I have now finished my QO100 Station in a way i Im happy with it.
I wanted to have a Station that i can switch on and go on Air with it. The Station should work without a Computer and it should work FullDuplex.
Let´s start on the Antenna on the Roof:
Im using a 1.2m Offset Dish wich i bought when QO100 was anounced Years ago. You can use much smaller Antennas because the Transponder is very Strong and Sensible. The Feed is a Dual Patchfeed with a RocketLNB Lens and a OCXO modified LNB to keep the Frequenzy drift as low as possible. The Feed is weatherprooved with a Canaltube and some Silicone.
I use 22m of normal 75Ohm TV Coax cable from the LNB into the Shack. In the Shack the RX Signal goes into an AMSATDL RX Mixer. The RX Mixer converts the Signal from the LNB (739MHz) into the 2m Band. The second Input from the Mixer converts the Signal up in the Range of about 1300MHz. This is used for WideBand Transponder reception with a normal SatelliteTV Receiver. The RX Mixer also has a Referenz Input where you can put a 10MHz Reference Signal into the Mixer to have a Driftfree Downlink Signal (as long as the LNB doesnt Drift…) The Mixer fits almost prefectly into the HackRF Metallcase.
From the Mixer the RX Signal goes into the 2m input of the ICOM IC-9700. The IC-9700 is also used for TX. The TX Signal is produced in the Radio on the 70cm Band. With the “Satellite-Mode” of the Radio you can setup the RX and the TX Frequency once and then the Radio sets the RX and TX Frequency automatically when you turn the Tune Knob.
On the TX Side the Signal goes from the 70cm Connector of the IC-9700 into the SG-Labs Transverter The Transverter converts the 70cm Signal with a power from 0.2-5W and puts out a 2W Signal on 2.4GHz. It also has a Reference Input to have produce a non drifting Uplink Signal.
For the Uplink Signal im using 1m of Hyperflex5 Cable and 22m of Airbourne10 Cable that goes from the Shack to the Feed. Due to big Losses on the Cable only 600-700mW of RFPower reach the Feed. But this is plenty of Power for SSB when the Signal has a good Modulation and the Antenna is acuratly pointed to the Satellite. I could also put a Poweramplifier after the Transverter if i would need that.
Everything crutial in my Setup is Frequency Stablilised. Im using an Rubidium Frequency Standard with an Output Frequency of 10MHz that i have had laying around for some time. I put it into a housing and made a Circuit that makes a 3.3V Square Signal (Circuit from DL4TMA). The cheapest thus far to get a good Reference Signal is a GPSDO from LeoBodnar. Also DM4DS has a promising project for a even cheaper homebrew GPSDO.
The Setup works very well thus far and i got good reports from several Stations around the Globe. I wanted to build a Station that works without much trouble and tuning once switched on. As far as i can say in the three weeks i use this Setup now it works great…
Every Product i listed here is bought by me and i dont get anything from the named Companies. I like the Products i use very well and they suit my needs but there are many, many ways to get on Air with QO100. You dont need to spend thousands of Euros and you can homebrew alot if you have the knowledge. Im not saying that my way is the way to go. Do whatever suits your knowledge and budget.
Best wishes Hoonse
I have written a Guide for TX on QO-100
I have written a short Guide on Howto get going on QO100 on the RX Side.
Please enjoy and send me your Feedback. =)
Since a few weeks the new Geostationary HamRadio Transponder QO100 is switched on for Operation.
By far the best way that i encountered to TX and RX is the Dual Patchfeed from Mike Willis and UHF-Satcom.
I have written 2 Guides with Step-by-Step Instructions on howto build the Plates for the Patchfeed and on howto assemble it.
There is also a good Article on how the Feed works on the Blog of UHF-Satcom:
The new Transponder works really good and can be received with minimal Effort and Equipment.
Also the transmission Side is easy to acomplish with minimal Effort.
Nice Job AmsatDl
One of the most problematic Things in HAM Radio these days is the Antennasituation. In Cities you hardly are allowed to mount your Antennas and even if you live in your own house its often prohibited to mount an Antenna to get on the air.
I live on the Countryside where people hav other problems than the look of an Antenna so that was not an Issue. The most problem was to convince my Girlfriend.
Here you need to get the right tactic. I said i need a 15m metal mast with a miltiband beam mounted on Top in the Backyard. I them showed her some pictures of really nice antennas.
I had different ideas about the mast. I wanted a non conductive mast mounted on the roof that could be tilted down if needed.
In germany i found a company that sells fiberglass poles at a giod prize. I ordered a 60x40x3000mm fiberglass tube.
I painted the tube eith spraypaint and i climbed on the roof to make a plan.
I found a wooden beam that is mounted under the roof and i decided this woold be the spot where i mount my mast.
I did not want to drill holes in the beam so i decided that i would make 2 metall plates that i can clamp on the beam. The plates were bend on the edges to get some strengh. I also welded some reinforcement on the plates.
After an hour or so we mounted the brackets and the mast itself.
After that we mounted the 2m/70cm sntenna on top of the mast and the 5band HyEndFed antenna on its side.
This was a good day.
A small Sideproject while building my Shack was to make a Shelf where i can organize my HAM Radio gear. Normally this would not be a big deal but i am not a wood guy, but my uncle is.
I gave him the Dimensions of the 3 planks i needed. He then found some 80 year old floow planks that have been in a farmhouse. After grinding and drilling the holes i cut some (you guessed it…) water pipes of a rod and deburred them. I also used some teakoil to finish the wood.
I mounted everything with some threaded rods and nuts.
On this Shelf i mounted my Groundplate and installed the gear.
When i did Hamradio in my Livingroom i didnt have a propper grounding. This was a bit of an issue because i had alot of QRM and TVI.
I decided when i build my own shack i will make it propperly.
I read some information about station grounding on thebinternet but there was no way that i could put a 2,5m groundrod into the soil outside my House. The Soil is too dry and there are alot of Rocks in it.
I decided to burry some steel rods 15cm deep in the ground and connect them to each other.
I lend a Lamorghini for the weekend to have some make the work a little bit easier. 🙂
I laid the rods in the slice and connected the rods with some heavy clamps. Later i also pushed about 5 1m long rods into the ground and also connected it to the rods already in the soil.
From the grounding i used some 35mm2 fine cable to go to the shack and connected it with a strong clamp.
As i said earlier, the Room i wanted to build my Shak in was directly under the Roof so it was very good for my Project.
The only Thing i had a hard time is to figure out how to get the cables from the outside into my Shack.
I knew i had to drill a hole into the wall but there was ine problem. I had no idea how thick this wall was and what was in that wall.
I meassured the approximate thickness of the wall and decided to drill a small 5 mm hole throu that thing to check whats inside…
The drill wennt right throu and now i knew that there was no brick inside the wall.
The wall consists of a 20mm plasterboard, 25mm hardwood, 20mm air (very easy to drill :)), 150mm wool, 20mm woodboard and 80mm styrofoam.
So i bought myself a 75mm wooddrill and drilled through the plaster and the furst wood layer. I then used a stick to put away the insulating wool.
When the drill arrived i cut a bigger hole from the outerside into the wall. The holes didnt match 100% but this was not an issue because the wool was flexible.
I glued the plastic pipe into the wall with some construction foam and put a cap on it so the wildlive wont come in.
Before i moved to our new House i lived in a smaller Flat. I bought a cheap table for my Room and it was not that good. For my new Shack i wanted something decend so i decided to build my own.
I wanted 2 long Tables to fit all my HAM Radio Gear on it and still have place for a work Computer and some other Stuff.
I searched a long time for the wood board and had a hard time finding something for a decend price.
In a local store i found out that you could buy kitchen workplates in the measure that you wanted for 50€/m (thats like 18$/feet?!? :))
I ordered 2 boards and it took a month to get delivered. In the meantime i ordered some sockets that can be build in the table and a cablecanal that will be put under the table. So there is no mess with all the cables.
A few weeks later i finally had the time to build the feet of the table and you guessed it, I used the good old 6/4“ pipes. 😉
On a Saturday i cut the pipes and assambled the feet and on the afternoon i mounted the feet on the plates.