Preparing for driving satellite antennas

From the “how to stop folks reading your Facebook page” department:

Woohooooo! I’ve managed to get altitude and azimuth data out of the Orbitron software (for tracking satellites), using the DDE interface, with a Python program. There is next to no documentation on the web for this, so it was a case of diligent Googling and intelligent (!) guesswork. But it WORKS! – screenshot shows the satellite data being dumped to a window, but now I have it I can send it to a (yet to be built) PIC interface for the hardware.

This is what computers are REALLY for.


FUNcube1 sound recording

Made a recording of the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) satellite this morning. Here it is, direct to you from space

You can hear the Doppler effect. The satellite is passing by a few hundred km away, so at its closest it’s neither approaching nor receding. As time passes it’s receding faster and faster from the receiver (though still at about the same speed in space) so we get the pitch of the sync frequency going down. Just like a fire engine or ambulance siren passing in the street!

If you listen carefully you can hear the sound of the “noise” between the beeps – it’s actually data – changing in pitch as well. It’s more noticeable at higher frequencies, and is hard to hear because it’s an approximation to white noise.

Receiving FUNcube-1 telemetry

Just received 51 frames of telemetry from the FUNcube-1 satellite, on its second orbit. All safely transmitted to the data warehouse! Had to poke the antenna out of a bedroom window. Fun!


I believe I was the first person in Scotland to hear it:


However I rapidly shot down the list of packet uploads as more people heard it around the world.