APRS Sat Gateway using excisting SatNOGS Hardware

Apparently there is a global shortage of APRS satellite Gatewys. This would definitely be true here at the bottom of the world in Australia so I thought why don’t I build one using another Raspberry Pi and a RTL-SDR?

Then it occurred to me that I already have all the hardware setup and the means to track and download data from all the APRS satellites and all I need is to get the system to send the captured packets to the IGSERVER aunz.aprs2.net as well as the SatNOGS network.

Sound simple enough but I’m sure Murphy’s Law will have something to say about that. I’m not a programmer, so I’m asking for comments, suggestions and reasons why it can’t be done before I rush out and order another RPi and build yet another 2m QFH antenna.

If it can be done I would have to find out how to auto schedule my VHF station to listen to all the APRS capable satellites and still make my station available to the community for scheduling other satellites.

Imagine at least one similar station in each country feeding satellite APRS packets into the IGSERVER .aprs2.net ? This might keep packet radio alive a little longer, or would it?

Is this the right place to open such a discussion?

73 Bob vk2byf

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This should be fairly easy to do using the auto scheduler. Create a priorities file for all the APRS satellites and let the auto scheduler run every 6h to schedule observations for the next 12 hours.

Times could be adjusted, but I think it is good to keep a balance between scheduling early (so no-one else schedules observations that will overlap with APRS) and scheduling late (so you use fresh TLEs).

I guess an alternative could be to split the antenna feed to two SDRs (on different RPis).

Here is my other problem. I have been searching the wiki pages to find how to autoshedule but can’t find anything to tell me how to do it. I can schedule for a maximum for 48hours from the Observation page but that’s it

I don’t remember exactly what I did when I set my station up for auto scheduling, but I can’t imagine I figured it out myself; I must have followed some documentation. I’ll dig a bit and see if I can find what I used.

These are the instructions I used: https://gitlab.com/librespacefoundation/satnogs/satnogs-auto-scheduler/-/blob/master/README.md

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Thanks for that link. I’ll try it and report back. This has to be installed on the RPi right? I can do this via SSH and Putty? Will it fit on a 8Gb SD card?

from https://gitlab.com/librespacefoundation/satnogs/satnogs-auto-scheduler/-/blob/master/README.md

sudo apt-get update no problem I have done this many times but

sudo apt-get install virtualenv python3-virtualenv
virtualenv -p python3 env
source env/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt this looks familiar but usually as a separate command on it’s own

Is this supposed to be all on the one command line like this?
sudo apt-get install virtualenv python3-virtualenv virtualenv -p python3 env source env/bin/activate pip install -r requirements.txt

I get this error E: command line option ‘p’ [from -p] is not understood in combination with the other options

I’m not a programmer although I have built software from source before but only by following step by step instruction from others.

thanks for your time to help me, Bob

Each new line in the instructions is a separate command.

It doesn’t need to be run on the RPi, you can run it on another linux machine if you like. I run it on the same RPi.

You can install it via ssh and putty. The script is small, it will fit on a 8GB SD card.

I’ll try again in the morning on the same RPi I want to do auto-scheduling on and report back

Hi Vk2byf Bob , did you get this working ? would be interested in the same aprs gateway idea, but also not a programmer and struggling with the scheduling basics cheers Max ZL2MST

I have given up for now. I keep having to install more dependencies. It may have to stay in the too hard basket as I’m working on getting AIS decoding working.

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I tried APRS Sat Gateway using my VHF SatNOGS ground station. I have to say ISS digipeater mostly deaf and takes some work to get digipeated. APRS trackers (like High Altitude Ballon) perhaps really need more power and good doppler corrected uplink to work well. PSAT-1 is mostly OFF (see PSAT-1 log). Thus, the efficiency of using SatNOGS iGate will be extremely low.

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I first noticed this comparing the NOAA satellites on satnogs and on my stand alone system.
I found I can get better results receiving from satellites with my NON satnogs receiver based on same antenna, same LNA but SDRPlay SDR and a laptop running SDRuno. I have been decoding ISS and NO-84 packets with direwolf this way. Getting the ISS to digi my packets is another story.
vk2byf Bob