Difference between revisions of "HAB Tracker Station"

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Project page for the high altitude balloon tracking/listening station we are setting up in the space.
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Project page for the high altitude balloon tracking/listening station have set up in the space.
  
 
== Overview ==
 
== Overview ==
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* VK5QI HABamp
 
* VK5QI HABamp
 
* Raspberry Pi (+ power supply)
 
* Raspberry Pi (+ power supply)
* Test payload, RFM22b sending RTTY strings on 434.250MHz. Code here: https://github.com/costyn/rfmtest/blob/master/rfmtest.pde
 
 
* Antenna: Diamond X-50N
 
* Antenna: Diamond X-50N
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* Test payload, RFM22b sending RTTY strings on 434.250MHz. Code here: https://github.com/costyn/rfmtest/blob/master/rfmtest.pde
  
 
=== Software ===
 
=== Software ===
* rtl_tcp on RasPi over the network --> '''works!''' (1024000 samples/second seems to go fine when both are on a wired connection)
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* The raspi running rtl_tcp can do around 2MS/s, and you can connect with it on habraspi.space.revspace.nl:1234. Make sure you use a wired connection, or else the latency and overall experience will be horrible.
* VNC performance with gqrx and dl-fldigi --> '''usable with JPEG compression and 8 bits of color''' (why not SPICE? http://www.spice-space.org/)
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== Todo ==
 
== Todo ==
 
=== Hardware ===
 
=== Hardware ===
* Piece of pipe with a inside diameter of 29mm
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* Install the HABamp
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* Test other DVB-T sticks, the mini-R820T could be interesting.
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* Moar ferrite
  
 
=== Software ===
 
=== Software ===
 
* Setting up a virtual machine with gqrx and dl-fldigi.
 
* Setting up a virtual machine with gqrx and dl-fldigi.
** If we are going to use SPICE we could setup a whole new machine. Or at least some sort of Fedora desktop virtual machine.
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** Blokje told us we could use his machine for permanent setup
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*** This requires us to move the [[SpaceSoundSystem]] towards something like a Cubieboard
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**** Preferred to setup a complete NAS at the same time, this idea has been floating around for a while too
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=== Problems we ran into ===
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* As soon as the P2000 tower transmits, it looks like the Fitipower FC0013 overloads, even on lowest gain.
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** If the HABamp doesn't fix this we need to test other tuners.
  
=== Shit just got real ===
 
<pre><foobar> Maxell: had xander gevraagd over die plaatsing van een antenne, is geen probleem, mits netjes aangelegd/afgewerkt
 
<foobar> je kan eventueel bij de zonne-collector naar binnen, daar is al een kabelgoot o.i.d.
 
<foobar> komt uit in de wc's boven, kan dan door naar de meterkast, en vanaf daar zijn al ducts naar beneden/kelder</pre>
 
  
 
=== '''OMG! HUGE SUCCESS!''' ===
 
=== '''OMG! HUGE SUCCESS!''' ===
The old geyser's ventilation pipe is still penetrating the roof. Cat5e UTP and 230v at your fingertips.
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* First radio signals have been heard at 16 Feb. 2013.
It looks like we don't need to put our setup on the roof anymore, '''just the antenna'''! The enclosure we are going to use doesn't need to battle mother nature anymore, easy replacement if something breaks, etc, etc.
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* The next day we tested Costyn's next payload: the Habanero!
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** $$HABANERO,41,15:09:39,52.0647,+4.3642,45,7,6,16,23,4.15*AE4C ([https://maps.google.nl/maps?q=52.0647,%2B4.3642&hl=en&ll=52.064739,4.364579&spn=0.00092,0.002642&sll=52.469397,5.509644&sspn=1.867323,5.410767&t=m&z=19&iwloc=near GPS location on Google Maps])
  
 
== Grounding ==
 
== Grounding ==
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</pre>
 
</pre>
  
=== Pics ===
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== Pics ==
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=== Derping around with hardware ===
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
 
File:Finaltestonpi.png|One of the first payload tests
 
File:Finaltestonpi.png|One of the first payload tests
File:IMAG0857.jpg|
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File:IMAG0857.jpg
File:IMAG0860.jpg|
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File:IMAG0860.jpg
 
File:IMAG0864.jpg|The antenna: 'Diamond X-50N'
 
File:IMAG0864.jpg|The antenna: 'Diamond X-50N'
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</gallery>
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=== Deel 1 ===
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<gallery>
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File:Zonnecollector Frame 1.jpg|Coax will leave/enter the building trough the little chimney
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File:UH4jTew.jpg|The ideal antenna mounting spot; the old zonnecollector
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File:4vLbEty.jpg|Enclosure almost ready to rock
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File:N2wnt9R.jpg|The magic pipe
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File:8CEENu3.jpg|Almost the same as having the Raspi on the roof
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File:Sdtd8bY.jpg|Power and network connected
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File:LZVCxte.jpg
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File:0r5ffXS.jpg|Not sure what happened with the other hole there
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File:YRv3kUe.jpg|The smell was't that bad
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File:Eqagifp.jpg|It pings!
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File:WNtwDZG.jpg|The open pigtail even picks up our payload...
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</gallery>
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=== Deel 2 ===
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<gallery>
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File:YJkKJx3.png|Without the HABamp the USB cable is a bit short
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File:MQWEHh1.png|Coax entering
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File:QvAsY3B.png|oh hi
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File:RzGxD7t.png|Look at the beautiful stainless steel bolts!
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File:LUsffcP.png|Oooooh!
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File:4mcwHHD.png
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File:XOABzL1.png
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File:SaZOJpU.png|The beauty
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>

Revision as of 23:16, 17 February 2013

Project HAB Tracker Station
Status In progress
Contact User:Costyn_van_Dongen, Maxell, Bertrik_Sikken
Last Update 2013-02-17

Project page for the high altitude balloon tracking/listening station have set up in the space.

Overview

1000px

Done

Hardware

Software

  • The raspi running rtl_tcp can do around 2MS/s, and you can connect with it on habraspi.space.revspace.nl:1234. Make sure you use a wired connection, or else the latency and overall experience will be horrible.

Todo

Hardware

  • Install the HABamp
  • Test other DVB-T sticks, the mini-R820T could be interesting.
  • Moar ferrite

Software

  • Setting up a virtual machine with gqrx and dl-fldigi.
    • Blokje told us we could use his machine for permanent setup
      • This requires us to move the SpaceSoundSystem towards something like a Cubieboard
        • Preferred to setup a complete NAS at the same time, this idea has been floating around for a while too

Problems we ran into

  • As soon as the P2000 tower transmits, it looks like the Fitipower FC0013 overloads, even on lowest gain.
    • If the HABamp doesn't fix this we need to test other tuners.


OMG! HUGE SUCCESS!

  • First radio signals have been heard at 16 Feb. 2013.
  • The next day we tested Costyn's next payload: the Habanero!

Grounding

<costyn> so guys, how do you ground your antenna's? what the consensus on lightning arrestors?
<fsphil> there's so little lightning here I don't bother
<costyn> hmm
<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
<SpeedEvil> you need to ground to a separate rod, with a straight cable to it
<SpeedEvil> thick insulated cable
<costyn> define thick?
<gonzo_> you are only going to be able to disipate static with earthing. very little you can do against a direct strike
<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.
<gonzo_> your typical short colinear is possibly going to be DC short between the centre and braid anyway. (You can test with a DVM)
<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
<costyn> gonzo_: it'll be a short one yea, Diamond X-50 likely
<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
<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)
<costyn> it's basically a flat roof with some outlets for hvac 
<costyn> so no existing metal work. we're thinking of using/making a stand with metal weighted down with tiles
<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
<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

Pics

Derping around with hardware

Deel 1

Deel 2