XW-1 – new bird, lots of activity!

Filed Under (Space Communications, YouTube Goodness!, YouTube Space Comms Goodness) by Jonathan on 20-12-2009

OK, I was initially going to resist another satellite post, but it seems that they have generated a lot of traffic and there is a great new bird out there, the Chinese XW-1.

This is their first foray into the amateur satellite arena and there is plenty of information out there.

First off, let me give you the official link with information on the bird and the special event BT3WX:


Now, you know I can’t just leave you with that, could I?????

Here is a China News article in English on YouTube:

This next video I found shows on neat aspect of satellite comms (this is the new XW-1, BTW).  It’s a simple video of a contact (mostly listening) with a camera on a radio.  But you get a real good idea of what happens to the bird as it flies overhead and an compensating for doppler shift:

This last one isn’t XW-1, but it’s a new satellite video from 2E0HTS and he demonstrates a contact made via V0-52:

As always, post a comment below if you know any more good links for the XW-1.

More satellite antenna projects/improvements

Filed Under (Antennas, Homebrew, Space Communications, VHF/UHF, YouTube Antenna Goodness, YouTube Goodness!, YouTube Space Comms Goodness) by Jonathan on 07-12-2009

OK, not to sound like Rod Serling, but…..

Today, I humbly submit, for your approval, an incredible AzEl project from Dave Matthews, KI4PSR.

Dave has submitted a project to Parallax (the microcontrolller/stamp  people)  This is a neat AzEl setup that you can build from off the shelf parts (mostly) that allows you to use your computer to track the birds as they fly overhead.

It doesn’t get easier than this, but the project seems really neat.  He lists the materials he’s using as well as sites where you can obtain parts.

Might I add, he also brings my favorite Ham Radio Deluxe into the mix!

For project info, schematics and such, check out the Parallax website at:


That might be a bit technical for some, but here are some other great projects/mods I’ve found recently.

K7PAR has some tips for improving an Arrow (or Arrow like) antenna at:


KI0AG has a neat micro duplexer for the Arrow.  He specifies that this is indeed maximized for the Arrow antenna itself.

What makes his project neat is he really documented the information well, so it is incredibly educational.  Check out his project at:


Finally, let’s not forget Randy, K7AGE and his mod to hold a dual band antenna.

As always, if you have more ideas, post them below.

Introduction to satellites

Filed Under (Space Communications, VHF/UHF, YouTube Space Comms Goodness) by Jonathan on 05-12-2008

This week, I’m going to give you plenty of information to help you get started in satellite communications.  We have many links to articles, online resources and YouTube videos.

If you have never dabbled in this mode, you might have everything you need to get started.  I started with 2 HT’s and 2 small beams (2 meters and 70 centimeters).  That was it.

There are plenty of other configurations available and I’ll make a future post with other articles and such – but this will give you a great start.  Don’t forget to check out the ARRL TIS pages for more information.

Let’s start with our pal Randy, K7AGE.  As usual, he has a great set of videos on the topic.

This is part of his AO-51 demonstration.  He also has a LOT of links in the various videos in this series.  Because of this, I’ll give you a link to his play list.


Look at the PDF links and such.  There’s a lot of information there (some to other neat YouTube videos).

Dave Johnson, G4DPZ has a slide show based on a presentation he gave in the UK available here:


You can download the presentation if you sign up for a slideshare account.

There is an RSGB article on getting started in satellites available on the AMSAT-UK site:


Lat, but not least, let’s not forget the largest resource of information on the topic, AMSAT:



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