TMRO inspiring Space


Hey Freda!

I also have my Foundation amateur radio license in Australia (call sign VK6FLMO). I gave that hobby up a while ago though, and I never tried receiving SSTV - awesome work!!!

I did a SpacePod on the ARISS program a couple years back too:




This might be of interest to you:

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@Faulx, thanks for the tip. I do have an arduino board and a stepper motor, so maybe I could cobble something. Even though this suggests a different board, etc. either way, yes I agree this is a great project. I will dig more into this first, and possibly report back my progress. Alternate: a similar servo pointer to keep a small Yagi antenna pointed at a passing amateur radio satellite. Yikes, where is TMRO:Kits when we need it ? :sunglasses:

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My plan for a while has been to build a very light weight antenna rotator elevator for small hand held (arrow type) antennas for portable use on my ex MOD portable poles … as with everything its just on the list of things to do … the plan was also to add magnetrometer, GPS and Barometer so it can self configure … i will now most likely use a ESP32 which can wifi or bluetooth to my phone to get updated KEPS and pass predictions … but first i have the ongoing hardware and coding project for my dad and the Patreon screens to finish for @Bencredible. I have at least now got a new desk sorted and am right this second bringing my desktop pc up to-date so coding by mid week i hope :slight_smile:

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Here is something to check out that I will be doing as well:


Good for you, getting your development environment up to date is a big chore. It’s a lot easier to keep motivated if you can actually produce a tangible result.


Indeed … also dealing with a RAID Card failure … lucky all backed up just gotta wait for the new one to get here. Lots of grumbling on my account.


Inspired to use Amatuer Radio apps to track Crew Dragon as it zips toward splashdown this morning 20190308. Cloudy… impossible for a visual look.


I have acquired a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Yikes… now all I need is 38-hour days. I understand there are interesting Space applications for the Pi.


I can’t remember the show number and my google fu fails me at the moment but TMRO did do a show where they interviewed someone who used a Raspberry Pi that tracked when the ISS was overheard though i think it was the full fledged version. I don’t know if it can also be done on the zero which may IIRC be a bit cut down. But in my failed search i did find this link to a project on the site if you do find any of those 38-hour days :wink:

Edited to add

And of course 5 mins after posting i remember the right search terms

It was a show about

And was in TMRO 10.19 YouTube

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Yesterday I used space again in a possibly inspiring way. Using my cheap handheld (Baofeng) radio and a directional handheld (Arrow) antenna, I followed the amateur radio satellite SO-50 (a small Saudi Arabian cubesat launched by a Russian Dnepr rocket in 2002, link below) as it zipped over my location at orbital speed. Adjusting my transmit and receive frequency for 17,500 mph of doppler shift, I made a voice contact about 900 miles away, because the sat was above the Earth horizon for both of us at the time. This is becoming fun!

Just an idea… A local SoCal (or global) amateur radio person could probably visit TMRO (or record a segment) for a easy demo of this geeky space hobby. Possibly not a live segment, because the sats fly by at specific narrow times and could be missed due to any one of many reasons.

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My brain cells always seem energized when I see the inspiring geek developments from BPS.


Here is a good example for TMRO citizens of being able to “touch” space with Amateur Radio. This person makes 18 contacts in a single satellite pass (that’s about 1000 times better than my skill). Things to notice: the inset showing the ground operator and moving satellite locations. The signal appears and fades as the satellite is above the horizon for both operators. He repositions the antenna towards the sat as it passes in its’ orbit (yep, the antenna is heaver than it looks). He rotates the antenna to best match the polarization of the signal. He manually adjusts his radio frequency a few times to compensate for doppler-shifted radio signal as the sat zips by at 17,500 mph. His radio (and possibly battery) is slung over his neck using a strap (a sure way to get a neck-ache after a while) so he can easily move around and aim. An external speaker wire from the radio so the crowd can listen. Most of the discussion is call-signs being exchanged. Timing is key, because the sat appears, flies by, and is gone in just a few minutes. All things considered, I think this rates as inspiring. Sure, this isn’t manned spaceflight, a launch or another big-time space operation, but it is indeed a fun way that regular people can use something in space. You can believe me, I myself am much more aware of what’s flying around in orbit now that I do some of this.


sorry - late to the conversation here. Thanks @SANEAlex for linking to ISS-Above and the show I was on.

You can purchase the ISS-Above download image here. Usual price is $30 but use the promo code TMRO and it will drop the price to $10.

It does work on a Pi Zero - you’ll just need to manually configure the wpa_supplicant.conf file as if for a headless setup prior to running it on the Pi.

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