Where to start - is there a starter kit?


It’s hard for me to understand the options, but I would like to build a fully capable system and bring it online to be part of the network.

I have plenty of space for a system, funds aren’t a big problem, I have a very large internet connection, and am an engineer with prior hardware and software development experience… BUT, frankly folks - I’m not sure what to buy to build a system.

I’m also a little concerned - spare time ISN’T something I have a lot of… so if the DIY portion of building a Satnogs terminal is in the hundreds of hours, then i probably would take a year or more to get it online.

Is there a kit I can buy, assemble, then program to function?

Or is this a complete DIY activity where I need to design many parts myself and find someone to print them for me, etc?

No offense folks but the documentation looks more like a “what others have done” document more than a “here’s what you do to get started” document.

If you had an “assembly required” kit for to get a terminal online for “x dollars” that I could buy, I’d buy that in a second (unless the cost was outrageous etc).

Guidance appreciated, looking forward to maybe adding a node to the network in the southern United States.


Hello Marc,

There are many possible options for creating a setup and since the project is still a work in progress, it will take some time before a set of clear, concise and consistent documentation can be available.

One of the easy options that may suit your needs is to use an omnidirectional antenna that does not require buying or building a rotator. Such antennas are relatively easy to build or can be purchased for 100 - 250 USD. You will then also need a preamp (~20-30 USD), an SDR receiver (20-200 USD) and a linux computer but that’s basically it.

There are already several ground stations in the network that use such setups and they work quite well.

You can search for turnstile, egg-beater and quadrifilar helix antenna to get an idea what they look like. We can give more info if you decide to go that route.


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Hello Alex,
I have a couple of questions concerning turnstile antennas. I don’t have the time to buy one online and wait like 30 days or more to get it. i want to build one myself. i have a folded half-wave dipole which i took from an old Yagi antenna i found in the junk yard. my question is can i make a turnstile antenna from two folded half-wave dipole and how can i connect this two dipoles to a coaxial cable. I read in the web that the feeding current should be 90 degree out of phase and I’m not sure how to do that exactly.

Just search google for “turnstile antenna”. There are plenty of illustrations showing how to phase the two dipoles.