Thursday, 22 June 2017

GB8SSD *Space Shuttle Discovery* Celebrating 33 years years since Launch

Space Shuttle Flight 12 (STS-41D) 

Launch attempts

AttemptPlannedResultTurnaroundReasonDecision pointWeather go (%)Notes
125 Jun 1984, 12:00:00 amscrubbed---Failure of Orbiter's back-up General Purpose Computer forced the scrub.[11] (T-9:00 minutes and holding)
226 Jun 1984, 12:00:00 amscrubbed1 day, 0 hours, 0 minutesPost-SSME start RSLS abort due to anomaly in number three main engine (T-0:06)Discovery returned to OPF for engine replacement; launch delayed over two months
329 Aug 1984, 12:00:00 amscrubbed64 days, 0 hours, 0 minutesDiscrepancy with master events controller relating to SRB fire commands
430 Aug 1984, 1:41:50 pmsuccessful1 day, 13 hours, 42 minutesdelayed 6 minutes, 50 seconds when private aircraft strayed into KSC airspace

June 26: Abort flight:

June launch attempt

During the 26 June launch attempt, there was a launch abort at T-6 seconds, followed by a pad fire about ten minutes later.[3][4]
Commentary: "We have a cut off."
"NTD we have a RSLS (Redundant Set Launch Sequencer) abort."
Commentary: "We have an abort by the onboard computers of the orbiter Discovery."
"Break break, break break, DLS shows engine one not shut down."
"OK, PLT?"
"CSME verify engine one."
"You want me to shut down engine one?"
"We do not show engine start on one."
"OTC I can verify shutdown on verify on engine one, we haven't start prepped engine one."
"All engines shut down I can verify that."
Commentary: "We can now verify all three engines have been shut down."
"We have red lights on engines two and three in the cockpit, not on one."
"All right, CSME verify engine one safe for APU shutdown."
"If I can verify that?"
"OTC GPC go for APU shutdown."[5]
Mission Specialist Steve Hawley was reported as saying following the abort: "Gee, I thought we'd be a lot higher at MECO (Main Engine Cut-Off)!".[6] About ten minutes later, the following was heard on live TV coverage:
"We have indication two of our fire detectors on the zero level; no response. They're side by side right next to the engine area. The engineer requested that we turn on the heat shield fire water which is what could be seen spraying up in the vicinity of the engine engine bells of Discovery's three main engines."
While evacuating the shuttle, the crew was doused with water from the pad deluge system, which was activated due to a hydrogen fire on the launch pad caused by the free hydrogen (fuel) that had collected around the engine nozzles following the shutdown and engine anomaly.[7] Because the fire was invisible to humans, had the astronauts used the normal emergency escape procedure across the service arm to the slidewire escape baskets, they would have run into the fire.[8]
Changes to procedures resulting from the abort included more practicing of "safeing" the orbiter following aborts at various points, the use of the fire suppression system in all pad aborts, and the testing of the slidewire escape system with a real person (Charles F. Bolden, Jr.). It emerged that launch controllers were reluctant to order the crew to evacuate during the STS-41-D abort, as the slidewire had not been ridden by a human.[6]
Examination of telemetry data indicated that the engine malfunction had been caused by a stuck valve that prevented proper flow of LOX into the combustion chamber.

About the mission

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Trying out satellite video's


XW-2A Morse heard

AO-73 Funcube1 tenementary

Nayif-1 Funcube3 telemetry

AO-73 telemetry

AO-73 funcube1 telemetry


Ukube1 funcube2



FO-29 2M0SQL

XW-2a beacon

XW-2A heard G7LJA Peter

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Virtual buildathon is back

We will be starting the #vbuildathon with the small diplexer kit by HA8LFK, kits will no more than £20 depending on shipping and import tax, as always you pay what we pay, no additional costs.

Lilacsat 1 and 2 decoder now available on Raspberry Pi (3) image

We spent some time installing and testing out fitting all the GNU radio and demodulators onto a pi image.

Results you need 2 pi's to make this work well.

The image is available here

So we build GNU radio and gr-satellites and gr-lilacsat from scratch along with all dependencies

GNU radio loads and iports the lilacsat modules (detects funcube / airspy dongles)

The proxy loads and run OK

The front end module loads and displays the graphs just fine

Then we hit a resource issue, the pi-3 cannot handle running the second GNU radio module to decode the digital voice.

We think the answer is to build a second pi-3 to run just the decoder, and change the front-end gnu radio block to pipe the audio to the second pi.

We will continue to test and let you know how we get on, anyone who wants to test and give us feedback please do.

Twitter: @chertseyrc

Saturday, 3 June 2017

M6SIG live CD for LilacSat 1 and 2

As you know we have been playing around with FM and SSB voice satellites for a good few months now.

So we decided to take a look at the new LilacSat-1

This has a unique FM uplink and codec2 digital voice down.

So how complex is it going to be to try and decode and listen to this digital voice?

M6SIG has put together all the tools you need on a live Linux CD.

Live CD from M6SIG (ISO File, TNX BG9AGZ for uploading):
Tutorial of M6SIG Live CD: 

Firstly you will need to verify and decode the GPG image file above, this is a little bit complex and need some knowledge of Linux command line to help.

Copy the iso.gpg and zip file above onto a linux machine

ensure gnupg2 is installed : sudo apt-get install gnupg2
extract the signature file from the zip file (M6SIG.asc) save in the home folder
now add the above signature to gpg: gpg2 --import M6SIG.asc
now copy the iso.gpg file to home folder (if not already there)
verify the image: gpg2 --verify M6SIG_Mod_LilacSats_Live_20170528-0.iso.gpg
if above outputs as "Good Signature" move on to the next step, if not find a new image

To extract the gpg into a usable ISO image:
gpg2 M6SIG_Mod_LilacSats_Live_20170528-0.iso.gpg
(may take some time....)
you will now have an iso file which you can burn to DVD or use in VMware / Virtualbox.

Once installed, few things to set up:

Open LilacSat-1 folder
Double click on 01-Setup LilacSat-1 proxy

Password is:  lilac (enter)  *terminal closes by itself)
Now double click on 02-LilacSat-1 proxy

Fill in your details
click save
click on update orbit (note message in window at bottom)
click start proxy
shrink this window down (-)

Presuming you are using a funcube pro plus dongle
Double click on frontend_lilacsat1_rx_fcdpp.grc, once it opens click the green triangle on at the top of the window to start it.

You will also see the Waterfall / spectrum / scope window appear

Keeping the waterfall window on top, shrink the frontend fun cube layout page.

Now double click on the demon_lilacsat-1.grc icon
Click on the green triangle to start it

You will now see the Demod window start up

You can repeat the same with the LilacSat-2 folder, ensuring LilacSat-1 is totally closed down.
setup proxy, start proxy and fill in details update data etc.
start frontend--rx-fcdpp, the choose the mode you wish to decode and run the GRC module by double clicking

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Project "Thomas Watch" enabling Autism using radio's

My Son Thomas, is 11, he has autism and is struggling with his independence a little bit.

He likes to ride his bike around the street, but sometimes get distracted or goes off a little far.

I do stand outside and keep an eye on him, but when he goes around the block, those 5 minutes or so out of sight can be a little bit nerve racking, knowing he may get distracted or head off somewhere without letting me know.

I found on EBay the Baofeng 888 no thrills UHF radio for under £10 each delivered.
I set them up on the PMR frequencies and have successfully shown Thomas how to use them

The box contains 2 radios, docking station and USB charge plug, rubber duck antenna, wrist strap and also additional headset / microphone 

I added the Autism Awareness stickers to the radio, in case Thomas is approached by anyone or needs to make them aware of his condition. It just a quick added visual for the general public.

The handset is fairly small, no display to distract from its main function and is easy t use (even little hands) Volume is loud and clear as is the microphone. You can set up CTCSS and DTS to keep out interference as needed. You can also enable VOX (voice operated PTT) if needed.

My idea is now to share radios with friends and neighbours in the street to help keep an eye on Thomas, but it also goes the other way around that we can keep an eye on the other children in the area.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Egham Raspberry Jam hosted by Gartna in Staines Middx. Sunday.

Oscar (red) Leo (Blue) looking at a few of the projects

Bob taking a look at the raspberry pi controlling LED colour and brightness

Oscar and Leo learning about how electricity conducts and makes a sound, Scratch and raspberry pi  

Some coding in scratch on the raspberry pi, to make the octopus make a sound, several channels available, also some hidden features which make the onscreen octopus miaow and moves (hidden features)

Oscar and leo using a BBC microbit with geo sensor to control a toy crane (tilt the controller to control)

Oscar with the BBC microbit controlling the crane project.

Oscar playing SNAKE using a BBC microbit as a tilt controller

Leo blowing a fan to create a graph using a BBC Microbit

many sensors and displays.

Bob playing a game on the smallest LCD I have ever seen BBC Microbit

Close up of the LCD screen

Oscar playing rubic's cube via the raspberry pi Python code, notice the LCD touch screen 

Changing colour and rotating 

Oscar and Leo found retropi on the raspberry pi 3 and played happly for an hour on Mario cart and super mario 64 ;-)

Oscar controlling a raspberry pi rover with a wireless controller

Tiny LCD close up in high res.
High res Oscar and Leo on the BBC microbit controlled crane

James took an oppertunity to play radio / satellites

Kempton park radio rally on Sunday

Bob M6FLT using the Arrow satellite antenna at Kempton park on Sunday.

James M0JFP Meets RSGB Region 10 Manager Mick G4EFO at Kempton park rally
Spot the YOTA badge ;-)

James M0JFP in front of the ATV van at the rally 

James M0JFP with the arrow antenna working SO-50 from Kempton park rally.