LEO/MEO/GEO Satellite Groundstation

LEO/MEO/GEO-Satellite Groundstation

The goal is to install a satellite 2m/70cm Groundstation at home in order to make active radio contacts with the current and future LEO/MEO/GEO satellites and ISS.

There are currently a few LEO satellites and one MEO-Satellite (IO-117) in the space which you can work with SSB or FM or Packet-Radio.

The challenge is the operation in one LEO SAT cycle (5-15 minutes) with the doppler shift. The MEO SAT is up for almost 1 hour per cycle and with a huge footprint.

I'm using the EA4TX ARS-USB or the S.A.T Tracking Box to control my YAESU G-5500DC AZ/EL Rotor using the Microsoft Satellite Tracking and the SATPC32 SAT-Tracking Software.

My current SAT DXCC status as of 11.5.2024: --> 149 (online SAT DXCC Status)

In January 2024 I managed the IO-117 (Greencube) QSO from HB9 to Clipperton Islands TX5S.

Download: LEO/MEO SAT Groundstation Overview including GreenCube IO-117 Digipeater [4’618 KB]
Satellite QO-100 Presentation [11’001 KB] in German (Sept. 2022) and my Portable QO-100 [1’282 KB] SAT-Setup with a 35cm portable Dish.

Satellite Information:
Satellite Overview - SSB with strong signals are: RS-44, FO-29, HO-113, EO-88, XW-2A
Satellite Overview - FM with strong signals are: ISS, SO-50, PO-101
Satellite Overview [137 KB] and Satellite Description [1’288 KB] by HB9RYZ
Great website about satellites from FG8OJ , current AMSAT SAT Informations and planned Satellites.

Whether you're on a DXpedition, a park activation, or just home in the shack, sometimes it can be hard to drum up a scheduled contact on the birds.
Great SAT activation site

Current LEO/MEO Satellite Groundstation

Microsoft Windows Satellite Tracking Software written by KarhuKoti

This Windows Satellite Tracking App is a great software to track all known satellites including control of your Transceiver such as IC-9700 and AZ/EL Rotator such as the YAESU G-5500DC.

Koti gives you a great support, if you have any feature request or changes in handling the serial COM ports. I'm using now this Windows App for Greencube (IO-117), RS-44, ISS, etc.

Please find here [4’618 KB] a complete documentation about my Satellite Groundstation Setup.

DXCC Satellite Certificate No. 401 - June 2022

My current SAT DXCC status as of 9.5.2023 - 130
My current SAT DXCC status as of 9.5.2023 - 130

Good SAT Links:
Download my SAT Konzept in German [2’025 KB]
Overivew of current Ham-Radio satellites by FG8OJ
SatBlog from DK3WN
AMSAT Satellite Status
N2YO Amateur Radio Satellites
SAT Live Tracking
AMSAT Communication Satellites
AMSAT Linear Staellite Frequency Summary
SAT-Match for Sked
SatNOGS Satellite Tracking Project
AMSAT planned Satellites
AMSAT launched Satellites

ARS-USB Box for AZ/EL with Raspberry Pi from EA4TX Pablo
Microsoft Windows Satellite Tracking App
SATPC32 Tracking Software
remoteRotator Software from DH1TW Tobias
S.A.T. Box from CSN Technologies for SAT-Tracking
Sequence Controller FSC52000
ICOM IC-9700 PTT Multiplexer
Pstrotator Sat Tracking Software

GreenCube IO-117 MEO Digipeater

GreenCube IO-117 MEO Satellite Digipeater Live

GreenCube IO-117 is a new satellite that was designed by S5Lab and there are lots of interesting parts to this one. Most amateur radio satellites we usually play with is in Leo orbit, meaning its only a couple hundred kilometers away. The Greencube satellite is in Meo orbit with a distance of 5800+ km. This makes it a bit more challenging. The original goal of the satellite is to demonstrate an autonomous biological laboratory for growing plants in space which is very important for future long distance space travels.

In January 2024 I managed the IO-117 QSO from HB9 to Clipperton Islands TX5S.

Download: LEO/MEO SAT Groundstation Overview including GreenCube IO-117 Digipeater [4’618 KB]
To decode the packets we use the SoundModem software developed by UZ7HO. You can download it here.

There is new Digipeater Software from OZ9AAK incl. UDP-Interface to the Log4OM logbook.

The default frequency for the digipeater and telemetry is 435.310.000 Hz (Same downlink/uplink --> SPLIT operating with IC-9700).
Great Website from Tom ZR6TG about the whole solution with ICOM IC-9700 here.

Greencube live activation map
Greencube Observer

HBRadio 6/2023 [562 KB] Artikel über den Greencube IO-117 MEO Satellit

Next SAT & ISS flight over Hünenberg (JN47FE)

Es’hail 2 Geo-Satellite QO-100 / QRV since 6.3.19

Qatar’s Es’hail-2 Satellite 2019 - OSCAR 100

Es'hail-2 - Successfully launched into orbit (15. Nov. 2018)
The eagerly awaited start of the Es'hail-2 took place on 15/11/2018 at 20:46 as planned and successfully. This is the beginning of a new era in satellite broadcasting for us radio amateurs.

OSCAR 100 (QO-100) is QRV since February 14. 2019.

Qatar’s Es’hail-2 satellite will provide the first amateur radio geostationary communications that could link amateurs from Brazil to Thailand. The satellite is positioned at 25.5 degrees East.

Es'hail-2 coverage areaEs’hail-2 will carry two “Phase 4” amateur radio transponders operating in the 2400 MHz and 10450 MHz bands. A 250 kHz bandwidth linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations and an 8 MHz bandwidth transponder for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television.

Live QO-100 ans SAT WebSDRs
Live Es'Hail-2 OSCAR 100 SAT WebDR from England
Live Es'Hail-2 OSCAR 100 SAT WebSDR from Italy
Live ES'Hail-2 OSCAR-100 SAT WebSDR in Playa Muchavista

QO-100 live Cluster 1 and 2
Join the QO-100 DX Club
SatNOGS Projekt for Raspberry Pi (not active anymore)
SatNOGS Ground-Station of HB9RYZ (not active anymore)

Good QO-100 Links:
Monitor for SG-Lab Power Amplifier
Adalm Pluto modified with TCXO 0.5 ppm
QO-100 Dish Pointing online
ISS live Tracking

QO-100 with Heil Pro 6 Headset and EQ from UR6QW

Home QO-100 Setup (JN47FE)

QO-100 with HDSDR v2.80, Omnirig v2.1, SDRPlay RSP2 and the ICOM IC-9700 for the Uplink

- SDRPlay RSP2 for Downlink 739 MHz (LNB with 25 MHz Ref-In)
- HDSDR v2.81 with Omnirig v2.1
- IC-9700 as Transceiver for the Up-Link 431 MHz
- QO-100 Transverter from PE1CMO max. 20 Watt
- VARA SAT and Winlink to send e-Mails over the QO-100
- JTDX to use FT8/FT4 over the QO-100

You need to install the the ExtIO_SDRplay_RSP2.dll for the SDRPlay RSP2

HDSDR Offset Configuration in the Omnirig SAT Menu:
- Options - CAT to Radio (Omni-Rig) - set Converter Offset - Picture
- Options - RF Front-end Configuration - Picture
- Omnirig v2.1 - Picture
- HDSDR v2.0 in action - Picture

Omnirig RIG-INI File [8 KB] for the IC-9700 Transceiver
Where to buy the GooBay 67269 Single LNB?

QO-100 Portable Station (2022)

QO-100 Portable SAT-Station

35cm Camping Dish
Pluto SDR TCXO modified by DG9BFC
Modified LNB with 0.2 ppm and POTY Antenna
PA-Driver TQP 3M9008 (+ 20dB)
DC-DC Step Up Converter (12V > 24V)
DC-DC Step Down Converter (12V -> 5V/3A)
LTE 800 MHz Blocking Filter (RX)
SDR Console v3.1.x with the beacon synchronization
USB Sennheiser Headset for Notebook

QO-100 Audio Test with 35cm Dish 1st Set

First QO-100 Portable Kit sold to 8Q7QC (2020)

First QO-100 Portable SAT-Station with 35cm Camping-Dish

The QO-100 portable SAT-Station is approx. 9kg incl. travel case and 11kg incl. tripod.

MEGASAT Camping dish 35cm
Pluto SDR TCXO modified and in metal case by DG9BFC
Patch-Antenne and LNB TCXO modified by DG9BFC
10-15W Amplifier with skyworks 65017 as preamp (20 dB gain)
mw4ic2230 (30-31 dB gain) as amplifier
old Notebook Power Supply 19V and 4.74A
DC-DC Step Down Converter (19V > 5V) for the Pluto SDR
SDR Console v3.0.22 with the beacon synchronization
No GPSDO necessary to stabilize the frequency
USB Sennheiser PC3 Headset for Notebook
Griffin PowerMate USB VFO Knob
4-Port USB Hub

Thanks to SIGI DG9BFC, who built the main parts and helped me to setup the solution with SDR Console v3.0.22 via a Teamviewer session online.

Complete Documentation [3’988 KB] of the QO-100 portable SAT-Station

8Q7AO, Maldive - Vilamendhoo 2021, South Ari Atoll from Jan 25th - Feb. 7th 2021 by HB9WDF. I'm happy that I was able to hand over my portable QO-100 SAT kit to Michi for his Scuba Diving and QO-100 DX-Expedition. The portable QO-100 station will stay in the Maldives at 8Q7QC Ibrahim, thanks to Charly (DK3ZL).

Lens Test

Download [8 KB] [IC-9700-DATA-RIT.ini] the modified IC-9700 INI-File in order to use your IC-9700 as an external Radio within SDR Radio Console v3.0.x. with additional RIT feature from DL3HM.

First OSCAR 100 Beacon Contact (March 2019)

Launch of es'Hail 2 Satellite SpaceX (Nov. 2018)

OSCAR 10 1984-1986

Oscar 10 Satellite Operation 1984 - 1985

These are some impressions from my OSCAR 10 SAT-Operation between 1984-1985. I used the ICOM IC-211 E for 2m (10 Watt) for the Downlink and the KENWOOD TR-9500 70cm (10 Watts) with a Home-Made Amplifier (50W) for the Uplink. I used the 14-element Yagi antenna from Tonna for (2m) and the 23-element Yagi for (70cm).

A self developed Commodore C64 application was managing my home built automatic SAT Antenna-Moving solution which was able to follow the OSCAR 10 at any time. A home made Pre-Amp controller unit for 20m and 70cm was managing the RX/TX flow for SAT operation.

OSCAR 10 Satellite QSO Samples - Recorded 1986 by HB9RYZ
Uplink 70cm (438 MHz) and Downlink 2m (144 MHz)

List of all OSCAR Satellites
OSCAR 10 Information and live Tracking
Video - Integration and Start of OSCAR 10
Video - Die OSCAR 10 Story

AO-10 CQ Call 1986

AO-10 CQ-Call 1986

AO-10 QSO with UB5MGW

AO-10 QSO with G1DMV

Some of the OSCAR 10 Satellite QSL Cards between 1984 and 1985