Difference between revisions of "HAB Tracker Station"

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(The roof)
Line 57: Line 57:
* Looks much better
* Looks much better
* More vandal-proof
* More vandal-proof
=== The roof from inside ===
No obvious cable ducts, there seems to be an open ventilation pipe.
== Todo ==
== Todo ==

Revision as of 21:39, 15 January 2013

Project HAB Tracker Station
Status In progress
Contact User:Costyn_van_Dongen, Maxell, Bertrik
Last Update 2013-01-15

Project page for the high altitude balloon tracking/listening station we are setting up in the space.




Acquired Hardware

  • "ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM" dongle, RTL2838U, Fitipower FC0013 tuner, Supported gain values (23): -9.9 -7.3 -6.5 -6.3 -6.0 -5.8 -5.4 5.8 6.1 6.3 6.5 6.7 6.8 7.0 7.1 17.9 18.1 18.2 18.4 18.6 18.8 19.1 19.7
  • VK5QI HABamp
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Test payload, RFM22b sending RTTY strings on 434.250MHz. Code here: https://github.com/costyn/rfmtest/blob/master/rfmtest.pde


  • Sending test payload --> works!
  • Sending data from rtl_tcp on RasPi over the network --> works! (1024000 samples/second seems to go fine when both are on a wired connection)
  • gqrx to listen to audio --> works!
  • dl-fldigi RTTY decoding --> works!
  • Testing VNC performance with gqrx and dl-fldigi --> usable with JPEG compression and 8 bits of color


  • Setting up a virtual machine with gqrx and dl-fldigi

revspace@habraspi:~$ rtl_tcp -a

Found 1 device(s). Found Fitipower FC0013 tuner

Using ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle


The roof

  • Currently there is no lightning protection installed. We need to figure out how we are going to ground the antenna.
  • PoE seems doable, also makes it easy to restart the setup.
  • Penetrating the roof would increase the risk of any leakage
    • Our best option is to guide the UTP-cable down the drainpipe, in a separate PVC-pipe.

Shit just got real

18:13 < foobar> Maxell: had xander gevraagd over die plaatsing van een antenne, is geen probleem, mits netjes aangelegd/afgewerkt 18:13 < foobar> je kan eventueel bij de zonne-collector naar binnen, daar is al een kabelgoot o.i.d. 18:13 < foobar> komt uit in de wc's boven, kan dan door naar de meterkast, en vanaf daar zijn al ducts naar beneden/kelder

Getting cables inside the building has huge advantages!

  • Not limited to PoE
    • We feed 230v mains as high as we can, yet keep the last bit 5v DC.
      • So it's more efficient!
    • Less heat dissipation inside the enclosure on the roof.
      • So why bother cooling that box?
  • Getting some proper ground connection is now very easy and cheap.
  • Looks much better
  • More vandal-proof

The roof from inside

No obvious cable ducts, there seems to be an open ventilation pipe.



with tiles in the corners to weigh it down


09:53 < costyn> so guys, how do you ground your antenna's? what the consensus on lightning arrestors?
09:56 < fsphil> there's so little lightning here I don't bother
09:57 < costyn> hmm
09:58 < costyn> we're going to place an antenna on the roof of our hackerspace, but it's not our building and we'll have to convince the 
                owners that it's safe
10:18 < SpeedEvil> you need to ground to a separate rod, with a straight cable to it
10:20 < SpeedEvil> thick insulated cable
10:20 < costyn> define thick?
10:29 < gonzo_> you are only going to be able to disipate static with earthing. very little you can do against a direct strike
10:29 < griffonbot> Received email: NickB "[UKHAS] Re: DL-FLDIGI question"
10:31 < gonzo_> most lightening arrestors are really just spark gap's, that allow some high voltage coming down the centre of the coax, to 
                jump to the outer.
10:32 < gonzo_> your typical short colinear is possibly going to be DC short between the centre and braid anyway. (You can test with a DVM)
10:34 < gonzo_> long colinears are not much of an advantage for HAB use, so I assume it will be a short one. So will not extend much above 
                the existing roof profile? So will not be any greater risk of lightening than anything else
10:34 < costyn> gonzo_: it'll be a short one yea, Diamond X-50 likely
10:35 < costyn> gonzo_: and it'll raise some above the roof line, but it's not a high building (2 stories) and there's higher buildings and 
                trees around
10:35 < gonzo_> not siure of your mounting options, but if mounted to existing metalwork up there, like handrains etc, it will be earthed to 
                the building anyway (or at least the owners metalwork)
10:35 < costyn> it's basically a flat roof with some outlets for hvac 
10:36 < costyn> so no existing metal work. we're thinking of using/making a stand with metal weighted down with tiles
10:39 < gonzo_> then an extra ground wire would prob be worth adding. If the building or roof is metal, then that could be an option to 
                earth to, or as SpeedEvil said, an earthing rod
10:44 < costyn> ok. thanks for the advice. will see what we can do. not even sure if we're going to get permission to route the coax on the 
                outside of the building, so we'll see