency chart for help.

Case 2: Using IC-705 with SDR-Console v3

In this case the IC-705 is working as the transmitter with full doppler control and a SDR as receiver, also with doppler control.
This is my primary working setup for now!

FM satellites

  • Select the downlink frequency in SDR-Console for your SDR receiver and enable tracking in the satellite window, this will doppler control your RX.
  • Select the uplink memory for the satellite in IC-705 to get correct CCTCS tones.
  • Select the uplink frequency in SDR-Console, it will be transferred to External Radio windows.
  • Start External Radio in SDR Console for doppler control – no need to do anything on the IC-705 – just transmit.

Linear satellites with SSB transponder

  • Select the downlink frequency in SDR-Console for your SDR receiver and enable tracking in the satellite window, this will doppler control your RX.
  • Select the uplink frequency in SDR-Console, it will be transferred to External Radio windows.
  • Adjust the RX frequency at SDR Console to find a free space on the transponder (look at the waterfall).
  • Start External Radio in SDR Console for doppler control.
  • As SDR Console does not link (track) up/downlink VFOs – adjust the TX frequency on the IC-705 with the VFO knob to the correct frequency on the uplink. Doppler is corrected also during TX. Use a printed frequency chart for help.
    You can also adjust the frequency with the mouse wheel in at the External Radio windows. I find this better then using the VFO knob on the radio.

    In late 2021 I have made a virtual VFO control that is working well and this is the way I’m working all my QSOs now.
    Please see this post on my GitHub for more info.


Case 3: Using IC-705 stand-alone with PstRotator

In this case PstRotator sets the correct frequency and mode on the IC-705 and has doppler control for both RX and TX. You are working IC-705 stand-alone as semi-duplex.
Note! I’m not using this setup for now.

FM satellites

  • Select the satellite from PstRotator Favorites. Correct frequency, mode and subtone are now set in IC-705 VFOs.
  • Press the “UP+DN” on PstRotator. Doppler is now adjusted on both RX and TX.
  • No need to do anything on the IC-705 – just transmit and listen.

Linear satellites with SSB transponder

  • Select the satellite from PstRotator Favorites. Correct frequency and mode are now set in IC-705 VFOs.
  • Press the “UP+DN” on PstRotator and check that VFO linking are set to “Reverse”. Doppler is now adjusted on both RX and TX and the VFOs are linked.
  • Adjust the RX frequency with the VFO knob to find a free space on the transponder (look at the waterfall). The TX is linked and will have correct frequency.
  • Change the VFO linking to “Not linked” on PstRotator. This means that both TX and RX are still doppler adjusted but the TX frequency is locked (fixed). If needed you can adjust the RX frequency with the VFO knob on the IC-705.

Finally this is a short video when using the tiny GPD MicroPC with PstRotator and IC-705 as a portable computer controlled doppler adjustment.

Categories
Beginners and operation

IC-705 doppler correction with PSTRotator

To setup the new IC-705 for doppler control with PstRotator software you just have to follow these steps:

  • Download the OmniRig file for IC-705 from here https://sm7iun.se/station/ic705/
  • Be sure to set up the IC-705 for USB control according to the manual from Icom
  • Follow the guidelines in PstRotator documents for satellite and rig control, choosing IC-705 from OmniRig setup

Here a short video after the setup:

Categories
Antennas SDR and software

PstRotator with SDR-Console and AlfaSpid rotor

After using the old Wisp DDE Client I now have upgraded to PstRotator as the bridge from SDR-Console to my AlfaSpid SPX-01 rotor. PstRotator is very powerful with lots of functions, has low CPU usage and a very good support from its creator.

I can highly recommend this software if you would like to have full control over your antenna rotor.