Es'Hail 2

 

 

 


 

Introduction

The Es'Hail 2 satellite was launched in November 2018 and supports the first geostationary ham radio transponder. On this page you see:

  • How to configure SDR Console with either the Lime or Pluto SDR,
  • A description of my (G4ELI) station (still being contstructed).

Future

Future development may include:

  • Telemetry display added to the console's digital mode display - the hard work already coded by Moe Wheatley AE4JY and Phil Karn KA9Q.
  • Digital voice, images, text using Opus as the codec and up to 32 QPSK carriers in a 2.5 to 3 kHz bandwidth (we have the bandwidth, let's use it). Opus is an outstanding codec with excellent compression.

In Action

Here's the Es'Hail 2 footprint.

And here's the software in action.

 

 


 

Console Configuration

Follow these steps to successfully configure the console with either the Pluto or Lime SDRs.

Transponder

The narrow band transponder details are show below.

  Low High Note
Receive 10489.55 10489.8 Bandwidth = 250kHz
Transmit 2400.05 2400.3  
CW Beacon 10489.55    
Telemetry   10489.8  

Receive

Define a Downconverter offset for the LNB (a LNB is a downconverter), the offset is the LNB's local oscillator frequency, for example 9,750MHz. This value is selected when starting the SDR.

In the Radio Definitions window check Converter selection, then press Edit.

In the converter definitions window add a down-converter using the LO frequency of your LNB.

Now start the SDR, selecting the new down-converter definition.

Transmit

From the transmit options, add an offset which is then added to the displayed transmit frequency. For Es'hail 2 this offset is 8889.5 MHz.

Synchronise

In the Transmit DSP enable Sync RX so the receive and transmit frequencies are the same.

 


 

 



 

 

My Station

Antenna

The antenna is a 1.4 prime focus dish from www.satellitesuperstore.com . Technical information: The ratio of focal length to aperture size (F/D Ratio) is 0.41, Gain at 10.95GHz 41.8dB.

As you see, the stand is kept in place with ~ 280kg of lintel, breeze block and slab.

The dish was aligned using the sun on March 1st, 2019 because at 10:16 the sun's azimuth and elevation was the same as Es'Hail 2, so the shadow of the feed would be directly over the center of the dish.

Transceiver

The current options are:

  • LimeSDR (USB) and
  • PlutoSDR.

The LimeSDR was chosen because it supports an external reference (I use the Leo Bodnar unit) so is more stable.

LNB

Testing with an Octagon 0.1db Quad High Gain HD Ready Universal LNB. This is very sensitive but drifts - for SSB / CW it must be modifed, either change the crystal to a TCXO or add support for an external reference. Drift is much worse in the daylight for obvious reasons.