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:

  • Enabling display of frequencies > 9 GHz,
  • How to configure SDR Console with either the Lime or Pluto SDR,
  • Using the telemetry beacon to compensate for drift / offset due to a poor consumer LNB,

Future

Future development may include 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.

My Station

Here's a link to G4ELI's station - still being assembled.

  • Antenna
  • LNV
  • SDR transceiver
  • GDS DO
  • Gallery

In Action

Here's the Es'Hail 2 footprint. Use the Satellite option in SDR Console to display:

  • Footprint,
  • Azimuth, Elevation,
  • Distance,
  • Path loss.

There is a very small amount of Doppler, even for a geostationary satellite, but not enough to worry about.

 

And here's the software in action.

 

 


 

Console Configuration

Follow these steps to successfully configure the console to receive with any SDR and for transmiteither the Pluto or Lime SDRs.

Display

To display a frequency greater than 9.999 GHz open the Program Options and navigate to Display, Spectrum. Select a frequency range of 99.9 GHz, then press [OK].

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 8089.5 MHz.

Synchronise

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

 


 

Telemetry Beacon

(Available in 3.0.7) Enable the Geostationary Beacon option: Ribbon Bar, View, More Options..., check [X] Geostationary beacon.

Note: the idea for synchronising with the telemetry beacon comes from Moe Wheatley (AE4JY) in his AO-40 Telemetry Decoder Project. Moe's code explains how the data beacon works as the QO-100 beacon is the same as that in AO-40 (RIP). The implementation here was coded from the the ground up to ensure it is as efficient as possible, every saved cycle helps!

The telemetry beacon frequency is 10.489.800.000 Hz, or 10,489.800 MHz. The beacon transmits BPSK, simple BPSK decoding software can determine the offset from the nominal center frequency, so compensation for an un-modified consumer LNB is possible.

Follow these steps:

  • Start the display - press 
  • Select the beacon by clicking in the center of the beacon trace, the window on the left will sdisplay the offset, use  and  to adjust the waterfall zoom level
  • Enable offset compensation - press 

Use the Save 💾 option to download the offset data to a CSV file, this file can be viewed with programs such as Excel.