Difference between revisions of "Build"

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==Introduction==
  
== Bill of Materials (BOM) ==
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Building a ground station need not be complicated. There are a few things to consider when working out what it is you are going to do. Choices such as the desire to have a fixed or steerable ground station will play a big part in the amount of equipment needed and the time taken as well as the complexity of any build. If you are new to this and a little unsure then a fixed (no rotator) option is a good choice. If you fancy a challenge and want to pick out the weakest signals then the steerable ground station might be what you are after. There is more detail in the [[Ground Stations]] page
  
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The illustration below sets out the various major components to give an idea as to what is commonly used.
  
The following items will be needed in order to complete the v3 build. They are split into the Azimuth and elevation sections
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==Options for Ground Stations==
  
Azimuth
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A satellite ground station is made up from different parts. The following diagram can help you select your setup based on your needs and/or your existing setup.
''Need link to spreadsheet''
 
  
Elevation
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[[File:Satnogs_imagemap.png|center]]
''Need link to spreadsheet''
 
  
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Here are some links explaining the different options:
  
== Build Sequence ==
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{| class="wikitable" style="margin: 0 auto;"
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!Platform
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!Controller
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!Rotator
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!Radio
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!Antenna
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|-
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|[[Raspberry_Pi_3|Raspberry Pi]]
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|[[SatNOGS Rotator Controller|SatNOGS Controller]]
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|[[SatNOGS_Rotator_v3|SatNOGS Rotator]]
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|[[Radio#SDR|SDR]]
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|[[Antennas|Yagi]]
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|-
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|[[SatNOGS_Client_Ansible|Debian system]]
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|[http://spid.net.pl/en/rot2prog-2/ Rot2Prog]
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|[[SPID Big RAS]]
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|
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|[[Antennas|Helical]]
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|-
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|[[Linux Desktop]]
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|[[G-5500|lsf-g5500]]
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|[[G-5500|Yaesu G5500]]
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|
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|[[Antennas|Vertical]]
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|-
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|
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|[https://wiki.satnogs.org/SatNOGS_Arduino_Uno/CNC_Shield_Based_Rotator_Controller Arduino UNO CNC Shield based controller]
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|[[No rotator]]
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|
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|[[Antennas|Cross-Yagi]]
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|-
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|
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|[https://community.libre.space/t/ramps-1-4-board-for-satnogs-rotator/3386 RAMPS 1.4 Board for SatNOGS Rotator]
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|
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|
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|-
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|}
  
For the v3 build sequence go here[http://satnogs.dozuki.com/c/SatNOGS_Hardware]
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{{Message|Use the above table to select your setup. E.g. RPi3 > Yaesu G550 > SDR > UHF helical & VHF Cross Yagi}}
  
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==How do I pick?==
  
== Sources for parts ==
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'''Client''': The Raspberry Pi is the reference platform for SatNOGS, and is currently the option that has the best support from the community.  Certain SDRs may benefit from a more powerful CPU, like what you'd find in a desktop machine; however, currently you'll need to set that up on your own.
  
3d Printing at a Fab Lab- If you don't have your own 3d printer then a local Fab Lab may be able to do it for you. Fab Labs are places that have invested in the machinery and you can take the designs to them. Generally they need .stl files to import into the software that runs the machines but this should be discussed with the Fab Lab. You then pay for the colume of material or tme or a combination of the two for each of the parts [http://www.fabfoundation.org/fab-labs/]
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'''Rotator''': A rotator, like the [[SatNOGS_Rotator_v3|SatNOGS Rotator v3]], will allow your antenna to follow satellites as they move across the sky, and thus pick up fainter signals.  But if you want to get started quickly, or don't have the hardware skills to build your own, you can still pick up stronger signals (the ISS, NOAA and Meteor weather satellites) with a [[No_rotator|no-rotator]] setup. If you already have [https://github.com/Hamlib/Hamlib/wiki/Supported-Rotators a rotator supported by rotctl], you can use that.
  
T Slot - If you don't want to cut the pieces yourself then here is a UK supplier[http://www.kjnltd.co.uk/]
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'''Signal Reception''': The reference radio for SatNOGS is the [https://www.rtl-sdr.com RTL-SDR v3], but other latest-generation SDRs like the [http://www.nooelec.com/store/nesdr-smart-sdr.html NooElec NESDR SMart] should work as well.  Higher-end SDRs should work as well, but can get a bit expensive.  Alternately, [https://sourceforge.net/p/hamlib/wiki/Supported%20Radios/ any radio supported by rigctl] should work.
Hidden corner connectors - AliExpress gave the cheapest supplier
 
  
Stepper Motors - eBay
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Amplification is generally done by a low noise amplifier, or LNA. There are multiple options:
  
Belts - eBay
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*A wide-band LNA next to your SDR (see [http://lna4all.blogspot.com/ LNA4ALL], [https://iz7boj.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/spf5189z-lna-measurements-on-vna/ SPF5189] and similar)
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*A band specific (or two) pre-amplifiers next to your antennas ([http://www.wimo.com/mast-preamplifier_e.html example])
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*No amplification at all...just pump the gain of your SDR.  (This is not recommended for the rtl-sdr.)
  
Fixings - eBay
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'''Antenna''':  Stationary antennas (eg: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnstile_antenna Turnstile], [https://community.libre.space/t/parasitic-lindenblad-on-uhf/1128/2 Lindenblad]) will be easy to build and mount, as they won't require rotator hardware.  They will let you receive stronger broadcasts, like NOAA weather satellites and ISS broadcasts, but may not work for receiving fainter cubesat broadcasts.  Directional antennas (eg: Yagis, Helicals) can be more complicated to build, but will also require a rotator to track satellites across the sky.  The advantage is that they will let you pick up fainter broadcasts from cubesats or ham radio satellites.
  
Antenna Hardware - Antennas can be a simple or a robust as you like.
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==Next steps==
The yagi antenna is suited to the novice builder but there are many types. Each satellite has an uplink and a downlink so it is necessary to have an antenna that will work on the downlink side for receiving and one for the uplink if you are transmitting to the satellite (Transmitting requires a licence - an amateur radio licence normally suffices fr most countries).
 
Antennas have a gain associated with them that is related to the number of elements. Simply the greater the number of elements the greate the gain, however the more directional they become and the greater accuracy is needed. So a trade off between gain and beam width is required. Nominally a 3 element beam for 145Mhz (2m band) and a 7 element beam for 432MHz (70cms band) will suffice for most applications.
 
Some satellites need a different type of antenna that has circular polarisation and these are helical to look at. The satNOGS helical design should be followed.
 
  
Receiver
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Once you have a ground station ready, you should go ahead and operate it! More info can be found on the [[Operation]] wiki page.
 
 
The RTL-SDR dongle used for the reciver is a broad band software defined receiver (SDR) that uses a common IC for the receiver and simple filtering. Its intended use is for TV, FM and DVB reception. It can be hacked, using the right drivers to be a very capable and cheap receiver. Fot further information see here[http://www.rtl-sdr.com/]
 

Latest revision as of 21:43, 11 September 2019

Introduction

Building a ground station need not be complicated. There are a few things to consider when working out what it is you are going to do. Choices such as the desire to have a fixed or steerable ground station will play a big part in the amount of equipment needed and the time taken as well as the complexity of any build. If you are new to this and a little unsure then a fixed (no rotator) option is a good choice. If you fancy a challenge and want to pick out the weakest signals then the steerable ground station might be what you are after. There is more detail in the Ground Stations page

The illustration below sets out the various major components to give an idea as to what is commonly used.

Options for Ground Stations

A satellite ground station is made up from different parts. The following diagram can help you select your setup based on your needs and/or your existing setup.

Satnogs imagemap.png

Here are some links explaining the different options:

Platform Controller Rotator Radio Antenna
Raspberry Pi SatNOGS Controller SatNOGS Rotator SDR Yagi
Debian system Rot2Prog SPID Big RAS Helical
Linux Desktop lsf-g5500 Yaesu G5500 Vertical
Arduino UNO CNC Shield based controller No rotator Cross-Yagi
RAMPS 1.4 Board for SatNOGS Rotator
Idea.png
Use the above table to select your setup. E.g. RPi3 > Yaesu G550 > SDR > UHF helical & VHF Cross Yagi

How do I pick?

Client: The Raspberry Pi is the reference platform for SatNOGS, and is currently the option that has the best support from the community. Certain SDRs may benefit from a more powerful CPU, like what you'd find in a desktop machine; however, currently you'll need to set that up on your own.

Rotator: A rotator, like the SatNOGS Rotator v3, will allow your antenna to follow satellites as they move across the sky, and thus pick up fainter signals. But if you want to get started quickly, or don't have the hardware skills to build your own, you can still pick up stronger signals (the ISS, NOAA and Meteor weather satellites) with a no-rotator setup. If you already have a rotator supported by rotctl, you can use that.

Signal Reception: The reference radio for SatNOGS is the RTL-SDR v3, but other latest-generation SDRs like the NooElec NESDR SMart should work as well. Higher-end SDRs should work as well, but can get a bit expensive. Alternately, any radio supported by rigctl should work.

Amplification is generally done by a low noise amplifier, or LNA. There are multiple options:

  • A wide-band LNA next to your SDR (see LNA4ALL, SPF5189 and similar)
  • A band specific (or two) pre-amplifiers next to your antennas (example)
  • No amplification at all...just pump the gain of your SDR. (This is not recommended for the rtl-sdr.)

Antenna: Stationary antennas (eg: Turnstile, Lindenblad) will be easy to build and mount, as they won't require rotator hardware. They will let you receive stronger broadcasts, like NOAA weather satellites and ISS broadcasts, but may not work for receiving fainter cubesat broadcasts. Directional antennas (eg: Yagis, Helicals) can be more complicated to build, but will also require a rotator to track satellites across the sky. The advantage is that they will let you pick up fainter broadcasts from cubesats or ham radio satellites.

Next steps

Once you have a ground station ready, you should go ahead and operate it! More info can be found on the Operation wiki page.