HAB Tracker Station

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Revision as of 09:54, 9 January 2013 by Costyn van Dongen (Talk | contribs) (The roof)

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Project HAB Tracker Station
Status In progress
Contact User:Costyn_van_Dongen
Last Update 2013-01-09

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.


  • Site survey roof, check if there is already some sort of lightning protection system, and see if we can add some metal construction to it ourselfs
  • Currently we have no antenna. Well need some heavy duty (directional?) antenna.
    • Do we make one or do we buy one?
    • What kind of antenna? (keep in mind we only have line of sight towards south/southwest)
  • Find and buy IP56 enclosure: http://linitx.com/product/13265
  • Routing Ethernet (with PoE) towards the roof, possibly using (something like) this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200841109556
  • Your ideas, we love them!