This years club project is slightly different. Instead of us all building something individually we decided to build something that was slightly different using our own skills and local resources.
One of our obvious local resources is the Cockermouth Fab Lab. the other is our own homebrew skills and general resourcefulness ;-). So what to do?
Not many in the club have operated satellites and whilst standing out in the freezing northern air just waiting for the right time just didn’t point many of the members antenna’s. So an azimuth and elevation rotator was needed. But we didn’t have the funds. Luckily, the same time we were thinking about this the Hackaday prize had 2 ham radio entries. The Portable SDR by Michael Colton and the SatNOGS project by Pierros Papadeas. Whilst we were tempted by the former, we plumped for the latter
With the help of 3D printing, some open source hardware and software it is now easier than ever to put something like this together. At the heart of the project is are a bunch of 3D printed parts, a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino and stepper motors and a low cost RTL DVB-T dongle capable of receiving the transmitted RF signal.
So how far have we got? Reasonably far as it happens
The main parts have now been delivered and 3D parts printed ready for the mechanical construction. In addition with the help of Derek G1LZL the main PCB has been printed and is ready to be populated. The
Most of the parts have been printed. We used the Fab Labs Ultimaker 2 and with the exception of the obvious error (well its obvious if you’ve tried to assemble the thing).
So what happen next?
There’s still a way to go yet. Most of the mechanical parts are with us and the project page will show the costs and supplier used. Some are still winging / floating their way around the world.
The computing side is less well developed. But we’ll get there. The plan is to display the finished article at the Norbreck rally on the 10th April 2016.
If you’d like to get involved or think there is something you can add to the project then come along to the next club night or use the contact form on the site.