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Revision as of 13:28, 9 December 2013 by Bertrik Sikken (Talk | contribs) (Remove strikethroughs)

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Project RevRadio
Status In progress
Contact User:Bertrik_Sikken
Last Update 2013-12-09


Roof is looking much better now

This project consists of several small sub-projects related to radio reception at RevSpace. Reception is based (so far) on DVB-T dongles using an RTL2832 chip to do SDR (software-defined-radio).


HF (0 - 30 MHz)

To receive signals from the relatively low frequency "HF" band, we have a ham-it-up board. The ham-it-up converts signals from 0-30 MHz up to 125-155 MHz, this makes is possible to use an RTL2832-based dongle to receive them.

Things that can be received with this setup:

  • morse and rtty beacons;
  • amateur radio voice;
  • amateur radio SSTV (slow-scan TV);
  • number stations such as the buzzer;
  • commercial AM broadcasts
  • etc.

Stuff we can implement

  • Put it in a box!
  • Experiment with different (home made) antennas such as the mini whip
  • Hooking it up to our main SDR computer. Requires antenna on the roof

Generic VHF/UHF (24 - 1700 MHz)

Still installing

For generic radio reception in the VHF/UHF bands, we have a setup consisting of a discone antenna (ICOM AH-7000) on the roof of RevSpace and an RTL2832 dongle (R820T tuner). A simple filter (1/4 wave open stub) has been built to suppress very strong pager signals.

Things that can be received with this setup:

  • Citizens Band radio, 27 MHz
  • 10 meter amateur band, 28-29.7 MHz
  • 4 meter amateur band, 70-70.5 MHz
  • broadcast FM stereo, 88-108 MHz;
  • air traffic (voice);
  • P2000 paging traffic at 169.650 MHz;
  • weather images from the NOAA-15/18/19 weather satellites, at around 137 MHz;
  • APRS traffic;
  • weather info from weather balloons, at 400-410 MHz;
  • ads-b/mode-s airplane transponders, at 1090 MHz
  • etc.


  • Get rid of the massive broadcast FM band, it's worth the trade between doing FM DX and broadcast FM noise.

HAB tracker (434-435 MHz)

The colinear

For tracking high-altitude balloons, we have a setup consisting of a collinear antenna for 70cm on the roof of RevSpace, a so-called hab-amp (bandpass filter for 430-440 MHz and low noise amplifier) and an RTL2832 dongle (FC0013 tuner). For more information, see the dedicated page at HAB_Tracker_Station

Things that can be received with this setup:

  • The complete 70 cm amateur band, 430-440 MHz


Currently one PC is dedicated to radio reception, called "habtracker". To start the PC:

  • Windows XP, hostname "habtracker", IP (MAC 00:21:70:02:62:0f)
  • Start the machine with a magic WoL packet: 'wakeonlan -i 00:21:70:02:62:0f; ping habtracker'

Remote control

The PC can be remotely controlled as follows:

  • Teamviewer, ID: 675540724
  • VNC: geheim ;-)

Running projects

AIS decoding

Amateur satellite reception

In this project, we try to receive amateur satellites and process data like telemetry. There are several amateur satellites in orbit right now, some of which transmit in frequency range of our HAB setup. Signals outside of the 70cm band can only be received with the discone antenna. This antenna might not be the best for picking up weak signals. However, since we have line of sight as soon as it's a few degrees above the horizon it should still produce some interesting results.

We have already managed to receive (but not decode yet) signals from the STRaND-1 and HOPE-1 (HO-68) satellites.

In the future, we plan to receive and decode telemetry from the existing Delfi-C3 and its successor Delfi-n3xt (launched in November 2013).

RevSpace (and nine others) just decoded and reported a packet

Delfi-n3xt has heard, but not yet decoded. Instead we have been focusing on the FUNcube-1 cubesat. As of editing this page (25 hours since launch) we received 113 packets. You can see up-to-date receiver statistics here. The FUNcube warehouse is the central database where radio enthusiasts all over the world can submit their decoded telemetry data to, so the FUNcube team always knows whats going on.


Longer term plans

Stuff we are still planning to do:

  • think about an antenna for HF: random piece of wire would be a nice starter
    • setup ham-it-up for 24/7 listening