Update: We have successfully communicated with the amateur radio transponder QO-100 onboard Es’Hail2. Details on our setup can be found in this post.
After the blog post last Wednesday on the work done so far by LA3WUA and LA1BFA to prepare for Es’Hail 2 communication, LB5DH, LA1WUA and LA2QUA have slowly gotten started with setting up the reception part of the chain. Tradition says that all out-door work inexorably ends up being done while it is finger-freezingly cold. This was fulfilled to satisfaction, with temperatures reaching -17°C during what turned out to be this winter’s first serious cold wave.
ARK has an old parabolic dish which has previously been used for satellite TV reception at Samfundet. It was installed in the late 80s, and stopped being in use some years ago. It points in approximately the correct direction, and saves us the hassle of installing a new dish.
The LNB mentioned in the previous post was attached to the dish, and a coaxial cable stretched to the shack.
There, the bias-tee mentioned in the previous post was installed, and the setup was connected to a USRP.
The dish was pointed into the general expected direction of the satellite based on landmarks. No luck with the reception yet, but the antenna direction needs to be pretty accurate. We plan to optimize direction and reception by using signals from Es’Hail 1 (close orbit), or by searching for the beacon signal at 10.706 GHz from Es’Hail 2. There are varying reports on the signal strength in various countries, and it’ll be exciting to see how well we can receive it here.