NARSA Rally - Blackpool 2018



I went to the North of Englands rally with a view to showing off a SatNOGS rotator. The plan was to ‘borrow’ a corner of a club stand and then offer some insight into SatNOGS as the hams filed past. Which they would have had to as we were right next door to the entry point. A bit of good luck. There were a couple of good points that are worth sharing.

Firstly it seems that there are quite a few hams that now have 3d printers, and an interest in satellites.I would guess that there around a dozen long conversations that could potentially turn into ground stations. A quick snap of the rotator is below as we were setting up. Nicely out of focus.

The second point, which is arguably more interesting, I bumped into Dean Brice, who I first met in October last year. Dean has made a very lightweight rotator based on some high quality servos and some clever code based on, you guessed it, an arduino. The useful bit is that it is controlled by bluetooth and is gs232 compatible. He sells these for a little under £200 and are built to order. We had some sporadic conversations (in between other people needing help / info) regarding the potential for his rotator to be used with SatNOGS. I’ve attached a few snaps below.

Dean has promised to have a look at the code and give it go. We spent a long time going through the website and database as well as the common set up. It looks like there is the potential for some additional rotator types. Interestingly the attached yagi is a tape measure type covered in shrink wrap which gave some good results with the recent ISS SSTV transmissions.