Documentation thread for SA2KNG's stations

As I have been asked a few times how my stations are built, I’m going to try documenting it here for reference.
The two stations 1864 1888 are currently running on one rpi4 so I’m going to treat them as one system.

First off, lets have a look at the block diagram for the RF:

Short description:

  • UHF QFH antenna has a chopped down LNA4ALL at the antenna feedpoint
  • VHF Turnstile is connected directly via ~1m RG316
  • Antenna box combines UHF and VHF with a diplexer, filter and LNA PGA-103+
  • Receiver box splits the UHF+VHF to two rtl-sdr
  • Separate UHF Yagi is connected to a third rtl-sdr

Regarding the software running this, both stations runs on the same RPi4, which is not officially supported by SatNOGS. There are a few examples how to do this, @PE0SAT has done this with systemd iirc.

I have been developing a solution with Docker for some time now and at first I built the image very similar to how the ansible client (satnogs-setup) is done.
However, LSF has been continuing this work and I have moved to those images and worked on the docker-compose for these, as it’s a very elegant solution for running multiple stations on the same host.

The basic install is pretty simple, install a few packages for the SDR of choice (if needed), install Docker, create one directory for each station-ID containing the compose and settings and you are pretty much set.

The settings need to be done in a text editor, no satnogs-setup support yet. But if you already have a -client running you can copy everything and just change the format from VARIABLE="XYZ" to VARIABLE=XYZ, removing the quotes.
Some of the settings are set in the compose and those control the connection between the containers.

Note that this might change in the future due to the active development being done on this.


Thank you, very interesting to see other setups. I have one question:
What is the reason not to use separate coax feedlines for the UHF QFH and VHF Turnstile? Now you have to combine first with diplexer and then split at the receiver.


Please note that the 3dB split is not band splitting.
Mostly because it becomes available for both SDR, if it was just for running satnogs it would probably make sense to dedicate one sdr for uhf and one for vhf.
But I also run OpenWebRx and want to listen to both antennas. It would also make sense to have two sdr for this as well, and split it up by band and sdr.
This is just what I settled for, # of sdr’s diplex and antennas made sense.

OK then I understand your setup. Thank you.
I will try new antennas for my station when spring arrives, to get some possibility to be able to decode data on UHF.